Baja Fish Tacos with pan-seared, spiced white fish, zesty Baja sauce, and a refreshing mango salsa. These fully-loaded fish tacos are easy to make, nutritious, and sure to become a family favorite.
Why You'll Love these Baja Fish Tacos:
I hope you're ready for the most splendidly spiced fish tacos, complete with a crunchy taco slaw, creamy Baja sauce, and refreshing mango salsa. They're weeknight-friendly, SO simple to make, and wildly flavorful--the trifecta for the ultimate fish taco. These Baja-style tacos are also pan-seared instead of fried, making them a hearty and healthy option.
Here's the lineup: taco-spiced white fish with just enough kick to wake up your senses. Next, a creamy, zesty Baja sauce that doubles as the slaw's dressing. It perfectly balances and cools the spice from the fish, AND it doubles as a fabulous taco sauce to drizzle over the top.
And finally, a sweet and delightfully-spiced mango salsa for bright, fresh top notes. I love that the salsa makes enough so that you can scoop up leftovers with tortilla chips. You can even double the batch to ensure that's enough for an appetizer/side dish.
Recipe Ingredients and Substitutions:
- White fish: You can use any firm such as cod, halibut, mahi mahi, or grouper. I typically make fish tacos with cod because it's widely available, inexpensive, and holds up well to high heat. Halibut is another unquestionably delicious option, however it does come at a premium price. I suggest avoiding a super-flaky fish, such as tilapia, which won't hold together as well.
- Taco seasoning: You can use homemade or store-bought taco seasoning. I personally love the Siete Taco Seasoning, which comes in mild and spicy.
- Mango: You need 1 ½ cups of fresh cut mango, which amounts to 2 medium mangoes. Just make your mangoes are sufficiently ripe, which makes the slicing and dicing infinitely easier.
- Bell pepper: I prefer using red bell pepper for the salsa, however you can also use yellow or orange.
- Red onion: The zesty bite of diced red onion helps balance the sweetness of the mango.
- Cilantro: Chopped fresh cilantro does double duty in the mango salsa and as a garnish.
- Lime: You need fresh lime juice both for the salsa and the Baja sauce. I would plan on purchasing 3 to 4 limes to ensure you have ample juice.
- Greek Yogurt: You can either use full-fat Greek yogurt or sour cream for the Baja sauce. You also need 2 Tbsp. of mayonnaise--I use this brand of avocado oil-based mayo.
- Old Bay Seasoning: This savory blend of herbs and spices brings the ZEST to the Baja sauce. You can typically find Old Bay Seasoning in the spice section of most well-stocked grocery stores.
Step 1: Marinate the Fish
Pat the fish dry with paper towels and lightly season with salt. Place fish in a small baking dish (8x8" or 9x9"). In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, 2 Tbsp. fresh squeezed orange juice, and 2 Tbsp. taco seasoning; whisk to combine. Pour mixture over fish and gently turn fish to coat in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
Step 2: Prepare Mango Salsa
In a large bowl, combine mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, cumin, and salt; mix to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Step 3: Prepare Baja Sauce and Slaw
In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt (or sour cream), mayonnaise, lime juice, and Old Bay Seasoning; whisk to combine.
In a separate large bowl, add slaw and season lightly with salt. Add 3 Tbsp. of the Baja sauce and reserve remaining for topping. Toss slaw to combine and set aside.
Step 4: Cook the Fish
Heat 2 Tbsp. of oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add the marinated fish and cook, undisturbed, for about 4 minutes. Gently flip, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the fish is firm to the touch. Transfer fish to a plate and flake into large chunks.
Step 5: Assemble Baja Fish Tacos
Place a small amount of slaw in each tortilla, followed by the fish, mango salsa, and a finishing drizzle of remaining Baja sauce.
FAQs and Expert Tips
Best Fish for Fish Tacos:
Choose a white fish that's mild in flavor with lean, flaky flesh, such as cod, mahi mahi, or haddock. I typically make fish tacos with cod because it's widely available, inexpensive, and holds up well to high heat. Halibut is another unquestionably delicious option, however it does come at a premium price.
I suggest avoiding a super-flaky fish, such as tilapia, which won't hold together as well after being cooked.
Double check the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s site to make sure the fish you’re buying is sustainable in your area.
What Goes Good with Fish Tacos?
While fish tacos tend to be plenty satisfying on their own, any kind of corn salad, slaw, or roasted veggie dish are fabulous compliments. Here are some of my favorite options:
- Butternut Squash and Poblano Salad with Feta: Gluten free, rich in key nutrients, and the perfect alchemy of sweetness and spice.
- Quinoa Southwest Salad with Creamy Chipotle Dressing: This healthy quinoa salad recipe is filled with nutritious ingredients like black beans, fire-roasted corn, avocado, and fresh tomatoes.
- 20 Minute Summer Squash and Corn Salad: A simple and delicious side dish that's easy to make and a total flavor fiesta.
Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:
- Make-Ahead: Prepare the mango salsa up to 1 day ahead and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Store: Store all components separately for optimal freshness. The fish will last up to 2 days refrigerated, however the slaw only stays crunchy for 1 day. I suggest only making the amount of slaw you plan on immediately using, and reserving the rest.
- Reheat: To reheat the fish, drizzle a small amount of olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Once hot, add fish, and gently cook for 3 to 4 minutes, until warm.
More Healthy Taco Recipes to Try:
Al Pastor Chickpea Tacos
BBQ Cauliflower Tacos with Green Tahini Sauce
Vegan Chorizo Tacos
If you give these fish tacos with mango salsa a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. I also really appreciate readers taking the time to leave a rating and review! Lastly, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates.
Baja Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa
- Large skillet
- Mixing bowls
- 1 lb. mild white fish, such as cod or mahi mahi
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 2 Tbsp. fresh orange juice
- 2 Tbsp. taco-seasoning (store-bought or homemade) I use Siete brand
- ¼ cup full-fat Greek yogurt sub sour cream
- 2 Tbsp. mayonnaise I use avocado oil mayonnaise
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- 1 tsp. Old Bay Seasoning
- Dash of hot sauce, such as Tabasco optional
- 4 to 5 cups shredded cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
- 8 corn or flour tortillas, warmed
- 1 ½ cups finely diced fresh mango (from 2 mangoes)
- 1 small red bell pepper, finely diced
- ¼ cup finely diced red onion
- ¼ cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed, minced
- 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
- ¼ tsp. ground cumin
- ¼ tsp. kosher salt
- Prepare Fish: Pat the fish dry with paper towels and season with ¼ tsp. salt. Place fish in a small baking dish (8x8" or 9x9") or wide-rimmed bowl. In a small bowl, combine 2 Tbsp. olive oil, orange juice, and taco seasoning; whisk to combine. Pour mixture over fish and gently turn fish to coat in marinade. Cover and refrigerate for a minimum of 30 minutes, or up to 2 hours.
- Prepare Mango Salsa: In a large bowl, combine mango, red bell pepper, red onion, cilantro, jalapeño, lime juice, cumin, and salt; mix to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
- Prepare Baja Sauce and Slaw: In a small bowl, combine Greek yogurt (or sour cream), mayonnaise, lime juice, Old Bay Seasoning, and a dash of hot sauce (if using); whisk to combine.In a separate large bowl, add shredded cabbage (or coleslaw) and season with a pinch of salt. Add 3 Tbsp. of the Baja Sauce and reserve remaining for topping. Toss slaw to combine and set aside.
- Cook the Fish: Heat remaining 2 Tbsp. olive oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once hot, add the marinated fish and cook, undisturbed, for about 4 minutes. Gently flip, and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes, until the fish is firm to the touch. Transfer fish to a plate and flake into large chunks
- Assemble Tacos: Place a small amount of slaw in each tortilla, followed by the fish, mango salsa, and a finishing drizzle of remaining Baja Sauce.
Is there truly a difference of you use flaky fish or not since it’s getting broken up anyways in the final step of the recipe? Does it really matter? It may not blacken efficiently but sear it longer for maximum results. That’s what I am going to do.
These were so flavorful. Will be a staple for sure.
So glad you enjoyed them, Jordan!!
My family absolutely LOVES this recipe!! My 4yr old and 2yr old finish off their food with no fighting. Such a blessing! I have made this with whatever fish I happen to have on hand and it all has been amazing. Also, thank you for including both the salsa and coleslaw all in the same post, makes it so much easier to find.
Hi Allison - I'm so glad the tacos were a hit! Thank you for coming back and leaving a review!
Definitely a staple. My best friend and I made this one day, we use Mahi Mahi or Cod & ah this blessed our souls. Thank you for the amazing recipe. It honestly helps with bonding in the kitchen more. It gives everyone something to do to create a dish made out of love. Keep the amazing recipes coming! ❤️❤️
This is the BEST fish taco recipe! Didn't post the pic on Instagram as I subbed the red pepper for a yellow pepper so the picture wouldn't do this recipe justice. Next time! And there will definitely be a next time as my family is requesting we have it again next week.
Yay! I'm so so glad you enjoyed these, Brook. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Got a lot of cabbage from my CSA so I've made this twice in two weeks! SO good – definitely the best fish taco recipe we've tried yet and super simple! Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.
Woohoo! I'm so glad the recipe has been a hit!
This is very delicious! Thank you for this recipe.
Hi Danielle--I'm so glad you enjoyed them!! Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
I'll be making these so much this summer. They're so good on a hot day. They're refreshing and so full of flavor.
HECK YES YOU WILL!