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These healthy grilled fish tacos are a fresh and flavorful anytime meal. Flaky white fish, crunchy cabbage, and pico de gallo are tucked into a warm corn tortilla, then topped with a creamy chipotle-lime sauce. They're easy to make and ready in just 40 minutes!
Here's a quick and easy grilled fish taco recipe to mix up your weeknight meal situation. Because simple is sometimes best, we keep the toppings to a minimum. Just grilled fish, thinly sliced cabbage, fresh pico de gallo, and our homemade fish taco sauce. It all comes together easily, and clean-up is a breeze.
Don't skimp on the sauce – it's totally delicious! The chipotle-lime taco sauce is creamy, slightly spicy, and customizable. You can adjust how spicy you want the sauce to be by adding more or less of the chipotles in adobo.
And if you love Mexican seafood recipes, also try our shrimp tacos!
Why you'll love grilled fish in tacos
We love to cook fish on the grill because it's one of the healthiest foods you can make, and it tastes great. We make these on repeat during barbecue season but they're easy to make on a grill any time of year.
Grilling fish is notoriously tricky so we recommend using a thick piece of fish like halibut or cod. Thin filets won't hold up on the grill. Or if you have a grilling basket, that's a great option too!
If you love Mexican food as much as we do, also be sure to try our pork carnitas recipe!
Ingredients for grilled fish tacos
Here's everything you'll need to make the grilled fish tacos:
- Avocado oil – to make a seasoning paste for coating the fish. Avocado oil also has a higher smoke point so it's great when grilling at higher temperatures.
- Seasonings – a flavorful mix of chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin.
- Sea salt – a flavor enhancer that makes the other flavors pop!
- Fish – a thicker cut of white fish like halibut or cod will hold up well on the barbecue.
- Tortillas – we used 4″ corn tortillas but feel free to use your favorite tortillas.
- Cabbage – thinly sliced green cabbage for maximum crunch.
- Pico de gallo – this fresh salsa is so tasty, but you can use any salsa.
We love sauce, and this chipotle-lime one is our go-to for drizzling over fish tacos. It's similar to the one we use in these beer battered fish tacos, only we add some minced cilantro in this version. This is what you'll need for this delicious fish taco sauce:
- Sour cream + mayonnaise – make the base of the extra-creamy sauce.
- Cilantro – this classic Mexican herb adds a fresh bright taste.
- Chipotle peppers in adobo – these smoky and spicy little peppers in red sauce are so full of flavor and the star ingredient in this sauce.
- Lime – both lime juice and zest add brightness and a wonderful tangy taste.
- Garlic – for an extra snap and its unique pungent flavor.
- Sea salt – to bring everything together and enhance the other flavors.
How to make grilled fish tacos
Tacos are a great weeknight meal because they're healthy, easy to make, and don't require a lot of clean-up. Here's how to make fish tacos on the grill in a few easy steps:
- Start by mixing together all the seasonings with the avocado oil to make a paste.
- Rub this paste all over the fish filets to marinate.
- While the fish marinates, make your taco sauce by placing all the sauce ingredients in a blender. When smooth, transfer it to a bowl for serving.
- It's time to cook the fish. Preheat your grill and oil the grates (this ensures the fish doesn't stick). When it's ready, grill the fish, flipping it once. When it's done, break it into smaller pieces for serving.
- Now it's assembly time! Layer some cabbage on a warm tortilla, followed by the fish, taco sauce, and some pico de gallo (or salsa). That's it!
How to warm corn tortillas
Warming up tortillas (especially corn tortillas) is a key step in the taco building process. The heat turns them soft and flexible and makes a big difference in how they taste and hold ingredients. Here are a few ways you can do it:
- Warm your tortillas on a dry cast-iron skillet for about 15-20 seconds per side.
- You can also do away with the skillet and char the tortillas directly over gas flames for a few seconds using tongs!
- Or wrap a stack of about five tortillas in a packet of aluminum foil and place them in a pre-heated 350 Fahrenheit oven for 15-20 minutes, until heated through.
- You can also wrap a stack of tortillas in a paper towel, put them into a resealable bag, and then give them a quick zap in a microwave for 20 seconds.
Can I swap the avocado oil?
Yes, you can swap it for olive oil or another neutral-tasting vegetable oil.
Can I use yogurt instead of sour cream?
Yes! Use plain, full-fat yogurt to make it equally creamy.
Can I make the taco sauce dairy-free?
Yep! Use your favorite dairy-free, plain, full-fat yogurt to make the sauce 100% dairy-free.
Where do I buy chipotle peppers in adobo?
You can find them in the Mexican section of most well-stocked grocery stores. They come in a little can or tin. Any unused chipotles and sauce can be stored in an air-tight container in the fridge for 1 or 2 months.
What to serve with grilled fish tacos
- 1 tablespoon avocado oil
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- 1 lb white fish
- 12 4-inch tortillas (warmed)
- 2 cup shredded cabbage
- ¾ cup pico de gallo (or your favorite salsa)
Fish Taco Sauce
- ½ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup mayonnaise (can be light)
- ¼ cup cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce
- 1 lime (zest and juice)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- In a small bowl, mix the avocado oil, chili powder, onion powder, garlic powder, cumin, and salt until a paste forms.1 tablespoon avocado oil, 1 tablespoon chili powder, 1 teaspoon EACH: onion powder, garlic powder, and cumin, ½ teaspoon sea salt
- Place the fish on a plate and cover both sides with the paste. Let it marinate for 30 minutes on your counter or up to an hour in your fridge.1 lb white fish
- While the fish marinates, make the sauce. Place all of the ingredients into your blender and blend until mostly smooth. Transfer the sauce to a serving bowl.½ cup sour cream, ¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup cilantro, 1 lime, 1 clove garlic, 1 pinch sea salt, 1 tablespoon chipotle adobo sauce
- Preheat your grill to medium-high heat and oil the grates. Grill the fish for 4-5 minutes, flipping over once. Break the fish into smaller pieces.
- To assemble your fish tacos, put some cabbage on a tortilla then top with grilled fish, some of the sauce, and a tablespoon of pico de gallo.12 4-inch tortillas, 2 cup shredded cabbage, ¾ cup pico de gallo
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.