gluten free fish tacos with cilantro sauce

Fried Gluten Free Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce

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Fried gluten-free fish tacos with your favorite toppings. And then the most fantastic cilantro lime cream sauce ever!

Buckle up because these are the best fish tacos ever. Golden brown pieces of white fish tucked into a corn tortilla, topped with your favorite toppings, and then put over the edge with the most amazing cilantro lime cream sauce! This recipe is usually a top contender for birthday meal requests, for good reason. It is SO GOOD!

Please note that this post contains affiliate links and I may possibly earn a commission on qualifying purchases at no extra cost to you as I am an Amazon associate.

3 fish tacos on plate with sauce near by

Why You are Going to Love these Gluten Free Fried Fish Tacos

I’m sure you know, living a gluten-free lifestyle can be limiting. Having a child with Celiac Disease makes eating out a bit difficult. Many restaurants don’t have a good understanding of what gluten is or how to prepare gluten-free meals properly. The only time my daughter gets to eat something fried is if we go to a dedicated gluten-free restaurant or I make it at home. And since we only know of one dedicated gluten-free restaurant, mama cooks a lot.

So if you found this recipe because you are wanting some delicious gluten-free fried fish tacos, that is just what you are going to get!

Navigation:

Ingredients Needed for These Friend Gluten-Free Fish Tacos

How to Make This Recipe Dairy Free

How to Make Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce Egg Free

What Do I Need to Make Gluten-Free Fried Fish Tacos?

How to Make Fried Gluten-Free Fish Tacos: Step-By-Step Pictured Instructions

Assemble Your Fried Gluten Free Fish Tacos

How to Make these Fried Gluten-Free Fish Tacos in an Air Fryer

How to Store Any Leftover GF Fish Tacos

What To Serve These Tacos With

You are Going to Love this Recipe

ingredients needed for gf fried fish tacos on a counter. GF flour blend, milk, eggs and seasoning blend

Ingredients Needed for These Friend Gluten-Free Fish Tacos

For the fish:

  • Start with some good quality, fresh fish. (Frozen is ok, make sure it is fully thawed.)
  • Oil for frying. I like using avocado oil because it has a high smoke point.
  • Tilapia filets, cod fillets, mahi mahi, or halibut are all good choices for some sort of white flaky fish. You’ll need 1-2 pounds. (2 pounds feeds our whole family of 6, with some leftovers.)
  • Gluten-free all-purpose flour blend (King Arthur Measure for Measure)
  • Milk (can use a dairy-free version)
  • Egg (can use water instead)
  • Seasonings: paprika, garlic powder, onion powder, cumin, salt, and pepper.

To Assemble the Tacos:

  • Gluten-free corn tortillas
  • Purple cabbage or green cabbage, shredded. (I usually use a bagged coleslaw mix)
  • Additional toppings of your choice: for example…
    • Slices of avocado
    • Pico de Gallo or salsa
    • Red onions or green onions
    • Extra cilantro
    • Lime wedges
    • Green onion
cilantro lime sauce with tacos

Creamy Sauce For the Top:

  • Mayo
  • Sour Cream (or plain greek yogurt)
  • Lime juice
  • Fresh Cilantro
  • Jalapeno
  • Onion
  • Garlic
  • Cumin
  • Salt and Pepper

How to Make This Recipe Dairy Free

The only necessary substitution to make this recipe dairy free would be to use a dairy-free version of milk to replace the regular cow milk called for.

And then for the sauce, omit the sour cream and increase the amount of mayo. You can see more about the sauce recipe at this link to its own post. The Best Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce For Tacos

How to Make Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce Egg Free

I know that special dietary needs often include more than one thing to avoid. So if you are also avoiding eggs, check out this post about the best egg substitutes for frying from Pantry and Larder. Hopefully, you find an option there that works best for you. (But I also have just added some water to my milk mixture and it’s been fine.)

fried fish tacos being held by a hand

What Do I Need to Make Gluten-Free Fried Fish Tacos?

Cast Iron Pan or a Cast Iron Dutch Oven: I have found that cast iron more evenly distributes high heat when frying.

(I also personally like using my cast iron dutch oven because the sides are higher, which results in fewer splatters of hot oil on me.)

Cutting Board

Metal Tongs: Tongs are necessary to carefully lower the battered fish into the oil, so the pieces don’t fall and splash.

2 Mixing bowls: or bread pans, like pictured. I prefer the bread pans because the mixtures are deeper in a small space.

Slotted Turner: Necessary to remove the hot fish from the oil because the fish will be more delicate when hot.

Cookie Cooling Rack: to fit inside the sheet tray.

Rimmed Sheet Tray: to catch any drips from the hot, oily fish being placed on the cookie cooling rack. (Rimmed so the oil doesn’t fall into your oven.) (See photos for more.)

Food Processor: to make the cilantro lime crema sauce.

How to Make Fried Gluten-Free Fish Tacos: Step-By-Step Pictured Instructions

Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce

  • First, make the cilantro lime cream sauce by adding all the sauce ingredients to a food processor.
  • Blend until smooth with minimal chunks.
  • Then pour into a jar or container with a lid and set into the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Flavors come together better if even longer.)
step by step instructions for fish taco wet and dry mixture

How to Make Gluten Free Fried Fish

  • Cut the fish fillets into uniform pieces. I like cutting them into 2 inches long by 1-inch wide pieces because two pieces then fit well into a corn tortilla.
  • Mix milk and eggs together in one of the mixing bowls.
  • In the other mixing bowl, mix the gluten free flour blend and all the batter spices.
  • Dip a piece of fish into the wet mixture, (milk and egg mixture,) fully coating it.
  • Next, move the dipped piece of fish into the dry GF flour/ spices mixture. Roll to fully coat
  • Repeat dipping in the wet and dry mixture if desired for an extra crunchy coating.
  • Set coated fish on a tray/ plate in a single layer.
  • Repeat with all the pieces of fish to fully coat them, then place them on the tray.
adding the coated gluten free fish pieces into the hot oil

Frying the Gluten Free Fish

Important note for frying fish:

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Please proceed with much caution when frying foods in hot oil.
  • Add avocado oil to your deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven. It should be about 1-2 inches of oil deep.
  • Turn heat to medium-low to slowly get it hot.
  • Each stove and amount of oil will vary with how long this will take. But a trick to see if your oil is hot enough is to dust some of the dry flour mixture to the surface of the oil. If it starts to fry, your oil is hot enough. If not, give it another minute or so and try again.
  • When the oil is hot enough, use metal tongs to carefully place a few pieces of fish into the oil. Make sure to not overcrowd the pan as it will drop the temperature of the oil quickly. Also, if the pieces are hitting each other, they will stick and remove the breading from one another.
  • Tongs are important so that you have control of the handling of the pieces of fish. You don’t want to use the slotted turner and end up dropping them in, which then can cause splashes. But the slotted turner is needed to pick up the pieces of fish as once they are cooked, they are tender and break easily.

Cooking the Gluten Free Battered Fish

  • Cook for 3 minutes without disturbing the pieces of fish much. This helps set the coating.
  • Gently roll over the pieces of fish onto the other side.
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • (Keep in mind that if your pieces of fish are larger than the suggested size, they will take longer to cook.)
  • Carefully remove the hot fish with a slotted turner.
  • Place the fish on the wire rack over a sheet pan. (See photo instructions if needed.)
  • If a lot of oil is dripping, you can first place them on a piece of paper towel.
  • Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, where it flakes easily but isn’t dry.
  • Continue following the previous steps to cook all the pieces of fish.
  • Once all the fish is cooked and placed on the wire rack/ baking sheet tray, place the tray with the fish on it into the warm oven.
  • Turn off the oven but continue to keep the fish warm in it while you prep the rest of the toppings. Or if your toppings are ready, you can skip placing the fish into the oven, and serve it up.
Finished product for gluten free fried fish tacos

Assemble Your Fried Gluten Free Fish Tacos

  • Warm tortillas in another frying pan over medium-high heat or in the microwave till they are flexible.
  • Make your tacos by placing 2 fried fish strips into each shell.
  • Add some sliced cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
  • Then add any additional toppings you’d like.
  • Finish it all off with the Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce

Alternatively, you can prep the cabbage/ cole slaw mix into a cabbage slaw using the cilantro lime cream sauce as the dressing. Combine 1 cup of cabbage mixture with 1/4 cup of cilantro lime crema sauce.

How to Make these Fried Gluten-Free Fish Tacos in an Air Fryer

Were you wondering if this fried gluten-free fish taco recipe could be made in an air fryer? Yes, it can! It’s still a super tasty way to make healthy fish tacos for your next taco Tuesday.

Simply follow the same breading instructions, and then place them into a preheated air fryer. Most air fryers have a “seafood” setting which will vary in cook times. I’d suggest cooking for at least 6 minutes and then checking the progress. Make sure its internal temperature is cooked to 145 degrees F and that the fish flakes.

gluten free fried fish tacos with cilantro lime cream sauce in three different photos

How to Store Any Leftover GF Fish Tacos

Place any leftover pieces of fish into an airtight container and keep them in the refrigerator. They should keep for about 4 days.

To reheat the fish, simply heat up a drizzle of avocado oil in a frying pan, then place the fish into the oil. Using medium heat, they should take just a few minutes to be warm again.

What To Serve These Tacos With

My favorite way to serve these fish tacos is simply with a side of fresh salsa, tortilla chips, and refried beans.

But you could also make it a Tex-Mex feast by adding some Mexican Rice and maybe a side of queso!

If you end up having excess cilantro lime crema sauce leftover and need another easy recipe, check out my Easy Instant Pot Mexican Chicken with Only 3 Ingredients recipe.

You are Going to Love this Recipe

If you end up loving this recipe as much as my family does, would you please come back and give it a review? 5-star reviews will help other gluten-free families find it more easily. And of course, if you have any questions, you can leave those in the comments as well!

Don’t forget to pin this for later!

3 fish tacos on plate with sauce near by

Fried Gluten Free Fish Tacos with Cilantro Lime Crema Sauce

Golden brown pieces of white fish tucked into a corn tortilla, topped with your favorite toppings. And then put over the edge with the most amazing cilantro lime cream sauce!
Prep Time 15 mins
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 45 mins
Course Main Course
Cuisine Mexican
Servings 5 people (2 tacos each)

Equipment

  • 2 Mixing bowls or bread pans
  • cutting board
  • Deep cast iron skillet or cast iron dutch oven
  • Metal tongs
  • Slotted turner
  • Cookie cooling rack optional
  • Rimmed Sheet tray optional
  • Food processor

Ingredients
  

Gluten-Free Fried Fish

  • Avocado Oil for frying. Enough to coat the bottom of your pan at least an inch.
  • 2 Pounds White fish, cut into 2 inch by 1 inch pieces Tilapia, cod, mahi mahi, or halibut are good options. Fresh or thawed if frozen
  • 1 cup Gluten-free all-purpose flour blend King Arthur's "Measure for Measure"
  • 1/4 cup milk or dairy free option
  • 2 eggs if needing to omit eggs, please see post notes
  • 1/2 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 1 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 2 tsp chilli powder
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 2 tsp salt fine ground

Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayo vegan mayo can also be substituted
  • 1/2 cup sour cream plain greek yogurt can be substituted or a dairy free version.
  • 1 lime juice of 1 lime, or 2 1/2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 1 bunch cilantro tops and 1/2 way down the stems
  • 1/2 jalapeno deseeded, (Adjust to taste)
  • 2/3 cup diced onion yellow, white, or red onion.
  • 1 tbsp garlic
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste

Taco Ingredients

  • Gluten-free corn tortillas
  • red or green cabbage (or bagged coleslaw mix) thinly slice the cabbage
  • whatever other taco toppings you desire.

Instructions
 

Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce

  • Add all sauce ingredients to a food processor
  • Blend until smooth with minimal chunks.
  • Pour into a jar or container with lid.
  • Set in the refrigerator for at least 30 minutes. (Flavors come together better if even longer.)

Batter the Fish

  • Make sure your pieces of fish are all uniform in size
  • Mix milk and eggs together in one of the mixing bowls
  • In the other mixing bowl, mix the gluten free flour blend and all the batter spices.
  • Dip a piece of fish into the wet mixture, (milk and egg mixture,) fully coating it.
  • Then move the dipped piece of fish into the dry GF flour/ spices mixture
  • Roll to fully coat
  • Repeat dipping in the wet and dry mixture if desired for extra crunchy coating
  • Set coated fish on a tray/ plate in a single layer
  • Repeat with all the pieces of fish to fully coat them, then place them the tray.

Frying the Gluten Free Fish

  • Preheat oven to 300 degrees F.
  • Please proceed with much caution when frying foods in hot oil.
  • Add avocado oil to your deep cast iron skillet or dutch oven to be at least 1 inch deep.
  • Turn heat to medium-low to slowly get it hot.
  • Each stove and amount of oil will vary with how long this will take. But a trick to see if your oil is hot enough is to dust some of the dry flour mixture to the surface of the oil. If it starts to fry, your oil is hot enough. If not, give it another minute or so and try again.
  • When the oil is hot enough, use metal tongs to carefully place a few pieces of fish into the oil.
  • Tongs are important so that you have control of the handling of the pieces of fish.
  • Cook for 3 minutes without disturbing the pieces of fish much. This helps set the coating.
  • Gently roll over the pieces of fish onto the other side
  • Cook for another 2-3 minutes.
  • (Keep in mind that if your pieces of fish are larger than the suggested size, they will take longer to cook.)
  • Carefully remove the hot fish with a slotted turner.
  • Place the fish on the wire rack over a sheet pan. (See photo instructions if needed.)
  • Fish should be cooked to an internal temperature of 145 degrees F, where it flakes easily but isn't dry.
  • Continue following the previous steps to cook all the pieces of fish.
  • Once all the fish is cooked and placed on the cookie drying rack/ sheet tray, place the tray with the fish on it into the warm oven.
  • Turn off the oven but continue to keep the fish warm in it while you prep the rest of the toppings. Or if your toppings are ready, you can skip placing the fish into the oven, and serve it up.

Assemble your tacos

  • Make your tacos by placing 2 stripes of fried fish into each shell.
  • Add some sliced cabbage (or coleslaw mix)
  • Top with the Cilantro Lime Cream Sauce
  • Enjoy!

Notes

Make sure to not overcrowd the pan as it will drop the temperature of the oil quickly. Also, if the pieces of fish are hitting each other, they will stick and remove the breading from one another.
You don’t want to use the slotted turner when placing the uncooked fish into the oil. They tend to fall into the oil unless you are very careful with laying them into the oil. The slotted turner is needed to pick up the pieces of fish as once they are cooked, they are tender and break easily.
Keyword cilantro lime cream sauce, cilantro lime crema sauce, costco cilantro lime dressing, fish, fried, gluten free, lent, lent recipe, tacos

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3 Comments

  • Madeline March 16, 2023 at 1:56 pm

    These look so delicious! We love fish tacos but I have never tried frying the fish before. Definitely will try next time and the cilantro cream sauce!

    Reply
  • Anja March 16, 2023 at 3:34 pm

    Those look so delicious! Great recipe that I will make very soon!

    Reply
    • Joanna March 16, 2023 at 6:20 pm

      Thanks Anja! I hope you all will enjoy them. ūüôā

      Reply

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