This recipe for fish tacos is seriously the best! Tender, flaky fish is seasoned with a smoky seasoning and drizzled with a delicious creamy citrus chipotle taco sauce! These healthy fish tacos are high in lean protein and low in calories -- the whole family will love them!
This is the Best Fish Taco Recipe
Great Flavors! The fish is perfectly seasoned using a blend of spices such as smoked paprika, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. You can add more chili powder if you want it spicier, and be sure to make the homemade taco sauce for the most delicious taco!
Homemade Sauce. The homemade taco sauce is a creamy, spicy, citrusy sauce that pairs well with fish or shrimp tacos. Sour cream, mayo, lime, sriracha, chipotle seasoning, and garlic are all mixed together and then drizzled over each taco for an umami flavor experience!
Healthy. Fish tacos are healthy because they are high in lean protein, low carb, gluten-free, and are loaded with healthy fats, vitamins, and minerals! Make any small adjustments, use low-fat sour cream or mayonnaise, and use carb-smart tortillas to reduce the amount of carbs.
Fish Taco Ingredients
Here are the ingredients you'll need to make this fish tacos recipe:
Best Fish for Fish Tacos
The best fish for fish tacos is a mild, firm, yet flaky fish. Mahi mahi, cod halibut, tilapia, and haddock or my favorites to use.
Fish Taco Seasoning
Making your own fish taco seasoning is super simple; we used the following ingredients, but you can also use a taco seasoning blend or a pre-made seasoning.
- Smoked Paprika: this spice gives your fish a bit of a smoky flavor, which compliments the spicy components very nicely!
- Chili Powder: add more or less chili powder for how spicy you want your seasoning to be
- Cumin: commonly found in Mexican dishes for its distinctive flavor. It can come in seed form or ground; you can choose either variety. However, I prefer ground in a seasoning rub.
- Garlic Powder: be sure to use garlic powder vs. garlic salt. You could use garlic salt, but be sure to omit the kosher salt to prevent it from being overly salted.
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Black Pepper
- Olive Oil: or any cooking oil you prefer to use!
Homemade Taco Sauce
Homemade taco sauce is one of the most delicious parts of this recipe. There are only a few simple ingredients, and you can adjust the spice level to your tastes by increasing the chipotle seasoning.
- Sour Cream: use full-fat or fat-free; you can also use plain Greek yogurt for extra protein and to make it a little healthier.
- Mayonnaise: use full fat or reduced fat or any other varieties such as made with olive oil etc.
- Water: to dilute it to the right consistency
- Lime: you will need at least one lime; half is used in the sauce, and the other half is cut into wedges. Purchase an additional lime if you want more wedges for serving.
- Minced Garlic: mince your own garlic cloves or use store-bought pre-minced garlic to save time.
- Chipotle or Sriracha Sauce: you can use one chipotle adobo pepper in adobo sauce and finely diced. Add more or less sriracha for your desired heat level.
- Chipotle Seasoning: start with one teaspoon of seasoning and add additional to taste for your desired heat level.
- Salt and Pepper
Slaw for Fish Tacos
To make a slaw for fish tacos you can simply toss half of the homemade taco sauce in this recipe with thinly shredded cabbage. Or, you can make this Mexican slaw recipe with cabbage, radishes, green onion, and a wonderful creamy tangy slaw dressing.
For exact ingredient quantities, please see the recipe card below!
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How To Make Fish Tacos
Here's a general overview of making fish tacos, be sure to visit the recipe card for full instructions. Enjoy!
1. Mix together the fish seasoning and sprinkle over the fish.
2. Pan-sear each side of the fish until done.
3. Make the taco sauce and prep any additional toppings.
4. Assemble the tacos.
How To Serve This Recipe For Fish Tacos
Adjust seasoning to taste.
Serve immediately in warmed corn or flour tortillas. Garnish with cojita cheese, chopped cilantro, and fresh diced onion. Serve with extra slices of lime wedges.
Fish Taco Toppings
What are the best toppings for fish tacos? Here are some of my favorites:
- Cabbage, either red or green, thinly shredded and mixed with the taco sauce, makes a quick creamy slaw.
- Avocado thinly sliced, fresh cilantro, optional toppings such as queso fresco, and sliced or diced fresh onion.
- Mild fruit salsa is a great combination with fresh fish tacos.
- Use sour cream or plain Greek yogurt if you don't want to make the homemade taco sauce.
- Lime wedges to add extra lime juice over your tacos.
- Thinly sliced radishes add a little spice and freshness.
- Fresh cilantro
- Queso fresco or other crumbly cheeses.
- Red or white Onion
- Lime or sour orange will your tacos a tangy brightness.
- Diced fruit such as mango, pineapple, passionfruit, or peaches will give your tacos a tropical twist.
Best Sauce for Fish Tacos
The best sauce for fish tacos is one that has a creamy base with a slightly smoky, spicy, citrus flavor as it compliments the seasoning on the fish and the fish itself. Start with sour cream or plain Greek yogurt and mayonnaise, and add fresh lime juice, garlic, chipotle, or sriracha sauce(adjust for heat) and chipotle seasoning, salt, and pepper. Adjust any seasoning to your desired taste.
Our Favorite Sides For Fish Tacos
- Best Red Pickled Onions
- The Best Refried Beans
- Mango Peach Salsa
- Roasted Chili Corn Salsa
- Mexican Coleslaw
- Mexican Street Corn Salad with Frozen Corn
Tips For Storing and Reheating The Best Fish Tacos
I highly recommend storing every component of this fish taco recipe separately for the best result. For example, store the fish by itself, taco sauce, and quick slaw, and then the toppings all separate. All ingredients should last if stored in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
You can reheat your fish on a microwave-safe plate on low in 15 to 30-second increments until heated through. You can also reheat in a skillet on the stove until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F.
Best Fish Tacos Recipe
- 1½ teaspoons smoked paprika
- 1½ teaspoons chili powder
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1½ pounds mahi mahi, cod, halibut, or other mild white fish
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Taco Sauce Ingredients
- ¾ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1½ lime (juice half of a lime, cut the remaining whole lime into wedges to serve with the finished tacos.)
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 2 teaspoons chipotle or sriracha sauce (1 chipotle pepper in adobo sauce (finely chopped, adjust sauces to taste.)
- 1 teaspoon chipotle seasoning
- salt and pepper to taste (start with ¼ teaspoon each add more as needed.)
Fish Taco Toppings
- ¼ small red or green cabbage (thinly shredded)
- 8 6" soft corn or flour tortillas
- 1 medium avocado (sliced)
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro
- ¼ cup (optional) queso fresco
- ¼ small (optional) thinly sliced yellow onion
Cook The Fish
- Mix the first six ingredients in a small bowl. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel. Sprinkle the seasoning over all sides of the fish fillets.
- Preheat a large skillet with olive oil over medium heat. Place fish in the pan and cook for 4 minutes. Carefully turn the fish over and continue cooking until the internal temperature reaches 145 degrees F, about 4 to 7 more minutes, depending upon the thickness.
Make The Fish Taco Sauce
- Mix all ingredients together in a small bowl. Season to taste and serve. Store in an air-tight container in the refrigerator.
Assemble The Tacos
- Serve cooked fish in warmed tortillas along with avocado slices, shredded cabbage slaw, onion, and cheese (if using). Drizzle with remaining fish taco sauce, top with cilantro. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with lime wedges.
- Don't miss all of our helpful hints, substitution ideas, cooking tips, and other delicious recipes that can be found in our post. Check it out!
- The taco sauce is totally flexible adjust to your taste preferences - if you like your heat level spicy, use finely chopped chipotle peppers in adobo sauce. If you like it mild add half of the spices and increase until you are happy.
- The taco sauce can be mixed with the cabbage to make a cabbage slaw. Water will need to be added to adjust consistency.
- Any mild fish may be substituted - halibut, haddock, tilapia, cod, mahi mahi, etc.
- Use any favorite taco topping. To give your tacos a tropical twist, add diced mango or use a tropical salsa.
- If you can find them, swap out sour oranges for the lime - it's fabulous.
- TIME-SAVER TIPS: Use pre-packed shredded cabbage. Make the taco sauce in advance.
- TO HEAT TORTILLAS:
- Oven: wrap in aluminum foil and bake in a 350-degree oven until warmed through.
- Skillet: place shells on a hot skillet one at a time until warm and flexible.
- Microwave: wrap in a damp paper towel and microwave on low power until heated through.
- SERVING SUGGESTIONS: Salt and pepper to taste. Serve with lime wedges.
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