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These tilapia fish tacos are a flavor-filled fast and easy dinner. Bake or broil the fish, then add sauce and slaw. A total crowd pleaser!

Tilapia fish tacos
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Do you love tilapia? Instead of grilling or baking the fillets: here’s a unique way to serve it: Tilapia Fish Tacos! This tender white fish is perfect for Baja-style tacos. You’ll bake it or broil it until it’s flaky with a homemade spice blend, then top with creamy sauce and a crunchy slaw. This is one of our favorite ways to enjoy this lean protein, and it’s always a hit for entertaining or with a crowd. Here’s what to know about wrapping tilapia into a tortilla.

How to make tilapia fish tacos: broiled or baked!

There are two cooking methods for tilapia fish tacos: you can make them broiled or baked! Here are the advantages of each:

  • Broiled fish tacos: Using the broiler is lightening fast! You can broil this fish in 4 to 6 minutes total: and you don’t even have to preheat the oven. That’s a big time savings and it’s our favorite method.
  • Baked fish tacos: You can also bake the tilapia if you don’t have a reliable broiler. It’s also fast: just 10 to 12 minutes. Our baked method also calls for broiling the top to get it a little crispier, which is also an option.

Before you cook them though, you’ll need a seasoning blend. Keep reading for a few options…

Tilapia fish tacos

Seasoning for fish tacos

There are also a few seasoning options for these tilapia fish tacos! Both are very similar, but one results in a larger quantity of spice blend that you can use on other things. Here’s what to know about these fish taco seasonings:

  • Fish Taco Seasoning: This recipe makes enough for 1 recipe, so you won’t have any leftovers! It’s heavier on the chili powder, and also features cumin, smoked paprika, garlic powder and onion powder.
  • Fajita Seasoning: This recipe makes 6 tablespoons total. You can use it for 3 fish taco recipes or for other recipes like fajitas and roasted vegetables. It is heavier on the cumin, but otherwise has similar ingredients to blend above (without onion powder).

Slaw for tilapia fish tacos

Now that you’ve mastered the fish: move on to the fish taco slaw! These tilapia tacos work with a few different slaws. Here we used our favorite Fish Taco Slaw that’s quick and easy to put together. But if you want to get even simpler, here’s a shortcut slaw you can make in no time:

  • Thinly slice 4 cups red cabbage (here’s how to do it).
  • Add the juice of 1 lime (2 tablespoons) and a few pinches of kosher salt.

That’s it! Slaw is absolutely necessary for fish tacos because you need a crunchy element to offset the soft fish and tortillas.

Fish taco slaw

Top it off with a taco sauce!

The last element to tilapia fish tacos is the sauce! As with the other elements in this dish, we have a few choices. Here’s the sauce we used, and a little break down on a few other options:

  • Fish taco sauce: This creamy sauce takes 5 minutes and you don’t even need a blender. It’s tangy with a little heat.
  • Cilantro lime ranch: Another favorite! This one is mild and creamy, a spin on ranch dressing. (Here’s a vegan version.)
  • Chipotle sauce: This one is fast and easy, and also vegan. It’s spicy, too!

Sides to serve with tilapia fish tacos

That’s it! These tilapia fish tacos use 1 pound of fish for 8 tacos, so it’s important to add some sides to keep the meal filling for 4 people. Or, you can increase the fish quantity to 1.5 pounds (see notes below). Either way, here are some easy sides to serve with tacos:

  • Refried beans: Use homemade or heat up canned refried beans with a bit of cumin and chili powder.
  • Chips and guac: So simple! Here’s our favorite homemade guacamole.
  • Salad: This Easy Mexican Salad is great for pairing with Latin-inspired meals.
Tilapia fish tacos

Tilapia nutrition

Tilapia isn’t as popular as salmon or shrimp, but it’s incredibly versatile and a healthy lean protein! According to WebMD, it has this nutrition benefits:

  • It’s a protein powerhouse. 3 ounces of tilapia has a whopping 23 grams of protein and only 111 calories.
  • It’s full of hearty-healthy fatty acids, like Omega 3’s and Omega 6’s.

More tilapia recipes? Try Baked Tilapia, Parmesan Crusted Tilapia, Blackened Tilapia, or Grilled Tilapia.

This tilapia fish tacos recipe is…

Pescatarian and gluten-free. For dairy-free, choose a dairy-free taco sauce (options below).

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Tilapia fish tacos

Easy Tilapia Fish Tacos

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  • Author: Sonja Overhiser
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 8 tacos 1x


These tilapia fish tacos are a flavor-filled fast and easy dinner. Bake or broil the fish, then add sauce and slaw. A total crowd pleaser!




  1. Bake or broil the fish: If baking, preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Pat the tilapia dry, then sprinkle it with 1 teaspoon kosher salt and pat it in. Add the Fish Taco Seasoning or Fajita Seasoning and pat it to cover the fish. Place the fish on a parchment lined baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, until tender, then broil for 2 minutes until the top is lightly browned. Or broil on High for 2 to 3 minutes per side (4 to 6 minutes total), until cooked through and it flakes with a fork.
  2. Make the slaw: Meanwhile, thinly slice the cabbage. Shred or grate the carrot (we used a handheld julienne peeler). Thinly slice the green onion. Place the cabbage, carrots and green onion in a bowl. Stir in the lime juice, ¼ teaspoon kosher salt and ¼ teaspoon celery salt. Serve immediately with a slotted spoon. The slaw picks up moisture as it sits; if you plan to let it sit, make sure to serve with the slotted spoon to strain out the moisture.
  3. Make the sauce: Make the Fish Taco Sauce.
  4. Warm the tortillas: If desired, char the tortillas by placing them on an open gas flame on medium for a few seconds per side, flipping with tongs, until they are slightly blackened and warm. Or warm them according to How to Warm Tortillas.
  5. Assemble the tacos by topping the tortillas with fish, slaw, and sauce. Top with chopped cilantro and a spritz of lime.


*If you’re serving 4 hungry eaters, you may want to increase the fish to 1.5 pounds and up the spice quantities accordingly. The slaw and sauce should work for 12 tacos. Or, make sure to serve with a filling side dish like refried beans (purchased or homemade).

  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Baked
  • Cuisine: Mexican inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free

More tacos recipes

Tacos are the perfect fast and easy dinner recipe! Here are a few more of our favorite taco recipes:

About the authors

Sonja & Alex

Hi, we’re Alex and Sonja Overhiser, married cookbook authors, food bloggers, and recipe developers. We founded A Couple Cooks to share fresh, seasonal recipes and the joy of cooking! Our recipes are made by two real people and work every time.

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  1. Rita says:

    Just tried your recipe and it’s amazing! I don’t like fish usually but this was delicious!

    1. Alex Overhiser says:

      So glad you enjoyed!