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These irresistible fish tacos are bright, perfectly seasoned, and have the best sauce ever! Make this straightforward taco recipe for a totally delicious family meal.
Why you’ll love it
My favorite part of this fish taco recipe is the ridiculously good Taco Sauce. It’s easy to make, ultra creamy, and has a kiss of lime juice and a smoky touch. It just goes so well with the beautifully seasoned, tender and flaky fish and fresh toppings!
These skillet fish tacos will be your new favorite way to enjoy taco night. There’s nothing complicated or intimidating about making them, and the whole family can help out together for a fun and super tasty meal for Taco Tuesday.
What you’ll need
For the fish
- Fish – cod is an affordable white fish that’s so flavorful when pan fried in butter
- Marinade – we’re using olive oil, lime juice, and a spice blend of chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt
For the sauce
- Sour cream and mayo – the cool, creamy base
- Lime juice – a pop of brightness and acidity
- Sriracha – just a touch for gentle warmth
- Seasoning – we’ve got garlic powder, smoked paprika, and salt for savory-smoky deliciousness
- Tortillas – I chose corn tortillas
- Toppings – my go-to ingredients are shredded cabbage (buy a small one), red onion, cilantro, and a squeeze of lime. Cotija and jalapeños are optional.
- You can make the sauce a day ahead of time. The flavors will meld even more the longer it sits, and it’ll keep for a few days in the fridge.
- The fish taco sauce contains sriracha but isn’t particularly spicy. If you’re worried about spice in this recipe, leave the jalapeño pepper out when topping the tacos, and use a mild chili powder.
How to make fish tacos
This is an overview with step-by-step photos. Full ingredients & instructions are in the recipe card below.
In a prep bowl, make the marinade. Add to a ZipLoc with the cod fillets and refrigerate. Meanwhile, stir together the sauce ingredients in a bowl. Adjust to taste, then place in the fridge.
Prep your toppings, and warm up the tortillas. When the fish has marinated, melt the butter in a skillet. Once hot, cook the cod on both sides until it flakes with a fork. Serve on the tortillas, top as desired, and drizzle the sauce on.
Substitutions and variations
- Don’t want to use cod? Try another mild, flaky white fish such as tilapia, halibut, mahi-mahi, bass, or snapper.
- You can grill the fish if you like! Simply grill over medium-high heat for 3-4 minutes/side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.
- The toppings are just suggestions. Feel free to change it up or add whatever your favorite taco toppings are/what you’ve got in the fridge. Some more suggestions are pico de gallo or your favorite salsa (salsa verde would work well), or use my Chipotle Lime Ranch Dressing instead of the fish taco sauce in the recipe card below.
- Use flour tortillas if you prefer.
Leftovers and storage
- I would eat any leftover cooked fish within a day or two. Reheat slowly over a low heat.
- Leftover fish taco sauce can be stored for up to 5 days in a covered jar/container in the fridge.
- Any leftover toppings (e.g. cut-up veggies) will keep for a day or two in the fridge in a sealed container.
Leave a star rating and review below if you made these cod fish tacos, or ask me any questions you have! Tag me #saltandlavender on Instagram with your creations.
For the fish:
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon lime juice
- 1 tablespoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1.5 pounds cod fillets see note for subs
- 1 tablespoon butter for frying
For the sauce:
- 1/2 cup mayo
- 1/3 cup sour cream
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon sriracha sauce
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 12 corn tortillas see note
- 2 cups finely shredded cabbage green or red
- 1/2 medium red onion chopped
- 1 handful fresh cilantro chopped
- Lime wedges
- 1/2 cup grated Cotija cheese optional, to taste
- 1 jalapeno pepper chopped finely, optional
- Prepare your fish by adding the olive oil, lime juice, chili powder, cumin, garlic powder, and salt to a medium bowl and stirring together. Add the cod fillets to a ZipLoc bag and pour the marinade over, then massage to coat and pop it in the fridge. You will prep the rest of the recipe while it marinates, and this will likely take 30-40 minutes, but as long as you marinate the fish for at least 20 minutes, you're good to go.
- Meanwhile, add the sauce ingredients to a medium bowl and stir together until smooth. Taste and adjust if needed (e.g. add more lime or salt). Refrigerate until needed.
- Prep your toppings and warm your tortillas. To warm the tortillas, use your preferred method or heat a dry cast iron skillet (don't add oil or butter) over medium-high heat. Once it's HOT, warm each tortilla individually, flipping once with tongs (about 30 sec/side). Place them in a clean kitchen towel or foil as you go along, and wrap them up to keep them warm.
- When the fish is done marinating, melt the butter in a skillet over medium-high heat (you can use the same one you just warmed the tortillas in). Once the pan is hot, cook the fish for 3-5 minutes/side or until it flakes easily with a fork, taking care to not overcook it. Break the fish up with your fork, then serve straight from the skillet to keep it warm; it'll continue to cook a bit more once you take it off the stove.
- Serve on warmed tortillas with desired toppings and a drizzle of the sauce.
- Use cod or another flaky white fish such as tilapia, halibut, mahi-mahi, bass, or snapper.
- This recipe will generously make about 12 tacos with your typical medium-size corn tortillas, but it also depends on how much you top them. If you’re making smaller tacos e.g. with mini “street size” corn tortillas, you will be able to make more. This recipe will feed 4 adults, especially if you serve it with something else like chips and guac. Leftover sauce can be covered and refrigerated if needed.
- The taco sauce isn’t spicy, and unless you use a hot chili powder or add some cayenne or chili pepper, the marinade isn’t spicy either. Omit the jalapenos if you want to keep these tacos mild.
- It’s fine to eyeball the toppings! I put quantities as a guideline if needed.
- See blog post for more tips, answers to FAQ, and more serving suggestions.
- Nutritional information is provided as a courtesy only and should be construed as an estimate rather than a guarantee. Ingredients can vary and Salt & Lavender makes no guarantees to the accuracy of this information.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
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