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's going to 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.
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.
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. It's easy to do and fish generally cooks pretty quickly on the grill.
With the right preparation and tips, grilling fish can be easy.
- Make sure your grill grates are 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.
- Like you do with any other meat, you want to bring your fish up to room temperature before grilling. This means take 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 have. Using a back and forth motion, carefully slide the spatula between the fish and the grill grates.
Additional notes from the kitchen
Since fish cooks pretty quickly on the grill I recommend getting everything else ready in advance. You want to be able to assemble the tacos as soon as the fish and tortillas come off of the grill.
A note about the ingredients
- Fish: For the fish, I generally use tilapia, which is pretty easy to find, however, you could substitute cod or any mild white fish.
- 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.
- Spices: Be sure to use the freshest spices possible. Since the store is very close to my house, I've been getting all of my spices from Savory Spice Shop. They have a great selection and you can also order online.
How to serve fish tacos
You can leave these just as is, but I like to top them with some grilled corn salsa for a little more substance!
One of the best things about tacos is they don't really require any additional sides, 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 helpful information in June 2020. No changes have been made to the original recipe.