Blackened Fish Tacos with a Quick Limey Cabbage Slaw

Possibly THE easiest blackened fish tacos with a quick lime-dressed cabbage slaw. Blissfully quick and so tasty – it almost feels like cheating.

I wasn’t going to share these.

They’re almost too easy.

If you’re following me over on Instagram, first of all – THANK YOU. It’s a battle over there these days with engagement at an all-time low. I feel like tapping the mic like, “Um – hello? Is this thing even on?”

Well, apparently these fish tacos turned up the volume from the number of messages I received after sharing them in stories!

These are unbelievably fast thanks to the quick-cooking protein that is fish, even if I did cheat a little and used a ready-made taco seasoning mix from Trader Joe’s. I picked some up on our last trip south of the border, and allow myself to lean on it fairly regularly as a quick seasoning for all sorts of proteins – my favourite being these fish tacos.

Since I don’t have easy access to a Trader Joe’s here in Canada and assume maybe some of you don’t either, I mixed up a blend that gets us close to the same result. You’ll notice the mix has sugar in it, and while I would normally omit it, it does help not only balance the bitterness of the powdered spices, but it will also assist in caramelizing the seasoning for the “blackened” effect on the fish.

I served these tacos with a wildly tart and bright salsa verde that was perfect with the bold seasoning on the fish. If making the salsa verde seems like too much work (it’s not though – I promise), this green Cholula hot sauce is the next best thing. And don’t forget the extra limes.

Blackened Fish Tacos with a Quick Limey Cabbage Slaw

The easiest blackened fish tacos with a quick lime-dressed cabbage slaw. Blissfully quick and so tasty – it almost feels like cheating!

Fish Tacos:

  • 1½ lbs white fish fillets, skinless ((cod, halibut, snapper))
  • 2+ tbsp blackening seasoning ((Trader Joe's Taco Seasoning Mix is a favourite, or see recipe below to make your own))
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 8 corn tortillas
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges

Limey Cabbage Slaw:

  • 2 cups thinly sliced cabbage
  • juice from 1 lime
  • 1 pinch coarse sea salt ((to taste))
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh cilantro

Blackening Seasoning (makes 7 tbsp):

  • 2 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp paprika
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1½ tsp cayenne pepper ((use less for a milder version))
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  1. If you don't have a ready-made blackening seasoning, mix up the blend listed above and set aside.

  2. Add the cabbage, lime juice, salt, and cilantro to a bowl and toss with your hands, massaging the cabbage slightly. Set aside until ready to serve.

  3. Preheat oven to 200ºF and set a large, oven-proof, non-stick skillet (preferably cast iron) over medium heat. Pat the fish dry with paper towel and set on a plate. Add the blackening season to the fish, pressing the spices gently into the fish until each piece is thoroughly coated. Add more seasoning if needed to ensure complete coverage.

  4. Add the olive oil to the skillet and once shimmering, add the fish and cook for 1-3 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fish. Thick halibut fillets took exactly 3 minutes. You're looking for a deep, slightly blackened colour on the fish and you may see the fillet start to flake. Carefully flip the fish and cook the other side for 1-2 minutes or until fish is cooked through and flaking beautifully. Remove from the heat and place in the oven to keep warm.

  5. Meanwhile, set a second large skillet over low heat and gently warm the tortillas. As each one is warmed, place inside a clean towel folded in half. This will help keep the tortillas warm for a few minutes while you heat the rest, or you can place them in the oven if needed.

  6. To serve, place some of the limey cabbage slaw on each tortilla, then top with pieces of the fish and a generous squeeze of lime. Finish with your favourite hot sauce, salsa, or thin slices of fresh jalapeño or serrano chilies, and any extra wedges of lime.


I hope these become a regular, weeknight-friendly meal in your home too. Don’t forget to tag me @myfamilyfoodlife #myfamilyfoodlife so I can see your creations too!



3 responses to “Blackened Fish Tacos with a Quick Limey Cabbage Slaw”

  1. These tacos are next level! The spice mixture is my new fav! I also love the idea of the combining the lime juice, cilantro, salt and cabbage together. What an easy fresh way to add crunchy flavour and all in one bowl. These tacos have big taste. Yum yum yum! So easy to make. Thanks Gayle. Everything I’ve ever tried from your blog has been amazing!


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