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Blackened Cod Fish Tacos with Creamy Lime Sauce

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Yield 4 servings
Category Main Dish
Cuisine Mexican Inspired
Author Lauren Grant


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 Mexican oregano (marjoram or regular dried oregano also work)
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • ¼ –½ 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:

  • 4 –8 (6-inch) corn or flour 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.
    spices in a shallow white dish
  • Pat fish fillets dry then coat fillets in spice mixture on all sides; rubbing in as needed.
    fish fillets coated in an orange spice blend
  • 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.
    blackened fish fillets on a small white 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.
    yogurt, lime zest and cayenne pepper in a glass bowl
  • 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: 2 tacosCalories: 337kcalCarbohydrates: 31gProtein: 26gFat: 11gSaturated Fat: 1gCholesterol: 44mgSodium: 487mgFiber: 2gSugar: 2g
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