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This is our “go-to” Fish Tacos recipe; fast, easy, and healthy they are topped with a fresh and crunchy fish taco slaw made with cabbage, lime, and cilantro. Video. Vegan-adaptable!

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.

Say hello to one of our favorite meals- Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw. I kid you not when I tell you we cook these Fish Tacos as often as once a week- they are so tasty and fresh and so darn easy to make. They feel light and healthy too. Give me all the cabbage!

The white fish is perfectly seasoned with blend of Mexican spices, and depending on the season these can be grilled, or baked in the oven or quickly pan-seared on the stovetop.  Paired with the tangy Cilantro Lime Slaw and optional Fish Taco Sauce (Chipotle Mayo) the combination is out of this world! I seriously could eat this every day!

how to make Fish Tacos!| 45-sec video

Why You’ll love this!

  • Fresh, healthy and Flavorful! Full of flavor, and together with the fresh, crunchy fish taco slaw, they are light and healthy too!
  • Fast and Easy. This meal comes together so fast!
  • Adaptable! Cook the fish on the grill, on the stovetop or baked in the oven.
  • Vegan-Adaptable! Make them vegan using TOFU – perfect for mixed households where both vegans and non-vegans live in the same house! 

Fish Taco Ingredients

  • White Fish Fillets: tilapia, mahi-mahi, red snapper, black cod, cod, seabass, or even shrimp. Or sub Tofu!
  • Spice Rub: chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, chipotle powder, (or smoked paprika and cayenne pepper) salt and a little sugar
  • Fish Taco Slaw Ingredients: Cabbage, lime, cilantro, fresh jalapeno, salt ( we leave out the mayonnaise here!)
  • Tortillas: Fish tacos are typically made with flour tortillas, but a blend of flour and corn work well too.
  • Best Fish Taco Sauce:  This Chipotle Mayo is our favorite with fish tacos.  Or for something different, try  Peruvian Green Sauce (Aji Verde), Vegan Cilantro Crema, Fermented Hot Sauce,
  • Optional Fish Taco Toppings: Avocado, Cotija Cheese, guacamole, lime crema, sour cream, cilantro, lime, pickled red onions

fish taco INSTRUCTIONS (Step-by-step)

Step 1: Season the fish filets. Stir together the Mexican spices and season the fish generously on both sides. You can also substitute tofu here.

prepping the fish

Step 2: Make the Fish Taco Slaw. Either chop the cabbage or buy pre-chopped cabbage in a bag and place this in a medium bowl. Add onion, cilantro, jalapeño, salt, and fresh lime juice and toss well. Store in the refrigerator until ready to serve. The fish taco slaw will last up to 3 days in the fridge, so sometimes I’ll make a double batch for other meals.

cilantro lime cabbage slaw

Step 3: Cook the fish. Grill the fish (my favorite), pan-sear it on the stovetop in a cast iron skillet, or bake it in the oven. The sugar in the spice blend helps caramelize it and give it a golden crust.  Squeeze the fish with lime.

cooking the fish

Step 4: Warm the tortillas. If you are grilling, warm the tortillas on the grill, or use the the stovetop, or oven! They are done they start to bubble.

heating the tortillas

Step 5: Assemble the Tacos. Place the seasoned fish in the warm tortilla, top it with the crunchy, cool taco slaw, drizzle with our Chipotle Mayo, add avocado and cilantro. Serve with lime!

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.

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 a 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 tastes even better the next day!

Fish Taco Toppings

Top Fish Tacos with a fresh fish taco slaw made with shredded cabbage, cilantro, jalapeno and lime. Add avocado, and a creamy Chipotle Mayo or lime crema.

What Sides to Serve with Fish Tacos

Fish tacos are a meal unto themselves but if creating a Mexican Feast, we suggest picking a few side dishes from the list below.

Faqs

What fish is best to use for fish tacos?

Most mild-flavored white-fleshed fish work best in fish tacos. Our favorites include: Tilapia, mahi mahi, red snapper, wild cold, black cod, sea bass, halibut, grouper, and flounder.

What is typically served with fish tacos?

Serve fish tacos with fish taco slaw, chipotle mayo or lime crema, Mexican rice and beans.

Are fish tacos better with corn or flour tortillas?

Fish tacos are typically served with flour tortillas, but using a blend of flour and corn tortillas work well too!

What goes on a fish taco?

Fish tacos are typically topped with a fish taco slaw made with fresh cabbage, cilantro and lime, and a creamy fish taco sauce.

Can these be made vegan?

Yes! Use the same rub on strips of tofu and pan sear!

Types of fish tO use in Fish tacos

When making fish tacos, you can use a variety of fish that have mild flavors and flaky textures. Here are some popular types of fish to consider:

  1. Tilapia: Tilapia is a widely available and affordable option for fish tacos. It has a mild taste and cooks quickly.
  2. Mahi Mahi: Mahi Mahi, also known as dorado, has a firm texture and a slightly sweet flavor. It holds up well on the grill or in the oven.
  3. Red Snapper: Red snapper has a slightly nutty flavor and a medium-firm texture. It can be grilled, pan-seared, or baked for fish tacos.
  4. Wild Cod: Cod is a popular choice for fish tacos due to its delicate flavor and flaky texture. It can be easily grilled, baked, or pan-fried.
  5. Sea Bass: Sea bass has a rich and buttery taste with a firm texture. It works well for grilling or baking in fish tacos.
  6. Black Cod: Black cod, also known as sablefish, has a rich and velvety texture with a mild and buttery flavor. It can be cooked in various ways, including grilling and baking.

Remember, you can always experiment with different types of fish based on your preference and availability. Enjoy your fish tacos!

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Enjoy the tacos and please leave your comments and rating below!

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Fish Tacos with the best fish Taco Slaw. Cook on the 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.

Fish Taco Recipe (with Fish Taco Slaw)

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine | Feasting at Home
  • Prep Time: 20
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 812 tacos 1x
  • Category: main, vegan, fish, tofu
  • Method: stovetop, grill, baked
  • Cuisine: mexican

Description

Our go-to Fish Taco recipe with the best fish taco slaw. Cook on the 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.


Ingredients

Units Scale
  • 1 lb white fish (tilapia, mahi-mahi, red snapper, halibut, black cod, grouper, flounder) or 1 pound extra firm tofu
  • 812 x 5-inch flour tortillas (or a blend of flour and corn)

Spice Rub:

Cilantro Lime Cabbage Slaw:

  • 12 ounces shredded cabbage (green and purple is nice) about 6 cups
  • 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:

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


Instructions

  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!

Notes

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.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 2 tacos (without sauce)
  • Calories: 233
  • Sugar: 2.1 g
  • Sodium: 163.2 mg
  • Fat: 7.2 g
  • Saturated Fat: 1.2 g
  • Carbohydrates: 29.2 g
  • Fiber: 3.9 g
  • Protein: 15.5 g
  • Cholesterol: 29.2 mg

Keywords: fish tacos, fish taco slaw, fish tacos recipe, fish taco recipe, easy 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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Comments

  1. Very easy and fresh, but I found the slaw to be a underwhelming–I added radishes but it easn’t enough, so I chopped up some fresh pineapple (peach/mango would also work) with a good sprinking of tajin for a salty/sour/spicy/sweet and juicy kick and it was perfect. Didn’t have mayo but I made a quick sauce with smashed garlic/lime juice/olive oil into greek yogurt with some salt & pepper.

    1. The slaw really needs to be adjusted to taste (with salt, jalapeno and lime) to be optimal here. 🙂

  2. 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!).

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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.

  6. 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!

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

  8. 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!
    ~K

  9. 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

  10. 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!!

  11. 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 ❤️.

  12. 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!!

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

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

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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,
    Diane

    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?

  18. 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?

  19. 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!)

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