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These Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are quick, easy, and have the BEST Flavor! Pan-sear, grill or bake in under 30 minutes. Vegan-adaptable swapping tofu for the fish! Video.

These Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are quick, easy, and have the BEST Flavor! Pan-sear, grill or bake in under 30 minutes. Vegan-adaptable swapping tofu for the fish! Video.

Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are one of our “go-to” meals that are not only light and healthy- but can be made in under 30 minutes. (Vegans, substitute delicious tofu for the fish!) 

The fish is perfectly seasoned and paired with the tangy Cilantro Lime Slaw and optional Fish Taco Sauce  Chipotle Mayo (Mexican Secret Sauce) and/or avocado, the combination is out of this world! I seriously could eat this every day!

Why this recipe works!

Besides the flavor, what I love most about these fish tacos is how adaptable they are! These can be cooked on the grill, on the stovetop or baked in the oven. AND they can be made vegan using TOFU – perfect for mixed households where both vegans and non-vegans live in the same house! 

Best Fish Tacos!| 45-sec video

Which Fish is Best for Tacos?

Most white-fleshed, mild-flavored, saltwater fish, will work best in fish tacos. Here is a list of our favorites:

  • tilapia
  • mahi-mahi
  • red snapper
  • wild cod
  • black cod
  • sea bass 
  • halibut
  • grouper
  • flounder

Ingredients in Fish Tacos:

Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are quick, easy, and have the BEST Flavor! Pan-sear, grill or bake in under 30 minutes. Vegan-adaptable swapping tofu for the fish! Video.

How to make the best fish tacos:

Step 1: It starts with the flavorful spice rub. Stir together the simple flavorful spice rub, and season the fish on both sides.

prepping the fish

Step 2: Make the Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw.

making the taco slaw

Either chop the cabbage or buy a pound of pre-chopped cabbage in a bag. Add, onion, cilantro, jalapeño and fresh lime juice and toss.

cilantro lime cabbage slaw

This taco slaw keeps well and like I said before, gets even better the next day.

Step 3: Cook the fish. Grill the fish, pan sear, or bake!  Squeeze with lime.

cooking the fish

Step 4: Warm up the tortillas on the grill, stovetop or oven too!

heating the tortillas

Step 5: Assemble the Tacos.

Place the seasoned fish in the warm tortilla shell, top it with the crunchy, cool Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw, drizzle with Chipotle Mayo add avocado, cotija cheese and cilantro.

These Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are quick, easy, and have the BEST Flavor! Pan-sear, grill or bake in under 30 minutes. Vegan-adaptable swapping tofu for the fish! Video.

Serve immediately!

I love how simple and flavorful these fish tacos are, while staying clean and lean.

And the best thing, the leftovers can be repurposed into lunch or dinner the next day by creating an easy “buddha” bowl. Add cooked rice or grain to a bowl, and top it with the leftover fish (or tofu) and the Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw- which, by the way, tastes even better the next day!

These Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are such delicious and healthy meal that comes together in 30 minutes flat.

What to serve with fish tacos:

Enjoy the fish tacos and have a happy, delicious week!



PS. You may also like these Chipotle Fish Tacos with Fresh Peach Salsa and these  Shrimp Tacos with Mango Cabbage Slaw!

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Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw are quick, easy, and have the BEST Flavor! Pan-sear, grill or bake in under 30 minutes. Vegan-adaptable swapping tofu for the fish! Video.

Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x
  • Category: main, vegan, fish, tofu
  • Method: grilled or baked
  • Cuisine: mexican


Perfect Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw that can be made using a grill, stove top or oven! Vegan & gluten-free adaptable- sub tofu for the fish! A fast, easy and healthy dinner that comes together in under 30 minutes.


Units Scale
  • 12 lbs white-fleshed saltwater fish (tilapia, mahi-mahi, snapper, halibut, black cod, grouper, flounder) or 1 pound extra firm tofu (4-6 ounces per person)
  • 5– inch flour tortillas (or a blend of flour and corn) 2 per person

Spice Rub:

Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw:

  • 1 pound shredded cabbage ( green and purple is nice)
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt, more to taste
  • 1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion, more to taste
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro (packed), 1/2 of a large bunch
  • 1/41/2 of a jalapeño, finely chopped, more to taste
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil

Sauce options: Chipotle Mayo, Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji Verde) Vegan-Adaptable, Vegan Cilantro Crema, Avocado Sauce (Vegan!), Fermented Hot Sauce

Optional Garnishes: Lime wedges, Avocado slices,  Cotija Cheese, Cilantro


  1. Preheat the grill to medium-high heat or preheat the oven to 400F.
  2. Prep the fish: Pat dry the fish. (See notes for tofu) In a small bowl make the spice rub- stirring the spices and salt together. Sprinkle all sides of the fish lightly with the spice rub (you most likely will not need all). Set aside.
  3. Make the Cilantro Lime Slaw: Place the shredded cabbage in a medium bowl. Toss with the salt. Add the onions, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, olive oil and toss well. Adjust lime, salt, and jalapeño, adding more to taste you want this to taste tangy and flavorful.
  4. Make optional Fish Taco Sauce: Make any accompanying sauce. Chipotle Mayo is nice here- feel free to do this ahead. Or sub avocado.
  5. Cook the Fish:  Grill Grease the grill well before placing fish on it. Turn heat to medium. Grill each side for a few minutes, letting grill marks develop and use a metal spatula to flip. Cook until the desired doneness (center is flaky, opaque, roughly 140F)  and squeeze with a little lime juice. OR BAKE: place fish on a parchment-lined sheet pan, bake 6 minutes then flip. Continue baking until cooked through- time will depend on thickness (another 4-6 minutes). Fish is done when opaque in the middle, flakey, and registers 140F in the center. Squeeze with lime juice. Pan-sear: Heat 1-2 tablespoons olive oil in a skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Carefully add fish, and sear until golden, 3-4 minutes, flip, lower heat to medium, continue cooking until cooked through- until center is flakey, opaque. Timing will depend on the thickness of the fish. Squeeze with lime.
  6. Heat the tortillas– either quickly grill the tortillas on the grill, in the oven directly on the oven rack, or directly over a gas flame (on the stovetop).
  7. Assemble Tacos: Place fish in the warm tortillas, top with cabbage slaw and any garnishes. Drizzle with the optional (but delicious)  Chipotle Mayo if you like.
  8. Serve immediately!


TIP: To make this recipe a little faster, buy pre-shredded cabbage, and make the spice rub ahead, and any sauces you plan to use, ahead.

TOFU: If using tofu, place a block of firm tofu on paper towels and press down gently to release more liquid, patting dry. Cut into 1-inch thick,  3-inch long strips for easier grilling. Coat strips lightly with spice rub, grill on a well-greased grill, or pan-sear the tofu, in a skillet with olive oil until crispy, or bake the tofu (spray the seasoned tofu with olive oil spray before baking) until golden crispy, approx 30 mins.

The Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw is enough for 2 pounds of fish ( feel free to halve) but I like to make a big batch and keep the leftovers – and use it on everything (bowls, sandwiches, wraps, side salad…) during the week. If your slaw tastes bland- add more lime and salt. 😉

Left-over fish will keep up to 3 days in the fridge. Great in bowls, wraps, etc.


  • Serving Size: 1 taco (w/ 6-inch corn tortilla)
  • Calories: 233
  • Sugar: 3.2 g
  • Sodium: 239.1 mg
  • Fat: 9.5 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.7 g
  • Carbohydrates: 19.5 g
  • Fiber: 3.1 g
  • Protein: 20.3 g
  • Cholesterol: 43.8 mg

Keywords: best fish tacos, fish tacos, easy fish tacos, perfect fish tacos, grilled fish tacos, fish tacos with taco sauce, fish tacos with cilantro lime sauce, baked fish tacos, pan-seared fish tacos,

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Recipe rating


  1. I made this with sea bass that I was afraid wasn’t up to normal prep after having had to freeze. The flavor was amazing! Between the top grade fish, delicious rub and then the slaw, nothing else was needed! I was concerned because I didn’t have mayo to make a sauce but I am glad because the flavors were so fresh as it is. No cheese either (one of those nights!). The only sides were warmed tortillas and a can of chili beans. So glad my pantry was lacking so I didn’t muddy up any of the delicious fresh flavors of this recipe. Definitely will make again (even without the sea bass!).

  2. Just made this for ‘Taco Tuesday’ and it was delicious as all your recipes are Sylvia. Even my fish fussy teens had a go! It will become a staple in our house over the summer. Thankyou for sharing such tasty, healthy recipes.

  3. This was a delicious recipe. My only criticism is that this took me 1.5 hrs to make. I’m not sure if you used a food processor and your a professional chef, but frim someone whose been cooking 40 years this was time consuming but well worth it. I just wish the time allocation was more accurate.

    1. Hey Lisa- there are little short cuts you can take to make this faster. I will add to the recipe notes. 🙂

  4. I can’t do gluten, so I just threw the fish on top of a huge helping of the slaw and drizzled the suggested mayo on top. Amazing! I regretted having to share the rest with my family, lol.

  5. These are my husband’s and my favorite fish tacos! We’ve been following this recipe for a few years now and we still keep them in our favorite routine recipes! So easy, quick, and DELICIOUS!

  6. Made these along with your Chipotle mayo recipe, and they were DELICIOUS!!! Thanks for the great recipe!

  7. Sylvia, I’ve made enough of your recipes to trust the seasonings absolutely. These fish tacos, cabbage slaw, and chipotle mayo were outstanding. So flavorful.
    Thanks so much!

  8. Does this really only make 4 tacos? We have a family of 5 and I imagine each person would want to eat 2 tacos, but I’m not sure if I need to double the recipe or not!

    1. Hi Jason- no, it serves 4 people (2 tacos each). I see your confusion and updated the recipe car to make it more clear1

  9. WOW, this is fantastic! I followed the recipe exactly, grilled the fish, and served it with the slaw and your chipotle mayo. Best fish taco I’ve ever had. Sylvia, your blog is quickly becoming my go-to for great recipes – thank you!!

  10. Made these tacos tonight….SOOOOOO YUMMY! I’ve tried so many recipes from you now, and all have been SUPER yummy. I’m so glad I stumbled across your page last year. Thank you ❤️.

  11. I normally don’t enjoy cabbage, but this recipe looked so good, I decided to make it. And am I happy I did! This was over-the-top delicious! Thank you so much Sylvia! I’ve made several of your recipes and each one has been a star. Your food blog is my favorite!!

  12. Supremely delicious! So much flavour for so little effort.
    Thank you thank you 🙏 thank you!

  13. MUCHAS GRACIAS! Delicious ingredients definitely will lead to delicious tacos! Can’t wait to make them.

  14. OMG! These fish tacos are the top request from my grown adult children and husband at every family gathering. So easy to make and taste amazing.

  15. I used flounder and corn tortillas pan seared in avocado oil. The slaw should be made the day prior, or cook the fish and reheat it, i thought it better reheated with fresh tortillas

  16. Hi Sylvia, I love all your recipes and I would love them even more if each one gives gluten free options as I am gluten free.
    Warm regards,

    1. Hi Diane- we will try to be more vigilant about this. We usually do, but sometimes forget.

    1. Yes,Katie,I think that should work ok! Finely slice them, maybe massage them with a little olive oil and salt first to soften?

  17. You think I could add mango to this slaw?
    I still have a mango in my fridge which must be eaten. Other option is to make the shrimp taco recipe. What do you suggest?

  18. I knew I was going to be making these on a busy night so I prepped the cabbage slaw the night before. As a result, these came together so quickly that they were faster than takeout (and WAY more delicious!)

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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