Let's grill! These grilled fish tacos are topped with avocado and a tangy cilantro lime sauce for a healthy light summer meal!
I grew up on the West Coast where seafood is available just about everywhere, and while I was not a huge fan of it when I was a kid I absolutely love it now. It's generally pretty healthy and there are so many different options depending on your taste and mood. A lot of people tell me they shy away from cooking seafood at home because they are worried it will be difficult. While some seafood dishes can certainly be a bit complicated, many are much easier than you think. Fish tacos are one of those easy options.
This is the perfect recipe to add to your everyday meals recipe collection. Read on to learn more about how to make these Grilled Fish Tacos, or jump straight to the recipe to start cooking!
- This recipe is ideal for an al fresco meal any night of the week.
- The fresh, bright, light flavors in these easy fish tacos make them a summer favorite.
- Because they’re grilled instead of fried, these tacos are pretty healthy.
- Fish: For the fish, I generally use tilapia, which is pretty easy to find, however, you could substitute cod or any mild white fish.
- Corn tortillas: 6-inch tortillas are the ideal size for tacos, though sometimes I use street taco size just for fun.
- Veggies: You'll need green onion, cilantro, a jalapeno, an avocado, and a lime.
- Queso fresco: This is my first choice for these tacos as it crumbles nicely and can be found in most major grocery stores. You can substitute cotija, which will be a little saltier.
- Greek yogurt: I typically use low-fat yogurt for everything but full-fat also works when making sauces
- Avocado: You'll need one whole small or medium avocado.
- Spices: ground cumin, sweet paprika, garlic salt, onion powder, sea salt, ground pepper
- Pantry staples: Sugar, olive oil
Tips for making fish tacos
For this recipe, I wanted to create a quick, flavorful taco that could be made just about anytime. You could easily make these for a weeknight meal, but they are also great for casual summer entertaining.
Start by making the sauce. Restaurant tacos are often all about the little drizzle of sauce, so these get topped with a creamy cilantro-lime sauce for an extra punch of flavor.
Prepare the fish. Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle with spice mixture. See my notes below for tips on how to grill fish.
Heat the tortillas. I really like warm tortillas, so I like to heat them up on the grill while the fish finishes cooking. They usually get some little charred spots here and there which adds to the flavor.
Fish is one of the few things I don't generally recommend cooking ahead of time as it's just never as good reheated. You can make the sauce a couple of days in advance and store it in the refrigerator.
Cooking fish on the grill
Grilling is one of my favorite ways to cook fish. Grilled fish is healthy and delicious, however, it has a reputation for being difficult to cook.
With the right preparation and tips, grilling fish can be easy.
- Make sure your grill grates are really clean and then preheat your grill on high. This helps to keep the fish from sticking to the grill and also gives you nice grill marks. You are looking for a grill temperature of at least 400°F (a bit higher is fine too).
- Once the grill is hot, give the grates and additional scrub with your grill brush to make sure any leftover cooking bits have been removed.
- You want to warm the fish up a bit before grilling so this means taking it out of the refrigerator about 5 minutes before you are ready to start prepping it for the grill.
- Be sure to generously oil both sides of the fish before adding any seasoning.
- When removing fish from the grill, a fish spatula is an ideal tool to have. If you don't have one, use the largest spatula you've got. Using a back and forth motion, carefully slide the spatula between the fish and the grill grates.
Additional notes from the kitchen
What toppings are best for fish tacos?
I've included my favorite toppings in the recipe but you can always add a bit of extra cilantro, some shredded raw cabbage, some salsa verde, or even a bit of mango salsa!
How to serve fish tacos
These grilled tacos can easily stand on their own for a simple weeknight dinner. You can also add a bit of grilled corn salsa for a little more substance!
One of the best things about tacos is they don't really require any additional sides, though you can really never go wrong with some chips and fresh guacamole when serving tacos!
I'm pretty happy to eat these fish tacos on their own, with a nice glass of dry Rosé. Or if you are more of a cocktail fan, they go well with this Grapefruit Margarita.
More grilled seafood recipes
- Grilled Margarita Shrimp
- Grilled Salmon with Mustard Sauce
- Grilled Sea Bass with Watermelon Mango Salsa
Grilled Fish Tacos with Lime-Cilantro Sauce
For the Lime Cilantro Sauce:
- 6 ounces of plain Greek yogurt
- pinch sea salt
- ¼ teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon lime zest
- 1 finely chopped tablespoon green onion
- ¼ cup cilantro leaves, chopped
- ¼ teaspoon finely diced jalapeño
For the tacos:
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sweet paprika
- ¼ teaspoon garlic salt
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon onion powder
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound tilapia filets
- 6-8 corn tortillas
- 1 avocado, diced
- 1 green onion, chopped
- 2 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
- Make the sauce. Mix the yogurt, salt, sugar, zest, onion, cilantro, and jalapeno in a small bowl and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Prepare the fish. In a small bowl, mix cumin through onion powder. Brush fish with olive oil and sprinkle with spice mixture.
- Grill the fish. Heat grill to about 400°F, place fish on the grill, and cook for 5 minutes. Carefully turn fish and cook for 4-6 minutes or until done. Remove fish from the grill and let it rest for 3-5 minutes. Use two forks to pull the fish apart.
- Heat the tortillas. When you turn the fish, place tortillas on a grill to heat. If you have several burners on your grill, turn one to low so you can get the tortillas warm without making them too crunchy.
- Assemble the tacos. Place 2-3 tortillas on each plate, divide fish evenly amongst the tortillas. Top with avocado, green onion, Queso Fresco, and lime-cilantro sauce. Serve immediately.
This recipe post was originally published in August 2014. It has been updated with some new information and photos in July 2022. No changes have been made to the original recipe.