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Blackened Fish Tacos

Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos are the best fish tacos! The mild, flaky fish is seasoned with a flavorful spice rub, pan seared, and then tucked into soft corn tortillas with crunchy slaw and a creamy cilantro lime sauce.

High angle shot of blackened fish tacos in a taco holder.

Why we love blackened fish tacos

Blackened fish tacos are a favorite meal in my house because they check everyone’s boxes. My son loves that they are spicy and full of flavor.

My husband loves that they are light and healthy, use fresh ingredients, and are naturally gluten free.

I love how easy they are to pull together (along with all their other great features!) and that they can be ready in just 15 minutes!

These Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos are all of those things and crazy delicious, too! The fish is generously seasoned with a spice rub made from ingredients you likely already have in your spice cabinet.

After searing the fish, wrap it in soft, warm corn tortillas. You can build them in a taco holder if you like! Add the garlicky sauce that combines creamy sour cream with cilantro and lime juice and a handful of fresh slaw.

Blackened Fish Tacos are such a quick, healthy meal!

Overhead shot of the ingredients needed to make blackened fish tacos.

Ingredients you need

The ingredient list may look a little long, but you’ll mostly use pantry staples. Here’s what you need:

  • Fish: I use mahi mahi filets. You can use any mild white fish like cod or snapper.
  • Olive oil & butter: Sear the fish in a combination of the two, which provides great flavor and is less likely to burn than butter alone!
  • Limes: One for squeezing over the fish and fresh lime juice for the sauce.
  • Sour cream: This gives the sauce a creamy base.
  • Cilantro: Adds a fresh, herby element.
  • Spices: Garlic powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  • Corn tortillas: Warm these in foil in the oven or directly over the flame of a gas burner.
  • Shredded cabbage: Adds a fresh crunch!
  • Optional toppings: Avocado cilantro, lime wedges, Mexican pickled onions, or pickled jalapenos are great toppings to add!

How to make it

It’s so easy to make these blackened fish tacos! Here’s how:

  1. Mix the spices and spread them all over the fish.
  2. Sear the fish in a skillet.
  3. Make the sauce by combining the ingredients in a food processor.
  4. Heat the tortillas and then fill them with the fish, slaw, and sauce.
  5. Enjoy your fish tacos!
low angle shot of fish tacos on a plate.

What to serve with it

I love that this Blackened Fish Tacos recipe can be a one-dish meal. But sometimes I want to make a more festive occasion out of it and offer a few side dishes, too.

Mango Habanero Salsa and/or Tomatillo Salsa Verde both go perfectly with this blackened fish taco recipe.

And of course, I love to top any tacos, especially fish tacos, with Mexican Pickled Onions and Pickled Jalapenos.

Mexican Street Corn Salad or Elote (or Air Fryer Elote) are great sides for fish tacos, too. And Instant Pot Refried Beans are always welcome alongside any Mexican dinner.

Overhead shot of blackened fish tacos in a taco holder.

More Mexican Recipes You’ll Love

If you love Mexican food like these blackened fish tacos, try my Camarones a la Diabla, Camarones al Mojo de Ajo, Sopa de Camarones, Chilaquiles, Chicken Enchiladas, Tamales, Salpicon de Res, and Green Chili Chicken Soup.

Yield: Serves 4

Blackened Fish Tacos

Overhead shot of blackened fish tacos in a taco holder.

These Blackened Mahi Mahi Tacos make a great one-dish meal! The mild, flaky fish is seasoned with a flavorful spice rub, pan seared, and then tucked into soft corn tortillas with crunchy slaw and a creamy cilantro lime sauce. And the best part is, they can be ready in 15 minutes!

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes

Ingredients

For the fish

  • 4 (6-ounce) mahi mahi filets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons butter

For the seasoning

  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • ½ teaspoon thyme
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • ½ teaspoon black pepper

For the sauce

  • 12 ounces sour cream
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 bunch cilantro, chopped
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt to taste

For serving

  • 8 small corn tortillas
  • Shredded cabbage slaw mix
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges

Instructions

  1. In a small bowl, mix together the garlic powder, paprika, thyme, oregano, onion powder, salt, and pepper.
  2. Gently pat the mahi mahi dry with paper towels .
  3. Season the filets on one side by pressing the blackened mix onto the fish. 
  4. Turn the filets over and repeat.
  5. Add the butter and oil to a large skillet and heat over medium-high heat until melted. 
  6. Add the filets to the skillet and cook approximately 5 minutes per side or until golden brown.
  7. Transfer filets to a serving plate and squeeze the lime or lemon juice over them, let rest for about 3 minutes. 
  8. Cut the filets into bite-size pieces to add them to the tacos.
  9. To make the sauce, combine the sour cream, garlic, fresh lime juice, olive oil, and a pinch of salt in a food processor and process until smooth.
  10. Warm the tortillas in a skillet, wrapped in foil in the oven, wrapped in a damp kitchen towel in the microwave, or over the flame of a gas burner.
  11. Assemble the tacos beginning with the mahi mahi. Top with shredded cabbage slaw and cilantro lime sauce.  Serve warm.

Notes

1. Optional toppings include avocado slices, salsa, guacamole, and shredded Mexican cheese.

2. Flour tortillas pair well with this dish if you are not a fan of corn.

3. Refrigerate leftover mahi mahi within two hours of cooking in an airtight container, or wrap tightly with heavy duty aluminum foil. 

4. Leftover mahi mahi should be safe for you to eat for a maximum of 3 days after it has been cooked.

5. You can cook the fish filets in the air fryer if you like. Cook them at 350°F for 3 to 5 minutes.

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By on September 24th, 2022

ABOUT ROBIN DONOVAN

Hi, I’m Robin! I am a full-time food blogger, recipe developer, and cookbook author. I spend my days cooking, writing about, and photographing food.

I’m the author of more than 50 cookbooks, including Ramen for Beginners5 Ingredient Cooking for TwoSushi at HomeThe Baking Cookbook for Teens, and the bestselling Campfire Cuisine.

My food writing has also been featured in major print and online pubications including Cooking Light, Fitness, San Jose Mercury News, San Francisco Chronicle, and others. → More about Robin

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