Baja Fish Tacos with Slaw and Avocado Sauce
Keep things fresh and flavorful with this healthy take on Baja fish tacos. Perfectly seasoned white fish is tucked into warm tortillas, with a colorful southwest slaw, and creamy avocado dressing. This healthy weeknight dinner is simple to make and ready in 30 minutes!
We make a lot of tacos and these Baja fish tacos top our favorites list. They're just so fresh-tasting and colorful. Each bite is like a little fiesta in your mouth!
In this healthier version, we skip the fish batter for a lighter-tasting taco. They sit on a bed of crunchy southwest slaw and are covered in super flavourful avocado sauce. They're a big crowd pleaser and they're simple to make, too.
What are Baja fish tacos?
Baja fish tacos (pronounced baha fish tacos) are typically warm soft tortillas topped with grilled or crispy beer-battered fried fish, pico de gallo (a fresh tomato and onion salsa), then drizzled with a creamy dressing.
They're said to have originated in Baja California in Mexico and quickly became popular on menus throughout the western united states.
Are these fish tacos healthy?
To keep these fish tacos healthy and light, we skip the fish batter. Instead, we season the fish with a mix of Mexican spices and marinate it so the flavors have time to seep in. Then we lightly pan-fry it in a small amount of oil until crispy.
There are no unwanted ingredients and everything is really fresh, so yes, these fish tacos are a healthy dinner for weeknights, or anytime your tummy says taco.
How to make Baja fish tacos
There are a few components to these fish tacos, but everything is simple to make. Here's how to make Baja fish tacos in a few easy steps:
- Start by mixing together the rub for the fish. Combine oil and seasonings and mix it all together until it forms a paste.
- Prepare the fish by patting it dry, then use your hands to coat the fish with the paste. Set it aside to marinate while you work on the other steps.
- Make the slaw by adding all the vegetables to a bowl, followed by a dressing made of olive oil, red wine vinegar, salt, and pepper. Toss it all together to coat.
- Make the creamy avocado sauce by adding all ingredients to your blender.
- Now it's time to fry the fish. Heat oil in a pan and add the fish. Cook it for a few minutes per side until it starts to look crispy. Then, break it into smaller, taco-sized pieces.
- Time to assemble! Layer slaw on warm tortillas, followed by fish, and a generous drizzle of avocado sauce. Enjoy!
Full recipe instructions are in the recipe card below.
How to serve Baja fish tacos
These fish tacos know no bounds! They are great year-round, but we especially love them as a lighter meal for warmer months.
All of the ingredients in this recipe are straightforward and you're likely to have most of them in your pantry. Here is everything you'll need to make the fish:
- Avocado oil – or another neutral-tasting oil for coating the fish and making the seasonings stick.
- Seasonings – cumin, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, and chili powder.
- Sea salt – is used as a flavor enhancer.
- White fish – any firm flesh white fish like halibut, cod, rockfish, mahi-mahi, or snapper.
This is what you'll need for the crunchy and colorful cabbage slaw:
- Green + purple cabbage – a mix of both green and purple cabbage makes the slaw vibrant and extra crunchy.
- Carrots – for color and more crunch.
- Red onions – adds a mildly sweet onion flavor.
- Cilantro – this classic Mexican herb adds flavor and brightness.
- Olive oil – a base for the simple dressing.
- Red wine vinegar – distinctly tangy and slightly sweet to amp up the flavor.
- Sea salt + pepper – to bring everything together, add to taste.
This is what you'll need to assemble the tacos:
- Creamy avocado sauce – this is the perfect creamy Baja fish taco sauce!
- Tortillas – use your favorite flour or corn tortillas. We use 4″ because it's the traditional size for street tacos and the perfect handheld size.
What type of fish is best for tacos?
The best type of fish for tacos is a firm white flesh fish that flakes well when cooked. White fish typically has a milder flavor so it seasons well, and cooks quickly. Our favorite fish to use for tacos is halibut, cod, rockfish, mahi-mahi, or snapper.
The cabbage slaw can definitely be prepared ahead of time. Store it in the fridge in an air-tight container for 1-2 days. The avocado sauce can be prepared in advance, too. Because it has avocado in it, we recommend storing it in an air-tight container in the fridge with a very thin layer of water on top or using beeswax food wraps pressed onto the surface. This will prevent it from turning brown.
Leftover fish will stay fresh in the fridge in an air-tight container for up to 3 days.
Favorite fish taco recipes
Favorite fish taco recipes
- Beer Battered Fish Tacos
- Blackened Rockfish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Tartar Sauce
- Grilled Fish Tacos
- Fish Taco Sauce
Baja Fish Tacos with Southwest Slaw and Aji Guacamole
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The Blackened Fish
- 4 tablespoons avocado oil, divided
- 1 teaspoon EACH: cumin, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, and chili powder
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 ½ lb white fish
- 2 cups green cabbage, shredded
- 2 cups purple cabbage, shredded
- 1 medium carrot, grated
- ¼ cup red onion, thinly sliced
- ¼ cup cilantro, chopped
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 pinch sea salt and pepper
- Creamy avocado sauce
- 12 4-inch tortillas, warmed
- In a small bowl, mix two tablespoons of the oil, cumin, smoked paprika, sweet paprika, chili powder, and sea salt until it forms a paste.
- Dry the fish with paper towels and place it on a flat surface. (A baking dish works well.) Rub the paste into the fish and set it aside on your counter to marinate while you prepare the rest of dinner.1 ½ lb white fish, 4 tablespoons avocado oil
- In a large bowl, add the green and purple cabbage, carrot, red onion, and cilantro. Add the vinegar, olive oil, salt, and pepper and toss to coat.2 cups green cabbage, 2 cups purple cabbage, 1 medium carrot, ¼ cup red onion, ¼ cup cilantro, 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar, 2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 pinch sea salt and pepper
- Make the avocado sauce by blending the ingredients in your blender or food processor.
- Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons of oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the fish and cook for 4-5 minutes per side, or until the fish starts to look crispy and flakes easily with a fork. Work in batches if needed. Break the fish into smaller pieces for serving.
- Serve on warm tortillas topped with slaw, a few pieces of the fish, and a good slather of the avocado sauce.