This Tilapia Fish Tacos recipe is going to be on heavy rotation at your house very soon. Fresh tilapia filets are lightly marinated, cooked to flaky perfection in about 5 minutes, then served in a soft tortilla. Add in the crunch of angel hair slaw, a hint of tangy lime, and top it off with a delicious chipotle lime crema to round out the flavors. Easy to prepare yet packed full of flavor, these tacos are perfect for a midweek dinner or a taco party with friends.
Tilapia- you can use fresh or frozen tilapia filets for these fish tacos. If you are using frozen let them thaw in the fridge overnight or thaw them in their packaging in cool water, changing the water every 10 minutes until they are thawed.
Smoked Paprika – make sure that you use SMOKED paprika. It has a very specific flavor and is not the same thing as “paprika”, “sweet paprika”, or “Hungarian paprika”.
Chipotle Chilies in Adobo Sauce – you will generally find this product in a can in the Mexican food aisle of the grocery store. You will only need 1 can for this fish taco recipe. Don’t be fooled by their smoky smell, they are spicy!
Step by Step Picture Instructions
Tilapia is a really quick cooking fish, so once they are marinated this recipe comes together really quickly:
- Make Marinade
- Marinate The Tilapia
- Pan Fry The Tilapia
- Make The Chipotle Lime Crema
- Assemble Your Tacos!
Generously season fish filets on both sides with salt and pepper. In a 9×13 dish whisk together 2 Tbsp. olive oil, lime zest and juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne.
Place the fish filets into the mixture and rub the paste onto both sides of the filets. Cover, chill and marinate for about 20- 30 mins
Heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat in a large non-stick pan. Cook the filets for 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely browned on the outside and flaky on the inside.
In a bowl whisk together the mayo, sour cream, chipotles in adobo, lime juice, garlic and milk.
It’s time to eat! Lay some angel hair slaw mix or Cilantro Lime Slaw down in a tortilla, top with some flaked tilapia and drizzle with the chipotle lime crema.
Use other favorite taco toppings too… we love roasted or grilled corn (see photo)
Fish Taco Toppings
We love a classic taco with lettuce, cheese, salsa and sour cream. But these Tilapia Fish Tacos can be dressed up so many different ways. Here are some other toppings to consider:
- Angel hair slaw or Cilantro Lime Slaw
- Grilled Corn cut from the cob or Grilled Tomatillo Salsa
- Corn Salsa
- Creamy Avocado Salsa
- Jalapeno Tartar Sauce
- Classic Tartar Sauce
- Queso fresco or cotija cheese
- Sliced onions or radishes
- fresh or pickled jalapenos
Serving & Side Dishes
These are a classic fish taco that can be served with classic Mexican side dishes like:
- Cilantro Lime Slaw
- Refried Beans
- Mexican Rice
- Mexican Street Corn Salad – Esquites
- Cilantro Pineapple Side Dish
- Chips and Salsa and Guacamole or Creamy Avocado Salsa
- Margarita or Frozen Strawberry Margarita
More Taco Recipes
Tilapia Fish Tacos Recipe
- 1 ½ lbs. Tilapia filets
- Kosher salt and black pepper
- 4 Tbsp. olive oil divided
- Zest and juice of 1 lime
- 3 Garlic cloves minced
- 3 tsp. chili powder
- 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin
- ¾ tsp. smoked paprika
- ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- OPTIONAL SERVING GARNISHES – flour or corn taco shells, angel hair slaw, lime wedges, grilled corn, queso fresco, etc….
Tilapia Fish Taco
- Generously season the fish filets on both sides with salt and pepper.1 ½ lbs. Tilapia filets, Kosher salt and black pepper
- In a 9×13 pan, or pan that will fit all the tilapia filets, mix together 2 Tbsp. olive oil, lime zest and juice, garlic, chili powder, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne.Zest and juice of 1 lime, 3 Garlic cloves, 3 tsp. chili powder, 1 ½ tsp. ground cumin, ¾ tsp. smoked paprika, ¼ tsp. cayenne pepper
- Place the fish into the mixture and rub the paste onto both sides of the filets. Cover, chill and marinate for about 20- 30 mins
- In a large non-stick skillet, heat 2 Tbsp. olive oil over medium high heat. Cook the filets for about 2-3 minutes on each side until nicely browned on the outside and flaky on the inside.Fish is cooked thoroughly when it reaches 145℉ internal temp.
- Assemble the tacos by breaking the fish into chunks and placing in warmed or charred flour or yellow corn tortillas.
- Top with optional garnishes: angel hair slaw, cilantro, spritz of lime and Chipotle Crema.
Chipotle Lime Crema
- In a small bowl whisk together the crema ingredients. Serve over the fish tacos!½ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup sour cream, 3 teaspoon fresh lime juice, 3 chipotle chilies in adobo sauce, 1 large garlic clove, 2 Tbsp. milk
If nutrition facts are provided they are calculated as an estimate to the best of our knowledge.