Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Slaw

two fish taco bowls with cilantro lime slaw and jar of sauce with spoon

Holy delicious!

These Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Slaw started out as a new, updated take on these wayyyy old Fish Taco Bowls (plus a little bit of inspiration from these Shrimp Tacos and their delicious slaw) but they ended up as so much more.

Like, new favorite meal. Dinner every night. February 2016 food obsession.

You know those times when cooking is just HARD? Lately – like, since two seconds ago when I returned from an epic girls’ weekend trip – cooking has been hard. Not hard like it’s difficult – more hard like I’d rather eat a bowl of Fruity Cheerios with Almond Breeze coconut almond milk (I know, I’m a child, but the combination is srsly mind blowing) or order sushi or just generally be a couch-and-Netflix bum than go through the work of planning recipes, grocery shopping and cooking the food.

I mean, what it really comes down to is the eating. I just want to do the eating part. You know, the part where I load my plate up with light and crispy fish, quinoa, cilantro lime slaw, and avocados and just GO. WILD.

fish taco bowls with cilantro lime slaw on a plate with a fork
quinoa for fish taco bowls
slaw for fish taco bowls and a fork

This recipe is just a simple, updated, re-fresh-ed take on these old Spicy Fish Taco Bowls that I posted 800 years ago. It’s the first dish I made after I got home for our trip, and now I have a new problem: can’t stop won’t stop. This is a “bowl” aka plate aka combination platter that is full of nutrition, color, and flavor. Because we don’t take anything less, right, team? POWER to the BOWL.

We have many good ol’ friends in the lineup:

  • quinoa
  • cilantro lime slaw
  • cod or other white fish, dredged in a spicy flour mixture and pan-fried to light, crispy, flaky goodness
  • pepitas
  • avocado slices
  • lime wedges


First: I like to use cod for fish tacos because it’s a white fish that’s a little firmer and won’t completely fall apart on you, and also because it seems to be easier to find cod that is either wild caught or sustainably raised. I found some frozen cod at our local mainstream grocery store that was wild caught in Iceland. Seems legit, right? Icelandic cod. It’s just too picture perfect.

Secondly: If you are comfortable frying things, you should make these Crispy Fish Tacos with Jalapeño Sauce (which are actually TACO tacos and they are DELICIOUS but could also be converted into bowl form if that’s more your style).

fish taco bowl on a plate with a fork

Thirdly: I am happy for you that you’re going to eat this soon.  That is all.

Fish taco bowls with slaw.

Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Slaw


Spicy Fish Taco Bowls with cilantro lime slaw – crispy, fresh, and SO yummy! quinoa, slaw, avocado, and crispy fish!


For the Slaw:

  • ¼ cup oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ½ cup chopped green onions
  • ½ cup cilantro leaves
  • 12 cloves garlic
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • juice of 2 limes
  • ½ cup sour cream, Greek yogurt, or mayo
  • 34 cups shredded purple and green cabbage

For the Fish Taco Bowls:

  • 1 cup quinoa
  • 1 lb. cod or other white fish
  • 1/2 cup flour
  • 2 teaspoons EACH cumin and chili powder
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper (this is what makes it spicy so adjust to taste)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon EACH butter and olive oil
  • avocado, pepitas, cotija cheese, lime wedges, or other extras for serving


  1. SLAW: Pulse the slaw ingredients (in order, starting with oil and ending with lime juice) until chopped/chunky. Add the sour cream and pulse again until just combined (you don’t want it totally smooth green – just like an herb-loaded creamy sauce). Toss the sauce with the cabbage. Let it sit in the fridge while you prep the other ingredients.
  2. QUINOA: Prepare the quinoa according to package directions.
  3. FISH: Pat the cod dry with paper towels and cut into bite-sized pieces. Combine the flour, spices, and salt in a shallow dish. Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. Dredge each piece of fish in the flour and add to the hot pan, frying for a few minutes on each side. When the fish is golden brown, remove from pan and sprinkle with the salt.
  4. SERVING: Plate each dish with a scoop of quinoa, a few pieces of fish, a scoop of cilantro lime slaw, and avocado or any other extra toppings you like. Serve with lime wedges and additional salt as needed.


You will probably have extra sauce – I just saved that for future slaw and/or to drizzle of the bowls. Nutrition is based off 4 servings using half the sauce amount and half the flour mixture for the fish, since you will still have some left in the bowl when you’re done.

  • Prep Time: 20 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Fry
  • Cuisine: Mexican-Inspired

Keywords: fish taco bowls, fried fish, fish tacos, fish taco slaw, bowl recipe

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