Meatless Monday Challenge

30-Minute Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

on February 6, 2024
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These fresh Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa are perfectly balanced between spicy, savory, and sweet. Only 9 ingredients and 30 minutes required!
Three fish tacos with mango salsa on a plate, with hand reaching in to grab one.

Looking for your new go-to Taco Tuesday recipe? These Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa are absolutely bursting with fresh flavor, balancing savory, spicy, and sweet perfectly.

Plus, this succulent fish taco recipe is simple, with just 9 ingredients and 30 minutes required. The use of taco seasoning to season both the fish and salsa is a welcomed shortcut, reducing both the amount of ingredients and time needed to make these successfully.

Close up of tortilla with blackened tilapia, spring mix, and fresh mango salsa.


As an environmental scientist, I try to eat seasonally as much as I can! It’s one of the easiest and most delicious ways to support local farmers and improve your carbon footprint.

Green tip: Seasonal and local foods have less associated transportation costs and fuel emissions. Check when mango is in season in your area with this Seasonal Food Guide.

Mango Salsa Fish Tacos Ingredients


Here’s everything you need:

  • White fish. Like tilapia (as pictured) or catfish. You can use fresh or frozen, just make sure to thaw the fish completely first. You can do so by transferring the fish from the freezer to the refrigerator at least 12 hours before or by adding the fish to a sealed storage bag and submerging it in cold water for about 45 minutes.
  • Taco seasoning.
  • Coconut oil. Or any other oil of choice like olive oil.
  • Mango.
  • Tomato.
  • Red onion.
  • Lime.
  • Greens of choice. Like lettuce, spring mix, arugula, spinach, etc.
  • Flour tortillas. You can also use corn tortillas if you prefer!
All ingredients needed for Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa including greens, tortillas, red onion lime, coconut oil, mango, fish, tomato, and taco seasoning.

What Fish is Best for Fish Tacos with Sustainable Seafood in Mind

As an environmental scientist who follows a pescatarian diet, I spend a lot of time researching how to most sustainably source seafood.

When choosing your fish for these mango salsa fish tacos, there are several factors to consider to ensure you are making a more eco-friendly choice.

When it comes to white fish options, I typically go for tilapia or catfish! Both tilapia and catfish reproduce rather quickly, making them relatively sustainable seafood choices.

Catfish is domestic, which gives it a leg up on tilapia. U.S. farmed catfish or blue catfish caught in the Chesapeake Bay are the most sustainable choices.

As for tilapia, look for fish from Colombia, Indonesia, Mexico, or Taiwan.

Green tip: When it comes to white fish, look for fish that is certified by the Aquaculture Stewardship Council, BAP Certified, or Naturland.

How to Make Fish Tacos in Under 30 Minutes


Make the Mango Salsa First

Since this 30-minute fish dinner recipe comes together so quickly, you want to make sure to make your mango salsa first. This allows the flavors the most time to mingle together.

Start by peeling and dicing about ¼ of a red onion, and cutting the tomato around the core and dicing it, too. As for the mango, I see a lot of people have success cutting their mango in a grid-like pattern, but I find that technique difficult and messy.

I typically use a vegetable peeler to peel the mango, then cut it around the core. Then, I just discard the pit and dice the fleshy pieces.

Once your fruit and veg is diced, add it all to a mixing bowl with the lime juice and about ½ teaspoon of the taco seasoning. Stir it all together and set it aside to marinate together.

The longer it sits, the more the flavors have a chance to meld together, so it’s great to make ahead of time if you want these sweet & spicy fish tacos to come together even more quickly!

Diced red onion, mango, and tomato on a chopping board.
Dice your red onion, mango, and tomato.
Squeezing lime juice over diced red onion, mango, and tomato to make a mango salsa for fish tacos.
Add it to a bowl with the lime juice and about ½ teaspoon of the taco seasoning.

Hot to Prep Your Fish for Frying

For the best texture on the fish, it’s best to pat dry the excess moisture with a paper towel (consider these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option!). This will help to avoid mushiness on your tilapia or catfish when you cook it.

Slice your three fish filets in half longways to make six thinner portions of fish. You will use one in each of your fish tacos.

After adding some taco seasoning to the mango salsa, place the remaining taco seasoning in a shallow bowl. One at a time, push the filets into the seasoning, coating it in a thin layer of seasoning on both sides.

Using a paper towel to pat dry tilapia to reduce excess moisture.
Pat the tilapia or catfish dry with a paper towel.
Coating tilapia fully on both sides with taco seasoning.
Coat the fish completely in taco seasoning.

How to Pan-Fry Fish for Tacos

Start by getting your oil hot in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes. You want the fish to sizzle as soon as you place it in the pan.

Fry just two or three filets at a time, careful not to overcrowd the pan. Fry the fish for about 4-5 minutes on each side over medium heat, using a spatula to flip.

The fish should reach an internal temperature of 145°F. The easiest way to tell your fish is ready is by using a kitchen thermometer to test the temperature on the thickest part of the fish, or the very center if it’s all about the same thickness.

Remove the fish from the pan and set aside until you have cooked all of the fish and are ready to assemble your mango fish tacos.

Frying tilapia coated in taco seasoning in hot coconut oil.
Get the oil hot in the pan first before adding the fish.
Flipping fish filets in frying pan to cook on both sides for tacos.
Fry the pan in the oil for about 4-5 minutes on each side.

Assemble and Serve Your Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

I really love using these little taco stands for easy assembly and serving!

Assemble your tacos with fish and mango salsa by laying out with tortillas and topping them first with the greens. Then lay the fish atop the greens (the greens will act as a barrier between the juicy fish to keep the tortillas from getting soggy).

Then, pile on your mango salsa and voila! Your fish tacos are ready to serve. They are totally filling and bursting with flavor, allowing them to stand as a meal entirely on their own.

Still, if you’re looking for things to serve them with, here are some of my favorites:

Three mango salsa fish tacos on a large white plate served with lime wedges.
Assemble your fish tacos by adding your greens to the tortilla first, then the fish, and finally the homemade mango salsa.

How to Properly Store Leftover Fish Tacos and Mango Salsa

It’s best to store each leftover taco element separately, and then reheat individually and re-assemble your tacos fresh. However, if you do have already-assembled tacos and don’t feel like disassembling them, you can store them in a sealed container in the fridge.

Leftover blackened fish will last in the refrigerator in an airtight container for 4-5 days. The best way to reheat the fish is in the oven, at 275°F on a baking sheet for about 10-15 minutes.

You can also reheat the whole taco this way, but will likely need a little extra time in the oven. Your leftover fish is safe to consume when the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

As for the mango salsa, it will last in an airtight container in the refrigerator for about 5 days. It’s delicious on its own with some tortilla chips.

Green tip: Did you know that of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes? Reduce your contribution to food waste by properly storing and enjoying your leftovers!

What Makes these Tilapia Tacos with Mango Salsa the Best?


  • The balance in flavor. Between the spicy and savory tender tilapia and sweet and fresh mango salsa, these fresh fish tacos hit every note.
  • They’re incredibly quick. The fish only need a maximum of 10 minutes of frying time, making the total cooking time just 20 minutes for all of the fish.
  • They’re simple. No unnecessary ingredients in this recipe! It uses the minimum amount of ingredients to give you the most flavor with the least amount of effort.

If you’re loving these 30-Minute Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa and want more fresh white fish recipes, check out this Panko-Crusted Cod and Pecan Crusted Halibut.

Three fish tacos with mango salsa on a plate, with hand reaching in to grab one.

30-Minute Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

5 from 2 votes
Marley Goldin
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These fresh Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa are perfectly balanced between spicy, savory, and sweet. Only 9 ingredients and 30 minutes required!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 tacos

Equipment

Ingredients
 
 

  • 1 large mango
  • 1 medium tomato (on the vine, slicing, or beefsteak)
  • ¼ large red onion
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice (1 lime = approx. 2 tbsp juice)
  • 3 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 1 pound tilapia or catfish (or 3 large filets)
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil of choice)
  • 6 medium flour tortillas (or corn tortillas)
  • ¼ cup greens of choice (like lettuce, arugula, spring mix, etc.)
Shop Ingredients on Jupiter

Instructions
 

  • Dice your mango, tomato, and red onion and add it to a mixing bowl with the lime juice and about ½ teaspoon of taco seasoning. Stir and set aside.
    Mango salsa with fresh mango, tomato, red onion, lime juice, and taco seasoning.
  • Slice all three fish filets in half longways so you are left with six pieces of fish. Use a paper towel to pat dry your fish to reduce excess moisture (try these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option!).
    Using a paper towel to blot fish dry to remove excess moisture.
  • Add the remaining taco seasoning to a shallow bowl and press the fish filets into the seasoning, so they are fully coated on both sides.
    Coating fish filet in taco seasoning.
  • Get the oil hot in a frying pan over medium heat for about 5 minutes before placing the seasoned fish in the hot oil. Fry no more than 3 pieces at a time, for 4-5 minutes on each side, until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.
    Frying fish coated with taco seasoning in coconut oil.
  • Assemble the tacos by adding the mixed greens to the tortilla, then the cooked fish, and finally the mango salsa. Enjoy hot!
    Three fish tacos with mango salsa on a plate, with hand reaching in to grab one.

Pro Tips

  • This recipe will probably work with most fish, but my two favorite tried-and-true successes are catfish and tilapia.
  • For more quick and easy fish dinners, check out this list of 30 Minute or Less Fish Recipes
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword 30 Minutes or Less, Fish Dinner, Fish Tacos, Mango Salsa, Pescatarian, Taco Salsa
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