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Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos with Pineapple Cucumber Slaw

Mind blowing Blackened Tilapia Fish Tacos exploding with flavor from a quick fish marinade and the most flavorful spice rub! They are topped with complementary refreshing sweet and tangy Pineapple Cucumber Slaw and addictive silky Avocado Crema are the BEST light, flavorful and filling Fish Tacos that rival any restaurant!  
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 6 minutes
Total Time 26 minutes
Servings 4 servings


  • 1.5 pounds tilapia (I use 4 5 oz. fillets)
  • 6-8 6-inch corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2 cup Mexican cheese blend, more or less
  • 2 tablespoon olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon butter


Spice Rub

  • 1 TBS EACH ancho chili powder, brown sugar
  • 1 tsp EACH smoked paprika, ground cumin, garlic pwdr, onion pwdr, salt
  • 1/2 tsp EACH dried oregano, pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (optional)

Pineapple Cucumber Slaw

  • 2 cups chopped fresh pineapple
  • 2 cups thinly sliced red cabbage
  • 1 medium cucumber, peeled and chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped red onion
  • 1/2 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • salt and pepper to taste

Avocado Crema

  • 1 medium avocado
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder


  • Marinade: Mix together all of the Spice Rub ingredients in a medium bowl. Remove 1 1/2 tablespoons Spice Rub and add this to a large freezer bag along with all of the Marinade ingredients. Whisk together then add fish. Marinate at room temperature for 30 minutes. You will use remaining spices later.
  • Avocado Crema: Meanwhile, make the Avocado Crema by adding all the Crema ingredients to your blender and blending until smooth, scraping sides down as needed. Refrigerate in an airtight container until ready to serve.
  • Pineapple Cucumber Slaw: Add all of the Pineapple Cucumber Slaw ingredients to a large bowl. Toss to combine. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • Spice Rub: After 30-60 minutes (no more), remove fish from marinade and pat dry. Mix remaining Spice Rub together with 1 tablespoon olive oil in a small bowl. Rub evenly over fish and let sit for 15 minutes at room temperature.
  • Cook: In a large cast iron skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over medium high heat. Once very hot, add 1 tablespoon butter. As soon as it melts add fillets and cook approximately 3 minutes per side, or until nicely blackened.
  • Assemble: Remove fish from skillet and break into large pieces. Evenly divide fish among tortillas then top with cheese, Pineapple Cucumber Slaw and Avocado Crema. Garnish with additional lime and hot sauce if desired.


Total prep time does not include marinating.