Healthy Recipes: Grilled Fish Tacos

Yield: 6 servings, 2 tacos each

Servings: 6

Prep Time: 30 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

To Make Ahead: Prepare coleslaw (Step 2) up to 4 hours ahead.

Recipe Description:

Instead of deep-frying the fish for these fish tacos, we coat the fish with a flavor-packed chile rub and grill it instead. Make sure the fillets are no more than 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick so they cook quickly. Sometimes flipping fish on the grill can be tricky since the fish can stick to the grill or fall apart. The solution is to invest in a grill basket that easily holds 4 to 6 fish fillets and secures the fish in the basket for easy flipping. If you don’t have a grilling basket, make sure the grill is hot and well oiled before adding the fish.

Recipe Ingredients:

Adobo-Rubbed Fish

  1. 4 teaspoons chili powder, preferably made with New Mexico or ancho chiles (see Note)
  2. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  3. 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  4. 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  5. 1 teaspoon onion powder
  6. 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  7. 1 teaspoon salt
  8. 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  9. 2 pounds mahi-mahi or Pacific halibut (see Note), 1/2-3/4 inch thick, skinned and cut into 4 portions


  1. 1/4 cup reduced-fat sour cream
  2. 1/4 cup low-fat mayonnaise
  3. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
  4. 1 teaspoon lime zest
  5. 2 tablespoons lime juice
  6. 1 teaspoon sugar
  7. 1/8 teaspoon salt
  8. Freshly ground pepper to taste
  9. 3 cups finely shredded red or green cabbage
  10. 12 corn tortillas, warmed (see Tip)

Recipe Steps:

  1. To prepare fish: Combine chili powder, lime juice, oil, cumin, onion powder, garlic power, salt and pepper in a small bowl. Rub adobo rub all over fish. Let stand 20 to 30 minutes for the fish to absorb the flavor.
  2. To prepare coleslaw: Combine sour cream, mayonnaise, cilantro, lime zest, lime juice, sugar, salt and pepper in a medium bowl; mix until smooth and creamy. Add cabbage and toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  3. Preheat grill to medium-high.
  4. Oil the grill rack (see Tip) or use a grilling basket. Grill the fish until it is cooked through and easily flakes with a fork, 3 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer the fish to a platter and separate into large chunks.
  5. Serve the tacos family-style by passing the fish, tortillas, coleslaw and taco garnishes separately.

Recipe Tips & Notes:

  1. Notes: Mahi-mahi (also called dorado) from the U.S. Atlantic and halibut from the Pacific are both sustainably fished and considered best choices for the environment. For more information, go to
  2. Mildly spicy dried chiles, such as ancho or New Mexico, add moderate heat and rich flavor to Mexican sauces like mole. Chili powder made from these chiles has more flavor than American-style blends. Look for whole dried chiles in the produce section of large supermarkets and New Mexico or ancho chili powder in the specialty-spice section of large supermarkets or online at
  3. Tips: To oil a grill rack, oil a folded paper towel, hold it with tongs and rub it over the rack. (Do not use cooking spray on a hot grill.)
  4. 2 ways to warm corn tortillas: 1. Microwave: Wrap stacks of up to 12 tortillas in barely damp paper towels; microwave on High for 30 to 45 seconds. Wrap tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm. 2. Oven: Wrap stacks of 6 tortillas in foil; place in a 375°F oven for 10 to 15 minutes. Wrap tortillas in a clean towel to keep warm.

Recipe Nutrition:

Per serving: 318 calories; 9 g fat (2 g sat, 5 g mono); 110 mg cholesterol; 29 g carbohydrate; 1 g added sugars; 31 g protein; 5 g fiber; 714 mg sodium; 829 mg potassium

Nutrition Bonus: Vitamin C (30% daily value), Potassium (24% dv), Magnesium (22% dv), Vitamin A (17% dv), Iron (16% dv).

1 1/2 Carbohydrate Servings

Exchanges: 2 starch, 4 lean meat, 1 1/2 fat