Cornmeal-crusted and baked to perfection, these crispy fish tacos satisfy a craving for crunchy fish tacos with all the flavor – no deep-frying needed!
Crispy fish tacos are the best fish tacos! These crunchy, baked fish tacos are the perfect weeknight meal!
To make this recipe, here’s what you’ll need:
Spices (salt, garlic & onion powders, paprika, cayenne, black pepper)
Greek yogurt or sour cream
Tricks for crispy oven-fried fish?
The keys to crispy oven fried fish is all in the breading and how you place the fish on the pan.
Only use as much egg or liquid as needed to get the breading to stick. A heavier than necessary coat of breading can weigh the fish down and may not get crisp by the time the fish is done.
Use a larger pan than you think you’ll need. Leaving plenty of space on the pan allows the heat to circulate around the fish for a crisp finish versus steaming which results in a soggy finish.
Use a rack if you have it. I usually cook my oven-fried fish using parchment, but if you have an oven-safe rack to fit over a sheet pan, place the fish on top of this for even better heat circulation.
You can also hop over to my air fryer fried fish which would be perfect in this recipe too!
The crunch you get from cornmeal is hard to beat. It works especially well in this baked version.
Best fish for tacos
Cod is a firm fish that lets the other flavors shine. It’s also affordable. My favorite at the moment is the wild-caught Alaskan cod from Target’s Simply Balanced line.
You can also use flounder for fried fish tacos. Salmon also works well but I usually skip the breading and toss with a flavorful salsa as in my Glazed Salmon and Grapefruit Avocado Salsa Tacos!
Sauce for fish tacos
I added a bit more protein to this recipe by swapping plain Greek yogurt for sour cream in the honey-lime cilantro slaw. Plenty of lime juice, garlic, and fresh cilantro help pump up the flavor. For a lighter, more traditional cream sauce, keep the sour cream option.
The shredded cabbage and cilantro with just a touch of honey make for the perfect topping in these. I buy bagged coleslaw mix to keep chopping at a minimum but feel free to shred your own.
I used white corn tortillas since I don’t personally like flour ones. But nowadays there are tortillas made from all kinds of flours from chickpeas to almond flour and coconut flour. I haven’t had a chance to try them all yet and tend to default to the corn tortillas at Trader Joe’s.
Before you head out, please tell me where on earth you’ve had the best fish tacos. I will be adding it to my list!
And be sure to check out the recipe and these other healthy taco recipe ideas below.
Healthier Taco Recipes
Crispy Fish Tacos with Honey-Lime Cilantro Slaw
Crispy Cod Tacos
- 1 pound cod, cut into 1 inch strips
- ¾ cup whole cornmeal
- 1 t garlic powder
- 1 t onion powder
- 1 t paprika powder
- ¼ t cayenne pepper
- ½ t ground black pepper
- ½ t coarse salt
- 1 large egg
- ¼ cup water
Honey-Lime Cilantro Slaw
- 4 cups shredded cabbage
- ¼ cup plain Greek yogurt (at least 2%)
- 1 lime, juiced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 2 T honey
- ¼ t ground black pepper
- ¼ t onion powder
- ¼ cup fresh cilantro leaves (plus more for garnish)
- salt to taste
- Fish Tacos: Preheat oven to 425°F. Lightly spray a sheet pan with oil or cooking spray. Set aside.
- In a shallow pan, stir the cornmeal and spices with a fork until blended. In a small bowl, whisk water and egg together. Pat the fish dry. Dip fish strips in the egg wash then the cornmeal mix. Press firmly to get it to stick. Add the fish strips to the prepared pan. Lightly mist the fish with cooking spray. Bake 10 minutes. While the fish bakes, make the slaw.
- Honey Lime Cilantro Slaw: Add all ingredients except cabbage to a blender. Puree until smooth. Add salt to taste. In a medium bowl, toss the sauce and cabbage. Heat the tortillas in a dry skillet or get a slight char (as I have) by carefully heating them over an open flame using tongs.
Assemble the tacos
- Add 1-2 fish strips to each tortilla. Top with the slaw, more lime juice, and sprinkle with fresh chopped cilantro.
Best fried fish tacos in Atlanta
Don’t get me wrong. I love grilled fish tacos and gourmet ones with special sauces and such. But, there’s something about a fried fish taco that lets me keep one hand in South Carolina while the other explores my love for Mexican food.
These Crispy Cod Tacos with Honey-Lime Cilantro Slaw do both!
Say. No. More.
If you know me at all, you know that one of my favorite things in the entire world is a good fried fish taco. When I get a hankering for one, I head to a local spot, Taqueria del Sol. They coat pieces of fish in corn masa and deep fry it. The hot fish is cradled in a soft corn tortilla with pickled jalapeno peppers and a poblano tartar sauce.
Now, these aren’t those, but they are deliciously crunchy and flavorful – which can be hard to get in a non-deep fried fish taco.Make these Crispy Cod Tacos + Honey Lime Cilantro Slaw for #TacoTuesday!
Being from the south, when it came time to make this recipe, I knew I’d have to go with a cornmeal breading. I grew up eating fried fish almost every Friday. If my grandpa didn’t catch and fry it at home, we’d get it from the only fishmonger (and seafood restaurant) in town. They always used cornmeal for frying and the fish was usually whole.