Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Spicy Grilled Tilapia Tacos

Spicy Fish Tacos- Perfect for Serving Buffet Style at Your Next Dinner Party

These Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos are marinated in a lime juice and chili powder, and grilled to perfection.  Serve them with a spiced yogurt sauce, cherry tomatoes, and avocado.

You know what I miss in the winter?  Sunshine, specifically, but also that woodsy, delicious smell of food cooking on a charcoal grill.  I love how it wafts into my kitchen from the open door, filling my entire apartment with tantalizing promises of a scrumptious dinner.  At the first signs of spring, we break out our heavy metal grill and start cooking.  One meal that’s really at its best on a grill is Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos.

In a hurry? Jump to the recipe! 

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Making Spicy Grilled Tilapia Tacos

Spicy Grilled Tilapia Tacos are perfect for crowds– I serve them buffet style with all the toppings laid out, so even the pickiest eaters can fill up their plates.  Plus, if you have some non-meat-eaters in your crowd, you can very easily add in fajita veggies and vegan beans to make sure everyone gets enough to eat.   (Check your tortillas for animal products if you’re serving vegans– some have lard).  As with most tacos, you can pretty much serve whatever toppings you want– but traditionally you’d at least have a yogurt sauce and shredded cabbage.  Also, in my opinion, they should have avocado.  Anytime I’ve eaten a really delicious fish taco– there has been avocado.

Marinate your tilapia fillets in chili powder, lime juice, a little olive oil, and salt.  If you want an extra kick, use the hotter, smokier chipotle chili powder (but make sure your guests like heat, or only use it on some of the fish).  Plan for about 1 fish fillet per person (more or less).  While your fish is marinating, mix all the yogurt sauce ingredients together, and chop up the toppings.  Grill the fish about 4 minutes per side (depending on how thick your fish is), and then grill your tortilla shells for about 30 seconds each.  Slice up the fish, and build your tacos!

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos

Note: You can definitely still make these tacos if you don’t have a charcoal grill!  I just think the charcoal grill gives it an extra delicious smoky kick.  If you don’t have one, use a gas grill or electric grill instead.  Alternatively, you could also pan fry your fish.

Love fish? Want more? Try these seafood recipes:


Spicy Grilled Fish Tacos
5 from 3 votes

Spicy Grilled Tilapia Tacos

Course Main Course
Total Time 30 minutes
Servings 4 people
Calories 493 kcal



  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 2 TB olive oil
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 TB chili powder (sub chipotle chili pepper for more heat)


  • 1 cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 TB chili powder
  • 1 lime, juiced
  • 1 pinch salt
  • 2-3 dashes hot sauce

Serve with:

  • 8 flour tortillas
  • shredded cabbage (or bagged dry cole slaw)
  • 1 jalapeno, coarsely chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro leaves
  • 1-2 avocados, sliced
  • cherry tomatoes, sliced

More Optional Toppings:

  • hot sauce, sour cream, red onion, green onion, cilantro


  1. Preheat charcoal grill.

  2. Place tilapia in a glass dish. Whisk together oil, lime juice, chili powder, and pour over the fish. Let marinate 15-20 minutes.

  3. Combine all sauce ingredients and stir to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Refrigerate until ready to serve.

  4. Remove tilapia from marinade and grill about 4 minutes per side (or until fish flakes with a fork). Grill tortillas about 30 seconds.

  5. Cut fish into long strips and serve on tortillas with sauce and desired toppings.

Recipe Notes

*Calorie Information was calculated per serving using My Fitness Pal, and does not include optional toppings.

Recipe adapted from: Food Network


31 thoughts on “Spicy Grilled Tilapia Tacos

  1. Suchi @elegantmeraki says:

    My husband just yesterday ate this style of tilapia is a restaurant and was asking if we can make it at home. Guess there it was in my email in the morning! Looking great! I like the idea of customizable tacos so people eat what they prefer and like. And added its great for vegetarian people like me!

  2. Diana says:

    Omg now I’m craving fish tacos! I haven’t had them in ages, your version looks so good I love adding cabbage with the tacos are with fish

  3. Shiho says:

    I have not had fish tacos before but grilling fish on charcoal sounds delicious. We eat a lots of fish in Japan so why not to have in tacos 😀 I love finding about new food! Thank you for sharing.

  4. Simon says:

    Nice Recipe + I like the style of cooking! Charcoal grill and tacos = you got me!
    Awesome to see how passionate you speak about your charcoal grill! I understand what you’re talking about! Have you tried grilling in winter time? You can’t believe how great it is 🙂 The smell is even better! I love BBQ in summer times but I love it even more in winter time (maybe I’m just strange haha)

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Haha thanks!! Nooo I haven’t.. But maybe I will next winter! I bet it would taste amazing!

    • champagne-tastes says:

      Sometimes it sticks a little.. Make sure you’ve brushed off any old food and have it preheated all way and that should help!

  5. Jolina - The Unlikely Baker says:

    We love fish tacos. There was a time when that’s all we ate for an entire week I kid you not. We don’t have a proper grill so we fry our fish but we will definitely try everything else on here. I think we’ll end up eating fish tacos for TWO whole weeks 🙂 (which is not bad at all).

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