These Blackened Snapper Tacos with Creamy Cilantro Lime Sauce are so tasty and perfect for your next taco Tuesday. They only require a few simple steps and are ready to serve in 20 minutes.
Top Tips for The Best Snapper Tacos
Authentic Fish tacos take 20 minutes to make and they're so good!!
- Wild-caught fish is harvested from the natural environment of the fish and is a healthier option than farmed fish.
- Make the cilantro key lime cream sauce in advance and chill until ready to use.
- Prep your chopped veggies before the fish so when the fish is cooked, you can easily pull together the tacos.
- Homemade blackened seasoning is very easy to make. You can also use Paul Prudhomme's Blackened Redfish Magic at your fish market.
- Try grain-free tortillas instead of corn or wheat for a healthier taco shell. I use Maria and Ricardo's almond flour tortillas for this recipe. They are non-GMO.
Fish for Fish Tacos
Great fish tacos start with high-quality fish.
In the Florida Keys, we are fortunate to have so many varieties of snapper such as red snapper, yellowtail, lane snapper, mutton snapper, and mango snapper.
You can also make great tacos with locally caught mahi mahi, grouper, and hogfish.
Use the freshest fish you can get. Red snapper is available in most markets in the U.S.
What You Need
Ingredients for Blackened Seasoning
- sweet paprika
- garlic powder
- onion powder
- ground oregano
- ground thyme
- cayenne pepper
- kosher salt
- black pepper
For The Fish
- Thin white fish fillets, such as yellowtail snapper (shown here), cut into 2-inch pieces
- salt and pepper
- fresh cilantro
- olive oil
- shredded red or green cabbage
- jalapeno peppers
- sour cream
For the Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce
This is an easy sauce to pull together. If you're pressed for time, just top the tacos with a spoonful of sour cream, a pinch of chopped cilantro, and a squeeze of fresh lime juice.
In a blender or mixing bowl, combine sour cream, cilantro, the juice of two limes, jalapeno, and salt to taste. Blend until smooth and creamy, adjusting the consistency with additional lime juice or salt as needed.
Place in a covered container and refrigerate until needed.
How to Make Yellowtail Snapper Tacos
I cook my fish in a 12-inch frying pan or cast-iron skillet. You can also grill the fish until it is cooked through and flakes easily with a fork.
Slice and dice the veggies. Place them all in individual bowls or a platter so that when the fish is cooked, taco assembly will be easy.
Cut the fish into 2-inch pieces. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the fish with about a tablespoon and a half of the blackened seasoning. (Reserve the rest for another dish.)
Heat a tablespoon of oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat.
Add the fish to the pan. Cook for 2 minutes without moving; flip the fish and cook until the fish flakes easily with a fork, about another 2 minutes. Remove from heat.
Heat your tortillas in a separate dry skillet.
Assembling the tacos
- Spread a spoonful of cilantro lime cream sauce on each tortilla.
- Place a portion of blackened fish on top of the sauce.
- Top with cabbage, onions, sliced jalapenos, or your favorite toppings.
- Squeeze fresh lime juice over the tacos.
Toppings for Tacos
Typically, tacos are topped with lettuce, tomato, and onions. Here is a list of my favorite taco toppings:
- Thinly sliced cabbage
- Chopped red onions
- Chopped cilantro
- Diced tomato
- Sliced radishes
- Fresh lime juice
- Homemade guacamole
- Homemade Pico de Gallo
Fish Taco Variations
You can also make great tacos with fried or oven-roasted fish. Here are some recipes that would also make great flavorful fish tacos:
- Extra crunchy fried fish: Pan Fried Yellowtail Snapper with Panko Breadcrumbs
- Gluten-Free pan-fried fish: Pan Fried Yellowtail Snapper.
- For oven-roasted or baked snapper: Roasted Yellowtail with Old Bay.
What To Serve With Blackened Fish
Serve the following sides with blackened fish tacos:
- Authentic Spanish Rice
- Mexican Black Bean Salad
- Roasted Vegetables
- Dirty Rice
- Mango & Chili Lime Salt
- Mango Pico de Gallo
- Refried Beans
- Cole Slaw
The Bottom Line
Take your Taco Tuesday to the next level with these easy blackened fish tacos.
Make homemade blackened seasoning, a fish taco rub with a little kick, that brings the flavor of Cajun cooking to your kitchen!
Cilantro Lime Sauce is my version of taco sauce. The fresh flavors of cilantro and lime juice mixed with sour cream make a refreshing and creamy taco topping.
Seared in a large skillet, flaky white snapper fillets are cooked for 5 minutes.
Top your tacos with fresh veggies such as crunchy cabbage, diced onions, sliced jalapenos, and extra cilantro. You can also use tomatoes, radishes, guacamole, salsa, and pico de Gallo.
Serve the hot snapper tacos immediately with lime wedges and extra cilantro lime sauce on the side.
The freshest fish you can get is always the best for fish tacos. Look for thin, white fish fillets such as yellowtail, mutton snapper, lane snapper, hogfish, mahimahi, and grouper in Florida markets. Elsewhere, you can find trout, salmon, and char.
You should have 3 to 5 fillets in a pound of yellowtail. It depends on the size of the fish.
Blackened fish is made using a combination of dried spices. One of the spices is cayenne pepper, which brings the heat to the spice rub. You can easily add more or less cayenne to control the heat of the mixture.
Easy Blackened Snapper Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce
FOR THE CILANTRO LIME SAUCE
- ⅔ cup sour cream
- ¼ cup chopped cilantro
- 1 tablespoon chopped jalapeno
- 2 tablespoons lime juice
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic
FOR THE BLACKENED SEASONING
- 1 tablespoon sweet paprika
- 1 ½ teaspoons garlic powder
- 1 teaspoons onion powder
- ½ teaspoon ground oregano
- ½ teaspoon thyme
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper use more for extra heat
- 2 teaspoons kosher salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
FOR THE TACOS
- 1 pound skinless, boneless snapper fillets,
- 3 limes
- 2 cups shredded cabbage, (about ½ head of cabbage)
- 1 red or white onion, thinly sliced
- 1 bunch cilantro, rinsed well to remove sand
- 1 sliced jalapeno pepper
- 6 tortillas
FOR THE CILANTRO CREAM SAUCE
- Combine sour cream, cilantro, lime juice, and salt in a small bowl or food processor. Add more lime juice and salt as needed. Chill until ready to serve.
FOR THE FISH
- In a mason jar with a lid, shake together the blackened seasoning ingredients. Measure out 1-½ tablespoons of the spice blend per pound of fish. Reserve the extra in the covered jar for another use.
- Cut fish into 2-inch pieces. Pat dry with paper towels. Season the fish with blackneed seasoning.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of oil over medium-high heat in a large skillet until hot, but not smoking. Add the fish and cook for 2 minutes. Flip the fish and squeeze half a lime over it.
- Cook for another minute or two until the fish is white and flakes easily with a fork. Then, remove it to a plate.
TO PLATE THE TACOS
- Heat the tortillas in a dry hot skillet (medium-high) for 15 to 30 seconds each.
- For each taco, spread a little Lime Cilantro Cream Sauce on each. Top with fish, cabbage, onions, jalapeno peppers, and cilantro. Add additional sauce on top of each taco, and finish with a squeeze of fresh lime juice.