Grilled Fish Tacos with Coleslaw

5 from 17 votes

Grilled Fish Tacos are a fresh, flavorful and fast summer recipe - they're filled with tender flaky white fish, topped with a creamy, crunchy coleslaw.

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If fish tacos are on the menu at a restaurant, I order them every time. They’re light, but still filling…and they’re very easy to make at home. My Grilled Fish Tacos with Coleslaw take just 30 minutes to throw together. I like to coat the fish in taco seasoning, which adds smokey, spicy flavor without you having to make your own spice rub! You know what else I love about these easy grilled fish tacos? Unlike at a restaurant, you’re in total control of the toppings.

A platter with grilled fish tacos topped with coleslaw on it. Bowls of sliced and avocado and coleslaw are also on it.
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These Grilled Fish Tacos with Coleslaw start with you marinating the fish with lime juice, garlic, olive oil, and taco seasoning for about 20 minutes. While I’ve tried to skip this marinade time on busy weeknights, it wasn’t worth it! The flavor is so much better once the fish has had time to soak things in. Plus, these 20 minutes are all you need to throw together a homemade coleslaw to go on top of the tacos. I like to make a lighter coleslaw with Greek yogurt, which also makes it deliciously tangy and, of course, creamy!

Recipe At a Glance

Cuisine Inspiration: American
Primary Cooking Method: Grill
Dietary Info: Gluten-free
Key Flavor: Fish
Skill Level: Easy

  • Fast weeknight or weekend dinner: You only need 30 minutes to make this grilled fish taco recipe with cabbage slaw. It’s why it’s one of my go-to weeknight summer dinners. You could even marinate the fish and make the coleslaw up to a day ahead of time!
  • Fun to eat: I’ll set up a toppings bar (with coleslaw, sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and even pickled red onions), so everyone can put on what they like! My family loves making and eating these grilled fish tacos.
  • A summery dinner: As soon as the weather’s warm, I’ll take any excuse to grill. And the high heat of the grill browns and cooks the fish so, so well. Plus, using the grill instead of the oven keeps your kitchen cool.

Ingredients to Make Grilled Fish Tacos

Fish taco ingredients on a marble countertop, including bowls of fish, taco seasoning, and oil.
  • Olive oil: You’ll use it to marinate the fish and coat the grill grates so the fish doesn’t stick!
  • Lime: The juice will go into the marinade, and the zest and juice will add pop to the coleslaw’s dressing!
  • Garlic: Minced garlic will easily mix into the marinade, so you’ll get garlic flavor with each bite.
  • Taco seasoning: You can make your own taco seasoning if you have the time (it keeps a while!), but store-bought seasoning will still work great.
  • White fish fillet: Mahi Mahi grilled fish tacos or cod fish tacos: it’s totally up to you! You can use fresh or frozen fish.
  • Greek yogurt and mayonnaise: These two are my secret to tangy, creamy coleslaw! I only call for a tablespoon of mayonnaise, so you could leave it out entirely.
  • Cumin: This spice adds a certain something to coleslaw. It almost tastes nutty.
  • Cabbage and carrot: Instead of shredding your own cabbage and carrot, you could buy coleslaw mix.
  • Corn tortillas: Corn tortillas, not flour, are commonly used for fish tacos. The sweetness of the corn pairs well with the fish.
  • Cilantro: I like to top these tacos with fresh, chopped cilantro.
  • Use a different type of fish. Any firm, flaky white fish like halibut or snapper will work for these grilled fish tacos!
  • Switch up the spices. I like pre-made taco seasoning since it cuts down on prep time, but you can try other spices like turmeric, paprika, coriander, or curry powder.
  • Try out toppings. Sliced avocado, watermelon or corn salsa, guacamole, peach salsa, pickled red onions, and crumbled queso fresco or feta would all work!

How to Make Grilled Fish Tacos

Shredded cabbage, carrots, and a Greek yogurt dressing in a large glass bowl.
Step 1: Add the dressing and shredded carrots and cabbage to a bowl.
Coleslaw in a large glass bowl.
Step 2: Mix the coleslaw until evenly coated.
Four tortillas on a gas grill.
Step 3: Place the corn tortillas on the grill.
Five browned tortillas on a gas grill.
Step 4: Cook the tortillas until lightly browned and warmed through.
Marinaded white fish fillets in a large glass bowl.
Step 5: Marinate the fish for at least 20 minutes.
Fish fillets on a gas grill.
Step 6: Oil the grill grates, then place the fish on the grill.
Fish fillets cooking on a gas grill.
Step 7: Grill until lightly browned on each side and the fish is cooked through.
Cooked fish fillets on a plate.
Step 8: Place fish onto a plate and gently flake apart with a fork.

Tips for Making the Best Easy Grilled Fish Tacos

  1. Dry the fish. This is especially important if using frozen fish, as it will release a lot of moisture as it thaws! Excess water will also prevent the fish from absorbing the marinade. Regardless of whether I’m using fresh or frozen fish, I always blot the fish dry with a paper towel before adding it to the marinade.
  2. Grill the tortillas. Corn tortillas taste dry before they’re toasted. I like to grill the tortillas until they’re warmed through and lightly brown (which doesn’t take very long!). That way, they’re flexible, easier to eat, and much more delicious.
  3. Prevent the fish from sticking to the grill. Fish could stick to the grill for two reasons: the grates aren’t greased with oil, or they’re dirty. I recommend brushing the grill grates with oil and using a grill brush to clean the grates well before cooking.
Three grilled fish tacos topped with coleslaw and topped cilantro on a plate.

What to Serve With Mahini Mahi Grilled Fish Tacos

Frequently Asked Questions

How to store and reheat grilled fish tacos?

Store any leftovers in an airtight container. They will last for about three to four days in the fridge. For best results, store all the taco ingredients separately though, and not assembled. To reheat the fish, sear it in a pan with a little oil for a few minutes.

What kind of fish is best for fish tacos?

I like to use a firm white fish that flakes apart easily and absorbs the flavor of the marinade! This includes cod, mahi mahi, snapper, or halibut.

What fish doesn’t fall apart on the grill?

I don’t think there’s any one fish that’s best for the grill, but you can avoid fish falling apart by buying fillets that are thicker (at least an inch thick!).

Grilled fish tacos topped with coleslaw and chopped cilantro on a plate.

There’s a lot you can do in 30 minutes, but I’d argue that these Grilled Fish Tacos with Coleslaw are an excellent use of your time…and certainly one of my favorites! I’ll eat a plate of these any night of the week, all summer long.

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This Grilled Fish Tacos recipe was originally published on June 26, 2019, and has recently been updated with new photography, step-by-step instructions, tips, and more! The recipe was updated to include a homemade coleslaw recipe.

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Grilled Fish Tacos

Grilled Fish Tacos are a fresh, flavorful and fast summer recipe – they're filled with tender flaky white fish, topped with a creamy, crunchy coleslaw.
5 from 17 votes
Servings 4 people
Course Entree
Calories 426
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
0 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
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Video

Ingredients
  

For the Fish Tacos

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil divided
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 1 garlic clove minced
  • 1 tablespoon taco seasoning
  • 1 ½ pounds white fish fillet like mahi mahi or cod

For the Coleslaw

  • ½ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon mayonnaise optional
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 lime zest and juice
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon cumin
  • 3 cups shredded white cabbage
  • 1 medium carrot shredded

For Assembly

  • 8 white corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped cilantro

Instructions

  • In a large bowl, whisk together 1 tablespoon olive oil, lime juice, garlic and taco seasoning. Add the fish to the bowl to coat it with the marinade. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes for the fish to absorb the flavor.
  • Meanwhile, in another large bowl, whisk together greek yogurt, mayonnaise if using, honey, lime zest and juice, salt, pepper and cumin until well combined. Add the cabbage and carrots on top and toss to combine.
  • Preheat grill to medium-high heat. Place the tortillas on the grill and warm for 30 seconds per side, until the tortilla is pliable and begins to brown slightly. Wrap them in a kitchen towel while cooking the fish.
  • Brush grill grates with remaining tablespoon of olive oil and grill the fish for about 3-5 minutes on each side, depending on thickness. Transfer fish to a plate and flake into large chunks.
  • Place the coleslaw on the heated tortillas. Add the flaked fish on top and sprinkle with the cilantro.

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 marinate 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

Serving: 2tacos, Calories: 426kcal, Carbohydrates: 37g, Protein: 41g, Fat: 14g, Saturated Fat: 3g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.01g, Cholesterol: 88mg, Sodium: 506mg, Potassium: 831mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 9g, Vitamin A: 2695IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 129mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

Cuisine American, Mexican
Course: Entree
5 from 17 votes (13 ratings without comment)

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Comments

  1. Kayrl says:

    These are so easy and so good!!

  2. BRADY D JACKSON III says:

    Sounds Good! I’ve cooked for many years and have never been asked to make a fish taco. I’ve never tried one either, but after reading this recipe and how you make it sound,…..I’m going to have to give it a try. Thanks

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Thank you! Can’t wait for you to give it a try! Let me know what you think.

  3. Auri Jimenez says:

    This was a huge hit! (Like all of your recipes 🤭) my local store didn’t have fresh Mahi Mahi so I made it with Salmon and it was amaaazing. Can’t wait to make it again with Mahi Mahi this time!

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      That’s amazing to hear! This is definitely good with salmon too. Hope you enjoy it with the mahi mahi!

  4. Nada Harp says:

    Sooo good!!! Made it with my favorite fish-Mahi Mahi. 👍🏼

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      I love that! Glad you enjoyed!

  5. Sha says:

    I feel tempted to try this recipe after seeing its video…looks tasty too

    1. Yumna Jawad says:

      Aww, I hope you try it!