There’s nothing quite like taco night, and what better way to mix things up from the ordinary than with these easy and delicious sheet pan fish tacos. We’ll use your favorite white fish filets (cod or tilapia) and add a simple seasoning mix before cooking to perfection in the oven. We’ll then top our fish tacos with our amazing lime crema sauce. Ah… let’s get this fiesta started!
What are Sheet Pan Fish Tacos?
I think it’s safe to say that everyone loves tacos, right? I mean, they’re fun and easy to make, very customizable to everyone’s tastes, and all the ingredients are delicious! While we’re used to the basics such as beef or chicken, fish tacos are an all-time favorite for many.
For this dish, we’ll use simple white fish filets such as cod or tilapia and give them a generous seasoning of common Mexican flavors including cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper. The seasoned fish will then go on a sheet pan (baking sheet or cookie sheet) in the oven for about 15 minutes until cooked to mouthwatering perfection.
The cooked fish will then get loaded into tortillas with all the favorite toppings. But, we have one more treat involved: a lime crema, which is a Mexican sauce made from sour cream, mayonnaise and lime juice. Oh my goodness it’s SO amazing on our fish tacos. That cool, citrusy flavor on top of the tacos is heavenly!
Equipment and Ingredients Needed
This recipe will cook in the oven using a standard sheet pan. These are also called baking sheets or cookie sheets. You can use a standard, full-sized sheet pan which is generally 18″ x 26″. A half-sheet pan size will also work and are usually 18″ x 13″. You will also need a medium-sized mixing bowl to make the lime crema sauce.
Our ingredients are very simple too. For the fish we’ll want to use fresh or defrosted filets of white fish such as cod or tilapia. These are both very mild flavor fish and firm in texture so they hold up well for our tacos. Other options include halibut, mahi mahi and flounder. Chose your favorite. I’m personally a fan of tilapia.
The fish will be seasoned with a combination of pantry-friendly ingredients including cumin, chili powder, smoked paprika and a dash of cayenne.
Our delicious sauce for the topping, called lime crema, is made with mayonnaise, sour cream, lime juice and a little hot sauce. Sriracha is very popular as the hot sauce for recipes such as this. But, if it’s hard to find, you can use just about any hot sauce. We’re only using 2 teaspoons in the sauce so the heat of the sauce will be tempered a bit by the sour cream and mayo. The hot sauce just helps bring all the other flavors to life with an awesome vibrance.
Of course, we’ll want some toppings and fish tacos are excellent with fresh shredded red cabbage or lettuce and fresh cilantro. Naturally, you can add other favorites too!
Preparation and Cooking
I always like recipes that are easy to make and this one fits the bill perfectly. I also like easy cleanup too. To help with cleanup, you can line the sheet pan with foil or parchment paper. Set it aside and preheat the oven to 400°F.
Now we’ll make our seasoning/marinade. Use a small bowl and mix together the olive oil, cumin, chili powder, paprika, cayenne, salt and pepper. Place the fish filets on the lined sheet pan and spread the mixture all over the filets.
Place the filets on the prepared sheet pan and into the oven it goes for about 15 minutes. The very best way to know when the fish is done is to check the internal temperature with an instant-read food thermometer. Check in the thickest part of the filet for an internal temperature of 145°F.
Get Saucy with Lime Crema
While the fish is cooking, we’ll make our awesome sauce – the lime crema. In a medium mixing bowl, simply add together the lime juice, sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce and salt. Mix by hand until it’s well combined. Guess what? That’s it! Our sauce is made and ready to go on our fish tacos.
Putting it All Together
When our fish is done cooking, remove from the oven and use two forks break the fish into bite-sized pieces. Place the pieces in a serving bowl.
You’re now ready to assemble your tacos! I like to start by placing some of the shredded cabbage on the tortilla first, followed by a few pieces of the fish. Then a dollop or two of the sauce and a sprinkling of fresh chopped cilantro. I mean… wow!
Make them Your Own!
I mean… they’re tacos, put whatever toppings you like on them! As mentioned, shredded red cabbage is very popular on fish tacos, as is cilantro and our awesome sauce lime crema. But don’t hesitate to add some of your other favorite toppings.
Additional topping ideas:
Mango Salsa – While any salsa can be added, the citrusy flavor of mango salsa works perfectly with fish tacos. Paired with the lime crema the flavors are SO vibrant and delicious.
Fresh Avocado or Guacamole – We love avocados and guacamole for just about any occasion. Of course, taco night is the perfect occasion.
Pickled Onions or Jalapeños – For a bit of tang and bite, pickled onions or jalapeños can be a great addition.
Cheese – While not as common as in other types of tacos, some people like a sprinkle of cotija cheese or a similar variety on their fish tacos.
Leftovers: Storage and Reheating
Keeping the fish separated from the other ingredients, place leftovers in an air-tight food container and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
To store frozen, place the fish in freezer-safe bags and remove as much air as possible. Freeze for up to 3 months.
To reheat of cooked fish, place the pieces of fish on a sheet pan and cover with foil. Place in 300°F oven for about 10 minutes or until heated through.
You can also reheat in the microwave. Place in a microwave-safe container and heat in increments of 1 minute each until heated through. Usually just a couple of minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, but, you’ll want to defrost it first. The best way is to thaw your fish fillets is in the refrigerator overnight. If you’re in a hurry, you can use the defrost function on your microwave, or seal the fish in a waterproof plastic bag and immerse it in cold water until thawed.
Mahi-mahi and halibut are other popular choices for fish tacos. But don’t be afraid to use other kinds of your favorite fish. Just keep in mind that cod and tilapia have very mild flavors and take on the flavor of the seasonings excellently. Other fish can have more distinct flavors. Salmon can certainly be used. Haddock or even catfish can be the star of the show. You can even get fancy with something like red snapper or sea bass.
My favorite sides for any tacos are always refried beans and Mexican rice. And I’ve got some great recipes for both!
Best Damn Instant Pot Spanish Rice: A restaurant-quality Spanish rice recipe that cooks to perfection in your Instant Pot pressure cooker.
Instant Pot Refried Beans: Use your Instant Pot pressure cooker to make the most delicious and fresh refried beans in about an hour. You’ll never want to settle for the canned stuff again!