Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado

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This simple Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado is perfectly spicy, has a delicious cool red cabbage slaw, and creamy avocado for a low carb alternative to fish tacos. Jump to Recipe keyboard_arrow_down

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Looking for low carb fish tacos? You have come to the right place. This Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado is basically a fish taco with the tortilla. It's full of flavor and is one of our favorite low carb Mexican options along with this Slow Cooker Beef Machaca and Easy Healthy Carnitas.

Hi. My name is Kristen, and I'm a taco addict. There, I said it. Although, I think you probably already know it. But, from time to time, I find myself needing to modify the taco to suit my dietary needs, and that's just what I did for this Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado recipe. I need a low carb option and this was the perfect solution.

I like to refer to this recipe as being just like a fish taco without the "taco" part. Many times when I am out to eat and looking for a lower-calorie option, I look for tacos. Then to cut back on calories, I'll skip the tortillas and simply eat all the yummy fillings. Today's recipe is my own homemade version of exactly that with deliciously spiced fish, slaw, and some creamy avocado. It's a perfect dish to cook on the grill or can just as easily be made in the broiler.

Now, just because I took out the tortilla doesn't mean you have to do the same. By all means, make this recipe as-is and add in your favorite carb. Or add two tortillas to create a quesadilla. Wrap a soft taco around a hard taco and create your own fast-food-chain, copycat gordita. 

Side Dishes Serve with Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado

Since I skipped the carbs in this dish, my suggestions for side dishes will also be low-carb in sticking with the theme. Try one (or more) of the following as a side dish for your tacos and enjoy eating all the food with none of the guilt.  

Ways to Serve Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado

If you're not feeling the no-carb thing, don't worry, there are PLENTY of ways to add in your favorite breads or wraps. In addition to using a typical taco shell or tortilla, you could also try: 

  • Turning the fish dish into quesadillas.
  • Adding the fish to lettuce for a low-carb taco "shell" that still feels like a taco.
  • Make yummy Mexican-themed rice bowls with the fish, plus salsa, beans, cheese, jalapenos, corn — any of your favorite ingredients will work. 
  • Place the fish right inside a nice, toasty roll or bun and top it with some hot sauce and your favorite slaw. 
  • Make fish taco mini "bites" by using tortilla chips that are bowl- or shell-shaped. 

How Can I Use Leftover Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado?

I'm going to be perfectly honest with you — I never have any leftovers. No, that's not entirely true. I do sometimes have some food left over. I don't think leftover fish keeps for all that long, so my suggestion is to plan on eating it the very next day. The same advice goes for the slaw and avocado. Actually, when using avocados, I tend to only slice up as much as I'm going to eat for that meal because leftover avocado doesn't keep well. 

If it were me, though, I'd simply use any of the ideas above for leftovers the following day. Cold fish isn't bad either — try it in a sandwich or on a salad! 

How Much Fish Do You Need for Fish Tacos? 

This recipe calls for 1.33 pounds of cod for four servings. If you're skipping the shell, then I think you're entitled to a little more fish per serving, don't you? Take out the carbs, add some extra protein. Pile high with all the "extras." This serving size allows for about a third of a pound of fish per person. If you were to add the tortillas, I'd cut it down to about a quarter pound of fish per person (keeping in mind I usually consider two tacos a serving). 

Ideas for Customizing Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado

  • If you're not a fan of cod, you can substitute mahi mahi, snapper, salmon, tuna, or just about any meatier fish you like eating. 
  • If you aren't a fish lover at all, you can most definitely use chicken or lean beef with the same spices and toppings as well. 
  • You can also use lettuce wraps or low-carb tortillas if you're watching your carb consumption. 
  • Put your toppings in a bowl, then add the fish right on top for a "deconstructed" taco. Instead of a taco, you have a delicious, ancho fish taco salad! 
  • Greek yogurt will work just fine as a substitute for mayo. 
  • Skip the red cabbage and swap it out for the green kind or try some broccoli slaw. 
  • Spicy foods aren't for everyone. You can always change out the jalapeno for another garnish or add milder Mexican seasonings instead of ancho chili. 
  • Really, this recipe is yours to make and enjoy! So feel no guilt if the thought of cilantro makes you turn green — add whatever herbs you like! 

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The Recipe

Ancho Fish with Slaw and Avocado

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  • 1.33 lbs. cod (or other firm white fish)
  • 1 tbsp. vegetable oil
  • 1 tbsp. lime juice
  • 1/2 tbsp. ancho chile powder
  • 1/2 U jalapeno, chopped
  • 1/4 cup cilantro
  • Salt and pepper
  • 2 cups red cabbage
  • 1 U carrot, grated
  • 4 U green onions, sliced
  • 1 tbsp. low fat mayonnaise (full fat and Paleo friendly if needed)
  • 1 U packet Stevia (leave out or use honey for Paleo)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin
  • 1 U avocado

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Season the fish with salt and pepper. Add to a container or resealable bag with vegetable oil, lime juice, chile powder, jalapeno, and cilantro. Let marinate for 15 minutes on the counter.


Preheat the grill, grill pan, or broiler to medium high heat.


Stir together the mayonnaise, lime juice, Stevia (honey), and cumin to create the dressing for the slaw. Toss with the cabbage, carrots, and green onions. Set aside.


Place the fish on a piece of foil and place on the grill/broiler. Grill/broil for 6-8 minutes or until flaky.


Top fish with slaw and avocado.

Nutritional Facts
Serving Size: 6 oz. fish, 2/3 cup slaw, 1/4 avocado
Amount Per Serving
Calories 282
Calories from Fat 111
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 13g
Saturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 92mg
Sodium 287mg
Total Carbohydrate 12g
Dietary Fiber 6g
Sugars 3g
Protein 33g

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.

† SmartPoints™ and PointsPlus® calculated by Slender Kitchen; Not endorsed by Weight Watchers International, Inc.
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