Here's how to make delectably crispy baked fish tacos with a colorful, flavorful slaw in just about 30 minutes for quick and easy taco Tuesday at home! Originally published July 2020. Last updated July 2023.
Going from wanting tacos to eating tacos in just about 30 minutes is my idea of a dream come true. What about you? If so, you're in just the right place. Let's get the delicious details!
What does it taste like?
Although this is a light recipe, it's not lacking in flavor. You'll taste savory, earthy, citrusy notes in the spiced fish filets. Sweet, spicy, tangy flavor comes from the quick slaw. This homemade fish taco recipe will remind you of vacation because it's inspired by one of my favorite trips to Tulum.
More Favorite Seafood Recipes
What You'll Need for this Recipe
This quick and easy Tuesday taco dinner calls for common homemade fish taco ingredients you can find at most any grocery store. Here are a few of the stars on the list.
White Fish - In this recipe, thick cuts of fish make for substantial tacos with fish in every bite--none of that disappointing tortilla and topping only nonsense! And the fish is perfectly crisp on the outside and tender and flaky on the inside with NO greasiness because it bakes up in the oven. Use a mild white fish like haddock or cod.
Panko Bread Crumbs create a crispy coating for the fish without frying so I don't recommend any other kind of bread crumbs.
Greek Yogurt is my favorite light twist for making slaw. It adds a nice tang that you won't get in a mayo-based slaw.
Corn Tortillas are my preference for tacos but feel free to use whatever kind of tortillas you prefer.
Cabbage, Carrots, and Cilantro are the backbone of the easy slaw and add a texture change up to the taco filling. I use red cabbage here for a beautiful pop of color but you can use green cabbage, instead.
Check out the recipe card below for full ingredients list, measurements, and step-by-step instructions!
Tips & Tools
Grab a sharp knife and cutting board plus a mixing bowl to combine the slaw ingredients. You'll also need a sheet pan to bake the the fish.
Can I make these tacos ahead of time? Yes, you can mix up the slaw up to two days in advance. Same with the crispy baked fish. I recommend reheating the fish in an air fryer to maintain the texture.
How to Serve
In just half an hour, you will have a full platter of oven baked tacos on the table and can let everyone customize them with whatever fixings and toppings they like.
I like to add a slice of creamy avocado, a squeeze of lime, and extra hot sauce to these crispy fish tacos for a nice combination of flavors and textures. Here are a few more dishes to serve alongside.
Tips for Baking Crispy Coasted Fish
There are a few keys to getting delectably crispy fish in the oven. I'll go ahead and spill them here because I am deeply invested in the quality of your taco Tuesday.
Don't skimp on the coating. The first layer is flour and spices, which adds the flavor to the fish and helps everything else stick. The next layer is a mixture of egg, mayo, and a splash of apple cider vinegar. Lastly, a crispy coat of Panko bread crumbs for ultimate crunch.
Bake at higher heat. Fish doesn't take as long as other proteins (like poultry or meat) to cook, so you don't have a ton of time to get that coating crisp. Baking at a higher temperature helps.
Give the fish space. Use a pan big enough that there is at least a couple of inches between each piece of fish.
Be quick about it. Put the fish in the oven promptly after coating to keep it from getting soggy.
How to Make Spicy Sweet Slaw for Tacos
My philosophy with slaw for tacos is to let the vegetables breathe. This veggie forward, non-processed taco slaw is popping visually and flavor wise.
Just mix up all of the slaw ingredients while the fish bakes and you will be ready for action once the oven timer dings! Full details are in the recipe card below.
I hope you'll try this 30-minute dinner idea with your family soon--and let me know how you like it! And because sharing is caring, be sure to pin this recipe for later and follow me on Pinterest. Thanks for reading!
Crispy Fish Tacos with Sweet & Spicy Slaw
For the Crispy Fish
- 1 cup Panko bread crumbs
- ¼ cup flour
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- ½ teaspoon cumin
- ½ teaspoon onion powder
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- 1 egg
- 1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar
- 2 pounds mild white fish like cod or haddock
- sea salt to taste
- black pepper to taste
For the Slaw
- ⅓ red cabbage
- 1 carrot
- ⅓ red onion
- 2 tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
- 1-½ cup plain Greek yogurt
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1-2 tablespoons hot sauce
- 3 limes
For serving the tacos
- 8 tortillas
- fresh lime wedges optional garnish
- 1 avocado optional garnish
- Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper and set aside.
To prepare the fish and batters
- Pour Panko bread crumbs into a shallow bowl or plate. Add flour, chili powder, garlic powder, cumin, and onion powder to another dish and stir well to combine. In a third dish, whisk together mayonnaise, egg, and apple cider vinegar until uniform
- Cut fish into 4-ounce portions (if working with cod loin, each piece will be about two inches wide.) Season each piece with sea salt and black pepper
- Coat a seasoned piece of fish in the flour mixture then dip into the egg mix and, finally, into the Panko crumbs. Place on prepared sheet pan. Repeat with remaining pieces until all are coated.
To bake the fish
- Place pan on top oven rack and bake for up to 24 minutes, depending on thickness of fish. (My cuts are about two inches thick and take the full baking time.) I recommend you start checking the fish for done-ness after 15 minutes. Cooked fish should be opaque and flake easily with a fork. Insert a food thermometer into the thickest part of a filet to be sure. White fish is fully cooked when it reaches an internal temperature of 145 degrees.
To prepare the slaw
- While the fish bakes, mix up the slaw. Chop cabbage into strips. Cut carrot into two-inch pieces then slice into sections no more than ⅓ inch thick. A mandolin works really well for this step but it can be done by hand and still finish before the fish does. Dice red onion. Chop cilantro.
- Mix Greek yogurt, honey, juice of three limes, and hot sauce until uniform. The texture should be thinned out and creamy. Add sea salt and black pepper to taste.
- Add prepared cabbage, carrot, red onion, and cilantro to Greek yogurt mixture and toss until vegetables are evenly coated.
To assemble the tacos
- To assemble each taco, place a piece of crispy fish in the middle of a tortilla then top with slaw. Add avocado slices, squeezes of fresh lime juice, and whatever other garnishes you prefer.