Don’t drown that fresh fish in heavy sauces, make dairy-free fish tacos! This easy recipe is made with real food ingredients and is naturally bold with pure Mexican flavors. We love it with Alaska cod or black cod (sablefish), which are considered sustainable choices from now through fall. But it works well with any firm white fish. And you can grill it, bake it, or cook it on the stove top. We’ve including all three cooking methods.
Dairy-Free Fish Tacos made with Fresh, Flavorful Ingredients
Head to the produce section and spice aisle for your toppings and marinades. These dairy-free fish tacos and the accompanying guacamole are made with cumin, cilantro, jalapeno, garlic, and lime. This healthy dairy-free fish tacos recipe was originally shared with us by Alaska Seafood. But we’ve since updated the recipe and have added tips and notes in the following FAQs.
What Other Toppings go with Dairy-Free Fish Tacos?
Aside from the toppings listed in the recipe, here are some of our favorites:
- Sliced Black or Green Olives
- Shredded Cabbage
- Corn Kernels
- Chipotle Mayonnaise (thinned with more water to make it a little drizzly)
- Classic Coleslaw
- Dairy-Free Sour Cream (store-bought or homemade)
- Hot Sauce (I love Cholula)
What Other Types of Fish are Good in Tacos?
In addition to cod, halibut, snapper, tilapia, catfish, and mahi mahi are popular for fish tacos. We also like marlin when in season.
Aren’t All Fish Tacos Dairy Free?
I wish! Be careful when ordering as most restaurants do use dairy in their fish tacos. Some fry their fish in dairy-containing batter, some use marinades with buttermilk, others straight up add cheese, and many drizzle on creamy toppings. Plus, it isn’t unheard of for tortillas to contain milk. Making your own dairy-free fish tacos is a safer bet, and far better tasting, in my opinion.
I’m not a Cilantro Fan; Can I Omit it?
Definitely. You don’t need to use the cilantro if you don’t like it. You can substitute parsley, or simply leave it out. These dairy-free fish tacos have enough flavor, even without any herbs.
Special Diet Notes: Fresh Fish Tacos
By ingredients, this recipe is dairy-free / non-dairy, egg-free, gluten-free, nut-free, peanut-free, and soy-free.
For paleo dairy-free fish tacos, skip the tortillas and serve in lettuce wraps or your favorite paleo wraps.
- 2½ tablespoons cumin seeds
- ¼ cup freshly squeezed lime juice
- 3 jalapeño peppers, stemmed and cut in half
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 large bunch cilantro
- ½ cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 1½ pounds wild Alaska cod fillets (or other firm white fish)
- 12 (4 to 6-inch) corn tortillas, warmed
- 6 lettuce leaves, torn in half
- 1 cup salsa fresca
- 1 cup dairy-free guacamole (recipe below or store-bought)
- Lime wedges, for serving
- 5 ripe avocados
- 6 tablespoons chopped fresh cilantro
- 1 medium red onion, diced
- 4 jalapeño peppers, stemmed, seeded and finely diced
- 3 tablespoons fresh-squeezed lime juice
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- ½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- Lightly toast the cumin seeds in a dry skillet over low heat just until the aroma is released, about 5 minutes.
- Transfer the seeds to a blender. Add the lime juice, jalapeños, garlic, pepper, and salt and blend until the cumin seeds are finely ground. Add the cilantro and olive oil and puree until smooth.
- Using your hands, generously cover the cod entirely with the marinade and let sit at room temperature for 20 minutes.
- Preheat your grill to medium-hot, the broiler in your oven, or a pan on the stovetop over medium-high heat.
- Cook the fish until nearly opaque throughout, about 2 to 5 minutes per side, depending on thickness. Remove the fish from the heat, cool slightly and pull apart into large flakes.
- Place the warm tortillas on a work surface and line each with a piece of lettuce. Top the lettuce with chunks of fish, a generous spoonful of salsa fresca, and fresh guacamole.
- Serve immediately accompanied by lime wedges.
- Cut the avocados in half, remove the pits, peel, quarter and place the flesh in a mixing bowl.
- Mash the avocado with a potato masher or fork until chunky.
- Add the cilantro, onion, jalapeños, lime juice, salt, and pepper and combine with a fork. This makes 3 cups. Store leftovers in an airtight container for up to 2 days.
Nutrition Note: The nutrition facts include an estimated portion of the marinade, not all of it, since much of the marinade is discarded.