Spicy Fish Taco Bowls

bowl with chipotle drizzle

These Spicy Fish Taco Bowls are loaded with flaky baked tilapia, crunchy cabbage, salsa, veggies and a chipotle crema sauce!

Hey friends! I think it’s safe to say that my all time favorite cuisine is anything Mexican! Ben and I absolutely loved our visit to Mexico City a couple of years ago and I’d say we eat a variety of tacos, burrito bowls, enchiladas etc at least twice a week! 

And so….since we have a huge pack of frozen fish in my freezer right now (hello #stayingathome), I figured what better way to celebrate social distancing than to make Spicy Fish Taco Bowls! 

close up of cilantro lime rice

These are absolutely loaded with allll of the fresh ingredients, are super versatile and are extremely easy to make because let’s face it, pretty sure we are all getting tired of making dinner for 2 weeks in a row! Ha! 

The fish is spicy, buttery and melt in your mouth. I placed it on a bed of raw cabbage instead of normal greens for an extra crunchy texture. 

The cilantro lime rice is AH-MAZING, as well as all of the toppings like flavorful red onion, homemade salsa and herby cilantro! 

One of my favorite things about this bowl? I re-used my chipotle crema recipe! Ohhh yes. IF you’re a fan of my chipotle crema in my ground chicken tacos, then you’re going to love it drizzled all over the fish taco bowls! It gives it that creaminess you love and has a spicy tang to it as well! 

chipotle crema drizzled cabbage, fish and rice

So let’s get into it, shall we? First let’s get some fishy questions out of the way…

What Fish Should I Use? 

For these bowls, I used what I had on hand, which was tilapia. Any flaky white fish will do – cod, haddock etc. I really enjoyed the buttery, spicy tilapia in this recipe, though. 

spiced fish in glass baking dish

How Do I Prepare the Fish? 

Feel free to pan fry or broil the fish. For me, the simplest and most hands off solution proved to be the baking method!

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees and pop in the fish right in. It should turn opaque and should easily be flaked with a fork when it’s done – about 10 minutes or so. 

baked fish in glass dish

What spices should I use on the fish? 

The world is your oyster! Er, spice cabinet! But really, feel free to use whatever spices you usually like when it comes to tacos.

For me, I used a combination of: cumin, chili powder, garlic powder, salt, pepper and cayenne pepper! The cayenne pepper adds a kick to it!

Pro tip? Mix all of those spices with salted butter, like this: 

fish spice rub in glass bowl

Mix it all together and then rub it all over the fish like you see above!

Bake and voila! So spicy and the fish is infused with all of those delicious flavors! 

What Toppings Should I Use? 

I love how versatile these spicy fish taco bowls are. For me, I really enjoyed using fresh and crunchy ingredients to pair well with the melt in your mouth tilapia. 

So, instead of using normal shredded lettuce or mixed greens, I used a base of raw diced green cabbage. 

I whipped up a batch of my homemade salsa which is SO fresh and added a perfect acidity to the bowls. 

fish taco bowl without chipotle crema

The red onion was crunchy with a hint of spice. The cilantro adds so much flavor. 

The buttery cilantro rice was the perfect carb to put on top of it. All I did was cook some white rice (can also use jasmine rice) according to the package directions, added about 1 tbsp of butter, a generous pinch of salt, squeezed half of a juicy lime and then added in some diced cilantro! YUM! 

Can These Bowls Be Meal Prepped? 

Absolutely! I would cook and prep all of the ingredients as described in the recipe card below and then store them in separate tupperware bowls. 

buttery spicy fish

When ready, warm back up your fish and assemble the bowls! 

How do I Make the Chipotle Crema? 

Good question! It’s insanely easy! All you do is combine sour cream and the a bit of chipotle sauce from a jar of chipotle peppers in adobo! You mix it together, add a little bit of water to thin it out (or go crazy and add a squeeze of a lime) until you reached the desired consistency. 

Pour this on EVERYTHING. 

side view of fish taco bowl

Overall, these Spicy Fish Taco Bowls are my new go-to dinner. They’re so incredibly easy, quick and healthy! However, don’t forget to pair with some tortilla chips! Who says you need a fork to eat these?! Ha! 

tortilla chip dipping into bowl

Hope you’re all staying healthy and well. Thinking about you! XO – Haylie 

Did you enjoy this recipe? Here are a few others you might like: 

Spicy Fish Tacos with Broccoli Slaw 

Roasted Garlic Green Goddess Tacos 

Loaded Turkey Taco Bowls 

Turkey Taco Quinoa Skillet 

Thank you so much for following along here, friends! Want to see more? Be sure to follow ourbalancedbowl on Instagram and tag me with your photo if you end up making a recipe! You can also post a photo of your recipe to the Our Balanced Bowl Facebook page! I always love to see your re-creations! If you do make a recipe, it would make my whole day if you were to rate and comment so I can get your feedback! Lots of love! – Haylie

5 from 3 votes

Spicy Fish Taco Bowls

These Spicy Fish Taco Bowls are loaded with flaky baked tilapia, crunchy cabbage, salsa, veggies and a chipotle crema sauce!

Course Main Course
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword baked fish recipes, fish taco bowls, fish tacos, spicy baked fish, spicy fish tacos
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 25 minutes
Servings 2 people
Author Haylie


Spicy Fish

  • 2 medium tilapia filets
  • 2 tbsp salted butter
  • 1 tbsp cumin
  • 1 tbsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper (or more if you want it even spicier!)
  • juice of 1/2 lime

Bowl Toppings

  • 1-2 cups diced green cabbage
  • 1/2 cup diced red onion
  • homemade (or store-bought salsa)
  • cilantro (for garnish)

Chipotle Crema

  • 1-2 tbsp sour cream
  • 1 tsp chipotle in adobo sauce
  • water or lime juice to thin it out to reach desired consistency

Cilantro Lime Rice

  • 1 cup white rice (cooked to package instructions)
  • 1 tbsp salted butter
  • juice of 1 lime squeezed
  • 1/4 cup diced cilantro
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, melt 2 tbsp of salted butter. To this, add the spice rub for the fish. Mix together.

  2. Add the fish to an oven safe baking dish and then gently rub the spices into the fish on both sides! Bake for 10 minutes or until opaque and flaky. Once done, squeeze 1/2 of a fresh lime on top and then use a fork to "shred" the fish for the tacos.

  3. Cook the rice according to package directions. Once finished, add the butter, salt, lime juice and chopped cilantro. Mix together. Taste and add salt. Adjust seasoning if needed.

  4. While the fish is baking, slice and dice your ingredients! Dice the green cabbage into bite size pieces, as well as dice the red onion.

  5. To a small bowl, add the sour cream as well as the chipotle from adobo sauce. Mix together. Add a splash of either lime juice or water to thin out the sauce until your desired consistency is reached.

  6. Time to assemble your bowls! Add the cabbage, cilantro lime rice, red onion, fresh salsa and cilantro to a bowl. Top with the spicy fish. Garnish with an additional squeeze of lime and/or the delicious chipotle crema! Enjoy!

8 comments / Add your comment below

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a great way to change up dinner. I have some cod in the freezer that I could use in place of the tilapia! Looks great Haylie. Hope you’re well!

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