Spicy Halibut Fish Tacos Recipe with Homemade Pickled Veggies

Tacos are always a good idea, and once you try this spicy halibut tacos recipe, it will be in your weekly meal rotation. Homemade pickled veggies, avocado dressing and red cabbage slaw make these homemade spicy fish tacos better than the restaurant.

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spicy fish tacos recipe

Why You’ll Love These Grilled Spicy Halibut Fish Tacos

This recipe was inspired by our favorite local Mexican restaurant. And after a few attempts I have finally nailed the perfect spicy fish taco.

The magic of this delicious street style tacos are its accessories. The addition of cabbage slaw, avocado-cilantro sauce, and my very own pickled veggies are the perfect side dishes for tacos. Serve the slaw on the fish taco or on the side, and definitely take the time to make the pickled veggies

Make this recipe a perfect taco tuesday at home and pair with my favorite skinny margarita.

spicy fish tacos

Ingredients for the Fish Tacos

  • 4 fresh halibut fish fillets ( or you can use any white flaky fish you like; sole, cod or tilapia would all work well)
  • smoked paprika
  • garlic powder
  • onion powder
  • cumin
  • cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper
  • canola oil
  • corn tortillas

Red Cabbage Slaw Items

  • red cabbage
  • onion
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime

Avocado Cilantro Sauce Ingredients

  • plain yogurt
  • avocados
  • juice of one lime
  • fresh cilantro
  • jalapeno

Pickled Veggies Items

  • white vinegar
  • water
  • sugar
  • sea salt (any salt that’s not iodized will work)
  • carrots
  • radishes
  • red onion
  • garlic
  • dried oregano, preferably Mexican
  • fresh jalapeño
  • cumin

What To Serve With Spicy Halibut Fish Tacos

mexican pickled veggies to serve with fish tacos

Start by preparing the pickled veggies. They make a great side dish for fish tacos. Ideally, you would prepare the pickled veggies the night before, but this easy side dish for tacos works well as a last minute addition.

To pickle the vegetables, add sliced carrots, cilantro, jalapeno slices, sliced radish and onion to a mason jar. Fill jar with vinegar, sugar and spices and allow to marinate in the refrigerator as long as possible.

Next, prepare your other side dish for tacos, the red cabbage slaw. Slice your red cabbage into long slivers, as well s the onion. Then add chopped cilantro salt, pepper and juice of lime. Stir gently and set aside.

how to make homemade spicy fish taco recipe

Lastly, prepare your avocado cilantro dressing. Toss all of the listed ingredients into a food processor, blender or Vitamix. If the mixture is too thick, add more lime juice or water. Taste while preparing to see if more salt is needed.

How to Grill Halibut for Tacos

how to make spicy fish tacos at home

To start, dry your fish fillets with a paper towel and then season your fish liberally with cumin, salt, pepper, smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder and cayenne pepper. Brush liberally with olive oil.

Heat the oil in a grilling pan over medium-high heat. Next, add the halibut fillet and cook 4-5 minutes on each side or until the outside of the fish is blacked and fish flakes apart easily.

Remove your fish from the grill, and gently break it into smaller pieces with a fork.

How to Serve Spicy Grilled Halibut Tacos with Red Cabbage Slaw

Carefully warm your tortillas by placing them directly on the burner, on medium-high heat. Turn over after one minute. The corn tortillas should be slightly charred. Tip: Place them in a tortilla warmer so they stay soft.

To assemble your taco, I prefer to place the avocado-cilantro sauce on the bottom, top with fish and then cabbage slaw.

Serve in a taco holder with pickled veggies, leftover cabbage slaw or my healthy street style corn salad.

spicy fish tacos

Halibut Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw and Cilantro Avocado Dressing

grilled halibut fish tacos are served with cabbage slaw and cilantro avocado dressing for an easy and delicious taco tuesday creation at home.
Course Main Course, Side Dish
Servings 2


Halibut Tacos

  • 4 halibut fillets ( you can use any white flaky fish you like; sole, cod, or tilapia)
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 tbsp canola oil
  • 6 corn tortillas

Red Cabbage Slaw

  • 1 cup red cabbage, julienned
  • 1/2 white onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Avocado-Cilantro Sauce

  • 1 tbsp plain yogurt
  • 2 ripe avocados, diced
  • 1/4 cup fresh lime juice
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • salt and pepper to taste


Pickling Your Vegetables to Serve with Tacos

  • Start with pickling your veggies. I prefer carrots and radishes, but you can’t go wrong by pickling anything you like.
  • Place your vegetables ( all but the jalapenos ) of choice  in a pot and add water. Bring to a boil over high heat. Let the vegetables cook for about 5 minutes. Then take the pot off the stove.
  • Strain and add the vegetables, jalapenos, oregano, garlic, vinegar, bay leaves and salt to a mason jar.
  • Let cool, and then place in the refrigerator in a tightly sealed.

Red Cabbage Slaw

  • Combine thinly sliced red cabbage, onion, cilantro, salt, and pepper.
  • Add olive oil and lime juice.
  • Toss together and set aside.

Avocado Cilantro Dressing 

  • Toss all the listed ingredients into a food processor, blender or vitamix.
  • If the mixture is too thick, add more lime juice or water. Taste while preparing to see if more salt is needed.

Prepare the Halibut

  • Add smoked paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, cayenne pepper and salt and pepper together to make a rub.
  • Gently pat your filet dry and rub the mixture onto both sides.
  • Heat your grilling skillet and add oil
  • Once oil is warmed, add your fish and cook 4-5 minutes on each side.

Warm up the Tortillas

  • Place tortilla on the burner of your stove, or wrap in a wet paper towel and place in a microwave for under a minute. Once tortilla is warmed assemble the taco.
  • Add avocado cilantro dressing, top with fish and finish with red cabbage slaw.
  • Serve with a side of marinated veggies, favorite hot sauce and extra limes.

Best Sides for Fish Tacos

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