These 20-minute Weeknight Salmon Tacos are insanely delicious, healthy, and easy to make! Made with chili-rubbed pan-seared salmon and topped with a fish taco slaw on warm corn or flour tortillas.
If you’re on the search for a healthy, fast, and easy taco recipe to make during the week, then these salmon tacos are for you! Ready in only 20 minutes, the salmon fillets are seasoned in an easy chili spice rub, then pan fried and flaked before being piled into fresh corn tortillas.
To add a little bit of crunch and acidity, I like topping each tortilla with a creamy fish taco slaw, sliced radishes, fresh cilantro leaves, and a spritz of lime juice.
The only thing that would make the whole meal even better would be to wash it down with a refreshing skinny margarita for the best weeknight meal ever!
Salmon taco ingredients
- Salmon – Fresh, buttery, flaky salmon is naturally mild tasting, meaning it pairs well with the savory and smoky seasonings in this fish taco recipe. I prefer using fresh salmon fillets, but you can also use frozen. Just make sure the fillets are completely thawed and patted dry before cooking.
- Seasonings – A simple mix of chili powder, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder gives the pan fried salmon a slightly spicy, smoky, and aromatic flavor profile.
- Tortillas – You can use either corn tortillas or flour tortillas for these salmon tacos. Homemade tortillas are easy to make but you can always use store bought to speed things up.
- Toppings – Salmon tacos are refreshing and bright in summer, so I like to top them with crunchy and creamy fish taco slaw, then finish them off with fresh cilantro, sliced radishes, and lime wedges for extra brightness.
How to make salmon tacos
First, make the salmon dry rub by combining salt, pepper, chili powder, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder in a small bowl. Generously rub this mixture into the flesh side of each salmon fillet.
Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet. Cook the salmon skin side down until it’s crispy and browned. Flip the fillets and cook for an additional 3 to 4 minutes or until the flesh looks opaque and flaky.
Transfer the cooked salmon to a plate and let it cool for a few minutes before using two forks to flake the meat into large chunks. I like eating the crispy salmon skin, but if you prefer not to eat it, you can remove it and discard it before flaking the salmon.
Then spoon it into your warm tortillas and top with slaw, chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, and lime wedges.
What to serve with salmon tacos
The mild, classic Mexican-inspired flavors of the salmon fillets make them the perfect base for a wide variety of taco toppings. I really like my creamy fish taco slaw on these tacos, but you can top them with any of these fresh and zesty toppings:
- Cilantro lime crema
- Avocado crema
- Mango salsa
- Jicama slaw
- Brussels sprouts slaw
- Pineapple salsa
- Peach strawberry salsa
- Black bean and corn salsa
- Creamy chipotle ranch dressing
- Fish taco sauce
For the salmon
- 1 pound salmon fillets, fresh or frozen and thawed
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder (or regular chili powder if you can’t find ancho)
- 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/4 teaspoon onion powder
- 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
- small tortillas (corn or flour)
- fish taco slaw
- chopped cilantro
- sliced radishes
- lime wedges
- Pat salmon dry. In a small bowl, add salt, black pepper, chili powder, ancho chili powder, garlic powder, and onion powder. Stir together to combine.
- Season the flesh side of the salmon only with the seasoning mixture.
- Heat olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-heat, heat oil. Add the salmon skin side down. Cook until the skin is crispy and browned, about 4 to 5 minutes, then flip and cook for another 3 to 4 minutes depending on the thickness, until the flesh is opaque and flaky.
- Transfer salmon to a plate and let it rest and cool slightly for 3 minutes. Flake the salmon into large pieces using a fork, discarding the skin if desired.
- Serve in warm corn or flour tortillas with fish taco slaw and garnish with chopped cilantro, sliced radishes, and lime wedges.