A simple honey lime cabbage slaw elevates these easy fish tacos from an everyday dinner to a flavor-packed super fast dinner perfect for any night of the week. The slaw makes a great topping for the tacos and serves double duty as a veggie side as well!

Three easy fish tacos on a white plate, topped with purple cabbage slaw and avocado slices.

About this Recipe

I’ll admit that I’m not usually a huge fan of fish (I know I should eat more of it, but I’ve never been able to get that into it). 

But fish TACOS? Now that’s a different story.

There’s just something about wrapping spiced, pan sautéed fish in warm tortillas and then piling them high with all my favorite toppings that turns regular fish into a downright delicious dinner. 

I find it so much more palatable, so much so that I look forward to eating them once a week – and luckily Andrew and Elle feel the same way!

Since fish tacos make their way onto our family’s menu on a regular basis I wanted to come up with a veggie-loaded slaw that would add flavor and texture to the tacos themselves.

This warm honey-lime cabbage slaw makes the perfect easy side dish and answers the question once and for all of “what to serve as a side on taco night?”.

In addition to the simple slaw, we also love topping these tacos with sliced avocado and our house “white sauce”. The sauce recipe is embarrassingly simple but I had to share it with you below too because it adds an extra special kick!

Three easy fish tacos on a white plate, topped with purple cabbage slaw and avocado slices.

Process & Tips

There’s only two cooking components to this recipe and everything cooks in under 30 minutes, making this one of our go-to last minute dinner ideas on busy weeks.

All you have to do to make the slaw is toss your cabbage in a hot pan together with some lime juice, honey, olive oil and salt (or an even quicker no-cook slaw, just toss the ingredients together and let them marinate while you cook the fish).

The preparation for the fish is also super simple – sprinkle your filets with some common pantry spices, add to a hot pan with some oil, and cook until brown on both sides.

To make the white sauce I was telling you about, all you need is a few spoonfuls of whole, plain yogurt or mayonnaise, fresh lime juice, and freshly ground pepper.

Don’t let the ingredient list fool you, sometimes the simplest things are the best – it’s tangy, creamy and makes these homemade fish tacos feel like takeout.

Fresh or frozen fish filets both work great in this recipe! If you plan to use frozen, be sure to fully defrost them before cooking.

Close up of a taco with avocado slices and purple cabbage on top, with a lime wedge on the side.

Serving Suggestions

Since they come with their own sauce & slaw recipe, we often enjoy these healthy fish tacos as-is but it would pair well with lots of other dishes.

Like this black bean salad with corn or a simple green side salad tossed with any of our favorite easy healthy dressing recipes – it would be especially delicious with some chopped romaine and this chipotle honey vinaigrette, lemon dijon dressing or avocado vinaigrette.

You could also do a DIY Taco Bar by setting out the cooked fish, warm cabbage slaw and an array of your favorite toppings – including this Chipotle copycat fresh tomato salsa, 4-ingredient guacamole and crunchy tortilla chips.

Turn these into bowls by piling the spiced fish on top of the warm cabbage slaw and topping with fresh sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of the white sauce for a paleo or Whole30-friendly option.

Close up of a few tacos on a white plate with avocado slices and purple cabbage on top, with a lime wedge on the side.

Ingredients & Modifications 

Firm white fish: I used rockfish in these tacos, but feel free to substitute any firm, white fish such as cod or tilapia.

Cabbage: I used purple cabbage in the honey lime slaw for these fish tacos but you could also use green cabbage (or a mixture of both) in its place.

Cumin: Ground cumin is so delicious in this recipe. Together with the mild chili powder, garlic powder and lime juice it also helps to create the Mexican-inspired flavors we know & love in a good fish taco.

Mild chili powder: This dish is not spicy, the mild chili powder adds a lot of flavor for not much extra effort in this dish. 

Garlic powder: I love the ease and convenience of using granulated garlic powder in this recipe, and highly recommend it as a shortcut ingredient if you’re looking to keep this dish under 30 minutes. But if you prefer, you can also use fresh minced garlic in its place. 

Lime juice: The tangy acidity of the lime juice goes great with the other spices & flavors in the dish, and really helps to add some brightness to the white fish.

Honey: The honey adds a touch of sweetness that balances the other flavors in the slaw, but if you’re looking for a low sugar option feel free to omit it from the recipe.

Olive oil: I love the light, buttery flavor of the olive oil in this recipe. But you can also use any other neutral flavored oil in its place like avocado, vegetable, coconut or canola oil. 

Corn tortillas: Non-GMO corn tortillas are our family’s go-to taco wrap of choice, but you could also use whole wheat tortillas or even lettuce wraps in their place.

Mayonnaise: I used avocado oil mayonnaise to make a super easy white sauce for these fish tacos but you can use any type of mayo that you like the taste of. Vegannaise would be a great egg-free option. You could also use whole plain Greek yogurt in place of mayo.

Kosher salt: Look for kosher salt with the regular iodized salt at the grocery store (it has a subtler flavor). Use less iodized salt if that’s what you have on hand.

Three easy fish tacos on a white plate, topped with purple cabbage slaw and avocado slices.
5 stars (3 ratings)

Easy Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Cabbage Slaw

A simple honey lime cabbage slaw elevates these easy fish tacos from an everyday dinner to a flavor-packed super fast dinner perfect for any night of the week. I love that the slaw makes a great topping for the tacos and serves double duty as a veggie side as well!

Ingredients

For the Fish Taco Slaw

  • 1 small or ½ head purple cabbage, very thinly sliced (about 4-5 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Juice of 1 lime, about 1 tablespoon
  • 1 teaspoon honey

For the Tacos

  • 1 lb firm white fish, about 4 medium fillets, such as rockfish, cod, or tilapia
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • ½ teaspoon cumin
  • ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 8 corn warm corn tortillas, or tortilla of choice

For the Fish Taco Sauce

  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise , or whole plain yogurt
  • Juice of 1 lime, about 1 tablespoon
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Optional Serving Suggestions

  • Sliced avocado
  • Chopped green onion

Instructions 

Make the Fish Taco Slaw

  • To make a cooked slaw: Heat 1 tablespoons olive oil over medium heat. Add the cabbage, sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt, and sauté, stirring frequently until softened, about 8-10 minutes. Turn off the heat, add the lime juice and honey, stirring to combine.
  • Alternatively, to make a raw slaw: Combine the olive oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt, lime juice and honey in a medium bowl, whisking to combine. Add the cabbage, tossing to combine. Allow to sit for 10-20 minutes for the flavors to combine, tossing occationally.

Make the Fish Tacos

  • Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium heat. Sprinkle both sides of the fish with cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, and  ½ teaspoon salt. Place the fish in the pan and sauté until browned and cooked through, flipping once, about 3-4 minutes per side.

Make the Fish Taco Sauce

  • Make the white sauce by combining the mayonnaise or yogurt, lime juice, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.

Assemble the Fish Tacos

  • Assemble the tacos by filling a corn tortilla or lettuce cup with fish and the cooker or raw taco slaw. Top with sliced avocado and a drizzle of fish taco sauce. Serve immediately.

Notes

Nutrition information calculated with rockfish, mayonnaise, corn tortillas and honey, but without the optional toppings.
Omit the tortillas and serve as a fish taco bowl for a Whole30 and paleo friendly option.
For more ingredients & modifications, see full blog post above.

Nutrition Information:

Calories: 147kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 314mg, Potassium: 497mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 5g, Vitamin A: 1225IU, Vitamin C: 63mg, Calcium: 60mg, Iron: 1mg
Nutrition disclaimer
Did you make this recipe?If you do, be sure to share it on Instagram and tag me at @realfoodwholelife so I can see!

Share this Post