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Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema

It’s everything you love about a fish taco in salad form — and paleo-friendly! These spiced fish taco bowls are so good you won’t even miss the torillas.

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema | Paleo recipes | Whole30 recipes | fish recipes | grilling recipes |

This was, hands down, my favorite Whole30 recipe. I still make it quite often — not always the exact same way — and it’s a family favorite! It’s also included in the Whole30 section of the Real Plans recipe planning service. If you happen to come over from the Real Plans site, welcome!

You’d think for someone who loves Mexican-inspired food as much as I do I’d make a bigger deal about Cinco de Mayo.

Truth be told I tend to forget about it until the last minute, and most of the time we don’t actually eat Mexican food on May 5th. #cincodemayofail

Well, this year is different. I’ve got some slow cooker barbacoa tacos planned, and I’m going to whip up some paleo tortillas! Ole, right?

That reminds me — have you tried the paleo tortillas in my book, The Big Book of Paleo Slow Cooking? DOOO IT. Seriously, they’re good. Not glorified crepes. And they have a chewy bite to them. They’re fabulous.

I also happened to have a couple Mexican-inspired recipes to share with you this week — these Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls and some crazy-good Grilled Pineapple & Jalapeno Salsa.

If you’re on the lookout for Whole30 tacos or keto fish tacos, you’re in the right place. And taco salads are synonymous with tacos, right?

I mean, eating a taco in a lettuce leaf (keto tortilla. Ha.) and over a bead of salad greens is just a matter of utensil preference, no? Clean eating or low carb Mexican is pretty easy to navigate that way.

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema | Paleo recipes | Whole30 recipes | fish recipes | grilling recipes |

I’m a bit of a fish taco fanatic, and I like to try them at every Mexican restaurant we find ourselves. I’ve had some really great ones over the years (Mmm. Rubio’s), but here’s some advice: don’t eat fish tacos at Red Robin.

You’re probably shaking your head in disbelief that I’d actually order fish tacos at Red Robin.

Hey, I was curious! And fish tacos sounded good!

Now that I’ve experienced a crappy tortilla filled with cheap fish sticks covered in regular tartar sauce, I think I’ll order a burger next time. *facepalm*

I’ve ordered a burger at a Mexican place once (a green chile burger) and it was pretty fantastic. So veering from the restaurant’s niche SOMETIMES pays off. Just not that Red Robin experience. Ew.

(That may have been one of the biggest regrets of all of my restaurant experiences. And the most embarrassing.)

Change of subject, please?

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema | Paleo recipes | Whole30 recipes | fish recipes | grilling recipes |

Let’s talk about more pleasant things. Like this Grilled Jalapeno Pineapple Salsa. I’ve got another grilled pineapple pico de gallo, but I decided to do a different version without tomatoes and with grilled jalapenos.

The bits of grilled pineapple were the perfect sweet addition to this fish taco bowl.

You could use either grilled pineapple salsa recipe or just use plain grilled pineapple and your favorite salsa or pico de gallo. If you’re eating keto or low-carb, you might want to go easy on that salsa.

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema | Paleo recipes | Whole30 recipes | fish recipes | grilling recipes |

What Kind of Fish Should I use for Fish Taco Bowls?

For the fish, I used wild-caught rockfish because they carry it all the time at our Costco and it’s relatively inexpensive. Compared to halibut.

Cod is great for this, too, or thin dover sole fillets. And yeah, you could even use salmon. Mmm. salmon.

I seasoned these fillets with dried chipotle powder and a lot of fresh lime juice, but feel free to use taco seasoning (I have a homemade gluten free taco seasoning that’s the BOMB.)

If I don’t grill the fish, I sear the fish in a skillet with some avocado oil (I don’t use olive oil — especially extra-virgin because the oil will oxidize really quickly. That’s not a good thing.)

Topping Ideas for Fish Taco Bowls

Don’t forget the citrus crema! I threw in some freshly squeezed orange juice to give it a little sweetness, and it adds a nice, creamy coating to the slaw underneath.

For the slaw, I like a combination of green and red cabbage, but you can use one or the other. Or even a coleslaw mix (without the dressing, obv).

Those little orange carrot flecks are pretty, too. So are radishes. (Quite often I add things purely for color.) My Southwest Cabbage Slaw is one I often make for these bowls.

And you can’t leave out the guac either. Because, #guacallthethings. Or at the very least, sliced avocados. And have more fresh lime juice.

If you’re really wanting to make this awesome, make the Loaded Roasted Chile Guacamole. Or my Lazy Guacamole. Either will do. Or even some Wholly Guacamole from the grocery store. OR the Hatch Chile Guacamole from Sprouts — that’s definitely my favorite store-bought guac. YUM.


You could swap out the fish for SHRIMP. (I just thought of that. And I’m wondering why I’ve never tried this at home.)

And it’s just a few ingredients and a quick sear in a skillet. Fish and seafood are so nice that way.

If seafood isn’t your thing at all, throw some taco seasoned ground beef in here. Or a batch of my Copycat Chipotle Chorizo. Or some Slow Cooker Green Chile Chicken (also good in an Instant Pot!)

I’d love to hear how you like these fish taco bowls! Drop me a comment or leave a review on the recipe card and tell me what you think!SaveSave

If you make one of my recipes, be sure to post it on social media and tag me at @perrysplate or #perrysplate so I can send you some love!

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema

Chile-Lime Fish Taco Bowls with Citrus Crema

Yield: Serves 6
Additional Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 45 minutes


For the fish:

  • 1 1/2-2 pounds firm white fish, like cod, rockfish, or halibut
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lime juice (from 2-3 limes)
  • 1/2-1 teaspoon dried chipotle chowder
  • 1 teaspoon sea salt

For the crema:

  • 1/2 cup paleo-friendly mayonnaise
  • 1-2 Tablespoons freshly squeezed lime juice (1/2 lime)
  • 2-3 Tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice (1/2 orange)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon dried chipotle powder

For the salad

  • 1 small head of cabbage (red or green or half of each)
  • Guacamole or diced avocados
  • 2 limes, cut into wedges
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), optional
  • Pico de gallo or either of the pineapple salsa recipes linked in the post


  1. Place the fish in a large shallow dish or ziptop bag.
  2. Combine the lime juice, dried chipotle powder (more if you'd like it spicier), and sea salt. Pour it over the fish. Chill the fish and let it marinate for at least 2 hours and up to 6 hours.
  3. Combine all of the ingredients for the crema and chill until ready to serve.
  4. Shred the cabbage and prep the guac and salsa (if needed).
  5. Cook the fish by grilling it over medium-high heat in a greased grill pan or in a skillet over medium-high heat in a little coconut oil.
  6. To assemble bowls, put a bed of shredded cabbage in each bowl. Top with a couple pieces of fish, a couple scoops of salsa, guac, and a sprinkle of pepitas. Serve with lime wedges and a drizzle of crema.


  1. I highly recommend serving this with Grilled Pineapple Salsa (with tomatoes) or Grilled Pineapple & Jalapeno Salsa(without tomatoes).
  2. If you want to take this a step further you could put it under a bed of Southwest Cabbage Slaw. You can make it a few days ahead of time, too.


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Saturday 5th of March 2022

I am making these today for the 2nd time. This time it's for company, they are that good and I use what I have-no pineapple. I have peach habanero salsa.

Natalie Perry

Wednesday 6th of April 2022

That sounds delicious, too! I love that this recipe is adaptable to whatever taco-friendly ingredients you have on hand.


Tuesday 14th of April 2020

Hi there! I really want to make this. My mouth is watering just reading about it! One question, since lime juice cooks fish, will that happen at all during the marinating? Maybe it doesn't matter? Thanks!

Natalie Perry

Tuesday 21st of April 2020

Hi Eileen! I wouldn't worry about it. It might start to "cook" the outside, but it's not like the fish will overcook if you cook it over heat as well. I hope you make these bowls -- they're so good!


Sunday 4th of February 2018

I'm definitely trying these! Can almost taste the crema :-)

Natalie Perry

Thursday 8th of February 2018

Yes! I hope you do!


Monday 18th of September 2017

So very yummy!!!! Really loved the flavor variety in every bite. I didn't think it would be very filling but it sure is!

Natalie Perry

Sunday 1st of October 2017

Right? It surprised me, too. So glad you enjoyed it!


Thursday 29th of June 2017

DELICIOUS!!!! Chili Lime Fish Taco Bowls....on my list of "one of my favorites"

Thank you

Natalie Perry

Thursday 6th of July 2017

I love making that list! Thanks so much! xoxo

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