Salmon Tacos

May 18, 2022

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Easy Salmon Tacos! Salmon fillets are rubbed with a simple spice blend then pan seared until beautifully browned. From there salmon is flaked and served over warmed tortillas with a simple citrusy cabbage slaw. They are unbelievably delicious!

Salmon Tacos shown on a white oval platter on a marble surface. Salmon tacos a layered with corn tortillas, fish taco slaw, seasoned pan seared salmon, and queso fresco cheese.

The Best Fish Tacos with Salmon

When you want a quick dinner that doesn’t skimp on flavor these salmon tacos are an excellent choice!

They are layered with an abundance of fresh Baja-style flavor.

You get that classic masa taste from the tortilla, the complexity of well seasoned salmon in the filling, vibrant lime and creamy richness from the taco slaw, and a highlight of herbaceous finish from the cilantro.

And I think you’ll appreciate the layering of a trio of textures – including a soft and chewy tortilla, buttery salmon, and crunchy cabbage.

It’s all the perfect blend and a dish fit for company!

Close up photo of flaked seared salmon taco.

Salmon Tacos Recipe Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs skinless salmon (about 1-inch thick), cut into 3 fillets
  • Salt and black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed3 cups (slightly packed) finely shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lime zest and 1 1/2 Tbsp lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic (1 small clove)

 

Photo of ingredients used to make salmon tacos and taco slaw.

How to Make Salmon Tacos the Quick and Easy Way

  1. Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat (tip: a heavy non-stick skillet works well or for more blackening use a cast iron skillet).
  2. Season salmon: Sprinkle both sides of salmon with a fair amount of salt and pepper and sprinkle both sides evenly with chili powder and cumin.
  3. Sear salmon in skillet about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until just barely cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board.
  4. While salmon is cooking prepare the taco slaw. In a large mixing bowl toss together cabbage, mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, honey, cilantro and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Flake fish into bite size chunks (tip: I just use a knife and spoon a fork works too).
  6. Assemble tacos: Layer warmed tortillas with taco slaw, salmon and any desired toppings then serve right away.

Collage of six photos showing process of making salmon tacos.

Salmon Taco Toppings

I’ve listed toppings I like in the recipe but there are plenty of options. Here are a few ideas:

  • Avocado
  • Cilantro
  • Fresh mango
  • Fresh pineapple
  • Fish taco slaw (as pictured)
  • Queso fresco, Cotija, or Monterey Jack Cheese
  • Mexican hot sauce
  • Mexican crema
  • Onion (white or red, or pickled)

Possible Substitutions

  • Spicy heat: For spicy salmon fish tacos use chipotle powder in place of regular chili powder or add 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper.
  • Smokey flavor: If you want a smokey hint to them use ancho chili powder in place of regular chili powder, also include 1/2 tsp smoked paprika.
  • Cumin substitute: Coriander would also be good in place of cumin.
  • Salmon substitute: You can use another type of fish in place of salmon such as cod.
  • Time saver: To save time use a pre-chopped coleslaw mix instead of using fresh cabbage and chopping it yourself.
  • Tortilla type: If you prefer flour tortillas you can use those instead of corn tortillas. Another option here is to make these mini size and use the 4.5-inch street taco tortillas.
  • Healthier mayo swap: Plain Greek yogurt would work in place of mayonnaise for a lighter option.

Salmon tacos on a serving plate with cilantro and limes.

What to Serve with Salmon Tacos

More Tempting Taco Recipes

Close up photo of flaked seared salmon taco.
5 from 1 vote

Salmon Tacos

Salmon fillets are rubbed with a simple spice blend then pan seared until beautifully browned. From there salmon is flaked and served over warmed tortillas with a simple citrusy cabbage slaw. They are unbelievably delicious!
Servings: 5 (2 tacos per serving)
Prep24 minutes
Cook6 minutes
Ready in: 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 1/4 lbs skinless salmon (about 1-inch thick), cut into 3 fillets
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 1/2 tsp chili powder*
  • 3/4 tsp ground cumin
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 10 (6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed**

Taco slaw

  • 3 cups (slightly packed) finely shredded cabbage or coleslaw mix
  • 1/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp lime zest
  • 1 1/2 Tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 1/2 tsp honey
  • 1/3 cup chopped cilantro
  • 3/4 tsp minced garlic (1 small clove)

Optional Toppings

  • Queso fresco or shredded moneterey jack cheese
  • Fresh diced pineapple, mango, or avocado
  • Diced red onion

Instructions

  • Heat olive oil in a 12-inch skillet over medium-high heat (a heavy non-stick skillet works well or for more blackening use a cast iron skillet).
  • Sprinkle both sides of salmon with a fair amount of salt and pepper and sprinkle and rub both sides with chili powder and cumin.
  • Sear in skillet about 3 to 4 minutes per side, or until just barely cooked through. Transfer to a cutting board.
  • While salmon is cooking prepare the taco slaw. In a large mixing bowl toss together cabbage, mayonnaise, lime zest, lime juice, honey, cilantro and garlic. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Flake cooked fish into bite size chunks (I just use a knife and spoon, a fork works too).
  • Layer warmed tortillas with taco slaw, salmon and any desired toppings then serve right away.

Notes

  • *For a spicy salmon substitute regular chili powder with 1 1/2 tsp chipotle chili powder, or for a slightly smokey flavor you can use 1 1/2 tsp ancho chili powder in place of regular plus 1/2 tsp smoked paprika.
  • **Here's how I prefer to heat the tortillas: Preheat a 12-inch non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 Tbsp olive oil and tilt to coat pan. Add 3 tortillas at a time to pan (in a single layer) and swirl in oil (using tongs) then quickly turn and coat with a little oil. Let cook on each side until light golden brown spots appear. Transfer to paper towels to drain. Reduce burner temp as needed.
  • Nutrition estimate is per 2 tacos, does not include optional toppings.
Nutrition Facts
Salmon Tacos
Amount Per Serving
Calories 414 Calories from Fat 171
% Daily Value*
Fat 19g29%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 66mg22%
Sodium 158mg7%
Potassium 679mg19%
Carbohydrates 26g9%
Fiber 3g13%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 23g46%
Vitamin A 251IU5%
Vitamin C 23mg28%
Calcium 17mg2%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Nutrition values are estimates only. See full disclaimer here.