This is the easiest, most flavorful recipe for fish tacos! Tender white fish is baked to flaky perfection after being rubbed with a bright, spicy seasoning rub, and then finished with a fresh cabbage slaw and a creamy chipotle sauce for the perfect balance in flavors and textures.
Baked fish tacos are always a huge family hit, especially when served with Cilantro Lime Rice and a simple Corn Salad. While the slaw and chipotle sauce are delicious accompaniments to the tacos, try topping them with Pineapple Mango Salsa, for a delicious tropical spin on fish tacos.
There are good fish tacos and there are great fish tacos.
These are GREAT fish tacos--like the best fish tacos I have ever had!
Fish fillets are perfectly seasoned and then baked until just flaky, keeping the meat extremely moist. The fish is topped with a crunchy, bright slaw that adds texture and freshness to the tacos and the finishing touch is a slightly spicy, slightly tart chipotle sauce.
These fish tacos are EVERYTHING. Creamy, crunchy, spicy, acidic, bright, and flavorful. And they are so easy to make!
While it appears there are a lot of ingredients in these tacos, most are pantry staples. The dry spices, onions, mayonnaise, and limes you probably already have on hand. The fish, cabbage, and tortillas are the only ingredients you
- White Fish: Any white-flesh flaky fish works for the taco meat. Tilapia, Cod, or Haddock are all great options that are easy to find. Frozen fish is fine, just be sure to defrost fully and pat dry before adding the rub to the fillets.
- Dry Rub: The rub is key to the flavor in these tacos. It is made with dry seasonings you probably have in your pantry and the zest of a lime. The lime zest adds such a bright note to the fish--you do not want to overlook that ingredient.
- Slaw: Shredded cabbage, red onions, cilantro, and lime juice are the perfect mixture to creating a fresh touch to these tacos. You can use a bag of coleslaw mix to make the slaw or shred the cabbage yourself, which is a money saver!
- Chipotle Sauce: This creamy, spicy sauce is a delicious finishing touch to these tacos. Made with mayonnaise, lime juice, and the liquid from canned chipotles, it is a simple sauce that takes minutes to make and adds incredible flavor to the tacos. Money-Saving Tip: If you do not have canned chipotles, use Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce in their place. If you do have chipotles, be sure to freeze the leftover contents of the can to use for future recipes.
- Tortillas: Use your favorite tortilla to serve these fish tacos. Corn tortillas are traditional, but any variety works.
How To Make Fish Tacos
The process for making these tacos is simple and takes about 30 minutes. While the fish is baking, prepare the slaw and the chipotle sauce then assemble the tacos once the fish has been baked.
- Prepare the dry rub by mixing together the zest of lime, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, and pepper together. Be sure to wash and dry your lime BEFORE zesting and only use the bright green zest from the lime.
- Prepare a baking sheet by lining it with parchment paper to keep the fish from sticking to the pan.
- Pat the fish fillets dry and then rub the spice rub evenly over both sides of the fillets.
- Place on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil, which keeps the fish moist while baking.
- Bake until the fish is flaky.
- While the fish is baking, combine the cabbage, onions, and cilantro with salt, lime juice, and olive oil. Cover and refrigerate while the fish is baking.
- Combine the mayo with chipotle sauce, lime juice, garlic powder, and salt.
- Toast the tortillas by placing the tortillas in a dry skillet over medium heat and cook for about 30 seconds per side.
- Remove the fish from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes.
- Cut the fillets into bite-size chunks.
- Assemble the tacos by placing the fish on top of the toasted tortillas. Top with slaw and a dollop of chipotle sauce.
Leftover Fish Tacos
Fish tacos are best served immediately after preparation, as fish can dry out after it has been refrigerated and reheated. However, if you happen to have leftovers, you can refrigerate the slaw and fish in separate airtight containers for up to 48 hours.
Reheat by placing the fish in a dry skillet and heat over medium heat until warm. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the heated fish and serve with slaw.
More Favorite Taco Recipes
- Black Bean Tacos
- Classic Beef Tacos
- Shrimp Tacos
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- Cauliflower Tacos
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos
- Lentil Tacos
These delicious fish tacos make an easy, light, and refreshing dinner! I hope you give them a try and be sure to leave a review below letting everyone know how you liked them!
For the Fish
- 24 oz firm white fish fillets tilapia, cod, or haddock
- ½ tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tbsp chili powder
- ½ tsp cumin
- ½ tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp paprika
- ½ tsp salt
- ½ tsp pepper
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
For the Slaw
- 3 cups thinly sliced or shredded cabbage see note
- ¼ cup thinly sliced red onion
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup fresh lime juice
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ⅓ cup mayonnaise see note
- Juice from 1 lime
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon sauce from canned chipotles in adobe sauce see note
- Corn Tortillas see note
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- Mix together chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, paprika, salt, pepper, and lime zest together.
- Pat fish dry with a paper towel and then coat with spice mixture. Place on sheet pan and drizzle with olive oil.
- Bake for 13-15 minutes, or until fish is flaky.
- While the fish is baking, prepare the slaw and sauce for tacos.
- For the slaw, mix together the cabbage, onion, cilantro, salt, lime juice, and olive oil together. Cover and refrigerate while the fish cooks.
- For the sauce, whisk together mayonnaise, garlic powder, chipotle, and lime juice together.
- Toast tortillas over grill or gas stove in a dry skillet over medium heat for 30 seconds per side.
- Remove the fish from the oven and let rest for 5 minutes and then cut fish into small bite-size pieces.
- Place fish on top of corn tortillas, top with slaw, and chipotle sauce. Serve immediately.
- Frozen fish fillets are fine to use for this recipe. Be sure to defrost fully and then pat dry before rubbing with the spice mixture.
- If you do not have canned chipotles, use Sriracha or your favorite hot sauce in their place. If you do have chipotles, be sure to freeze the leftover contents of the can to use for future recipes. I freeze leftover chipotles by placing scooping the contents into an ice cube tray. Freeze until solid and then transfer to a freezer-safe bag.
- If you do not like Mayonnaise, feel free to substitute it for plain Greek yogurt or sour cream.
- You can use a bag of coleslaw mix to make the slaw or shred the cabbage yourself, which is a money saver!
- Corn tortillas are traditional for fish tacos, but any variety works. Just be sure to toast tortillas before assembling tacos for the best flavor.
- Fish tacos are best served immediately upon preparation. However, you can store the leftover fish and slaw in the refrigerator in separate containers for up to 48 hours. Reheat the fish in a dry skillet over medium heat until just warmed through.