easy tilapia fish tacos
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Fish tacos are delicious in any form: from thickly battered and fried to simply grilled, and from overloaded with toppings to stripped down to their essence. This easy fish taco recipe falls into the latter camp, but it doesn’t feel in any way lacking. (It is pretty healthy, which is always a bonus.)

It’s the perfect way to use those tilapia fillets in your freezer, but the simple flour dredge and pan-fry technique works just as well with any other mild white fish. And the four-ingredient pineapple salsa really depends on perfectly ripe fruit, so feel free to swap in whatever tastes best at the moment (mango and peaches are high on the list of preferred candidates).

Related Reading: The Best Places to Order Fresh Seafood Online | 9 Produce Subscriptions You Should Know About

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Pair this quick dinner up with perfect guacamole (plus chips, of course), and maybe a margarita or two if you’re feeling extra festive.

What You Need to Make Pan-Fried Tilapia Tacos with Fresh Pineapple Salsa

  • 2 cups medium-dice fresh pineapple
  • 2 medium jalapeños (seeds removed if you want a milder salsa), minced
  • Half a medium lime
  • Kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 pound fresh tilapia (about 5 fillets; if frozen, thaw completely and pat dry with paper towels)
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 cup flour, spread out on a shallow plate
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter, melted
  • 8 corn tortillas

Note: Makes 8 good-sized tacos

Steps to Making Pan-Fried Tilapia Tacos with Fresh Pineapple Salsa

1. Mix the pineapple and jalapeños in a medium bowl. Squeeze the lime half over top. Season with salt to taste. Set aside.

2. Season both sides of the tilapia fillets with salt and pepper.

3. Dredge in the flour so all surfaces are lightly and evenly coated.

4. Set a large skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tablespoon of the vegetable oil. When the skillet is very hot, add half of the floured fish pieces.

5. Sear for 4 minutes on the first side. Flip, brush with half of the melted butter, and cook for 4 more minutes, until done.

6. Repeat with the remaining fillets.

7. Make into tacos!


  • Use any other mild white fish in place of tilapia, or try shrimp.
  • Use any other ripe, delicious fruit instead of pineapple.
  • Add cilantro or other fresh herbs to the salsa. (See more tips for perfect homemade salsa, no matter what you put in it.)
  • If you’re out of flour, try dredging the fish in panko, finely crushed crackers, or even pulverized Rice Chex (which is also a fine gluten-free option).

Fish Tacos, Take Two

How to Make Perfect Fried Fish Tacos

Photos, styling, and animated GIF by Chris Rochelle.

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