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+ servings
Two spice-rubbed tilapia fillets in corn tortillas topped with mango salsa

Tilapia Fish Tacos

Course: Main Course
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Tilapia recipe
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 25 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 195kcal
Cost: $8
Cook spice-rubbed tilapia fillets for fish tacos by separating the fillets into two portions for even cooking. The thicker belly portions will take 2 to 3 minutes a side. The thinner top portions will take just a minute on each side to cook. Place the perfect portion-sized pieces in a corn tortilla and top with either fish taco sauce or mango salsa.
Print Recipe


  • Skillet
  • Spatula
  • Knife
  • Cutting Board
  • Meat Thermometer


  • 454 grams Tilapia 4- 4 ounce fillets (each fillet makes 2 tacos)


  • 1 tbsp olive oil for frying tilapia in skillet

Spice Rub

  • 1 tbsp Chili powder
  • 1/2 tbsp Cumin
  • 1 tbsp Kosher Salt
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Black Pepper

Topping Option 1: Mango Salsa

  • 1 medium Mango You can also substitute pineapple to make it pineapple salsa.
  • 1/4 medium Red Pepper small dice
  • 1 small Shallot you can substitute green, red, or yellow onion
  • 1/4 cup Cilantro chopped
  • 1 small lime juice of 1 lime
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Topping Option 2: Chipotle Lime Fish Taco Sauce

  • 1/2 cup Mayonnaise You can substitute greek yogurt or sour cream
  • 2 tbsp Chipotle Sauce Chipotles in adobo sauce work as well
  • 1 tbsp Lime juice
  • 1 tbsp Fresh cilantro finely chopped

Additional Garnishments (optional)

  • Cabbage slaw or shredded cabbage Prepackaged coleslaw works great
  • Sour cream mix with lime juice to make a lime crema
  • Sriracha sauce
  • Avocado
  • Extra Fresh Cilantro
  • Flour tortillas If you're not a fan of corn tortillas
  • Sliced Jalapeno


  • Thaw the frozen tilapia fillets in a bowl of cold water. It should take them 20 minutes to thaw. Combine all of the ingredients for the mango salsa and set aside.
    A bowl of mango salsa
  • When the tilapia is thawed, place them on a plate with paper towels and thoroughly pat dry. Cut the tilapia fillets in half along the seam in the middle. Sprinkle the spice rub over fillets on both sides. Set a large skillet over medium heat on the stovetop and heat for 4 to 5 minutes.
    Tilapia fillets separated into belly portions and top portions on a cutting board with spice rub applied
  • When the skillet is hot, add a tablespoon of olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan and add the thicker belly portion tilapia fillets. Leave them alone for 2 minutes.
    Two tilapia belly pieces cooking in a skillet over medium-high heat
  • After 2 minutes, flip the tilapia pieces over and continue to cook for another 2 minutes. Check the tilapia's internal temperature with an instant-read thermometer, you're looking for an internal temperature above 140 degrees Fahrenheit. If the tilapia is not to temp, flip over and continue cooking till it is. Set tilapia pieces aside when done.
    Tilapia belly pieces flipped over in a pan over medium high heat
  • Add a little more oil to the pan and then add the thinner portions of tilapia fillets and cook for a minute on each side. Check the internal temperature and pull the fillets after they're above 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
    The thinner top portions of tilapia fillets cooking in a pan over medium heat on the first side
  • Place each portion in a warmed corn tortilla, or cut the tilapia into smaller pieces and top it with the mango salsa. Serve.
    Two tilapia tacos topped with mango salsa side by side on a cutting board


Calories: 195kcal | Carbohydrates: 13g | Protein: 24g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 57mg | Sodium: 1840mg | Potassium: 557mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 1474IU | Vitamin C: 34mg | Calcium: 44mg | Iron: 2mg