Fish Taco Bowls

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Our Mahi Mahi Fish Taco Bowls with Cilantro Lime Rice are your answer to an easy, filling dinner with big flavor! Seasoned mahi mahi cooked in the air fryer served with fluffy cilantro lime rice, pico de gallo, green and purple cabbage, and a cilantro lime crema, it doesn’t get much better than that.

Side view of cilantro lime crema on a taco bowl.

It’s no secret that I’m a huge fan of fish tacos with all the fixin’s. Load them up with plenty of slaw and sauce and serve them with a tropical margarita, and I’m in food heaven.

But, folks. Fish. Taco. Bowls.

These are right up there with my favorite mahi mahi tacos. In my opinion, bowls are a little lighter but packed with just as much flavor. If you think about it, they’re like deconstructed fish tacos, or, or a fish taco salad (insert a big smiley face!).

The great thing about bowls are how many different ways you can make them. They’re completely customizable to your tastes.

My favorite are these mahi mahi bowls with cilantro lime rice, a little shredded cabbage, some pico de gallo, and a hefty dose of cilantro lime crema. They’re light, fresh, and make a quick meal.

If you use a couple of my shortcuts, these go from prep to table in about 30-40 minutes. They’re also perfect for meal prep and leftovers later in the week.

Kim’s Tips


Cooking Method: Using an air fryer is my favorite way to prepare the fish. But, feel free to use any method you like.

Rice: Similar to preparing the fish, I like to shortcut the preparation for the rice by using the Instant Pot. That way, I’m not having to babysit it on the stove. However, there are some fantastic boxed varieties that cook in about 20 minutes on the stove top, so that’s definitely an option. My Instant Pot recipe takes about 22 minutes.

Pico de Gallo: Use your favorite kind. If I’m planning well ahead of time, I’ll make a batch from scratch. Otherwise, store bought works great.

Crema: These taco bowls need some kind of dressing, crema, or sour cream. Basically something to give them some moisture and an extra layer of flavor. Our cilantro lime crema only takes a few minutes to whip up, and you can save a few minutes by making it ahead of time.

How to Store Leftovers

Refrigerator: The components of this recipe store well for about 3 days when stored separately. Try to only assemble only as many bowls as you need, and store the remaining ingredients in airtight containers in the fridge.

Crema drizzled over a taco bowl.

FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions)

What if I don’t have an air fryer?

If you don’t have an air fryer, no worries! You have several great alternatives for cooking the fish. You can bake the fish at 400°F for about 18-22 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets, until it’s flaky and fully cooked.

Another option is pan-searing; heat a bit of oil or butter in a skillet over low-medium heat and cook the fish for 4-6 minutes on each side. The mahi mahi should read 145°F on an instant read thermometer when done regardless of the cooking method.

Can I use coleslaw instead of cabbage?

Absolutely, using coleslaw as a substitute for plain shredded cabbage is a great option. Both fish taco slaw and regular coleslaw will add crunch and flavor. Just be mindful of the dressing in store-bought coleslaw, as it may alter the flavor profile you’re aiming for.

Does frozen fish work for fish taco bowls?

Yes, frozen fish can definitely be used for these taco bowls, as long as it’s properly thawed and well dried. It’s important to ensure the fish is completely thawed to maintain an even cooking process and to pat it dry to avoid any unnecessary moisture that could impact the crispiness when cooked.

What can I use in place of mahi mahi?

In place of mahi mahi, opt for other firm white fish that holds up well to grilling, baking, or pan-searing. Tilapia, halibut, and cod are good alternatives.

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Top down view of a fish taco bowl.

Fish Taco Bowls

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Author: Kimberly
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings


For the Crema

  • ¾ cup sour cream
  • ½ cup mayonnaise
  • cup fresh cilantro
  • 1 lime, zested and juiced
  • ¼ to ½ fresh jalapeño, seeds removed (optional)
  • 1 small garlic clove
  • Salt, to taste

For the Taco Bowls

  • ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon onion powder
  • ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
  • ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 pound mahi mahi, fresh or frozen (if using frozen, make sure to thaw completely)
  • 2 cups cooked cilantro lime rice, store bought or homemade
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage, mix of green and purple
  • 1 ⅓ cups pico de gallo
  • ½ cup cilantro lime crema
  • Diced avocado, optional for garnish
  • Cilantro, optional for garnish
  • Lime wedges, optional


  • Make the crema by placing its ingredients into a food processor or blender and pulse to combine. Refrigerate until ready to use.
    ¾ cup sour cream
    ½ cup mayonnaise
    ⅓ cup fresh cilantro
    1 lime
    ¼ to ½ fresh jalapeño
    1 small garlic clove
    Ingredients for lime crema in a food processor.
  • In a small bowl, combine the garlic powder, onion powder, ground cumin, paprika, and salt.
    ¾ teaspoon garlic powder
    ¼ teaspoon onion powder
    ¼ teaspoon ground cumin
    ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
    ¼ teaspoon salt
  • Pat the fish filets dry with paper towels, and drizzle with olive oil. Rub the olive oil onto all sides of the fish, then sprinkle with the seasoning mix. Press the mix into the fish to ensure that it sticks.
    1 pound mahi mahi
    1 tablespoon olive oil
    Seasoned mahi mahi on a plate.
  • Preheat the air fryer to 400°F. Once the air fryer preheats, add the fish to the basket and cook for 8-13 minutes flipping halfway through.
    Seasoned mahi mahi in an air fryer basket.
  • Cook until the internal temperature of the mahi mahi reaches 145°F and the fish flakes easily with a fork. (Thinner filets may be done in as little as 8 minutes while thicker filets take a bit longer.)
    Cooked mahi mahi in an air fryer.
  • While the fish cooks, begin preparing the bowls. Divide the rice, cabbage, and pico de gallo evenly between 4 bowls.
    2 cups cooked cilantro lime rice
    2 cups shredded cabbage
    1 ⅓ cups pico de gallo
    Pico, cabbage, and rice in a bowl.
  • Break the cooked fish into bite-sized pieces, add it to the bowls, then drizzle with crema. Add your favorite garnishes and serve immediately!
    ½ cup cilantro lime crema
    Top down view of a mahi mahi taco bowl.

Suggested Equipment


*The calories listed are an approximation based on the ingredients in the recipe card and a serving size of 1 bowl (¼ of ingredients). Actual calories will vary.
*Skip to the full recipe (ingredients, instructions, photos, tips, FAQs, etc.) for the Cilantro Lime Crema. This will take you to a another page on our site.
*Skip to Tips.
*Skip to Storage Info.
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Serving: 1bowl | Calories: 534kcal | Carbohydrates: 89g | Protein: 29g | Fat: 6g | Saturated Fat: 0.4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.4g | Cholesterol: 98mg | Sodium: 910mg | Potassium: 651mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 9g | Vitamin A: 789IU | Vitamin C: 17mg | Calcium: 107mg | Iron: 2mg
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