Craving tacos without the carbs? These easy White Fish Taco Bowls burst with vibrant flavors – buttery white fish, crisp taco slaw, and a creamy, spicy sauce. Ready in a flash, mouthwatering in flavor, and healthy too, give taco night an upgrade with this fish bowl recipe.
Featured comment: Love these taco bowls! Fish tacos are my favorite, so this easy bowl type recipe was definitely speaking to me. Will be making again!” – Emma
Update: This post was originally published in September 2018. I made updates to the post below to include more information about this recipe for fish taco bowls. I also added step-by-step photos so you can see exactly how easy it is to make the best white fish bowl right in your very own kitchen!
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About this fish taco bowls recipe
These healthy fish bowls are full of bold, bodacious flavor! This recipe features perfectly spiced, tender, flakey, bite-size pieces of white fish and tart, crunchy, refreshing Mexican slaw. Finished with a generous drizzle of creamy, smooth chili crema sauce, these fish bowls are ultra flavorful and seriously satisfying!
Plus, these fiery taco bowls are also light, healthy and nutritious – they’re packed with protein, fresh vegetables and healthy nutrients! Basically, these bowls are a taco you can actually feel good about eating!!
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Super flavorful: These fish taco bowls are bursting with robust and fresh flavors! From the lightly crispy white fish to the tangy slaw and ultra-creamy sauce, these tacos have got it going on!
- Easy to find ingredients: These deconstructed taco bowls use your favorite with fish along with easy-to-find fresh produce and pantry seasonings!
- SO simple to make: This recipe is as simple as 1-2-3 and so easy to prepare! All you need to do is throw together some slaw, mix the sauce and cook the fish before layering everything together in your favorite serving bowl!
- Fast recipe: These white fish taco bowl can be ready in 30 minutes (or less if you prepare the slaw and sauce in advance)!
- Make ahead: You can easily make the Mexican cabbage slaw and sauce in advance! In fact, making those two components ahead of time allow all the flavors to marry and meld, so I actually recommend making it ahead! When you are ready to serve, all that’s left to do is cook up the fish and serve!
- Healthy: Each fish taco cabbage bowl is hearty, yet healthy and rich with protein, fiber and healthy fats!
- Customizable: You can totally customize this fish taco recipe to you and your family’s specific tastes!
- Crowd pleaser: Everyone loves this healthy, low-carb fish tacos recipe – even my picky (fish-hating) husband!
Ingredients for fish taco bowls
Give your family the nutritional boost they deserve with this hearty and flavorful fish taco bowls recipe. Here’s everything you need:
- White fish – My go-to is cod fish for these bowls, but you can use any mild-flavored white fish fillets.
- Substitution: Halibut, mahi mahi and haddock are also great options! If you don’t enjoy white fish, salmon can be used although I recommend leaving the rub off and either grill or broil the fish instead of pan-searing it as salmon is naturally stronger in flavor.
- Flour mixture – I dust the fish all over with a mixture of flour, smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, cayenne pepper, and salt.
- Oil – Use a neutral oil to pan sear the fish in. Canola oil or grapeseed works best.
- Slaw – Use either green or purple cabbage (or a combination) for this slaw. The slaw is coated in a mixture of chopped cilantro leaves, thinly sliced red onion, minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, and granulated sugar.
- Substitution: Use a bagged coleslaw mix if you’d prefer to reduce recipe preparation.
- Chili crema – Combine sour cream or Greek yogurt, lime juice, chopped red fresno chilies, garlic, and chili powder.
- Substitution: Add half and half for a thinner consistency.
- Add-ins (optional) – Consider including other ingredients, such as cooked cauliflower rice, cooked quinoa, avocado, pepitas, crumbled Cotija, sliced jalapenos, and cherry tomatoes.
- Toppings (optional) – Toppings could include fresh microgreens, fresh Herbs (cilantro, green onion) , tortilla strips & lime wedges!
- Fish: Use any type of mild white fish. If you’re adverse to white fish, use salmon (grilled or broiled) without the rub, otherwise the flavor of the salmon will be overpowering.
- Rub: Adjust the spices for the level of intensity you desire. Increasing or decreasing the cayenne pepper is an easy way to make this spicy fish taco dish milder or spicier.
- Slaw: A bagged coleslaw mix is an easy way to reduce recipe preparation.
- Rice: You can see I use cauliflower rice here, but broccoli rice, bulgar wheat, white rice, or quinoa adds bulk to your white fish bowl.
- Beans: If you’re looking for more sustenance and protein, consider adding cooked beans, such as black beans, pinto beans, or even refried beans.
- Salsas: If you love salsa on fish tacos, well then, you’d love ’em here too. My favorites here include traditional pico de gallo and chile corn salsa, but spicy mango salsa and green chile salsa work great too.
- Chili Crema: The consistency of the chili crema can easily be adjusted by adding in half and half, one tablespoon at a time. This will help produce a thinner consistency. You can also increase or decrease the chili powder for the level of spicy heat desired.
- Toppings: You can garnish your taco fish bowl with whatever Mexican flare you love. Think: avocados, pepitas, crumbled Cotija cheese, pickled red onions, pickled jalapenos, cherry tomatoes, herbs (cilantro, green onion), tortilla strips, and so on.
- Taco bowl shells or tortillas: If you want to add some carbs to this meal, consider serving the fish taco bowl ingredients in hard taco bowl shells or in heated flour tortillas.
How to make this fish taco bowls recipe
These low carb fish tacos are pretty straightforward to prepare. Here’s how:
Make the taco slaw: In a large mixing bowl, combine cabbage, cilantro, and onions. Pour the dressing over the slaw and toss to combine before setting aside in the refrigerator.
Make the spicy crema sauce: Add all the ingredients for the creamy sauce to the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Taste and adjust for seasoning before setting aside in the fridge
Prepare the fish: Combine the flour, taco spices, and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Dust the pieces of white fish all over with flour mixture. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Once the oil is shimmering, add the fish to the pan and cook, for 2-3 minutes on each side or until fish is cooked through. (Please note, depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to cook fish is batches as to not over-crowd the pan). Transfer fish to a plate and season with salt and pepper.
Assemble the fish taco bowls: Add the taco slaw to serving bowls and top with the crispy white fish and desired add-ins, like avocado and cherry tomatoes. Then, drizzle the fish bowls with the spicy sauce, garnish as desired, and enjoy!
Tips for the best white fish tacos bowls
- Fish: While I used cod in these taco bowls, you can use any type of fresh, mild white fish you prefer. Halibut, mahi mahi or haddock are delicious option for fish tacos as well! Also, if you don’t like white fish, you can substitute salmon instead. Since salmon is a stronger flavored fish, I would omit rubbing the salmon with seasonings, and opt to grill or broil the fish instead.
- Slaw: When making cabbage slaw for these keto fish tacos, you can use a fresh head of cabbage (purple or green!) or opt for a bagged coleslaw mix to cut down on the prep time!
- Rice: To a make keto-friendly, low carb fish taco bowl, make sure you use cauliflower rice! If you prefer a fish burrito bowl, use white rice! Regardless of the carb you select, I recommend seasoning your rice with cilantro and lime zest for a boost of flavor!
- Sauce: You can use full-fat or low-fat sour cream to make the chili crema! Or, substitute Greek yogurt for boost of nutritional goodness!
FAQs: frequently asked questions
What are fish tacos made of?
This fish taco bowl consists of pan-seared white fish, seasoned and colorful slaw, and a spicy chili cream. The hero of this recipe is the fish, but after that, it can easily be adapted to include different types of grains, salad ingredients, and your favorite dressing!
What kind of fish is best for this fish taco bowl recipe?
Honestly, you can *almost* use any type of fish you love in these low carb fish tacos.
White fish with a mild flavor is the best option for fish tacos in my opinion since the fish won’t overpower the rest of the ingredients. This includes white fish, such as cod, halibut, mahi mahi, and sea bass.
You could also use other stronger-flavored fish, such as salmon or tuna, but then I recommend grilling or broiling the fish and not adding the seasoned rub. The smoky char of the grill will offset the stronger flavor of the fish.
Where to buy taco bowl shells?
Taco bowl shells can easily be found in your local grocery store in the food aisle which stocks international cuisine products.
What do you put on a fish taco?
The toppings for fish tacos and fish taco bowls are pretty limitless! While this easy white fish taco bowl pairs spicy white fish with a mild slaw and a smoky chili crema sauce, don’t feel obligated to stop there!
- Cooked Grains: cauliflower rice (as seen in the photos!), quinoa, white or brown rice
- Avocado or Guacamole
- Salsa or Pico de Gallo
- Pickled Red Onions
- Cherry Tomatoes or Grape Tomatoes
- Crumbled or Shredded Cheese (I typically use Cotija cheese)
- Fresh Herbs: cilantro and green onions
- Jalapeño Coins
- Tortilla chips
- Refrigerator dill pickles (don’t knock it till you try it with your taco!)
Are fish tacos in a bowl healthy?
Traditional fish tacos provide a balanced meal consisting of lean protein, vegetables or salad, and dressing or sauce. This delicious filling is piled into a tortilla for an easy hand-held meal. Whether a fish taco meets your dietary and caloric goals will vary from person to person, but ultimately the ingredients are fresh and nutritious.
Serving fish taco in a bowl
These crisp, tender fish tacos pair well with all your Tex-Mex and Mexican favorites! Below are some of my favorite topping ideas for taco bowls:
- Sliced Jalapeños
- Flavored Salsas: Pico Salsa, Verde, Chili Salsa with Corn, Mango Cucumber Salsa, Cucumber Pomegranate Salsa
- Pickled Veggies
- Cotija Cheese
- Diced Avocado or Guacamole
- Lemon or Lime Wedges
What sauce do you put on low-carb fish tacos?
I like to dress up my deconstructed fish tacos with a homemade spicy Mexican crema; however, you can use any Mexican sauce, such as hot sauce or tomato salsa, on your taco bowls!
What are the best side dishes for taco bowls?
These fish taco bowls are hearty enough to serve as a stand-alone family dinner. However, I typically pair my crisp fish tacos with the following tropical dishes and Mexican recipes:
- Chips and Dip: Restaurant Con Queso or Cheesy Jalapeno Dip with tortilla chips.
- Coleslaw: Mexican Coleslaw or Sweet Jalapeno Coleslaw
- Salads: Mango Salad or Tomato Avocado Corn Salad
- Beans: Cold Mexican Bean Salads or Charro Pinto Beans
More recipes for tacos!
If you’re serving picky eaters, consider serving a few different varieties of tacos. Here’s a few ideas to inspire:
- Taco Hummus
- Pork Tacos with Carnitas
- Tacos with Beans
- Baja Shredded Chicken Tacos
- Shrimp Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
- Buffalo Chicken Tacos
- Thai Chicken Tacos
- Honey Mustard Chicken Tacos
Storing fish rice bowls
How to store and how long does it keep?
- Store leftover cod fish bowl mixture in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 1-2 days.
- Make the chili crema and slaw a day in advance and store them in separate airtight containers in the fridge.
Can you freeze this tacos bowl?
I don’t recommend freezing leftover fish taco bowls as certain ingredients, such as the crunchy slaw, will become mushy from freezing and thawing. The dressing could also split.
There’s no need to reheat this dish since many of the ingredients are fresh salad ingredients. You can reheat leftover white fish in a preheated oven at 275 F for 10-15 minutes, covered with foil to prevent the fish from drying out. The reheated fish can then be added to freshly assembled salad or leftover slaw with dressing.
More low carb fish recipes!
If you love this fish taco recipe, try one of these delicious seafood recipes next!
- Spicy Tuna (A must for any fresh fish or sushi lover!)
- Fish Ceviche (A reader favorite and for good reason!!)
- Salmon with Salsa (A delicious quick and easy weeknight dinner recipe!)
How to make the best low carb fish taco bowls!👇
Fish Taco Bowl
- 2 Large Mixing Bowl (for making the cabbage slaw and coating fish pieces)
- 1 Food Processor (for making sauce)
- 1 large skillet (for cooking fish)
Crispy White Fish
- 1 pound White Fish – cleaned, patted dry and cut into larger bite sized pieces (SEE NOTES)
- ¼ Cup Flour
- 1 tsp EACH: Smoked Paprika, Cumin, Chili Powder
- ¼ tsp Cayenne Pepper - or more to taste (increase to ½ tsp if you like it spicy)
- To Taste Kosher Salt & Fresh Ground Pepper
- 2 TBS Neutral Oil (Canola or Grapeseed)
- ¾ Cup Sour Cream or Greek Yogurt (SEE NOTES)
- 2 tsp Lime Juice
- 2 Red Fresno Chilies – stemmed, seeded and roughly chopped
- 1 clove Garlic – smashed and peeled
- ¾ tsp Chili Powder - or more to taste
- To Taste Cooked Cauliflower Rice, White Rice, or Quinoa
- Optional Additions and Toppings: Avocado, Pepitas, Crumbled Cotija, Sliced Jalapenos, Cherry Tomatoes, Microgreens, Fresh Herbs (cilantro, green onion) Tortilla Strips & Lime Wedges
- Make the Taco Slaw: Combine cabbage, cilantro and onions in a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together garlic, vinegar, sugar, ½ teaspoon kosher salt and pinch of pepper. Poor over the cabbage mixture and stir to combine. Cover and refrigerate until ready to use.
- Make the Spicy Crema Sauce: Place all ingredients in the bowl of a food processor along with ¼ teaspoon kosher salt. Process until smooth. If a thinner crema is desired, stream in half and half, one tablespoon at a time, until desired consistency is reached. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use. (Store any leftover sauce in a covered container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days)
- Coat Fish and Cook Fish: Combine the flour, spices and 1 teaspoon salt in a large bowl. Dust the fish all over with flour mixture. Heat oil in large skillet over medium-high heat. Add fish to pan and cook, for 2-3 minutes on each side (turning once), or until fish is cooked through. NOTE: Depending on the size of your skillet, you may need to cook fish is batches as to not over-crowd the pan). Transfer fish to a plate and season with salt and pepper.
- Assemble the Fish Taco Bowls: Add the slaw to a serving bowl, or individual bowls and top with fish and desired add-ins or toppings. Drizzle with crema and enjoy!
- White Fish: I typically use Cod in these taco bowls; however, you can use any type of fresh, mild white fish you prefer. Halibut, mahi mahi and haddock are delicious options!
- Substitution: If you aren't a fan of white fish, you can use salmon instead! However, salmon is a stronger flavored fish, therefore I would omit the rub and opt to grill or broil the fish instead of pan-sear.
- Slaw: While the slaw recipe as written calls for purple or green cabbage, you can absolutely use a bagged coleslaw mix if you want to cut the prep time down.
- Sour Cream: Full-fat sour cream will give the most luscious mouthfeel; however, light sour cream and Greek yogurt work great too!!
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