Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw


Fish tacos made with white fish fillets or shrimp, topped with a fresh and fruity, spicy pineapple slaw are great for a quick and easy dinner or casual dinner party or barbecue.

Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple SlawI’ll eat almost anything if it’s wrapped inside a tortilla. My Southwestern upbringing is responsible, I guess, but what else is simpler to make than a taco or a burrito? And what is more versatile? You can fill ’em with any combination of ingredients you have on hand – and I frequently do for a fast dinner. Maybe I need to do a whole taco series here on Cooking Ripe!

The Hubs shares my affinity for tacos and he adores fish tacos – which is awesome because they’re easy to make and they’re actually healthy! Winning!

The fun part of this fish taco recipe is making the slaw topping, which is also works as a simple and light side dish if you prefer. Combining the sweet pineapple with the cabbage and some fiery spices creates a super festive flavor combo and a nice crispy fresh topping for the fish. This week it was also a great way for me to use up the fresh pineapple and cabbage I recently received from my Bountiful Baskets order.

Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple SlawI have used different varieties of white fish for this recipe, including mahi-mahi, cod and tilapia and I’m sure halibut would be lovely as well. Use whatever you have on hand or whatever is on sale. I also love this as a shrimp taco, but the Hubs has that weird aversion to shrimp touching anything else, so I don’t get to use shrimp very often.Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw

While I made these on the stove-top because it’s still too cold to grill out, these fish tacos would make a great spring or summer BBQ dish, too. It’s easy to throw the slaw together ahead of time, then just cook the fish when you’re ready to serve the guests and you’ll have an easy party meal. As always, do your thing with the ingredients – all measurements are close approximations and vary each time I throw it together.

Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw

Serves 6-8 tacos
Prep time 20 minutes
Cook time 10 minutes
Total time 30 minutes
Meal type Appetizer, Condiment, Lunch, Main Dish, Side Dish
Misc Child Friendly, Serve Hot
Occasion Barbecue, Casual Party
Region Mexican
Fish tacos made with white fish fillets or shrimp, topped with a fresh and fruity, spicy pineapple slaw are great for a quick and easy dinner or casual dinner party or barbecue.


  • 4 white fish filets (I used tilapia. Mahi-mahi, cod or halibut - or a lb of shrimp are also good choices)
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder, divided
  • 1 tablespoon coriander
  • 1 tablespoon ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 1-2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon chipotle in adobo sauce (use more or less to taste - it's very spicy)
  • 1/2 head cabbage, finely shredded
  • 3/4 cups pineapple, diced (fresh is best, but canned can be subbed (drain well))
  • 1 avocado, diced
  • 1/2 cup cucumber, diced (seeded, if you prefer)
  • 4-5 green onions (thinly sliced, both green and white sections)
  • 3/4 cups salsa
  • 1 bunch cilantro, finely chopped
  • 1 tablespoon red pepper flakes (use more or less to taste)
  • 1 lime (sliced in half)
  • 1 lemon (sliced in half)
  • 12 corn tortillas (we prefer the white corn tortillas)
  • cooking spray


Fish marinade
Step 1 Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Combine the oil, 2 tablespoons chili powder, coriander, cumin, paprika, garlic powder, chipotle in adobo in shallow dish. Place the fish fillets in the dish and spoon the marinade over them until they are coated in the sauce. Squeeze half the lime juice over the fillets. Place dish in fridge and let sit about 20 minutes.
Spicy pineapple slaw
Step 2 Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Combine cabbage, remaining chili powder, pineapple, avocado, cucumber, green onions, salsa, cilantro, and red pepper flakes in a medium bowl. Gentle stir to combine completely. Squeeze remaining lime and 1/2 lemon over mixture and stir. Store in fridge until ready to eat.
Step 3 Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Add oil to very lightly cover bottom of pan. Carefully add fillets to the pan. Cook 3-4 minutes per side (longer if you're using a thicker piece of fish) turning only once. The thickest part of the fish should be fairly firm when pressed. It will also be solid white rather than translucent or pinkish in the middle.
Step 4 Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Steam the tortillas by spraying both sides lightly with cooking spray, then wrapping 6 tortillas at a time in a very lightly damp kitchen towel and microwaving for 1.5 minutes.
Step 5 Fish Tacos with Spicy Pineapple Slaw
Break up the fish fillets into smaller pieces with a fork, then fill tortilla shells with fish and top with slaw. Squeeze a little lemon juice over the top before serving.


This recipe is very free-form and I change it up each time I make it. You can spice it up as much as you like by playing around with variations of peppers - add some green chiles, or some jalapeno or even more of the chipotle in adobo if you're brave!

I have also used mango instead of pineapple and we like is just as much. I think it would be fun to grill the pineapple before adding to the slaw, too, because the grilling brings out the sweetness.

Garnish with tomatoes, hot sauce, cheese or sour cream to suit your tastes and pour a margarita and you'll be set!

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