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. 

Overhead shot of fish tacos with slaw, jalepenos, avocado, and cilantro.

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

Jump to Recipe Instructions

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.

Side shot of fish tacos with slaw, jalepenos, avocado, and cilantro.

Serving Suggestions

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.

Hand holding fish tacos with slaw, jalepenos, avocado, and cilantro.

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.

Overhead shot of fish tacos with slaw, jalepenos, avocado, and cilantro.
5 stars (8 ratings)

Easy Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Cabbage Slaw

Easy dinner ideas are my specialty—and this homemade honey-lime cabbage slaw for fish tacos delivers. Simple purple cabbage slaw elevates these fish tacos with slaw 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, if that’s what you prefer. 


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


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.


For more ingredients, substitutions, and more, see full blog post above.
Nutrition information calculated with rockfish, mayonnaise, corn tortillas and honey, but without the optional toppings.

Nutrition Information:

Serving: 1 (of 8 tacos with slaw), Calories: 147kcal, Carbohydrates: 10g, Protein: 12g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g, Monounsaturated Fat: 3g, Trans Fat: 1g, Cholesterol: 30mg, Sodium: 214mg, 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!

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