Grilled Fish Tacos

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Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don’t have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.

Grilled Fish Tacos
Nutritionist Tested & Approved

Time: 50 minutes (30 minutes prep)

  • Adobo-Rubbed Fish

  • 4 teaspoons chili powder, preferably made with New Mexico or ancho chiles (see Note)

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

  • 1 teaspoon onion powder

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

  • 2 pounds mahi-mahi, or Pacific halibut (see Note), 1/2-3/4 inch thick, skinned and cut into 4 portions

  • Coleslaw

  • 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream

  • 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise

  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro

  • 1 teaspoon lime zest

  • 2 tablespoons lime juice

  • 1 teaspoon sugar

  • 1/8 teaspoon salt

  • Freshly ground pepper, to taste

  • 3 cups finely shredded red or green cabbage

  • 12 corn tortillas, warmed (see Tip)

  1. To prepare fish: Combine chili powder, lime juice, oil, cumin, onion powder, garlic power, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub adobo rub all over fish. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes for the fish to absorb the flavor.

  2. To prepare coleslaw: Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; mix until smooth and creamy. Add cabbage and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.

  3. Preheat grill to medium-high.

  4. Oil the grill rack (see Tip) or use a grilling basket. Grill the fish until it is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a platter and separate into large chunks.

  5. Serve the tacos family-style by passing the fish, tortillas, coleslaw and taco garnishes separately.

Notes: Mahi-mahi (also called dorado) from the U.S. Atlantic and halibut from the Pacific are both sustainably fished and considered best choices for the environment. For more information, go to

Mildly spicy dried chiles, such as ancho or New Mexico, add moderate heat and rich flavor to Mexican sauces like mole. Chili powder made from these chiles has more flavor than American-style blends. Look for whole dried chiles in the produce section of large supermarkets and New Mexico or ancho chili powder in the specialty-spice section of large supermarkets or online at

Tips: To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)

2 ways to warm corn tortillas: 1. Microwave: Wrap stacks of up to 12 tortillas in barely damp paper towels; microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds. Wrap tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm. 2. Oven: Wrap stacks of 6 tortillas in foil; place in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm.

If preparing ahead of time: Prepare coleslaw (Step 2) up to 4 hours ahead.

Nutritional Facts

Added Sugars
Dietary Fiber
Monounsaturated Fat
Saturated Fat
Vitamin C (30% daily value)
Potassium (24% dv)
Magnesium (22% dv)
Vitamin A (17% dv)
Iron (16% dv)
Carbohydrate Servings
1 1/2
2 starch
4 lean meat
1 1/2 fat

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mexican grill main dish EatingWell Meal Plan tacos fish and seafood

4 replies

micsha 2016-06-10 10:19:53 -0500 Report

Since my Vitamin D is low and I'm on an Rx for it, I thought this recipe might be great but I don't see the value for Vitamin D here. I see Vitamin C, but not D. Why?

crazeknot 2015-08-14 16:35:32 -0500 Report

Usually I deep fry fish sticks . Instead of using that method I've been putting fish sticks into the oven . That's a better way of cooking them 4 fish tacos . I also use the leftover coleslaw from the night be4 too top off the tacos . The last few minutes of cooking fish sticks I put on the cheese , so that is melted when the fish sticks r done . When U plan on this main course, sometimes I use some fresh frozen fish that's from a fish market instead of fish sticks . I only keep my fresh frozen fish for 3 weeks ,then use it up . Great 4 burritos an many other dishes , love too create new recipes n dishes .

Anonymous 2013-08-19 12:49:10 -0500 Report

OMG!! This is the BEST fish taco recipe EVER!! We had never tried fish tacos before. Love love love this recipe! :)