Food & Recipes / Dinners

Jerk Tilapia Fish Tacos with Zoodle Slaw

three fish tacos with carrots, zucchini, avocado, and lime
Servings: 4


Jerk Seasoning Ingredients

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. ground cayenne
3/4 tsp. ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp. ground cumin
1 tsp. garlic powder
1/2 tsp. ground nutmeg
1/2 tsp. onion powder
1 1/2 tsp. dried parsley
1 Tbsp. granulated sugar substitute
1 1/2 tsp. sweet paprika
1 tsp. thyme

Fish Taco Ingredients

4 tilapia fillets
1/8 tsp. salt
1 Tbsp. canola oil (divided)
12 (4.75-inch) corn tortillas, to serve
½ avocado, diced, to serve

Zoodle Slaw Ingredients

1/4 tsp. ground black pepper
1 cup grated carrots (about 1 medium-large peeled carrot)
1 cup chopped cilantro
1/4 cup fat-free, plain Greek yogurt
1-2 chopped jalapeño peppers (optional)
2 Tbsp. low-fat mayonnaise
1/8 tsp. salt
1/2 cup chopped scallions
2 tsp. granulated sugar substitute
3 Tbsp. white vinegar
2½ cups grated zucchini (from approximately 1 medium-large zucchini)


Fish Taco Directions

  1. In a small bowl, add all the seasonings for the jerk seasoning. Use a spoon to stir until combine.
  2. Coat the fish in about half the jerk spice mixture, using your fingers to spread the spice mixture onto both sides of each fillet. (Reserve remaining spice mixture in a sealed container for up to 1 month.) Sprinkle salt over the fish.
  3. In a large nonstick pan, warm ½ tablespoon oil over medium-high heat. Add 2 fillets, cooking until spices are caramelized and the fish easily flakes with a fork, about 5 minutes per side, depending on fillet thickness. Transfer to a plate and repeat sautéing process with remaining 2 fillets.
  4. To assemble the fish tacos: Wrap the corn tortillas in a wet paper towel and heat in the microwave until warm, 30 seconds to 1 minute. Break fish into large pieces with a fork. Place the fish pieces, slaw, and diced avocado onto a platter for easier assembly. Into the center of each tortilla, add fish and top with slaw. Garnish with a few pieces of diced avocado and serve.

Zoodle Slaw Directions

  1. In a large bowl, add the dressing ingredients: yogurt, mayonnaise, vinegar, sugar substitute, pepper, and salt. Whisk together with a fork.
  2. Meanwhile, place a box grater into a medium bowl and grate enough zucchini for 2½ cups and 1 cup carrots.
  3. Prepare the remaining vegetables by chopping the cilantro, scallions, and (optional) jalapeno.
  4. Add all the slaw vegetables into the large bowl with the dressing. Use a spatula or tongs to toss together. Let sit until needed for the fish tacos.
Nutritional info

392 calories, 12.2 g total fat (2.1 g saturated fat), 33 g carbohydrates, 7 g dietary fiber, 40 g protein, 410 mg sodium


Tilapia can be substituted with any 6-ounce white fish fillet; choices include flounder, halibut, cod, and haddock.

Keep it Healthy:

Using a majority of plain fat-free or low-fat yogurt along with 1 to 2 tablespoons of mayonnaise like in this recipe is a good way to keep the traditional taste of cole slaw while making it a lot healthier.

Tips: If you’re unfamiliar with “zoodles,” they are skinny strips of zucchini that can be used in various recipes, including as a sub for pasta noodles. Use a spiralizer or a box grater to create them, or buy them pre-shredded in the grocery store.

Make sure to assemble each taco one at a time; the corn tortillas get too soggy if tacos are assembled in advance.

For more of a spicy pop in the jerk seasoning, increase the cayenne pepper. Use the remaining seasoning for pork chops, boneless chicken breasts, or even other fish like salmon.


©Copyright 2020 American Heart Association, Inc., a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit. All rights reserved. Unauthorized use prohibited.