Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe

Easy blackened fish tacos made with fresh cilantro, purple cabbage, tomato, cotija cheese, lime juice, avocado, and chipotle mayonnaise.

Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe

We eat blackened fish tacos at least once a month. They never get old. I like them better than traditional beef or chicken tacos at this point. I hate to brag about my own recipes (obviously I’m biased), but I think this may be my favorite recipe on this blog. Fish tacos are AWESOME. In my opinion, the key is the chipotle mayonnaise topping. It adds a nice spicy, creamy kick.

What Type of Fish Is Best for Fish Tacos?

For blackened fish tacos I usually use cod or haddock or light/flakey white fish. It’s very easy to cook and light in flavor, essentially taking on the flavor of the spices and toppings. You could also substitute with mahi-mahi or any other white fish you prefer. Swordfish? Salmon? Yep, tried them all with good results.

How to Blacken Fish

Blackening is a Cajun-style technique involving heavily seasoning meat with a blend of spicy, smokey spices and pan searing or grilling. It renders the fish much darker due to the rub of spices. Not to be confused with burning or charring. If your fish is actually black, you’ve gone too far.

Rub the fish filets heavily with blackening mix and fresh lime juice…and I mean heavily—the more seasoning, the more flavor. Some blackening mix can be a little spicy so be sure to taste a little before using.

I usually sear the blackened fish in a cast iron skillet and serve in the skillet to keep warm. Cast iron gives you the grill-like seared finish. Assemble fish tacos with avocado, cilantro, cabbage, tomatoes, chipotle mayonnaise, and fresh lime. So simple, yet abstrusely incredible and fresh.

Blackening Seasoning

There are a handful of pre-made blackening spices out there, Old Bay being one of my favorites. You can also make your own with a combo of paprika, onion powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper, dried thyme, oregano, and cayenne pepper. Basically it’s a simple way to add a lot of spice and flavor to any kind of meat.

Try to find small white corn tortillas. They are better for you than your traditional white tortilla and in my opinion, taste so much better with fish.

Cotija Cheese

Cotija cheese is a relativity mild crumbly cheese that’s sold in block form. It’s a really common cheese used in a lot of Mexican recipes. You’ll sometimes see cotija sprinkled on refried beans, tacos, or Mexican street corn. It’s amazing on fish tacos so I highly recommend for a creamy touch.

I use the medium-sized holes on my grater for small crumbly bits that you can easily sprinkle—almost like magic cheese dust.

Grated cotija cheese

More Tacos

Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe
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Blackened Fish Tacos Recipe

  • Author: Shawn Williams
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 10 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 2 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Cuisine: Cajun


Easy blackened fish tacos made with fresh cilantro, purple cabbage, tomato, cotija cheese, lime juice, avocado, and chipotle mayonnaise.


  • 2 mahi mahi, cod, or haddock filets (about 1 pound)
  • 23 tablespoons blackening seasoning such as Old Bay
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil for cooking
  • 1 package 5-6 inch corn tortillas
  • Fresh lime juice, for fish


  • Chipotle mayonnaise
  • 1 bag shredded purple cabbage or freshly shredded with a grater
  • 1 tomato, chopped
  • 23 tablespoons cilantro, chopped
  • 1 avocado, sliced
  • 1 lime cut into wedges
  • Grated cotija cheese

Blackening seasoning

  • 1 1/2 tablespoons paprika
  • 1 tablespoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon onion powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground dried thyme
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil


  1. Prepare all your taco toppings and set aside.
  2. If making your own blackening seasoning, combine all ingredients in a small bowl and mix. Note: you will not use all of it, you can save for later in a sealed container.
  3. Pat the fish dry with a paper towel and squeeze half a lime coating both sides of the fillets evenly. Rub both sides of the fish with blackening mix making sure the filets are generously seasoned.
  4. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat in a skillet. Sear the fish until white and flaky and golden brown, about 5 minutes per side.
  5. Break apart the fish using the tip of your spatula into bite-sized chunks and serve on the skillet to keep warm.
  6. Warm the tortillas for 10-15 seconds in the microwave and assemble your blackened tacos with your desired toppings. Chopped tomato, sliced avocado, shredded cabbage, cilantro, and chipotle mayo. Serve with a lime wedge.


  • Serving Size: About 3 tacos
  • Calories: 558
  • Sugar: 2.8g
  • Sodium: 212mg
  • Fat: 29.2g
  • Saturated Fat: 5.5g
  • Carbohydrates: 20g
  • Fiber: 8.7g
  • Protein: 55.6g
  • Cholesterol: 124mg

Keywords: blackened fish tacos