Today we're going to show you how to make a batch of your new favorite tacos! If you like cheap, quick, easy, and TASTY meals, you'll love these Baja-style fish tacos. Holy guacamole, they're good!

homemade broiled tilapia fish tacos, from Shelf Cooking

Best fish taco recipe ever? We think so. Why? It’s as easy as can be, quick enough for a healthy weeknight dinner, and uses easy-to-find ingredients. No frying mess, no batter to dredge, just simple, delicious flavors!

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Ready to learn all the secrets to serving up this healthy twist on Taco Tuesday? Your kids will love these, and your friends will, too. So, let's taco 'bout it. It's fiesta time, y'all!


broiled tilapia for tacos, from Shelf Cooking

Warning: if you keep reading, you will get hungry! Grab a quick snack, sit back and relax, and let's make some fish tacos, eh? First up, we'll show you how to customize this recipe so you can use ingredients you already have instead of running out to the store. Welcome to shelf cooking! Try these easy swaps:

  • Tilapia – Why did we choose tilapia? It's cheap and easy to find! It's also a mild fish, so picky eaters tend to like it. That being said, you can use just about any type of fish! Try Haddock, Mahi Mahi, salmon, shrimp, trout, flounder, you name it!
  • Tortillas – If you're all out of tortillas, learn how to make them! Corn, flour, wheat, or white–any type will do. Have a pack of stale tortillas? Crisp them in the oven and turn this recipe into fish tostadas.
  • Slaw – Not a big fan of cabbage? You can skip the slaw and garnish your tacos with shredded lettuce instead.
  • Sauce – Running low on sour cream or mayo? You can use them interchangeably or try subbing in some plain Greek yogurt.

Want to bring the heat? You can add more hot sauce to this recipe or spice things up with more chili pepper. Ready to talk toppings? No taco night is complete without 'em, so here we go!


putting sauce on fish tacos, from Shelf Cooking

There's no wrong way to top a taco, so take a quick peek in the fridge and see what you've got! If you're looking for some inspiration, we have ideas:

You can totally use up veggies, too, so go for it! Gotta put all that fresh produce to good use, right? Slice and dice them, and the kids may not even notice.


bowl of cilantro lime rice, from Shelf Cooking

Alright, you've got all the ingredients and toppings lined up! Now, let's round out your Mexican fiesta with one or two of these simple sides:

  • Mexican Rice – Give our Mexican rice recipe a try! It tastes as good as the kind from a restaurant.
  • Cilantro Lime Rice – If you know, you know. This copycat Cafe Rio cilantro lime rice is perfection.
  • Chips and Salsa – If you open a bag of chips and a jar of salsa and call it good, then you're our kind of people!
  • Refried Beans – Open a can or try making your own refried beans. It's easy!
  • Side Salad – Use up those greens before they go bad! You can even use the extra lime juice to make a homemade vinaigrette.
  • Corn – On the cobb or off, roasted or boiled, it's good any way you prep it!
  • Black/Pinto Beans – Beans and tacos are the ultimate power couple.

What happens if you have leftovers? Well, we're jealous, but we've got ya covered!


leftover fish tacos on counter, from Shelf Cooking

If you have leftover fish, drop it in an airtight container, store it in the fridge and use it within two days. Want to serve it without the tortillas? Here are five ideas:

  • Burrito Bowl – Add your leftover fish and all the taco fixings to a bowl of rice.
  • Soup – Grab some broth, toss in a small jar of salsa verde and a can of beans, bring to boil, then drop in your leftover fish and continue to simmer for another 5 minutes. Top with cheese and sour cream, and enjoy!
  • Sandwich – Use up those leftover buns and make a fish sandwich!
  • Surf ‘N Turf – Have a little steak in the freezer? Make it go further by serving it up with some of your leftover fish.
  • Nachos – Chicken and beef make great nacho toppings, but this fish would taste amazing, too.

Not feeling any of these? To freeze your Baja-style tilapia, just place it in a shallow airtight container and use it within two months. To defrost, thaw overnight in the refrigerator or run under cold water for 15 minutes.


Alright, the moment you've been waiting for is here! Are you ready to make fish tacos? It's recipe time, you guys!

homemade broiled tilapia fish tacos, from Shelf Cooking

Easy Baja Fish Tacos

We think this might be the best fish taco recipe around. It's so simple, but the flavors are incredible. Kids like this one, too!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 10 tacos


  • 2 lbs Tilapia, cut into 1-inch strips
  • 10 corn or flour tortillas
  • 2 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • ¾ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cumin
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • Canola Oil

Cabbage Slaw

  • 3 cups coleslaw mix
  • 2 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp honey
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  • cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 Tbsp lime juice
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp hot sauce (or more to taste)


  • For the cabbage slaw and sauce, combine all ingredients and set aside to rest.
  • Combine the spices and toss with the tilapia fillets. Lightly coat a pan with canola oil, about ¼ inch, and cook the tilapia in batches, about 3 minutes per side, until flaky. Lay on a paper towel to drain while cooking the rest. Alternatively, you could place cooked Tilapia on a cooling rack and place in a 200°F oven to keep warm.
  • Wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 30 seconds or until warmed through. (You can also warm them on the stove, but they'll take longer!)
  • To assemble the tacos, place 2 pieces of fish in a tortilla, layer with slaw, toppings, and sauce. Squeeze fresh lime juice over the top before serving. Enjoy!


You can mix up the spices and heat to suit your family's tastes. Add cilantro to the slaw and sauce if you're a fan! Add some cayenne to the tilapia spice mix for an added layer of heat, or maybe a pinch of brown sugar for sweetness.
Keyword fish tacos, tacos

So delicious and so easy! You'll love how light and filling these are.

And there you have it! Now you know how to make some of the world's yummiest fish tacos. These are pretty healthy, too, so go ahead and have seconds!

What's your all-time favorite taco topping? Drop a comment below and let us know!

Baja fish tacos with cabbage slaw, from Shelf Cooking

If you liked this recipe, we think you'll love these, too!

Have a spec-taco-ler day!