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Blackened Fish Tacos with Charred Avocado

These Blackened Fish Tacos are seasoned with a homemade Cajun rub consisting of bold spices like paprika and cayenne pepper. These tacos are served with corn tortillas, California avocados, and fresh vegetables.

Blackened Fish Tacos on a plate with fresh avocado and cabbage

This post is sponsored by the California Avocado Commission but all opinions are my own.

This post contains affiliate links. Please read my full disclosure here. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

What Type of Fish to Use

Fish tacos are typically made with white fish. I prefer to use cod. You can use halibut, tilapia, snapper, flounder, or even salmon.

sliced, raw cod fish and blackened seasoning

What Type of Avocado to Use

Fresh avocados are important! That’s what I love about California Avocados. California Avocados are grown right here in the U.S. They are earnestly cared for by California farmers and picked at their peak, the best time!

Since they are grown close to home, California Avocados go from tree to table in just a few days. I’m so excited spring is here! That means these avocados are in season and are perfect to add to meals.

To ensure you’re enjoying locally grown California Avocados, be sure to check for California on the label from spring through summer this year!

raw cod fish on a plate

How to Pick out an Avocado

Choose ripe and firm, but not overripe avocados for this dish. Avocados are delicate. You can check to see if the fruit is ripe by giving it a quick light squeeze in the palm of your hand, but you shouldn’t press too firmly. Doing so can bruise the green interior you will ultimately eat.

While you’re in the store, you can test pressing down lightly on the top of the avocado near the stem. If it gives easily and retains its shape, the avocado is ready to eat. If your finger leaves a dent, the avocado is likely overripe and could be brown inside. Ripe and ready-to-eat fruit will be firm but will yield to gentle pressure.

Once purchased, I store my avocados in the fridge. This will keep them fresh longer.

Blackened Seasoning and Spices

This recipe uses my Homemade Blackened Seasoning Recipe. Blackening is a cooking technique, it’s usually associated with Cajun cuisine. Fish or meat are dipped in butter, dredged in spices, and then seared in a hot cast iron or stainless-steel pan. This leaves a crust that will appear burnt, on the fish or meat that is loaded with flavor.

You will need these spices.

raw cod on a plate with blackened seasoning

What Type of Pan to Use

You will need a pan that gets hot and one that is great for searing. A cast-iron or stainless-steel pan will work best. A non-stick pan will not give you the crispy crust that you are looking for in this recipe.

How to Make Blackened Fish Tacos

Detailed serving sizes and instructions can be found in the recipe card below.

  1. Dry the fish completely and allow the fish to come to room temperature for 15 minutes.
  2. Drizzle melted butter onto both sides of the fish.
  3. Season the fish.
  4. Cook the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side on medium-high heat until the fish is cooked through. It will turn opaque at the center. 
  5. Serve on tortillas and with toppings.
blacked cod fish in a cast iron skillet

How to Char Avocado

  1. Drizzle the avocado with lemon juice and then rub with olive oil.
  2. Heat a grill or grill pan on medium-high heat. Add the avocado and sear each side for 2 minutes.

How Long to Cook the Fish

I typically opt for 2-3 minutes on each side. The cook time will depend on the temperature of your pan and the size of your fillets. The color of the fish will become lighter as it cooks.

The fish will easily flake with a fork when it has finished cooking.

Blackened Fish Tacos on a plate with fresh avocado and cabbage

How to Sear the Fish and Prevent it From Being Overcooked

  • Dry the fish thoroughly before coating it in butter or oil. Wet fish is more likely to stick to the pan.
  • Avoid using fish cold and straight from the fridge. I like to pull the fish from the fridge and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
  • The pan will need to get really hot. Cast iron usually smokes. This is normal. You can use a fan over the stove or open up a window as well.
  • Don’t move the fish after you have placed it down on the skillet. It’s more likely to crumble, break, and not turn out pretty! Allow it to cook and get ready for flipping.
  • Use a timer while cooking the fish if you are easily distracted. It will only need to cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Blackened Fish Tacos on a plate with fresh avocado and cabbage

Can You Bake or Air Fry the Fish?

You can, but you won’t get the same blackened crust, which is what the dish is known for.

To bake:

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Rub the fish in butter and spices.
  3. Cover with parchment paper. Bake for 10 minutes.
  4. Remove the parchment paper and bake for 3-5 minutes.

To air fry:

  1. Rub the fish in butter and spices.
  2. Air fry for 10-12 minutes on 360 degrees.
Blackened Fish Tacos on a plate with fresh avocado and cabbage

Toppings and Substitution Ideas

  • Ripe, Fresh California Avocados
  • Red Cabbage
  • Tomatoes
  • Red Onions
  • Salsa
  • Pico de Gallo
  • Salsa Verde

Is the Fish Spicy?

Cajun seasoning is the spiciest when compared to blackened and Creole seasoning. Blackened seasoning falls in the middle of the two. It isn’t as spicy and it’s less salty than Creole Seasoning.

If you find cayenne pepper spicy, you can omit it.

Side Dishes to Pair with the Tacos

Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice
Bacon Ranch Pasta Salad
Southern Macaroni Salad
Southern Potato Salad
Roasted Ranch Potatoes

More Fish Recipes

Blackened Salmon
Pan-Seared Salmon
Air Fryer Salmon
Air Fryer Fish Sticks
Air Fryer Fish Sandwich
Maple Glazed Salmon

Blackened Fish Tacos on a plate with fresh avocado and cabbage
Blackened Fish Tacos on a plate with fresh avocado and cabbage
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4.67 from 3 votes

Blackened Fish Tacos

These Blackened Fish Tacos are seasoned with a homemade Cajun rub comprised of bold spices like paprika and cayenne pepper. These tacos are served with corn tortillas, avocado, and fresh vegetables.
Save this recipe here.
Course dinner, lunch
Cuisine American, southern
Keyword blackened fish tacos, Cajun fish tacos, fish tacos
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 8 tacos
Calories 175kcal

Ingredients

Charred Avocado

  • 1 ripe Fresh California Avocado Peeled.
  • fresh lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil

Tortillas and Toppings

  • 8 corn tortillas (You can use any tortilla you wish.)
  • 1/4 cup chopped red cabbage
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped red onions
  • 2-3 tablespoons chopped tomatoes

Instructions

Fish Tacos

  • Dry the fish completely and allow the fish to come to room temperature for 15 minutes.
  • Drizzle 1 tablespoon of melted butter onto both sides of the fish.
  • Combine the spices in a bowl and sprinkle the spices over the fish. Be sure to season the sides of the fish.
  • Heat a cast iron or stainless-steel skillet on medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of butter.
  • When the butter has melted, add the fish to the pan. Do not overcrowd the pan. The fish shouldn't touch. Cook the fish in batches if needed.
  • Cook the fish for 2-3 minutes on each side until the fish is cooked through. It will turn opaque at the center. The fish will easily flake with a fork when it has finished cooking.
  • Remove the fish and set aside to cool.

Charred Avocado

  • Drizzle the avocado with the lemon juice and then rub with the olive oil.
  • Heat a grill or grill pan on medium-high heat. Add the avocado and sear each side for 2 minutes.
  • Remove the avocados from the grill or pan.
  • Heat and warm the tortillas in accordance with instructions on the packaging. You can also char the tortillas on the grill or in the skillet.
  • Assemble the tacos.

Video

Notes

  • You can use halibut, tilapia, snapper, flounder, or even salmon.
  • You can warm the tortillas however you want. You can pan sear, heat them in the oven, on the grill etc. Warm until soft.
  • Instead of making your own blackened seasoning, you can use 1 1/2 tablespoons of a store-bought blend.
  • Dry the fish thoroughly before coating it in butter or oil. Wet fish is more likely to stick to the pan.
  • Avoid using fish cold and straight from the fridge. I like to pull the fish from the fridge and allow it to rest for 15 minutes.
  • The pan will need to get really hot. Cast iron usually smokes. This is normal. You can use a fan over the stove or open up a window as well.
  • Don’t move the fish after you have placed it down on the skillet. It’s more likely to crumble, break, and not turn out pretty! Allow it to cook and get ready for flipping.
  • Use a timer while cooking the fish if you are easily distracted. It will only need to cook for 2-3 minutes on each side.
Recipe Tools Used in this RecipeAs an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition (displayed with net carbs)

Serving: 1taco | Calories: 175kcal | Carbohydrates: 11g | Protein: 17g | Fat: 7g
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Recipe Rating




Caitlin Kerrigan

Friday 7th of May 2021

Hi Brandy! Just tried this recipe with your blackened spice blend on Tilapia. Turned out so good and was easy to follow. Thank you so much for your work!

staysnatched

Sunday 9th of May 2021

You're welcome! Glad you enjoyed them.

Simone Dumas

Wednesday 5th of May 2021

Loved these tacos. I need to get better at flipping the fish over because I broke some, but the flavor was all there! I put guac on mine and that's all it needed.

staysnatched

Sunday 9th of May 2021

A fish spatula works great.

Jaye

Tuesday 4th of May 2021

Made this tonight to test out the recipe before making a larger batch of fish tacos tomorrow for Cinco de Mayo. This recipe comes together quick in a cast iron skillet and it is really, really good. The seasonings are what truly makes the blackened fish delicious. I never thought of grilling avocado, but it makes the dish unique and gives it a great flavor. Will def make more to serve tomorrow for our Cinco de Mayo party/ fiesta!

staysnatched

Sunday 9th of May 2021

Wonderful! Glad you enjoyed the recipe.