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tacos arranged on a flat white plate topped with pickled onions, black beans and arugula

Blackened Fish Tacos with Pickled Onions & Creamy Lime Sauce

  • Author: Lauren Grant
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Stove top
  • Cuisine: Mexican Inspired
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Blackened cod gets stuffed in a charred tortilla with (super) quick pickled red onions, a creamy lime sauce, black beans and arugula, these tacos are unique and delicious. The best part? They're ready in 30 minutes!



Pickled onions:

  • ½ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt, divided
  • ½ red onion, thinly sliced


  • 1 tablespoon paprika*
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano (I prefer Mexican oregano)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼½ teaspoon cayenne
  • 4 (4-ounce) cod fillets (halibut or mahi-mahi also work well)
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil


  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 lime, juiced and zested
  • ½ teaspoon paprika

To serve:

  • 48 (6-inch) tortillas (I like the super-thin corn tortillas)
  • 2 cups arugula
  • 1 cup canned black beans, drained and rinsed
  • Lime wedges
  • Cilantro


Bring vinegar, ½ cup water, honey, and 1 teaspoon salt to a boil in a small saucepan. Add onion to a medium bowl. Pour boiling vinegar mixture over onion mixture and let sit at least 15 minutes.

Combine 1 tablespoon paprika, cumin, oregano, remaining teaspoon salt, black pepper, and cayenne in a shallow bowl. Pat fish fillets dry then coat fillets in spice mixture on all sides; rubbing in as needed.

Heat a large cast-iron skillet or nonstick skillet set over medium for 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon of oil to skillet, swirl to coat, then add 2 fish fillets. Cook fillets just until starting to blacken, about 4 minutes. Flip the fillets and cook 3–4 minutes more until blackened on second side and a thermometer inserted in the thickest parts registers between 140ºF and 145ºF; transfer to a plate. Repeat cooking process with remaining oil and fillets.

Combine mayonnaise, yogurt, 1 tablespoon lime juice, 1 teaspoon lime zest, and ½ teaspoon paprika; season with salt and pepper to taste.

Using tongs, char tortillas over an open flame on the stove top, turning frequently to char all over.

Serve blackened fish in charred tortillas with arugula, black beans, pickled onions and sauce. Finish with a squeeze of lime and fresh cilantro.


* use a combo of sweet paprika and smoked paprika if you want the tacos to be extra smoky!

MAKE DAIRY-FREE: skip the yogurt in the sauce and use ½ cup mayonnaise.

TIMING: cook time largely depends on how thick your fillets are. My fillets were 3/4-inch to 1-inch thick. If you have thinner fillets, drop the cooking time down by a minute or more. 


  • Serving Size: 2 tacos
  • Calories: 337
  • Sugar: 2g
  • Sodium: 487mg
  • Fat: 11g
  • Saturated Fat: 1g
  • Carbohydrates: 31g
  • Fiber: 2g
  • Protein: 26g
  • Cholesterol: 44mg

Keywords: blackened fish tacos, blackened cod, blackened fish, fish tacos

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