Cajun Baked Tilapia Tacos

Cajun Baked Tilapia Tacos

Tacos, Tacos, Tilapia Tacos! Who doesn’t love tacos. I seriously think it could be the world’s favorite dish. Okay, maybe the country’s favorite. Well I am sure it is a California thing. Okay, I love tacos! I can’t speak for the world, country or California but it’s a favorite in my household. And there are all sorts of tacos to choose from! Lately I have been trying implement healthier eating, so my tacos have consisted of chicken and seafood. Preferably grilled or baked, and preferably white fish.

This past week my Taco Tuesday dish was some yummy Cajun Baked Tilapia Tacos. I marinated the fish with a cajun spice wet rub and baked it to perfection. Create a homemade chunky guacamole and what more do you need! Serve them with some sour cream, queso fresco and a side of Mexican rice for the ultimate family dinner. This recipe is so quick and easy, and there is no way you should be skipping Taco Tuesday ever again!

Cajun Spice Mix

Cajun Chicken Pasta - Spices (not mixed)

Combine your spices in a bowl. Spice mixes, in my opinion, are always customizable. You can choose to add a little less or more of a certain spice. I like my mixes more on the spicier end of the heat spectrum. The combination I used was salt, black pepper, paprika, oregano, thyme, onion powder, garlic powder and cayenne. I also only create enough for the dish I am making on hand ( just trying to keep to my budget). But if you plan on using this mix for additional recipes, you can always scale up and store in an airtight container. The only spice I don’t recommend you simply double, or whatnot, is cayenne. Boy, I made a chili-lime dressing a while back and scaled the cayenne with the same ratio as my other spices. It was fire. No, not amazing fire, but literally, my mouth was on fire! Always add just a pinch of cayenne at the end. You can decide the size of pinch, but you will never need THAT much.

Cajun Chicken Pasta - Spices Mixed

Cajun Spice Marinade (Wet Spice Rub)

Brush the fish with the lemon olive oil mixture (equal parts of olive oil and fresh lime juice). I am looking to give the fish a sticky surface where my spices can stay on and soak into the fish. The citrus, in my opinion, help the flavors pop.

Once you brush both sides of the fish with the oil mixture, evenly distribute your spice mix on all sides of the fish. Push the seasoning in with your hands to make sure it sticks. Allow the fish to marinade at least 30 minutes, but I am a believer in the longer the better. Usually I marinade first thing in the morning (around 8 or 9 am) and refrigerate it all day until dinner (between 5-6:30 pm). Today I marinated for 9 hours and the fish came out scrumptious!

Tilapia Tacos - Oiled
Coat Both Sides of Tilapia Fillets with Oil/Lime Mixture

Homemade Chunky Guacamole

Tilapia Tacos - Avocados

Now you can’t have tacos without some chunky guacamole as one of your toppings. What I do is split the amount of avocado meat in half; mash one half until almost smooth and the remaining half leave as diced cubes. 

Add diced tomato, diced onion, fresh lime juice and garlic salt to taste. It’s sort of a pico de gallo/guac hybrid. Be sure not to over stir or it will get too mushy. Finish with extra lime juice over the top before storing, this helps maintain its nice green color. I tend to only make enough guac for a day anyways. A fresh batch is always needed!

Tilapia Tacos - Guac almost smooth
TIlapia Tacos - Guac Finished

Bakin' Time!

Finally it’s time to bake! Line a sheet pan with foil and place a rack on top. Lay your fish on the rack and bake at 375 F until flaky and the internal temperature on the thickest part of your fish reaches 145 F. Cooking time may vary. It took my tilapias 20 minutes to cook, but they were about medium thickness.

I like to lay them on a rack so they can crisp up a bit. The rack allows for any the liquid loss to fall onto the foil preventing the fish from soaking up. 

Once done, remove from heat and slice into 1 inch strips. It doesn’t have to be precise, just cut into good bite size pieces.

Tilapia Tacos - Tilapia Baked

Tacos, Tacos, Tacos!

Now that the fish is cooked and the guac is made, gather up your tortillas (I use corn, but you can use flour) and any additional toppings. I like to lay a little bed of chopped green cabbage before I add my pieces of fish. I top with a dollop of sour cream, a dollop of our homemade Chunky Guacamole, and a sprinkle of crumbled queso fresco. Yum!

All toppings are optional and the amount you use it totally up to you! Have fun creating your own version of these delicious tacos!

Made them? Please show me! Tag @feastingmexican on FB & @feasting_mexican on Instagram!

Cajun Baked Tilapia Tacos

Tacos! Who ever really gets tired of Tacos. Try these Cajun Baked Tilapia tacos with Homemade Chunky Guac for a healthier Taco Tuesday!
Prep Time20 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time40 mins
Course: Main Course
Cuisine: Mexican, Seafood
Keyword: Cajun, Guacamole, Tacos, Tilapia
Servings: 8 tacos
Author: Sharon Guerrero-Perez

Ingredients

Cajun Spice Mixture

  • ½ tsp Salt, Kosher
  • 1/4 tsp Black Pepper finely ground
  • ½ tsp Onion Powder
  • ½ tsp Garlic Powder
  • 1 tsp Paprika
  • 1/8 tsp Cayenne
  • ½ tsp Thyme dry
  • 1 tsp Oregano dry

Cajun Spice Marinade (Wet Spice Rub)

  • 1/4 cup Olive Oil extra virgin
  • 1/4 cup Lime Juice fresh
  • Cajun Spice Mixture (from sub recipe)
  • 13 oz Tilapia Fillets

Homemade Chunky Guacamole

  • 8 oz Avocado meat only
  • 4 oz Roma Tomato small dice
  • 2 oz White Onion small dice
  • 2 Lime Juice fresh
  • Garlic Salt to taste

Building the Tacos (Tortillas and Optional Toppings)

  • 8 Corn Tortillas
  • Green Cabbage shredded or rough chopped
  • Sour Cream
  • Homemade Chunky Guacamole (from sub recipe)
  • Queso Fresco

Instructions

Cajun Spice Mixture

  • Combine all the spices in a bowl. Set aside.

Cajun Spice Marinade (Wet Spice Rub)

  • Combine the olive oil and lime juice in a cup. (This is equal parts)
  • Brush the oil mixture on both sides of the fish fillets. 
  • Evenly distribute the Cajun Spice Mixture on all sides of the tilapia. Push the spices into the skin with your fingers to ensure it is nice and wet, and the fish is soaking in all the spices. 
  • Cover with aluminum foil and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, but preferably 4-6 hours. The longer the better, I marinated mine for 9 hours, just how it worked out. (Do keep it under 24 hours and always have the fish in cool temperature).

Homemade Chunky Guacamole

  • Divide the avocado meat in half. Medium dice one half of the avocado meat and add the other half into a bowl and mash until almost smooth. 
  • Add the diced onion and diced tomato, and mix until just combined. 
  • Add the diced avocado meat, the juice of one lime and the garlic salt (to taste). Be sure to only mix the guacamole until just combined every time there is a new addition. Over stirring will cause it to be too mushy and we want it chunky. 
  • Once the desired taste is reached, squeeze the juice of the second lime over the top of the guacamole. Don't mix. The lime juice will help the avocado retain its nice bright green color. Store in refrigerator in an air tight container. Give it a quick stir before eating and make sure seasoning is at desired taste. 

Bake the Tilapia

  • Preheat the oven to 375F. Line a sheet pan with foil and place a rack on top. 
  • Add the marinated fish fillets on the rack and bake until the fish is flaky and the thickest part has an internal temperature of 145 F. Time will vary depending on the thickness of the fillets. (Mine was a medium thickness and took 20 minutes to cook)
  • Remove the fish from heat and slice into strips. Size doesn't really matter as long as you can place them in the center of a tortilla for a taco. Basically bite size strips. 

Tacos, Tacos, Tacos!

  • It is finally time to build some tacos. Now that all the main components are created, just gather any toppings you wish to use. All toppings are customizable. I will share how I build mine!
  • Heat the tortillas on a flat top griddle over high heat. Remove from heat and lay on a flat surface. 
  • Add a layer of chopped (or shredded) cabbage on the bottom of the tortilla. Top with strips of baked fish.
  • Dollop a spoon of sour cream, a spoon of our Homemade Chunky Guacamole, and sprinkle some crumbled quest fresco. Viola! They sky's the limit! 

Notes

  • Cook your fish until internal temperature reaches 145F. Time will vary on thickness of fish 
  • Marinate fish for at least a few hours for ultimate flavor. 
  • All toppings and amounts are optional
  • Additional topping options include - salsa, hot sauce, Coleslaw, and so much more! 
  • 1 tilapia fillet yielded 4 tacos

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