Grilled Fish Tacos with Coleslaw

5 from 4 votes

Grilled Fish Tacos are a fresh, flavorful and fast summer recipe - they're filled with tender flaky mahi mahi, topped with a creamy coleslaw, avocados and salsa

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This Grilled Fish Tacos recipe post is sponsored by Litehouse. I received compensation, but all opinions and content are my own. 🙂

One of my favorite things to order at Mexican restaurants is grilled fish tacos. Breaded fish or fried fish might be more popular, but I always opt for grilled fish because it’s healthier and the flavor of the fish (not the breading) is the main focus. Making grilled fish tacos at home is as easy as rubbing a taco seasoning on the fish, grilling them and fixing some tacos.

Large plate of grilled fish tacos topped with coleslaw, avocado and pico de gallo

This grilled fish taco recipe is fresh, flavorful and fast. To save time, it’s a great idea to thaw the fish overnight and set with the marinade in the morning. I also save time by using a pre-made taco seasoning and then add lime juice, olive oil and extra garlic. Finally, another big timesaver is using a store bought coleslaw dressing.

Crisp and creamy coleslaw for fish tacos is a must! I use Litehouse Coleslaw dressing to make it quick and easy. The dressing is the perfect blend of sweet and tangy, and it won’t “water out” when added to cabbage. That’s a bonus when you’re doing an assembly-style taco bar. And, all Litehouse dressings are sold cold. That means there’s no need to let your coleslaw chill in the refrigerator before you serve it – one less thing to worry about!

How to make grilled fish tacos

Prepare the fish

To prep the grilled fish tacos, start by combining the seasoning in a large bowl. I use pre-mixed taco seasoning and I add fresh garlic, olive oil and lime juice. Check if the taco seasoning you’re using has salt in the ingredients. And if not, be sure to season the mahi mahi with salt.

Process shots showing the taco seasoning with the olive oil, garlic and lime juice before and after mixed

After the seasoning is well combined, add the fish on top and rub the seasoning all over on both sides. I recommend letting it sit for 20-30 minutes while you make the coleslaw.

Process shots showing the mahi mahi added to the seasoning before and after getting mixed

Prepare the coleslaw

And now let’s move on to how to make coleslaw. And this is as easy as shredding cabbage and tossing it with the Litehouse Coleslaw dressing. You can add other items to the coleslaw like green onions, carrots, broccoli, kale, dill, radishes, or even pineapples! I keep it simple with fresh chopped cilantro – it really livens up the recipe!

Litehouse Coleslaw jar

Mix the shredded cabbage, coleslaw dressing and cilantro in a large bowl and set it aside while you grill the fish.

Large bowl of mixed coleslaw made with cabbage, coleslaw dressing and fresh cilantro

Assemble the fish tacos

When you grill the fish, they will cook super fast. So, keep an eye on it, especially if you’re using thin pieces of fish. Once grilled on both sides, remove from heat and allow the fish to rest for a couple minutes. This actually finishes off the cooking and lets the flavors from the seasoning settle in.

Grilled mahi mahi resting on large plate before cutting into chunks

Then you can cut the fish into large chunks. You can use a fork to do this and the fish will flake off very naturally and easily. And then you’re ready to serve the tacos for an assembly style dinner.

Showing the flaky inside of the grilled mahi mahi

Tips for making grilled fish tacos

  1. Make sure to dab the fish dry before marinating it. This is especially key if you’re using frozen fish that you’ve thawed. It will release a lot of water, so make sure to dab it with a paper towel and then add it to the marinade.
  2. Allow time for the fish to marinate. In a hurry, we’re all tempted to skip this part and just cook the fish immediately after seasoning. But allowing it to sit in the marinade for even 20 minutes lets the mahi mahi soak up all the olive oil, lime juice and the delicious taco seasoning.
  3. Don’t overcook the fish. Depending on the type of fish or thickness of the fish you’re using, the time will vary here. But I would estimate 3-5 minutes per side for most white-fleshed mild fish. You’ll know the fish is ready when it starts to flake off easily.
  4. Heat the tortillas on the grill. Heating the tortillas on the grill or grill pan not only softens them but also brings out their flavor. You only need to heat them for 30-60 seconds per side until you notice the tortillas develop air pockets.

Frequently Asked Questions

What kind of fish should I use for fish tacos?

I recommend going with what gives you the best flavor – white-fleshed, flaky and lean fish. Think of mahi mahi, cod, halibut, grouper or flounder. They have a mild flavor, they’re quick to grill and they’re easy to find. My favorite to use is cod and mahi mahi, both of which are inexpensive and widely available.

What kind of tortillas do you use for fish tacos

White corn tortillas are the best in my opinion. They are also what is most commonly served with grilled fish tacos at restaurants. That’s because the flavor of the corn really shines when combined with the grilled fish. I love this guide from Food and Wine about when to use corn versus flour.

Close up shot of the grilled mahi mahi tacos with the Litehouse coleslaw jar in the background

For more Tex Mex recipes:

If you’ve tried this feel good Grilled Fish Tacos recipe or any other recipe on FeelGoodFoodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave me a comment below! I would love to hear about your experience making it. And if you snapped some shots of it, share it with me on Instagram so I can repost on my stories!

Grilled fish tacos with coleslaw

Grilled Fish Tacos are a fresh, flavorful and fast summer recipe – they're filled with tender flaky mahi mahi, topped with a creamy coleslaw, avocados and salsa
5 from 4 votes
Servings 4 people
Course Entree
Calories 414
Prep Time 10 mins
Cook Time 8 mins
Total Time 18 mins

Ingredients
  

  • 1 pound mahi mahi
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 8 White corn tortillas
  • 3 cups shredded white cabbage
  • ½ cup Litehouse coleslaw dressing
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro plus more for serving
  • Salsa for serving

Instructions

  • To prepare fish: Whisk together half the olive oil, lime juice, garlic and taco seasoning. Add the mahi mahi to the bowl to coat it with the marinade. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes for the fish to absorb the flavor.
  • To prepare coleslaw: Toss the shredded cabbage, coleslaw dressing and fresh cilantro in a medium bowl. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Brush grill grates with remaining olive oil and grill mahi mahi for about 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Transfer fish to a plate and shred with a fork into large chunks.
  • Serve the grilled mahi mahi on the corn tortillas with coleslaw, avocado and salsa

Video

Notes

Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last about 3-4 days in the fridge. For best results, store all the taco ingredients separately though, and not assembled.
Freezing Instructions: You can also freeze any leftover grilled fish in the freezer for up to 3 months. To re-heat, thaw in the fridge overnight and then sear on a pan for a couple minutes each side until heated through.
Make Ahead Tips: To save time, you can marinade the fish up to 24 hours in advance. You can also mix the coleslaw in advance since the dressing won’t water it down.
Substitutes: For best results, follow the recipe as is. You can use any type of fish you’d like though, and feel free to change up the seasoning. 
Nutrition: Please note that the nutrition label provided is an estimate based on an online nutrition calculator. It will vary based on the specific ingredients you use.  This information should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice. The nutrition value is for one serving of two tacos with the coleslaw but no additional toppings

Nutrition

Serving: 2tacos, Calories: 414kcal, Carbohydrates: 36g, Protein: 25g, Fat: 20g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Cholesterol: 91mg, Sodium: 406mg, Potassium: 675mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 345IU, Vitamin C: 24.6mg, Calcium: 90mg, Iron: 2.3mg

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Large plate of grilled fish tacos topped with coleslaw, avocado and pico de gallo

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