Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Rice

5 from 16 votes
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Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Rice, black beans, creamy Jalapeño Verde Sauce, and quick-pickled cabbage. A hearty and healthy meal that also happens to be a total flavor fiesta.Fish taco bowl topped with jalapeño verde sauce in a white bowl

Think of this bowl as the desk lunch that begins as dinner. Or the Monday night marvel that begins as quick Sunday meal prep.

Simply put, it holds up well when made a day or two ahead and can make weekday meals feel a LOT more exciting.

Here’s the low-down:

  • Flaky fish seasoned with a homemade taco seasoning and seared until crisp and golden.
  • A base of fluffy cilantro-lime rice and fiber-rich black beans for a classic, hearty duo.
  • Pickled cabbage for a zingy, crunchy contrast to the other bowl fixings. (Bonus: the vibrant magenta hue creates a crown jewel effect on the bowl)

And to finish the bowl off, a creamy jalapeño verde sauce that’s bold and bright with just enough heat.

Beyond the total fiesta of textures and flavors this bowl offers, it’s brimming with protein, fiber, and antioxidants. To bump up the fiber and nutrients even more, swap the white basmati rice for brown rice or any other whole grain.

How to Make Fish Taco Bowls

Don’t let the long ingredient list deter you – many of the ingredients are used twice, and you’ll likely find a lot of them already in your pantry.

This recipe is also highly versatile – you can pick and choose which components you’d like to include in your bowl.

The IngredientsRecipe ingredients in separate bowls on a grey board with labels

  • Fish: Use any meaty white-fleshed fish, such as cod, halibut, or grouper. I prefer using cod for its mild taste and versatility.
  • Spices: The fish is seasoned with a homemade taco seasoning, featuring chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic and onion powder. Alternatively, you can purchase pre-made taco seasoning, such as Siete brand. 
  • Red Cabbage: While the pickled red cabbage is optional, I really think it rounds out the bowls with briny, bright flavor. You can also pickle green cabbage, a coleslaw mix, or red onion.
  • Rice: Use a long-grain white rice, such as jasmine or basmati. For a lower carb alternative, cauliflower rice is a suitable swap.
  • Cilantro: Plan on using 1 whole bunch of cilantro between the rice and the sauce. Both the stems and leaves will work here!
  • Lime: You need 2 limes – one of which you’ll zest and juice for the rice, and the other which you’ll use for the sauce.
  • Jalapeño: Remove the seeds and ribs from the jalapeño for less heat.
  • Yogurt: Using plain full-fat Greek yogurt lends extra richness and creaminess to the sauce. If making the recipe dairy free, use an avocado oil-based mayo instead, such as Chosen Foods brand. 
  • Black Beans: For a one-two punch of protein and fiber, black beans bulk up the base of the bowl.

A fork taking a bite out of a fish taco bowl

Step-by-Step Instructions

These bowls come together in roughly 1 hour. (However, many of the components can be made ahead!)

Step 1: Prepare Picked Cabbage

Place shredded cabbage in a large heat-proof bowl.

In a small saucepan, combine vingear, water, sugar, and salt; bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture over cabbage and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour.

  • Note: You can also refrigerate overnight, or up to 5 days ahead.

Step 2: Cook Cilantro-Lime Rice

Combine the rice, 1 1/2 cups water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender.

Uncover, fluff with a fork, then add the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and lime zest and juice; stir to combine. Cover to keep warm if not serving immediately.Cilantro-lime rice being cooked in a saucepan

Step 3: Blend Jalapeño Verde Sauce:

In a food processor or blender, combine all sauce ingredients; blend until smooth with speks of green. Empty into a bowl.Creamy Jalapeño Verde Sauce being blended in a food processor

Step 4: Season and Sauté Fish 

In a small bowl, combine chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt; mix to combine. Sprinkle spice mixture over fish, turning to coat both sides.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once the oil is shimmering, add fish fillets; cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden and flaky.

Transfer to a plate and use a fork to flake into pieces.

Taco-seasoned fish being sautéed in a skillet

Step 5: Assemble Fish Taco Bowls

Place beans in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until warm. Season with a pinch of salt and ground cumin.

Divide rice and black beans evenly between four bowls. Top with flaked fish and a generous spoonful of pickled cabbage.

Spoon Jalapeño Verde Sauce overtop, and top with garnishes of choice.

Make-Ahead and Storage Tips:

  • Make-Ahead: The pickled cabbage can be made up to 5 days ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container.
    • The Creamy Jalapeño Verde sauce can also be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight jar or container. 
  • Store: The fish, rice, and black beans should be stored separately from the cabbage and sauce. Place the former in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheat: Place the fish, rice, and black beans in a microwave-safe bowl, and nook in 30 second increments, stopping to stir each time, until warm. Top with pickled cabbage and sauce after being reheated.

Fish taco bowls with cilantro-lime rice and creamy verde sauce styled in a white bowl

More Healthy Fish Taco Recipes to Try:

Baja Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

Salmon Tacos with Avocado Crema

If you give this recipe a try, snap a pic and tag #dishingouthealth so I can see your beautiful creations. Also, follow along on Facebook and Pinterest for the latest recipe updates!

5 from 16 votes

Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro-Lime Rice

Fish taco bowls with cilantro-lime rice, quick-pickled cabbage, zesty black beans, and queso fresco. A weeknight-friendly meal that is infinitely riffable and sure to become a family favorite.
Prep Time: 30 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 servings

Equipment

  • Medium Saucepan with Lid
  • Food processor
  • Large skillet

Ingredients  

Quick-Pickled Cabbage

  • 1/2 medium head red cabbage, thinly sliced or shredded
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar (sub white vinegar or apple cider vinegar)
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tsp. granulated sugar
  • 1 tsp. kosher salt

Cilantro-Lime Rice

  • 1 cup dry long-grain white rice, such as jasmine or basmati
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/3 cup finely chopped fresh cilantro
  • Zest and juice of 1 lime

Creamy Jalapeño Verde Sauce

  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves and stems
  • 1/2 cup plain full-fat Greek yogurt
  • 2 Tbsp. fresh lime juice
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds and ribs removed
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp. ground cumin

Fish and Bowls

  • 1 lb. firm white-fleshed fish, such as cod or halibut
  • 1 tsp. chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp. smoked paprika
  • 1/2 tsp. ground cumin
  • 1/2 tsp. garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp. onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 (15-oz.) can black beans, rinsed and drained
  • Optional garnishes: queso fresco, fresh cilantro, toasted pumpkin seeds, sliced avocado
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Instructions 

  • Prepare Picked Cabbage:
    Place shredded cabbage in a large heat-proof bowl.
    In a small saucepan, combine vingear, water, sugar, and salt; bring mixture to a boil. Boil for 2 minutes, or until sugar dissolves. Pour mixture over cabbage and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour. (You can also refrigerate overnight, or up to 3 days ahead.)
  • Prepare Cilantro-Lime Rice
    Combine the rice, 1 1/2 cups water, and salt in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, cover, and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 20 minutes, or until the liquid is absorbed and rice is tender. Uncover, fluff with a fork, then add the olive oil, garlic, cilantro, and lime zest and juice; stir to combine. Cover to keep warm if not serving immediately.
  • Blend Jalapeno Verde Sauce:
    In a food processor or blender, combine all sauce ingredients; blend until smooth with speks of green. Empty into a bowl.
  • Prepare Fish:
    In a small bowl, combine chili powder, smoked paprika, cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt; mix to combine. Sprinkle spice mixture over fish, turning to coat both sides.
    Heat oil in a large skillet over medium-high. Once the oil is shimmering, add fish fillets; cook 3 to 4 minutes per side, until golden and flaky. Transfer to a plate and use a fork to flake into pieces.
  • Assemble Bowls:
    Place black beans in a microwave-safe bowl and cover with a damp paper towel. Microwave for 2 minutes, or until warm. Season with a pinch of salt and ground cumin.
    Divide Cilantro-Lime Rice and black beans evenly between four bowls. Top with flaked fish and a generous spoonful of pickled cabbage. Spoon Jalaopeno Verde Sauce overtop, and top with garnishes of choice.

Notes

  • Make-Ahead: The pickled cabbage can be made up to 5 days ahead. Refrigerate in an airtight container. The sauce can also be made 1 to 2 days in advance. Refrigerate in an airtight jar or container. 
  • Store: The fish, rice, and black beans should be stored separately from the cabbage and sauce. Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for up to 3 days. 
  • Reheat: Place the fish, rice, and black beans in a microwave-safe bowl, and nook in 30 second increments, stopping to stir each time, until warm. Top with pickled cabbage and sauce after being reheated.

Nutrition

Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 465kcal | Carbohydrates: 57g | Protein: 25g | Fat: 15g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1102mg | Fiber: 8g | Sugar: 4g

I calculate these values by hand to ensure accuracy, however expect up to a 10% variable depending on food brands.

If you love this recipe, please leave a star rating and review below!

 

 

 

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21 Comments

  1. Jenn says:

    5 stars
    Just made this for dinner and can’t wait to have it the next 2 days! It was fantastic!! Prepped cabbage and sauce ahead of time, and used tilapia, since that was all Trader Joe’s had. So much flavor! This will be a staple in my meal rotation for SURE!

  2. Kathleen M Harrington says:

    5 stars
    absolutely delicious!!

  3. Dani says:

    5 stars
    My husband and I absolutely love this! I mix the rice with cauliflower rice and add in some roasted corn. I’m totally hooked on the pickled red cabbage and put it on everything, so yummy!

  4. Carolyn says:

    5 stars
    Made this for dinner. Was fairly easy to make and incredibly tasty.