This Instant Pot Fish Taco Recipe is a fast, family-friendly weeknight meal with white fish, taco seasoning, and a crunchy chipotle fish taco slaw.
❤️ Why You’ll Love This Recipe: These fish tacos have a refreshing citrus flavor with a hint of spice. The cabbage slaw is crunchy and fresh and aside from marinating, the dish comes together in under 20 minutes.
Traditionally, Baja fish tacos are made from battered and deep-fried fish. Which, while delicious, isn’t as healthy or as practical for a weeknight meal.
We’ve taken our favorite flavors and mixed them into a quick-cooking Instant Pot meal.
How to Make Fish Tacos in an Instant Pot
Start making this easy fish taco recipe by seasoning and marinating the fish. You can use store-bought taco seasoning or make your own with spices already in your pantry. (If you’re not sure what to add, here’s a simple recipe for homemade taco seasoning.)
Either way, before you start, pat the fish dry. Then marinate the fish in the lime juice and taco seasoning for 30 minutes to 4 hours in the refrigerator.
A Note about Marinating Fish: Unlike other meats, fish doesn’t need a long marinade. If you marinade the fish too long, it’ll turn the texture into something less appealing.
When you’re ready to make the tacos, you’ll need a trivet in the pressure cooker. If your Instant Pot didn’t come with a metal trivet, we like this trivet for pressure cooking.
Best Fish for Fish Tacos
Ultimately, the best fish for fish tacos is your favorite variety of of firm white fish. Flounder, cod, and halibut all work well.
(My personal favorite is cod fish tacos, but the others are also good.)
Make sure to cut the fish into equal-sized pieces (both in thickness and shape) so they cook evenly in the pressure cooker.
Fish Taco Slaw
While the fish cooks in the Instant Pot, you’ll want to the cabbage slaw for fish tacos. You can use a bag of pre-shredded cabbage or shred your own with a sharp knife. Another quick way to shred cabbage is right in a food processor.
You can use any color bell pepper you like.
The slaw gets heat from canned chipotle in adobo sauce. But feel free to use only as much as you like depending on your tolerance for spice.
When I make these tacos for my kids, I use no more than a tablespoon in the big batch. Then I spoon on additional sauce for those who like it hot.
Topping Ideas for Fish Tacos
People have strong opinions about how to top fish tacos. Purists prefer their fish taco slaw made with mayo, while others prefer sour cream. Some want it with pico de gallo, others with just fresh diced tomatoes.
You can add any additional toppings you like on these Instant Pot fish tacos–the fresher the better.
Here are some popular traditional and non-traditional taco toppers to try:
- Diced avocado
- Salsa or pico de Gallo (homemade or store-bought)
- Shredded cheese (cheddar, Mexican blend, Oaxaca or asadero)
- Lime wedges
- Fresh corn
- Sour cream or Mexican crema
- Queso fresco
Halving or Doubling the Recipe
To make tacos for two instead of four, simply half all of the ingredients and make no changes to the cooking time. (However, still use the full 1 cup of water in the cooking pot below the fish.)
To double the recipe, it’s best to use a larger 8-quart Instant Pot and a bigger trivet. You want all of the fish to be on an even layer so the steam in the pressure cooking pot can cook things through evenly.
These tacos will be best the day they’re made. However, you can store the fish and slaw in separate airtight containers in the fridge for up to one day. Enjoy your leftovers for lunch the next day!
More Weeknight Taco Recipes
If you love these Instant Pot fish tacos, try these other quick and easy taco recipes:
- Instant Pot Greek Beef Tacos are served on fluffy pita and have a savory ground beef filling.
- Pork Carnitas Tacos from Barbara Bakes have a juicy pulled-pork filling on crispy hard shell tacos.
- Instant Pot Chicken Tacos are filled with pulled chicken and your favorite toppings.
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Fish Taco Marinade
- 1½ pounds flounder, cod or other firm white fish, cut into 3-inch pieces
- 1 lime, juiced, divided
- ½ tablespoons taco seasoning
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
Fish Taco Slaw
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 to 2 tablespoons chipotle in adobo sauce (use more or less to adjust for spice)
- 1 lime, juiced, divided
- 4 cups shredded cabbage (I used a pre-shredded bag mix)
- 1 red bell pepper, sliced very thinly, optional
Fish Taco Sauce
- 3/4 cup Mexican crema or sour cream
- Zest and juice from one lime
- 1/2 teaspoon adobo sauce (optional, adjust to taste)
- 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon salt, to taste
- 12 6-inch corn tortillas
- Additional toppings as desired (avocado, pico de gallo, lime wedges, chopped cilantro)
Marinate the Fish
- In a mixing bowl, whisk together the taco seasoning, juice of 1 lime, and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add the fish and gently toss to coat the fish in the sauce. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to 4 hours.
Pressure Cook the Fish
- Pour 1 cup of water into the pressure cooking pot. Place a metal trivet in the bottom of the pot. Place fish on the trivet in one layer.
- Lock the lid in place and select High Pressure and a 2 minute cook time.* When the cook time ends, use a quick pressure release. When the valve drops, carefully remove the lid.
- Remove the fish from the Instant Pot to a bowl and lightly flake the fish with two forks.
Make the Fish Taco Slaw and Fish Taco Sauce
- While the fish cooks, in a bowl, whisk together the remaining lime juice, 2 tablespoons olive oil, chipotle in adobo, and salt.
- Add the cabbage and red pepper and stir to combine. Set aside.
- In another bowl, whisk together the sour cream or crema, lime juice and zest from one lime, adobo sauce if using, and salt. Set aside.
Assemble the Fish Tacos
- Heat the tortillas in a skillet or the microwave when you’re ready to serve.
- Fill the tortillas with fish, top with slaw and sauce, and other toppings of your choice.
Note: You can skip the marinade and cook the fish from frozen, with a cook time of 4 minutes. The fish won’t be quite as flavorful, but the tacos are still delicious.
If you wish to marinate your fish overnight, you'll need to modify it. Pat the fish dry and rub on the taco seasoning, then place it in a ziplock bag with the oil and refrigerate overnight. Add the lime juice and marinate a little bit more before cooking.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 473Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 7gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 12gCholesterol: 126mgSodium: 884mgCarbohydrates: 35gFiber: 7gSugar: 7gProtein: 36g
Nutrition information is calculated by Nutritionix and may not always be accurate.
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