Blackened Fish Tacos with Pineapple and Cucumber Slaw

I really really love fish tacos, or really any kind of taco for that matter.  The pineapple cucumber slaw was such a refreshing topping for these and the avocado crema finished it off perfectly!


Serves: 4

  • 2 lbs tilapia fillets 
  • 8 corn tortillas (I used the smaller 6 inch tortillas)
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 tbsp butter


  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 3 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tbsp reduced sodium soy sauce or tamari
  • 1 1/2 tbsp spice rub (see below)

*Spice Rub* 

  • 1 tbsp ancho chili powder
  • 1 tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp oregano
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper

*Pineapple Cucumber Slaw*

  • 1 cup pineapple, diced
  • 1 cup shredded red cabbage
  • 1 cup cucumber, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup red onion, diced
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

*Avocado Crema*

  • 1/2 large avocado or 1 small avocado
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • juice of 1 lime
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp pepitas
  • 1 tbsp Greek yogurt


Mix the ingredients for the Spice Rub in a small dish.  Stir and remove 1 1/2 tbsp of the rub and pour it into a large freezer bag.  Add all of the ingredients for the Marinade, shake around to make sure it's mixed well and then add your fish fillets.  Let fish marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes.  

Combine all of your ingredients for the Pineapple Cucumber Slaw in a medium bowl.  Stir, cover and refrigerate until ready to eat.  You can do this a few hours ahead of time. 

Add all of the ingredients for the Avocado Crema in a blender and blend until smooth.  Make sure to scrape down the sides of the blender.  Put Crema in a small bowl, cover and refrigerate until ready to use.  This can also be done a few hours ahead of time.

After 30 minutes, remove fish from marinade and pat dry.  Mix the rest of the Spice Rub with 1 tbsp olive oil and rub evenly over fish.  

Heat a large cast iron or other heavy bottomed skillet over medium-high head.  Add 1 tbsp butter. Add fish fillets and cook for 3 minutes on each side.  You can leave fillets whole or chop them up with a spatula while they cook.  Remove fish from the skillet.   

Lay out your tortillas and evenly distribute fish, cheese, slaw and crema.  Enjoy!


Recipe inspired by Carlsbad Cravings