Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls

Grey circle with the letters GFGrey circle with number 30A grey circle with KF
Prep Time
20 mins
Cook Time
18 mins

Filled with smoky pan-seared cod, a crunchy cabbage slaw and creamy homemade guacamole, these Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls are a weeknight dinner to remember! Instead of using corn or flour tortillas, they’re served over a bed of jasmine rice and finished off with your favorite toppings.

** A special thanks to Success Rice for sponsoring this post. As always all opinions are 100% mine**

Flavorful Baja Fish Tacos in a Bowl

Baja fish tacos may be the most under-appreciated Mexican comfort food of all time. They’re packed with tons of amazing flavor and a variety of textures to make every bite a fiesta for your mouth. These hearty rice filled Baja bowls feature moist and flaky cod, smooth and creamy guacamole, and crunchy cabbage slaw—all of it seasoned to perfection.

They may not be your traditional Baja fish tacos… i.e. in a tortilla, but they’re guaranteed to satisfy your cravings all the same. The fish is dry-rubbed with my custom spice rub then pan-seared instead of deep-fried, making it healthier while still infusing it with tons of flavor. And I’ve got a secret for perfectly cooked rice every time. Success Rice has a boil-in-bag line that will change your life. You’ll have perfectly cooked rice every time! No mess. No measuring. Just put the bag in, boil it, pull it out and you’re good to go!

The toppings you add are also entirely up to you and your preferences. I like to finish off my fish tacos with some Classic Pico de Gallo and a few Pickled Onions. Perfection through and through!

A Baja fish taco bowl on a granite countertop with a spoon inside the bowl

What is a Baja Fish Taco?

Created in Baja California, Mexico, this iconic type of taco originally contained deep-fried white fish meat, shredded cabbage or lettuce, spicy mayonnaise, salsa and fresh lime juice. This recipe swaps the mayo for a lightly spicy guacamole that’s so tasty, you’ll want to make some extra to serve on the side as a dip!

A Baja bowl on a countertop beside a dish of guac and a second Baja bowl

Recipe Ingredients

This fresh take on Baja fish tacos will make you fall in love with them all over again. Here’s what goes into each component:

For the Cabbage Slaw

  • Purple Cabbage: Sliced.
  • Lime Juice: Freshly squeezed.
  • Fresh Cilantro: Roughly chopped.
  • Salt: Added to taste.

For the Guacamole

  • Avocados: Mashed.
  • Garlic Clove: Trust me, garlic makes everything better.
  • Fresh Cilantro: to brighten things up.
  • Ground Cumin: The warm, nutty and earthy flavors of cumin harmonize with the heat of the red pepper flakes.
  • Red Pepper Flakes: To spice things up.
  • Lime Juice: The zest and acid from the lime juice cuts through the creaminess of the avocado and really balances everything.
  • Red Wine Vinegar: To add a sharp tang.
  • Salt: Added to taste

For the Fish

  • Cod Fillet: Find one fillet that weighs about a pound and a half or multiple fillets that add up to the same number.
  • Avocado Oil: This heart-healthy oil is great for your skin and hair.
  • Garlic Powder
  • Smoked Paprika
  • Ground Cumin
  • Sea Salt
  • Ancho Chili Powder: For some seriously yummy smokiness.
  • Black Pepper: Use freshly cracked black pepper for the best flavor.

For Serving

  • Jasmine Rice: Success Boil-in-Bag Rice or you could also use their white or brown rice here as well.
  • Pico de Gallo – You can use my recipe for it here.
  • Picked Onions – Trust me, you’re going to want these pickled onions in your life! My family calls them “yummy yummies” and eats them plain, they are that good!
A Baja fish taco bowl on a granite countertop with a spoon inside the bowl

What Kind of Fish Should I Use?

Be sure to use a white meat fish fillet that’s lean and flaky. Cod is my go-to for fish tacos, but mahi mahi, halibut and tilapia work well too. White-meat fillets cook quickly and tend to be more affordable, so it’s a win-win!

How to Make Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls

Making these scrumptious tacos is a lot easier than you might think. All of the fillings come together in no time!

Make Cabbage Slaw: Add the purple cabbage, lime juice, cilantro and salt to a small mixing bowl. Toss to mix everything together, then set the prepared slaw aside.

The cabbage slaw ingredients inside of a mixing bowl before they've been combined

Make Guacamole: Add the avocado, garlic, cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes, lime juice, red wine vinegar and salt to a medium-sized bowl. Mash everything together, then set the guac aside.

Guacamole being mixed with a spoon in a glass mixing bowl

Dry Cod: Pat the cod dry with a paper towel.

Combine Seasonings: Add the garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, ancho chili powder and black pepper to a small bowl. Stir until all of the seasonings are well combined.

Add to Cod: Season both sides of the dried fillet with the prepared spice blend.

Cook: Heat a large skillet to medium-high heat. Add the avocado oil and the seasoned cod. Cook each side of the fish for 3-4 minutes.

Boil Rice: Add 4 cups of water to a pot. Submerge jasmine rice bag into the water. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove bag immediately from water with a fork, drain, empty rice into serving dish and fluff with fork.

Assemble Bowls: Add half a cup of jasmine rice to each serving bowl. Top the rice with 4-6 ounces of pan-seared cod, cabbage slaw, avocado mash, pico de gallo and pickled onions.

Serve: Enjoy!

A baha fish taco rice bowl with a hand grabbing it from the counter

Tips for Success

These simple tips will help you make top-notch Baja fish tacos. Thank me later!

  • Use Fresh Lime Juice: Bottled lime juice won’t give you the same authentic flavor that fresh-squeezed juice provides. For the best results, dig out that citrus juicer.
  • Don’t Forget to Dry the Cod: Be sure to pat your cod dry with a paper towel to avoid cooking it with excess moisture present.
  • Serve Immediately: Baja taco bowls are best served fresh. If you leave them at room temperature for too long, the avocado will start to brown at a faster pace.
Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls in a bowl with a spoon next to a box of success rice

Serving Suggestions

While these taco bowls certainly qualify as a complete meal on their own, I have a few ultra-tasty pairings for you to try.

  • Serve with Mexican Street Corn: This easy Mexican Street Corn Salad is guaranteed to be a slam dunk at the dinner table. It’s dressed in a swoon-worthy chili lime cream sauce.
  • Pair with Instant Pot Black Beans: Another classic side dish that goes great with Baja fish taco bowls is—you guessed it—Mexican Black Beans. My easy Instant Pot recipe eliminates the need to soak the beans!
  • Serve with Margaritas: Who doesn’t love a good frozen cocktail? This fruity Mixed Berry Margarita is heaven in a glass, but my Strawberry Margarita and Mango Margarita are insanely refreshing too!
The bird's-eye view of a fish taco rice bowl on a marble surface beside four lime wedges

Storing and Reheating Extras

It’s best to enjoy your Baja bowls fresh, but if you happen to have leftovers, you can store each component according to the instructions below. Do not leave the bowls at room temperature for longer than 2 hours – especially the cod.

  • Slaw: Place the cabbage slaw in an airtight container and refrigerate it for 3-4 days.
  • Guac: Transfer your guacamole to an airtight container, then pour a small amount of lime juice or water on top so that it’s covered by a thin layer of liquid. Close the container and store it for up to 3 days. Pour out the liquid before using your guac.
  • Cod: Place the cooled fish into a shallow airtight container and store it in the fridge for up to 4 days. Reheat it in a skillet over low heat, adding a splash of oil to make up for lost moisture.
  • Rice: Refrigerate leftover jasmine rice in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If desired, reheat it in the microwave or warm it up in a skillet over low heat along with a splash of oil (or a little bit of butter).

Can I Freeze These?

I definitely don’t recommend freezing your cabbage slaw, but everything else in these bowls can be frozen and thawed out just fine.

Place the guacamole, cod and rice into separate airtight containers or freezer bags and freeze them. The guac and the cod will last for about 3 months while the rice will last for up to 6. Thaw everything out in the fridge before reheating/enjoying it.

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A Baja fish taco bowl on a granite countertop with a spoon inside the bowl

Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls

  • Author: Krista
  • prep_time Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • cook_time Cook Time: 18 minutes
  • total_time Total Time: 38 minutes
  • yield Yield: 4 1x
  • category Category: Fish and Seafood
  • method Method: Stove
  • cuisine Cuisine: Mexican

Description

Filled with smoky pan-seared cod, a crunchy cabbage slaw and creamy homemade guacamole, these Baja Fish Taco Rice Bowls are a weeknight dinner to remember! Instead of using corn or flour tortillas, they’re served over a bed of jasmine rice and finished off with your favorite toppings.

Scale

Ingredients

For the Cabbage Slaw

  • 2 cups purple cabbage, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
  • salt

For the Guacamole

  • 2 avocados, mash
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • salt to season

For the Fish

  • 1.5lbs cod fillet
  • 2 tablespoons avocado oil
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

For Serving

Instructions

  1. To a small bowl, add purple cabbage, lime juice, cilantro and salt. Toss to mix everything together. Set slaw aside.
  2. To a bowl add avocado, garlic, cilantro, cumin, red pepper flakes, lime juice, red wine vinegar and salt. Mash everything together and set guac aside.
  3. Pat cod dry with paper towel.
  4. To a small bowl, add garlic powder, smoked paprika, cumin, salt, ancho chili powder, and pepper. Stir to combine.
  5. Season both sides of cod fillet with spice blend.
  6. Heat a large skillet to medium high heat. Add avocado oil and then cod fillet. Cook both sides of the cod for 3-4 minutes. 
  7. Boil Rice: Add 4 cups of water to a pot. Submerge Success Jasmine rice bag into the water. Bring to a boil and boil uncovered for 10 minutes. Remove bag immediately from water with a fork, drain, empty rice into serving dish and fluff with fork.
  8. To assemble rice bowls, add 1/2 cup jasmine rice, top with 4-6 oz. pan-seared cod, cabbage slaw, avocado mash, pico de gallo and pickled onions. Serve!

Notes

Storage & Reheating

Do not leave bowls at room temperature for longer than 2 hours – especially cod.

  • Slaw: Place in an airtight container and refrigerate for 3-4 days.
  • Guac: Transfer to an airtight container and pour a thin layer of lime juice/water on top. Close container and store for up to 3 days, pouring out liquid before using.
  • Cod: Place cooled fish in a shallow airtight container and refrigerate for up to 4 days. Reheat over low heat, adding a splash of oil.
  • Rice: Refrigerate in an airtight container for 3-4 days. If desired, reheat in the microwave or over low heat along with a splash of oil.

Freezing

  • I don’t recommend freezing cabbage slaw.
  • Place guacamole, cod and rice into separate airtight containers/freezer bags and freeze. Guac and cod will last for 3 months & rice will last for 6. Thaw everything in the fridge before reheating/enjoying.

Nutrition

  • Serving Size: 1 baja fish taco bowl

Keywords: cod fish tacos, baja tacos, fish tacos with slaw

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Hey There

Krista
Hi! I'm the recipe developer and food photographer behind all these easy healthy recipes! I love food, Jesus, morning lattes, and am obsessed with fantasy football!

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43 Responses
    1. Krista

      For this recipe, I would use a white meat fish fillet that’s lean and flaky. Cod is my go-to for fish tacos, but Mahi Mahi, Halibut, or Tilapia are great options.

  1. Chelsey L.

    Just wanted to let you know that I made this last night and it was soooo good. I loved the combo of all the flavors, and that Cilantro Lime dressing was sooo good. I had to use champagne vinegar, no red wine vinegar and it still turned out amazing. Thanks for the recipe it’ll be in the rotation from now on. Cheers!

  2. Marie Carliste

    With rice, fish and salad, your recipe makes such a complete dinner and such a beautiful one too. I would love to make it on a weekend night and impress my family.

  3. Jessica

    These look so delicious. I was wondering though, is there a different type of dressing that would go well with this. I do not like cilantro. I have tried a few recipes with it, hoping that if it was mixed in with other flavors I couldn’t taste it, but I can. (I think it is because I know it is in that particular food.)

  4. Albert Bevia

    This was an amazing post, and these fish taco rice bowls sound incredible! love the concept of this recipe…making this tomorrow for dinner 🙂

  5. Miso Riso

    Made these and they were absolutely delicious!! Fresh, flavorful and filling. Thank you for this recipe 🙂 I give it 5 stars, and bonus my husband loved it as well. Easy week night meal.

  6. Paula

    The fish taco bowls look amazing but I so enjoyed your post about hiding yourself in the Lord. I never comment on food blogs but I just had to because it really blessed me. Blessings to your family for 2017 and more!

    1. Krista

      Oh thank you so much Paula, you totally made my day. I LOVE sharing my heart on this blog because I truly believe when we share our stories we lift each other up, in the joys AND the sorrows! So blessed to have you as a reader Paula! 🙂

  7. Bethany @ athletic avocado

    This bowl food is soul food right here! I love fish tacos, but I could definitely do without the shell! I’d much rather have the fish over these glorious concoction! Also, is the joy of the Lord amazing! Even in times of sorrow, he pours his heart out to us!

  8. Cookin Canuck

    Oh, I remember those days of building, crashing and stepping on Legos! As for these rice bowls – it doesn’t get much better than perfectly cooked fish with pickled onions.

  9. Erin @ The Speckled Palate

    I just love when a song hits home so hard. I’ll have to check out that CD. And these bowls… SWOON. Well done, lady!

  10. Patricia @ Grab a Plate

    What a great bowl dish! Your presentation and pix are fabulous! I am looking forward to giving this a try – so tasty!

  11. heather (delicious not gorgeous)

    oooh, that fish is seared so nicely and i’m a sucker for anything guacamole/mashed avocado related. this looks so hearty and even though i just had mexican food a couple days ago, this still sounds delicious.

  12. Laura at I Heart Naptime

    My oldest turns 15 tomorrow (!!!) and we have quite the number of Legos in our home, too. And we still keep buying new sets because I love the imaginative play the 12 yo and 6 yo do. (Although, my husband wants to keep every box – but I have a binder for each boy with page protectors, and put the instructions booklets in there and have been slowly recycling empty boxes). Big, big clear buckets to dump all those pieces help a ton, as do “house shoes” – I finally learned my lesson.

    This bowl looks so delicious, and I cannot believe it’s done in 30 minutes – that is amazing and I cannot wait to make it this week!

    1. Krista

      haha.. i refuse to keep the boxes!!! But of course I do keep the instructions and believe me we have a lot of instructions! 🙂 I need to get the big buckets though, that’s genius! Yeah for legos and creativity!

      Hope you get a chance to try these bowls! They’re incredible!

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