This salmon tacos recipe is a tasty combo of the world’s best foods.
Salmon is a true wonder of the seas. The flesh is naturally tender and juicy even without a pressure cooker or hours-long cooking sessions. It tastes great on its own and can be enhanced with many seasonings — every cooking method is uniquely delicious.
Today, we’re doing a Mexican take on salmon. We season the fish with plenty of spices, bake it just enough, and serve it in taco shells with fresh veggies. The entire dish is packed with flavor and has multiple satisfying textures.
Is Our Salmon Tacos Healthy?
Tacos can get a bad rap, but our recipe for salmon tacos is healthy.
To begin with, salmon is arguably the healthiest type of animal protein due to its high omega-3 content. These fats have been shown to benefit the human body and lower your risk of many diseases.
Within the crispy taco shells, the fish is surrounded by cabbage, bell peppers, corn, and cheese. All of these ingredients enhance the dish's texture, flavor, and micronutrient content.
Overall, the nutritional profile of our dish is also attractive: 455 calories, 10.8 g saturated fat, and 546.8 mg sodium. This is possible because we kept our butter and salt content to reasonable levels and limited the size of the portions. Each serving consists of two tacos.
Ingredients You Will Need
We made a few specific flavor choices for our salmon tacos recipe:
We keep the skin on because that’s the best part of the fish, especially once golden and crisp. The skin also contains the highest concentration of healthy fats, so it’s actually beneficial to your health as well.
If you want things done more quickly, get canned salmon to make this taco. Save your extra for this burger of ours, and your next meal is considered done.
We marinate the fish with olive oil, salt, pepper, paprika, Cajun seasoning, Italian seasoning, garlic powder, and lime juice. Useful in tenderizing meat, lime’s acidic nature can also lighten up salmon’s richness.
A perk of making tacos is that you can choose from lots of toppings. We gathered a variety of different veggies. Experiment with different proportions of cabbage, lettuce, corn, and bell peppers, to deliver your preferred texture and crunch.
We chose whole-ear corn that was then boiled and stripped using a knife. If this sounds like too much work, canned corn works too — just drain and rinse it prior to heating.
Finally, we topped the tacos with cheddar, sliced jalapeño, and plenty of chopped cilantro. You can use different types of cheese as well, such as mozzarella or gruyère.
How to Make
To make these tacos, you need to season the salmon fillets, bake them, prep the veg and cheese, bake the shells, and then assemble your tacos. It sounds a lot, but the food will finish before you know it.
Here are the steps:
Season the fish.
Cook the fish.
Bake the shells.
Assemble the tacos.
There are a couple of things you should keep in mind:
Once seasoned, the fish should be allowed to sit for at least 5 minutes. It’s not for the flavor to get into the fish (it won’t — this is not a marinade), but for the lime juice to work its magic.
We don’t bother prepping the veggies until the fish is sitting cozy in the oven. It saves time overall.
We shape the taco shells by placing each tortilla into the gaps of an upside-down muffin tray. If you don’t have muffin trays, lay the tortillas flat and bake them, then quickly roll them around a cylindrical glass while they’re still hot.
Since you like tacos so much, we think you should give our blackened salmon a try. You’ll love the deep flavor that the blackening method imparts.
How to Know When Salmon Is Done
Salmon is a delicate fish, so you don’t want to overcook. It should be flaky to the touch and super juicy on the inside.
Salmon prefers a slow and low roast in the oven. Aim for about 30 minutes at 275°F. It’s even better if you have a thermometer on hand — stick it into the thickest part of the fish; when it reads 145°F, it’s done.
There’s a good reason for these temperatures: the lower the temperature, the less moisture oozes out. That’s why high-end restaurants use sous vide machines — they can heat meat or fish for hours without overcooking by perfectly maintaining a low temperature.
If you don’t have that much time, you can still cook salmon at 375°F for 15 minutes. The result won’t be as ideal, but hey, not everything needs to be perfect all the time.
It’s not possible to judge salmon’s doneness by the look, so if you don’t have a thermometer, be sure to avoid undercooking by at least using a timer. Even when you use sushi-grade fillets, undercooked salmon doesn’t taste very good.
Storing and Reheating the Leftover
If you’re not going to eat tacos right away, store the fish, the shells, and the toppings separately in the fridge. This allows you to reheat the fish and taco shells separately:
Salmon: at 300°F for about 10 minutes.
Taco shells: at 400°F for about 2-3 minutes.
What to Serve With
We always pair main dishes with complementing sides. Try these tacos with pico de gallo and orange juice. You’ll get lots of vitamin C to go with your healthy fish.
Place 24 oz boneless salmon fillets in a large bowl. Add 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 1 tsp garlic powder, 1 tsp lime juice, 1/2 tsp salt, 1/2 tsp pepper, 1/2 tsp paprika, and 1/2 tsp Cajun seasoning. Gently toss the fillets with seasonings and allow to marinate for about 5 minutes.
Line a baking sheet with parchment. Place the seasoned fish onto the baking sheet, skin-side up, and bake for 15 minutes. Prep the veg and cheese while waiting.
Transfer the fillets to a large dish once they’re finished, crank the heat to 400°F, and bake 8 6-inch tortillas, 4 at a time. We shape them using a muffin tray.
Build the tacos with cooked fish, 4 oz lettuce, 2 oz corn, 2 oz red bell pepper, 2 oz cheddar, 2 tbsp cilantro, 2 oz shredded red cabbage and 0.5 oz jalapeños. You can torch the cheese if you want.
Amount Per Serving (1 serving)
Calories 481Calories from Fat 180
% Daily Value*
Saturated Fat 5g
Polyunsaturated Fat 3g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Vitamin A 3578IU
Vitamin C 34mg
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Tuyet Pham is an award-winning Saigonese chef who believes that joy is the secret ingredient to delicious food. At Healthy Recipes 101, Tuyet personally tests and simplifies every recipe, ensuring maximum flavor with minimal effort. With a background at prestigious French restaurants P’TI Saigon and Le Corto, Tuyet knows how to make every dish exceptional.
Luna Regina is an accomplished writer and author who dedicates her career to empowering home cooks and making cooking effortless for everyone. She is the founder of HealthyKitchen101.com and HealthyRecipes101.com, where she works with her team to develop easy, nutritious recipes and help aspiring cooks choose the right kitchen appliances.
Natalie Butler is a registered dietitian nutritionist with a passion to help others live their best life through food, fitness, safer beauty and a healthy lifestyle. She has expertise with a variety of diets and diseases and believes that there is no one-size-fits-all approach for health.