I’m going to jump right in and say that if it’s possible to be in love with a recipe, this is *the one* for me. One that’s simple to prepare and insanely delicious. I’m talking about my Pistachio-Crusted Fish Tacos. Ever since I perfected this recipe when I was testing it for my cookbook, these tacos have become part of my go-to rotation for Bridger and I (he is just as in love with this recipe as I am! Lol). It’s an explosion of flavors that will blow you away with how easy-to-make and nutrient-packed they are. And can’t forget to mention the classic homemade guacamole that serves as the ultimate topping on these tacos. Let’s get into it!
If you ask me, tacos are kind of deserving of their own food group. Anyone else agree? Because the taco obsession is real in my house, I try to find ways to switch it up and had a lot of fun coming up with this recipe. These Pistachio-Crusted Fish Tacos are gluten-free, dairy free, packed with protein and other nutrients, and definitely do not underdeliver on taste or texture. Does it get any better? It’s truly the best recipe that’ll have you feeling like a top chef, I swear. You’ll walk away from the kitchen feeling accomplished, healthily satisfied, and maybe a little in love too.
TACOS WITH A TWIST
Now don’t get me wrong, I love a meat-based taco – like my Baked Beef Tacos or 3-Step Shredded Chicken Verde Tacos – but I went with wild-caught cod for this recipe since I wanted to diversify our taco rotation. Cod is a low-fat source of protein, high in omega 3s, and is a great source of other vitamins and minerals (like vitamin B12 and selenium). Another healthy tidbit I’ll share about cod is that it contains a good amount of iodine. Iodine is an important mineral that helps your thyroid regulate hormones that essentially control your body’s metabolism and cognitive function. I love understanding nutritional benefits of the food I’m preparing and eating, and I hope you enjoy hearing about them too. It’s such a good feeling knowing you’re taking care of yourself from the inside out!
While cod is mild and delicate in flavor, it leaves all the room to add tons of flavor throughout the rest of the dish. Enter: your new favorite breading mixture. Packed with ground flaxseed for a fiber boost, some of the best taco seasonings – paprika, chili powder and garlic – and the crunchiest bit of color the pistachios bring (+ more fiber and prebiotic benefits), this breading mixture makes the fish ultra crispy and tasty. It doesn’t take long at all, either. I use this same basic process whenever I cook my crispy chicken tenders (that I use in my GF Crispy Chicken Parm) or my Crispy Chicken Nuggets and just switch up the seasonings. Love having a go-to cooking method like this in my back pocket!
Now what’s a taco without a warm, slightly toasty tortilla, and of course, guacamole? I’m gluten-free so I usually use corn or grain-free tortillas (I like Siete), and love to top these tacos with a homemade guac, shredded cabbage and cilantro. Usually, we’ll add a few drops of hot sauce too to bring in some heat. I know not everyone loves cilantro, but if you need a nutritional selling point, one of the many benefits is it can help rid your body of heavy metals (always appreciate a detoxifying benefit!). I also like to serve these with lime wedges for a light, citrusy taste. Are you feeling those top chef vibes?
TACOS, SIDES AND THE PERFECT DRINK
Perfect for your next Taco Tuesday (or any day, let’s be serious!), these incredibly tasty tacos are honestly so good on their own, but make for an even more unreal meal when you pair them with my Mango Pico. The pro move is to make extra so you can save the leftovers for the next couple of meals, because you will definitely be wanting more the next day. I’m not a big drinker, but I do have a few go-to’s up my sleeve. Like My Favorite Spicy Skinny Marg – I can promise you that if you’re in the mood to spice it up, this bev + these Pistachio-Crusted Fish Tacos are kind of a match made in heaven.
Other great drink pairings, which you can find the recipes for in my cookbook, Rachael’s Good Eats (along with another delish taco recipe, Mexican Street Tacos with Avocado Chimichurri), are my Pineapple Mezcalita and Cucumber Paloma. No matter what you may pair it with, I just know you’re going to love how fresh, easy and delicious these tacos are!
INGREDIENTS YOU’LL NEED:
- Red onion
- Fresh cilantro
- Sea salt
- Black pepper
- Shelled, unsalted pistachios
- Ground flaxseed
- Chili powder
- Garlic powder
- Sea salt
- Wild-caught cod filets
- Avocado oil
- Corn or grain-free tortillas
- Shredded purple cabbage
- Fresh cilantro
- Lime wedges
HOW TO MAKE PISTACHIO-CRUSTED FISH TACOS
Make the Guacamole
In a medium bowl, combine all the guacamole ingredients, mashing with a fork to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more lime juice, salt, or pepper as needed. Set aside.
Make the Fish
Place the pistachios in a food processor, and pulse two or three times, just until there is a mixture of larger and finer pieces. Transfer the nuts to a deep bowl, and add the ground flaxseed, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
In a separate deep bowl, whisk the egg.
Dip a piece of the cod into the egg wash to coat, then place the fish in the pistachio mixture, pressing down gently on each side so the breading completely coats the outside of the fish. Transfer the fish to a plate, and repeat with the remaining pieces.
In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the fish and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until the outside is golden brown and the inside is flaky.
Assemble the Tacos
Place each filet in a warm tortilla, or, for smaller portions, flake some fish onto each tortilla. Top each taco with guacamole, shredded cabbage, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Hope you love this meal as much as we do!
RECIPE SUBSTITUTIONS & QUESTIONS
This is one of those recipes that’s great as-is, but I of course understand we all have different preferences, dietary needs – or just want to use what we’ve got on hand. While I went with cod, really any flaky variety of fish will work – like tilapia, mahi mahi or haddock. The one thing I recommend when shopping for fish, whether fresh or frozen, is buying wild-caught as they tend to have higher levels of vitamins and minerals, and their meat is leaner than farm-raised (this is the case since they are constantly moving and trying to find food to eat, making the meat less fatty).
For the breading mixture, like I said, I use the same basic process in some of my other recipes, so feel free to get creative with the different spices you include, and / or swap the pistachios for another nut, like almonds for example. In my 20-min Crispy Fish Tacos, I actually used a box of my favorite Simple Mills crackers for the breading mixture.
Same with the toppings – get creative! You could use green cabbage instead of red if that’s what you have on hand, chopped lettuce if you prefer that instead, or maybe even add some sliced radishes as a garnish. For the guacamole, feel free to add diced jalapeño to spice it up a bit. And for the tortillas, use your favorite kind – whether it’s corn, a gluten-free tortilla like Siete, or whatever you’ve got in your pantry.
WHAT IS THE BEST FISH FOR FISH TACOS?
For the more traditional route, cod or tilapia are recommended when making fish tacos. But like I mentioned above, any flaky variety white fish will work. For Baja-style tacos you could try snapper, mahi-mahi, grouper, flounder, halibut, or cod. I recommend wild-caught, local fish whenever possible, as this will be the more nutritional, tastiest choice. Everyone has different budgets and preferences, so of course make the best choice for you!
WHAT IS THE TRICK TO GOOD GUACAMOLE?
There are a couple tricks that may be universal when it comes to making a good guacamole. For starters, it’s all about the avocados you choose. Ideally, you’ll use a perfectly ripe avocado – one that yields to gentle pressure – so you don’t miss out on that supreme taste and texture. It’s also basically a non-negotiable to use fresh lime juice for that added citrusy punch. The ascorbic acid in the lime juice helps to slow the natural browning of your guacamole, which is great if you have any extra to squeeze over top any leftovers. Fun fact: you’ll get the most out of limes by rolling them firmly on the counter a few times before squeezing.
LOVE THESE FISH TACOS? HERE’S MORE TACO RECIPES YOU’LL LOVE:
Click here to watch the reel I made of this recipe 🙂
Pistachio-Crusted Fish Tacos
- 2 avocados, cubed
- 1/2 cup red onion, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
- 1 lime, juiced, plus more as needed
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- fresh ground black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 cup shelled, unsalted pistachios
- 1 tbsp ground flaxseed
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 1/4 tsp chili powder
- 1/4 tsp garlic powder
- 1/4 tsp sea salt
- 1 large egg
- 2 (8-ounce) wild-caught cod filets, cut in half, thawed, if frozen
- 3 tbsp avocado oil, plus more, if needed
- 4 corn or grain-free tortillas, warmed, (I like Siete)
- shredded purple cabbage
- fresh cilantro, chopped
- lime wedges
- In a medium bowl, combine all the guacamole ingredients, mashing with a fork to your desired consistency. Taste and adjust the seasonings, adding more lime juice, salt, or pepper as needed. Set aside.
- Place the pistachios in a food processor, and pulse two or three times, just until there is a mixture of larger and finer pieces. Transfer the nuts to a deep bowl, and add the ground flaxseed, paprika, chili powder, garlic powder, and salt. Mix well and set aside.
- In a separate deep bowl, whisk the egg.
- Dip a piece of the cod into the egg wash to coat, then place the fish in the pistachio mixture, pressing down gently on each side so the breading completely coats the outside of the fish. Transfer the fish to a plate, and repeat with the remaining pieces.
- In a medium-sized skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Working in batches if necessary, add the fish and cook for 4 to 5 minutes per side or until the outside is golden brown and the inside is flaky.
- Place each filet in a warm tortilla, or, for smaller portions, flake some fish onto each tortilla. Top each taco with guacamole, shredded cabbage, and cilantro. Serve with lime wedges. Hope you love this meal as much as we do!