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Easy Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema

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Make these Easy Fish Tacos for a quick weeknight dinner. This simple recipe combines baked or pan-fried tilapia with a blackened seasoning mix, a crunchy veggie slaw, and then avocado crema to finish. Simply delicious.

Love fish like we do? Then try this simple Easy Baked Lemon Butter Tilapia or the best Blackened Salmon Tacos!

Overhead shot of three easy fish tacos on a black plate, with crunchy slaw and Avocado Crema, on a gray background.

Best Fish Tacos

Attention foodies! I FINALLY found the perfect combination of ingredients for fish tacos. Hip hip hooray!

Over the last few years, I’ve experimented in the kitchen with SO many fish taco concoctions. My family is not all that picky so they have usually liked what I’ve tried. But nothing was quite right for my taste buds. I kept going back to the drawing board to find the perfect recipe.

I knew I wanted my recipe to be:

  1. spicy
  2. crunchy
  3. creamy
  4. healthy

And I did it. THIS is it. 🙂

Side shot of my hand holding a fish taco, with the plate in the background.

 The blackening seasoning mix or spice rub makes these tacos a bit SPICY.

The first thing you do to prepare these easy fish tacos is to prepare the spice rub, which is my go-to blackening seasoning mix. Ground cumin, paprika, red pepper flakes, garlic powder, onion powder, brown sugar, kosher salt, and black pepper – the perfect blend for a rub. You can also add a smidgen of cayenne pepper but watch out, because that stuff is HOT. I added a tiny bit and we might have drank a bit more water than usual.

You can prepare the fish ahead of time and stick them back in the fridge for a few hours before baking/pan frying.

I originally preferred to bake the fish for these tacos. But now I like to pan fry them in a cast iron skillet, in a bit of oil (either olive oil or canola).

Collage of 1) the spice rub for the fish tacos, and 2) the raw tilapia covered with spice rub.
Overhead shot of two pieces of tilapia in a cast iron skillet.

There are so many things to make my easy fish tacos CRUNCHY.

The next thing I did was to prepare the veggie slaw. Cabbage, red onions, jalapeño, and cilantro – topped with a couple splashes of rice wine vinegar. SO tangy and CRUNCHY.

Overhead shot of the crunchy slaw in a glass bowl.

The delicious Avocado Crema makes the tacos CREAMY.

You prepare the avocado crema right before you serve the tacos (or while the tilapia is baking in the oven). I used my handy food processor (the most used appliance in my kitchen!) to pulse the avocado, sour cream (or Greek yogurt), cilantro, garlic salt, and lime juice. SO CREAMY.

Overhead shot of a small white bowl with Avocado Crema, and a spoon inside.

And yes, these fish tacos are HEALTHY.

Last but not least, these fish tacos are HEALTHY! Low in calories and rich in nutrients. This fish taco recipe is going into the regular rotation at my house. We already eat a ton of fish, but our Taco Tuesdays just got a whole lot better.

What to serve WITH these fish tacos:

Enjoy, friends!

Close up shot of two fish tacos, on a black plate with Avocado Crema.

Make this Tex-Mex recipe next: Ground Turkey and Bean Tostadas

Please let know if you try this recipe. Be sure to comment and leave a review on the blog so I can see what you think. You can also like my Facebook Page, follow me on Pinterest, and catch me on Instagram.

xoxo ~Sue

Easy Fish Tacos with Avocado Crema

Make these Easy Fish Tacos for a quick weeknight dinner. This simple recipe combines baked or pan-fried tilapia with a blackened seasoning mix, a crunchy veggie slaw, and then avocado crema to finish. Simply delicious.
4.86 from 7 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American, Mexican
Keyword: Avocado Crema, blackening seasoning mix, easy fish tacos, pan-fried tilapia
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes
Servings: 8 tacos
Calories: 286kcal
Author: Sue Ringsdorf

Ingredients

For the fish:

  • 2 pounds tilapia – patted dry
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 Tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 teaspoons red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper *HOT* (beware!) – optional
  • 2 Tablespoons canola oil – or 4 teaspoons butter, if baking

For the veggie slaw:

  • 3 cups cabbage – finely shredded
  • 1/4 cup red onion – diced
  • 1/2 large jalapeno – diced without seeds (add seeds for spicy!)
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro – finely chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons rice wine vinegar

For the crema:

  • 1 large avocado
  • 1/2 cup sour cream – light is fine, or plain Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tablespoons cilantro
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • 1 medium lime – freshly squeezed
  • dash of hot sauce – optional

For serving:

  • 8 corn or flour tortillas
  • cotija cheese, jalapeno slices, and hot sauce – optional items for serving

Instructions

For the fish:

  • In a small bowl, combine the spices – cumin, red pepper flakes, paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cayenne pepper (HOT!), salt and pepper. Pat dry the tilapia and rub the spice mixture on both sides of the fish.
  • Cover the fish and refrigerate it for at least two hours.
  • If Baking: Lay fish on baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 450 degrees for approximately 8-10 minutes, or until fish flakes easily. Baking time will depend on thickness of fish. After baking, top each filet with a teaspoon of butter.
  • If Pan Frying: Heat a cast iron skillet to medium high heat, and heat up one tablespoon of oil. Add two pieces of tilapia at a time, and cook on both sides until the fish flakes easily with a fork. This should take about two minutes per side. Repeat for remaining fish.

For the veggie slaw:

  • Mix the cabbage, red onion, radish, jalapeño, cilantro, and rice wine vinegar. Set aside. (This can be prepared in advance and stored in the refrigerator.)

For the crema:

  • Using a food processor, combine the avocado, sour cream, cilantro, garlic salt, lime juice, and hot sauce. Whip until creamy. Don’t prepare this too far in advance of serving.

To serve:

  • Heat up tortillas in microwave by laying them on a slightly damp paper towel. 
  • Arrange tacos. On warm tortillas, layer a generous piece of tilapia, topped with veggie slaw, and avocado crema. Optional toppings include cotija cheese, jalapenos, and hot sauce. Serve immediately.

Nutrition

Calories: 286kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 26g | Fat: 13g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 64mg | Sodium: 682mg | Potassium: 641mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 777IU | Vitamin C: 16mg | Calcium: 75mg | Iron: 2mg

17 Comments

  1. Ginger Ramin says:

    Trader Joe’s has frozen pieces of cod (chunks, really) quite cheap so I bought some, then looked for recipes for fish tacos. I like your avocado Crema, but this recipe made way too much for 4 people having 2 tacos each. I used a lot on each to try to have less leftover, but it overwhelmed the fish and we couldn’t taste it (I left out the cayenne but used Tajin chili-lime seasoning and fried the chunks). A good lower carb alternative is using lettuce leaves in place of tortillas. That’s what I ate.
    Any ideas for what to do with extra Crema? It’ll probably be a while before I make fish tacos again. My husband’s complaining now about how many dishes and utensils I used, since he’s the dishwasher! 😉

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Well, we are huge avocado fans so I’d probably just eat it with a spoon!

      1. The crema is great on burgers and eggs, and also on salmon burgers. So if you have extra, try it on these items.

  2. Jackie Thill says:

    We’ve made these, nearly once every week or two, and everyone still wants them again. The last time we made them with cod, and are doing so again tonight because Costco has such beautiful packages of fresh cod. Also, we’re baking them in the oven. They still come out blackened – not quite as crisp as pan-fried – but really just as delicious. second recommendation on this recipe. Oh well, shows how much we love them.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Fantastic! I’m glad your family is not tired of this recipe, Jackie! 🙂

  3. Abbie Morrison says:

    I made these last night with Alaskan Cod – so delicious and easy! It’s the first time I attempted fish tacos at home. I added some shredded carrots and a tiny bit of olive oil to the cabbage slaw. I will definitely be making these again, and look forward to trying more of your recipes. Like you, I go for the spice!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the fish tacos, Abbie! We love them. Thanks so much for your feedback! 🙂

  4. Jackie Thill says:

    Bravo!!!!!!!!!!! Made this for the first time tonight and now I know what we’ve been missing. Everyone approved!!!
    We had to open the window when I started frying the fish because the spice combination made us all cough (not only me). It was pretty funny, but just be aware.
    We thought the cabbage slaw was a crispy, tasty addition to the spicy fish and the avocado crema calmed the heat. We used both regular flour tortillas and chickpea flour tortillas. The chickpea tortillas were a surprisingly good find – great consistency, no real flavor but a perfect gluten free option for fish tacos.
    And seriously, we’ll be making these again soon!! Muy delicioso!
    I do recommend preparing some of the ingredients in advance if you want to save time before dinner, but it wasn’t a difficult meal to make. You will LOVE it!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I’m SO glad you enjoyed the fish tacos, Jackie! I laughed when I read that you had to open a window because it happens to us too. But they really aren’t too spicy, which is weird. Thanks for your feedback! 🙂

  5. Mary Jane Flanagan says:

    Looks great!! I am going to make these tonight!! Thanks

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Hi Mary Jane! I hope you enjoy them. Let me know how they turn out! 🙂

  6. Awesome! These fish tacos are the bomb!

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      Thank you! 😀

  7. Easy to make, delicious flavors and enjoyable meal for the entire family! Already have requests to make these fish tacos every week?

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      I love it! Thanks so much for your sweet review, Lauren, and for trying this recipe. Now I need to make it again! 🙂

  8. This is super easy, will make it often during the summer.

    1. Suebee Homemaker says:

      And you can prep a lot of this in advance. Thanks for commenting, Shari!!

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