Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Rice

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Fish Taco Bowls are filled with grilled fish, cilantro lime rice, avocado and mango salsa.  They’re a hearty, flavorful meal that’s ready in 30 minutes!

overhead shot of fish taco bowl with fork buried into top left

**This post was originally published in July 2015.  The photos have been updated, the recipe has been simplified, and the text is more informative.

If fish tacos are on the menu when I go out to eat, it’s pretty likely that I’ll order them.  The drawback is that they’re very messy, and each taco includes (2) corn tortillas each, which is just too much for me.

I prefer to eat Fish Taco Bowls over tacos any day, because I prefer rice over tortillas.  And they’re so much easier to eat!

This way, I can enjoy them with a fork, and there’s more room for my favorite part.

The toppings, of course. πŸ™‚

angled overhead shot of fish taco bowl over rice with toppings

Why you’ll love this fish taco bowl recipe:

  • This bowl is hearty, satisfying and bursting with flavor and texture. 
  • It’s everything you love about fish tacos but it’s easier to eat! 
  • It’s on the table in about 30 minutes, and most of the components may be done in advance.
  • You can choose as many or as few toppings as you like.  Great options include guacamole, pico de gallo, fresh or roasted vegetables, beans, aioli or crema.
  • Customize the fish with your favorite seasoning, and sub with salmon, shrimp or go meatless!
  • This meal is gluten-free and dairy-free, and may also be made low carb and paleo by subbing the rice with cauliflower rice.  See below for details.

What is a fish taco bowl

Fish taco bowls are a play on fish tacos.  There are no tortillas involved, and rice is typically the base. 

These bowls include the following components:

  • Grilled fish.  I used mahi mahi, but you can use your favorite. 
  • Cilantro lime rice.  This is the base of the bowls.  It may be substituted with plain rice, but the cilantro and lime really adds flavor.
  • Mango Salsa.  The sweet and savory flavors pair very well with the fish, but you can use pico de gallo or your favorite salsa.
  • Avocado.  The avocado provides a creamy element.  Guacamole is a great substitute.
  • Cabbage.  The cabbage adds a nice, crunchy texture to these bowls.  It may be substituted with your favorite fresh, crunchy vegetables. 
  • Cilantro and lime, for serving.

fish taco bowl in white bowl with salsa, cabbage and avocado

How to make fish taco bowls

These bowls include a few different components, which I prepare in stages to make meal prep quicker.

  • Prepare the rice.  The rice takes about 20 minutes to cook, so I start that first.  Once it’s cooking, prep the lime zest, juice and chopped cilantro to stir in at the end.  
  • Prep the salsa.  The salsa tastes best when the ingredients are allowed to stand at room temperature for a minimum of 10 minutes, so I prep it before the fish.
  • Prep and cook the fish.  Preheat the grill to medium high.  Pat the fish dry, then season with smoked paprika, salt and pepper to taste, then brush with oil.  When the grill is hot, add the fish and turn the heat down to medium.  Grill for 5-6 minutes per side, or until the fish flakes easily with a fork.  Remove from heat and cover loosely with foil.
  • Prep the remaining toppings.  While the fish cooks, prep the cabbage, avocado, and additional lime and cilantro if desired.

fish taco bowl wit fork buried inside and sliced jalapeΓ±o on top

Customize your bowls

Fish taco bowls may be customized a number of ways depending on your preferences and what you have on hand.

Fish/protein

I used mahi mahi in this recipe, but any type of seafood would work well in this fish taco bowl recipe.  Try my blackened salmon and grilled shrimp to change things up.

Make these bowls vegetarian by omitting the fish and adding my Instant Pot Black Beans.

Choose a base

The base of the bowls is typically rice.  Plain rice or my coconut rice may be substituted for the cilantro lime rice.   

You can make this a low carb and paleo fish taco bowl by subbing the rice with my cilantro lime cauliflower rice.

Choose your toppings 

The sky is truly the limit here!  There are so many different toppings that you can use to customize your bowls so that they’re different every time. 

Topping ideas are as follows:

  • SalsaPineapple salsa, tomatillo, pico de gallo or restaurant style salsa.
  • Guacamole.  Homemade guacamole or store bought works.
  • Pickled onions or vegetables.
  • Fresh or grilled/roasted vegetables.  Includes corn, tomatoes, cucumbers, cabbage, etc.
  • Spicy aioli.
  • Crema.

Recipe notes

  • Fish takes 10 minutes per inch to cook, so cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish.
  • Customize fish taco bowls with your favorite toppings. Use your favorite salsa, guacamole, grilled or roasted vegetables, aioli or crema.
  • Make this a paleo fish taco bowl by substituting the cilantro lime rice with my Cilantro Lime Cauliflower Rice.

fish taco bowl tilted slightly with fork and linen

Additional seafood recipes you’ll love:

 

Fish Taco Bowls

Yield: 4 taco bowls
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes

Fish Taco Bowls are filled with grilled fish, cilantro lime rice, avocado and mango salsa.Β  They're a hearty, flavorful meal that's ready in 30 minutes!

fish taco bowl wit fork buried inside and sliced jalapeΓ±o on top

Ingredients

For the fish:

  • 16 ounces white fish such as mahi mahi, cod or halibut*
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1/2 tablespoon oil

For the bowls:

Instructions

Prepare the Cilantro Lime Rice and Mango Salsa first according to instructions.

Prepare the fish:

  1. Pat the fish dry, then sprinkle both sides with paprika, salt and pepper, to taste, then brush with oil. Preheat the grill to medium high. Once hot, place the fish on the grill and turn the heat down to medium. Grill for 5-6 minutes per side or until the fish flakes easily with a fork. Remove from heat and cover loosely with foil.
  2. Prep the avocado, cabbage, lime and cilantro while the fish cooks.


Assemble the bowls:

  1. Divide the cilantro lime rice between (4) bowls, then top with fish, cabbage, salsa, avocado, and additional lime wedges and cilantro if desired. Serve and enjoy!

Notes

  • Fish takes 10 minutes per inch to cook, so cooking time will vary depending on the thickness of your fish.
  • Customize fish taco bowls with your favorite toppings. Use your favorite salsa, guacamole, grilled or roasted vegetables, aioli or crema.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

4

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 301Total Fat: 18gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 13gCholesterol: 87mgSodium: 81mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 4gSugar: 1gProtein: 29g

Nutrition information is mean to be an estimate only. The numbers will vary based on the quantity consumed, brands used and substitutions that are made. This information does not include the rice or salsa as that is included in separate posts.


 

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