Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Cabbage Slaw
Easy dinner ideas are my specialty—and this fish tacos with homemade honey-lime cabbage slaw recipe delivers. Simple purple cabbage slaw elevates these fish tacos from an everyday dinner to a super-fast, flavor-packed dinner that’s ready in just 25 minutes! The slaw is a great topping idea for fish tacos and serves double duty as a veggie side dish too.
5 star review
“These fish tacos were low effort, with a huge return. My picky kids even ate the fish! This recipe is definitely going into our taco night rotation.”– Lauren
About this Fish Tacos with Slaw Recipe
I’ll admit that I’m not usually a huge fan of fish, 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 creamy cabbage slaw for fish tacos that turns a regular meal into a downright delicious last minute dinner idea.
And since I’m always whipping up fast and easy 30 minute meal ideas, I wanted to create a purple cabbage slaw for fish tacos that would add flavor and texture to the tacos themselves, without adding extra time to the overall recipe.
Once you try this recipe, you’ll want to make this warm honey-lime cabbage slaw as the perfect easy side dish as the answer to the question “what to serve as a side on taco night?”
And trust me, if you’ve never trying adding slaw to fish tacos, now is the time to try.
The slaw adds texture, crunch, color, and tang; all which balance well with the with firm fish and tender tortilla.
Once you’re on the slaw train, you’ll want to try these salmon fish tacos with quick cabbage slaw, next!
White Sauce for Fish Tacos
To take these fish tacos with cabbage slaw over the top, don’t skip a drizzle of the white sauce. It’s wildly simple (my specialty) but adds a zippy, zingy, creamy flavor that’s not to miss!
Visual Guide: How to Make Fish Tacos with Slaw
Process & Tips
There’s only two cooking components to this recipe and everything cooks in under 30 minutes, making this a perfect last minute dinner idea for busy weeks.
To make the warm slaw for fish tacos you just need to toss your cabbage in a hot pan together with some lime juice, honey, olive oil and salt.
For an even quicker no-cook slaw for fish tacos, just toss the ingredients together and let them marinate while you cook the fish–both options are provided in the recipe card, below.
The preparation for the fish is also super simple – just 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 for fish tacos, 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 -the white sauce is tangy, creamy and makes these homemade fish tacos feel like takeout.
Fish Tip: 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.
Since the purple cabbage slaw for fish tacos is included in this recipe, you don’t need much in terms of sides.
However, if you’re looking for quick and easy side dishes for fish tacos I recommend this black bean salad with corn.
Another option is a simple green side salad tossed an easy healthy dressing recipes – it would be especially delicious with some chopped romaine and this chipotle honey vinaigrette, lemon dijon dressing or avocado vinaigrette.
Beyond the creamy taco slaw and white sauce for fish sauce included in this recipe, some other fish taco toppings include this simple fresh tomato salsa, and super easy 4-ingredient guacamole.
Tip: Make a Fish Taco Bowl
Turn these tacos with slaw into bowls by piling the spiced fish on top of the cabbage slaw and topping with fresh sliced avocado, chopped cilantro, and a drizzle of the white sauce.
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. Bagged slaw mix would even work in a pinch.
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: Charred corn tortillas are our family’s go-to taco wrap of choice, but you could also use 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.
Easy Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Cabbage Slaw
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
- 1 lime juiced, about 1 tablespoon
- 1 teaspoon honey
For the Tacos
- 1 pound firm white fish, such as rockfish, cod, or tilapia
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon mild chili powder
- ½ teaspoon granulated garlic powder
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 8 corn tortillas, warmed
For the White Fish Taco Sauce
- 2 tablespoons mayonnaise, or plain Greek yogurt
- 1 lime juiced, about 1 tablespoon
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Optional Serving Suggestions
- Sliced avocado
- Chopped green onion
- Easy Guacamole
- Fresh Tomato Salsa
Make the Fish Taco Slaw
- For Raw Slaw: Combine 1 tablespoon olive oil, ¼ 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.
- For Cooked Slaw: Heat 1 tablespoon 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.
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, lime juice, and pepper in a small bowl. Whisk until well combined.
Assemble the Fish Tacos
- Assemble the tacos by filling a tortilla with fish and topping with slaw. Add any additional toppings if desired, drizzle with white fish taco sauce and serve.
This looks amazing! Definitely going to try these soon. 🙂 I love the sound of warm slaw, and the dressing sounds so yummy!
Odessa, the slaw is so simple and really take the tacos next level. Hope you enjoy!
These are absolutely delicious! Quoting my husband, "we never need to make these a different way ever again." Your meals are so approachable and they’ve really changed our lives (and made me look like a good cook!). My friend recommended you at about the time I went back to work full time after having my little one and needless to say you’ve been a life-saver!
Thank you so much!
Lauren, thank you so much for your kind note–it means the world to me! Thrilled to hear that you and your crew enjoyed this recipe. It’s one of my favorites, too! So happy the recipes have been helpful to you during your transition back to work. xo
I think I would prefer the slaw cold!
Yes, it would be great either way!
These were SO yummy at my house. We accidently skipped the step about sautéing the slaw so we served it raw, but it was still SO YUMMY! The white sauce was perfect with plain greek yogurt. Would definitely recommend!
Nicole, wonderful, so happy to hear you and your crew enjoyed this one and nice to know the slaw works well uncooked. Thanks so much for leaving a review. 🙂
Healthy and delicious. This is my go to recipe for fish tacos!
Oh yay, so happy to hear you’re enjoying these, Amber. Thanks so much for leaving a review!
This recipe is sooooooo good! I recently have been doing an elimination diet, which has been life changing for my symptoms but also a LOT of work. Your recipes are saving my life right now!!
I used coconut yogurt for the sauce, subbed paprika for the chili powder (to be nightshade free) and used GF almond tortillas. They were a big hit with all the ages at our family get together!
Molly, yay, so happy to hear you enjoyed this one and were able to adapt it to fit your elimination diet! Thanks so much for leaving a review!
These fish tacos were low effort, with a huge return. My picky kids even ate the fish! This recipe is definitely going into our taco night rotation.
Lauren, your reviews are quickly becoming my favorite! Low effort huge return is what I’m all about when it comes to recipes, and so I’m thrilled to hear this one worked well for you. Thanks again for leaving a review!