The best grilled fish tacos with perfectly cooked fish, crunchy shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and tons of lime. Served in beautifully charred corn tortillas and dressed with a zesty fish taco sauce, this dish is perfect for summertime dinners!
Grilled fish tacos are one of our favorite healthy fish recipes to prepare during the summer months. They’re unbelievably quick and easy to make, and they’re packed with vibrant flavors.
We love to serve this fish taco recipe with warm, slightly charred corn tortillas, shredded cabbage, pico de gallo, and a tangy fish taco sauce. The fish carries a smoky flavor that’s perfectly complemented by a rich, spicy, and zesty taco seasoning.
Serve these delicious tacos fresh from the grill with your favorite toppings and sides like rice, beans, or fish taco slaw. For more grilled recipes, check out our grilled swordfish, pollo asado, and grilled garlic eggplant.
Why You'll Love Grilled Fish Tacos
We know you’ll fall in love with these grilled fish tacos! Here’s why:
- Refreshing: These grilled fish tacos are light yet rich in flavor, making them perfect for summer backyard get-togethers.
- Smoky flavors: Grilling the fish infuses it with a unique smoky flavor that complements the zesty taco seasoning.
- Interactive: Tacos are a fun, interactive meal where everyone can assemble their own just how they like it!
Ingredients and Substitutions
To make this grilled fish tacos recipe, here’s what you’ll need:
- Fish: Our go-to options are cod, halibut, tilapia, snapper, and mahi mahi for a delicate, clean flavor. If you don’t have white fish, feel free to substitute it with other firm fish like salmon or even shrimp.
- Olive oil: Helps in the grilling process and adds depth of flavor. You can also use options like avocado or canola oil.
- Lime juice: Provides a tangy freshness that cuts through the richness of the fish. In a pinch, lemon juice will also work.
- Taco seasoning: Homemade taco seasoning gives the fish its vibrant flavor. Feel free to experiment with spice combinations of pepper, cumin, chili powder, paprika, and cayenne pepper.
- Corn tortillas: We prefer corn tortillas for a more rustic, traditional taco base, but you can opt for flour tortillas if you’d prefer.
- Cabbage: Both red and green cabbage will work well for this recipe. Alternatively, you can use a pre-made slaw mixture for more convenience.
- Pico de gallo: Use your favorite store-bought brand or make your own with chopped tomatoes, onions, cilantro, jalapeños, and lime juice.
- Other toppings: We love to top our grilled fish tacos with homemade fish taco sauce, cilantro, and lime wedges. You can also use pickled red onions, hot sauce, Mexican crema, or sour cream.
What kind of fish works best for grilled fish tacos?
The best fish for grilled fish tacos are firm white fish like mahi mahi, halibut, cod, sea bass, or snapper. These hold up well to the grill and lend a mild flavor that pairs well with other taco ingredients. Salmon tacos are also delicious.
How To Make Grilled Fish Tacos
These tacos come together in less than 30 minutes, which includes marinating the fish and making the fish taco sauce.
1. Marinate The Fish
Marinate a fresh piece of fish with a mixture of lime juice, olive oil, and taco seasoning. It’s important to leave it for around 15-30 minutes to allow the marinade time to infuse and tenderize the fish. As the fish soaks up the flavors, you can prepare the toppings.
2. Grill The Fish
Make sure your grill is hot and clean before adding the fish. This is important to ensure it doesn’t stick to the grill. If your grill tends to stick, you can add a piece of foil as well. Once it’s nice and hot, add the fish and grill it until it looks opaque and flaky.
3. Assemble the tacos
The great thing about making grilled fish tacos is that you can warm your tortillas on the grill for added flavor. Layer the grilled fish onto the tortillas and top it off with your favorite ingredients. Serve your tacos right away to prevent the tortillas from becoming soggy.
What To Serve With Grilled Fish Tacos
While grilled fish tacos are a complete meal in their own right, you might want to serve them with accompaniments like these:
- Mexican cauliflower rice
- Mexican street corn
- Blackened corn
- Homemade guacamole
- Slow cooker black beans
- Grilled vegetable salad
Best Toppings for Fish Tacos
For traditional fish taco flavors, you can’t go wrong with a handful of shredded green or red cabbage, fresh cilantro, fish taco sauce, or creamy chipotle sauce.
You can also experiment with different toppings like:
- Pickled red onions
- Pineapple salsa
- Corn salsa
- Shrimp taco sauce (also tastes great with fish!)
- Diced tomatoes
- Red or green salsa
- Avocado or guacamole
- Sour cream, Greek yogurt, Mexican crema, or a thin layer of mayo to balance the spice
Storage and Reheating
Storing and reheating your grilled fish tacos is easy! Just follow these tips:
- Fridge: Grilled fish leftovers can be stored in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Keep the toppings and tortillas stored separately.
- Freezer: It's best not to freeze cooked fish as it may become rubbery once reheated.
- Reheating: Reheat the fish gently in a pan over low heat, being careful not to overcook.
- Prep ahead: You can marinate the fish and prepare the toppings in advance, then grill it just before serving to ensure maximum freshness.
Make It Your Own
Experiment with these variations to put a twist on the flavor of your grilled fish tacos:
- Protein: Substitute the white fish with other options like shrimp, scallops, or chicken.
- Spicy: Add pickled jalapeños, habanero hot sauce, or another spicy salsa.
- Veggie: Try a vegetarian version by using grilled tofu or veggies instead of fish.
- Toppings: Use a different type of cabbage or even lettuce for a different crunch.
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the most common questions about making fish tacos on the grill.
Yes, you can use frozen fish for grilled fish tacos in a pinch. We recommend thawing the fish in the fridge before you marinate and grill it. This will ensure it cooks evenly on the grill, creating the best texture and flavor.
The best way to prevent fish from sticking to the grill is to make sure your grill grates are cleaned and lightly oiled. You also don’t want to flip the fish too early. Give it some time to naturally come off the grill surface.
Grilled Fish Tacos
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- 1 lb cod (halibut, tilapia, snapper, mahi mahi, etc)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp lime juice
- 2 tbsp taco seasoning (fish taco seasoning or regular)
- 8 corn tortillas
- 2 cups shredded cabbage (red or green)
- 1 cup pico de gallo
- 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
- 1 lime (wedges for serving)
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* 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.
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