Meatless Monday Challenge

Blackened Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Baja Sauce

on March 28, 2024
last updated June 24, 2024
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These Mahi-Mahi Tacos bring bold fresh flavor from blackened fish, a quick 2-ingredient slaw, and a homemade sweet and spicy Baja sauce.
Plate of Mahi-mahi tacos with a spoonful of Baja sauce.

If you’re looking for a recipe for fresh and tasty fish tacos, look no further! These Mahi-mahi tacos with Baja sauce brings the perfect balance of sweet and spicy, with flaky fish encased in a crispy outer layer.

The blackened mahi-mahi boasts the perfect texture and is complimented by the creamy homemade Baja sauce. Plus, you’ll whip up a super-simple 2 ingredient red cabbage slaw with the Baja sauce to give you extra freshness, color, and crunch.

This fish taco recipe with mahi-mahi is paired back to enhance the goodness of each ingredient and leaving room to make this your own with optional additional toppings.

Saucy fish tacos made red cabbage slaw.

Mahi-Mahi Tacos Ingredients


Here’s what you need for the tacos:

  • Mahi-mahi. You can use fresh or frozen mahi-mahi, just make sure to thaw the fish completely before starting to make this recipe. You can do so by transferring it from the freezer to the refrigerator at least 12 hours before or adding it to a sealed storage bag and submerging it in lukewarm water for about 45 minutes.
  • Red cabbage.
  • Coconut oil.
  • Taco seasoning.
ingredients for mahi-mahi tacos, including mahi-mahi, taco seasoning, tortillas, red cabbage, and coconut oil

Here’s everything you need for the homemade taco sauce:

  • Red bell pepper.
  • Jalapeno.
  • Pineapple chunks.
  • Greek yogurt.
  • Lime juice.
  • Taco seasoning.
ingredients for Baja sauce for Mahi Mahi tacos including, jalapeno, pineapple chunks, lime juice, taco seasoning, Greek yogurt, red bell pepper

Sustainable Seafood

Mahi-Mahi is generally considered a sustainable fish to eat as it is fast-growing and has a short life cycle. They are generally caught from marine fisheries (not fish farms) utilizing longlines which means little to no bycatch!

Green tip: The most sustainable way to eat Mahi-Mahi is to look for U.S. Atlantic Mahi-Mahi.

Fish Tacos with Mahi-Mahi Tips and Tricks


Make Your Sweet and Spicy Baja Sauce First

Start by prepping your red bell and jalapeno peppers. Discard the stem, pith (the white part inside), and seeds.

Drain your canned pineapple. You can save the juice. I love using it to make this Love Potion Cocktail! We will only need the chunks for this recipe.

Quick note: I chose to use a whole pepper and full can of pineapple in this recipe, which will leave you with plenty of leftover sauce to use later. If you’d rather not have leftover sauce, you can half the sauce recipe and still have enough for your tacos.

Add the chunks of pineapple, red bell pepper, and jalapeno to a blender with the Greek Yogurt, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon of taco seasoning to a high-powered blender or food processor.

Blend on high until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Some small chunks are okay!

Prepping a red bell pepper and jalapeno to make Baja sauce for Mahi-mahi tacos.
Roughly chop your red pepper and jalapeno, discarding the stem, pitch, and seeds.
Adding all Baja sauce ingredients to a blender to make a creamy taco sauce.
Add both peppers, pineapple, lime juice, Greek yogurt, and taco seasoning to a blender or food processor.
Just blended Baja sauce for sweet and spicy Mahi-mahi tacos.
Blend on high until your left with a creamy sauce that’s mostly smooth. Some chunks are okay.

Whip Up a Quick Cabbage Slaw Next

You can use any cabbage. I chose red for a little color and a slightly stronger, more peppery flavor, but you can use green if you prefer. You can also throw in some shredded carrots if you’d like. I kept it super simple and used cabbage only.

Roughly chop your cabbage until you have about 2 cups. Add it to a bowl with about ½ cup of the homemade Baja sauce you just whipped up. Toss it together and set it aside.

Chopping red cabbage to make a Baja slaw for fish tacos.
Roughly chop your cabbage until your left with about 2 cups.
Sweet and spicy red cabbage coleslaw.
Add it to a bowl with about ½ cup of your sauce and toss to coat.

How to Prep Mahi-Mahi for Fish Tacos

Slice your mahi-mahi into 6 thin, long, roughly equal-sized pieces. I used 3 pre-portioned fillets and just sliced them in half longways.

Grab a paper towel (consider these bamboo paper towels for a more sustainable option) and pat the mahi-mahi dry on both sides. Reducing excess moisture will help the seasoning stick and also give you a better texture on your fish once it’s cooked.

Add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning to a shallow bowl and lower the mahi-mahi into the seasoning. Press it into the seasoning on both sides until it is completely coated in a thin layer of seasoning.

Patting mahi-mahi dry with a paper towel to reduce moisture.
Pat the mahi-mahi with a paper towel to reduce excess moisture.
Coating mahi-mahi in taco seasoning in an even layer.
Coat the fish completely in taco seasoning.

How to Blacken Mahi-Mahi for Tacos

Blackening fish is a great way to get tons of flavor and nice texture. The idea is that the seasoning coating the fish “blackens” in the pan and creates a crispy outer crust on the fish. The result is smoky, spicy, crispy on the outside and flaky on the inside.

You can blacken your fish in either a cast iron skillet (preferred) or in any frying pan.

Get the oil hot in the pan over medium-high heat for about 3-5 minutes first, before adding the fish. I like using coconut oil because of the subtle sweetness of flavor it lends, but if you prefer another cooking oil, that will totally work, too!

Carefully lower your fish in the hot oil, leaving about an inch of space in between each fillet (I usually just fry 3 at a time).

Cover to avoid oil splatter and cook the fish for about 3-5 minutes on each side. If the fish is stuck to the pan, it is not ready to flip.

When the fish is blackened and that crispy outer layer has formed, it will easily peel off the pan for you to flip. The internal temperature of the pan-fried mahi-mahi should reach 145°F.

Blackening mahi-mahi in coconut oil.
Get the oil hot in the pan before carefully lowering your fish in. Cover and cook for about 3 minutes on each side.

Assembling Your Sweet and Spicy Mahi-Mahi Tacos

If you’d like, you can warm your tortillas by throwing them on the grill or grill pan, heat them on a frying pan or cast iron (without any oil or butter), or at 200°F in the oven.

Add the red cabbage slaw to the tortillas. Then, place the blackened fish on top.

Finish your tacos off with a little bit of extra Baja sauce, and enjoy!

I kept these super simple, but if you want to add more toppings, you absolutely can.

Here are some of my favorite optional add-ons:

Assembling fish tacos with sweet and spicy cabbage.
Warm your tortillas (optional) and pile on your sweet and spicy coleslaw.
Assembling mahi-mahi tacos with Baja sauce.
Add the blackened mahi-mahi and finish with more sauce.

Serving Your Mahi-Mahi Tacos

These fish tacos are totally filling on their own, but if you want some apps and sides ideas to serve up with them, here are some of my favorites:

Here are some of my favorite cocktail pairings:

Close up of fish tacos with mahi-mahi and sweet and spicy sauce.

How to Properly Store and Reheat Leftovers

If you have leftover tacos, it’s best to disassemble them and store the cabbage slaw, cooked mahi-mahi, and Baja sauce separately.

Cooked Mahi-Mahi is safe to eat for 3-4 days after preparation when stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

My favorite way to reheat blackened mahi-mahi is to place it in your preheated oven at 275 °F, for about 15 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 145°F.

You can also opt to freeze your Blackened Mahi-Mahi for up to 3 months. Just make sure to allow it to thaw overnight in the refrigerator before following the reheating directions above.

The Baja coleslaw will last in a sealed container in the fridge for 5 days.

As for the Baja sauce, it will last for about 5-7 days sealed in the fridge. Use it to make more fish tacos, pour over a rice bowl, dress a salad, etc.

Green tip: Of the billions of pounds of food wasted annually, it is estimated that 50% of it happens in our homes. Properly storing and enjoying leftovers is a great way to reduce your individual contribution to food waste.

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Why these Mahi-Mahi Tacos are the Best


  • The SAUCE! The homemade Baja sauce brings tons of sweet and spicy flavor.
  • The texture on the fish. Blackening the fish gives it a flaky interior with a crip outer crust.
  • The simplicity. These fish tacos are really paired down to a delicious sauce, crunchy slaw, and perfectly cooked fish. With just these 3 elements you have all the flavor and texture you need.

If you’re loving these Mahi-Mahi Tacos and want more fish tacos, check out these Fish Tacos with Pineapple Salsa and Salmon Tacos with Greek Yogurt Sauce.

Plate of Mahi-mahi tacos with a spoonful of Baja sauce.

Blackened Mahi-Mahi Tacos with Baja Sauce

5 from 1 vote
Marley Goldin
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These Mahi-Mahi Tacos bring bold fresh flavor from blackened fish, a quick 2-ingredient slaw, and a homemade sweet and spicy Baja sauce. Only 30 minutes required.
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 6 tacos

Ingredients
 
 

Sweet and Spicy Baja Sauce (see notes)

  • 1 small red bell pepper
  • 1 small jalapeno
  • 20 ounce can of pineapple chunks (without the liquid)
  • 1 cup Greek Yogurt (or mayonnaise)
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice (1 lime = 2 tbsp juice)
  • 1 teaspoon taco seasoning

Mahi Mahi Tacos

  • 2 cups chopped red cabbage
  • 1 pound mahi-mahi (or 3 pre-portioned fillets)
  • 2 tablespoons taco seasoning
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil of choice)
  • 6 small tortillas (flour or corn, I used flour)

Instructions
 

Baja Taco Sauce

  • Clean and slice the stem off of the red bell pepper and jalapeno. Roughly slice them into small chunks, discarding the white pith and seeds. Strain the canned pineapple and set the juice aside. We only need the chunks for this recipe.
  • Add the prepped red pepper, jalapeno, and pineapple to a blender or food processor with the Greek yogurt, lime juice, and 1 teaspoon taco seasoning.
  • Blend on high until smooth.

Mahi-Mahi Tacos

  • Roughly chop cabbage until you are left with roughly 2 cups and add it to a bowl. Cover it with about ½ cup of Baja sauce and toss to coat. Set aside.
  • Slice your mahi-mahi into 6 thin, roughly even pieces. Use a paper towel to pat them dry to reduce excess moisture.
  • Add 2 tablespoons of taco seasoning into a shallow bowl. One at a time, lower the pieces of mahi-mahi into the bowl, pressing them into the seasoning to coat in an even layer on both sides.
  • Get the coconut oil hot over a cast-iron skillet (preferred) or frying pan over medium-high heat. Add your seasoned mahi-mahi to the oil and cover to avoid splatter. Cook the fish for 3-5 minutes on each side. When the fish is ready to flip, it will easily lift off your pan. The internal temperature of the fish should reach 145°F.
  • Assemble your tacos by adding the dressed cabbage and fish to your tortillas. Finish with a little bit of extra sauce and enjoy!

Pro Tips

  • I decided to use a whole pepper and full can of pineapple in this recipe to use all the ingredients purchased for this recipe. This will leave you with leftover Baja sauce to use throughout the week. If you don’t want leftover sauce you can half the recipe for the Baja sauce and still have more than enough sauce for your slaw and tacos. 
  • 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, Baja Sauce, Blackened Mahi-Mahi, Fish Dinner, Fish Tacos
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