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BBQ tilapia with spicy mango salsa recipe

BBQ tilapia with spicy mango salsa recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Ingredients
  • Seafood
  • Fish
  • White fish
  • Tilapia

This barbecued fish dish has the perfect balance of flavours. Marinated tilapia fillets are barbecued and served with a spicy mango salsa.

49 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 125ml extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 teaspoons dried basil
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 4 tilapia fillets
  • 110g chopped mango
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped Scotch bonnet chilli or to taste
  • 4 teaspoons finely chopped red onion
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped red pepper
  • 2 teaspoons finely chopped green pepper
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1 teaspoon ground black pepper

MethodPrep:30min ›Cook:10min ›Extra time:1hr marinating › Ready in:1hr40min

  1. Stir the olive oil, garlic, basil, black pepper and salt together in a bowl. Put the tilapia fillets in a resealable plastic bag; pour the olive oil mixture over the fillets and seal the bag. Marinate in refrigerator for 1 hour.
  2. Meanwhile, make the salsa by stirring the mango, lime juice, orange juice, chilli, red onion, red pepper, green pepper, parsley and black pepper together in a bowl. Refrigerate for 1 hour to allow the flavours to blend.
  3. Preheat barbecue for medium-high heat and lightly oil the cooking grate.
  4. Remove the tilapia from the marinade, shaking off any excess. Wrap each fillet in a piece of foil.
  5. Cook the tilapia on the preheated barbecue until the flesh easily with a fork, 3 to 4 minutes per side. Spoon the salsa over the tilapia to serve.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(90)

Reviews in English (60)

by Audrey

Very good recipe, subtle, fresh, I will definitely make this dish again. I pan fried the fish in butter because I like a little crispiness... thank you!-06 Aug 2010

by Amy H.

This was divine! My boyfriend and I made this for dinner this week and loved it. Per the advice of other reviewers, we added cilantro and avocado to the mango salsa. As we didn't want to fire up the grill, we pan fried the fish in butter after marinating. We will definitely make this again!-10 Mar 2011

by Cutiekaren

HOLY MAJOLEY!!!! This was one of the best meals my husband and I have made!! We took the advice of the other reviews and added diced avodaco and cilantro, and used the George Forman grill (we dont have a BBQ) and it was Ah-MAZING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!1The sweetness of the mango mixed with the spicy jalepeno is like a party in my mouth. We're making it again tomorrow. mmmmm!!-19 Feb 2011

Blackened Mahi Mahi Fish Tacos Recipe with Mango Salsa

These delicious mahi-mahi fish tacos seasoned with a homemade blackened seasoning served up with fresh mango salsa and avocado crema are the perfect weeknight meal.

These are probably my favorite style of tacos around, no joke. I like that they are nice and light and when the mahi-mahi fish is extremely fresh like in this recipe, they are absolutely incredible! The zip you get from the blackened seasoning on the fish is the perfect complement to the sweet fresh mango salsa in these tacos. These guys are winners and a must-make!

Panko Crusted Tilapia with Avocado Salsa

Panko Crusted Tilapia – golden brown toasted Panko crumbs coat the light tilapia fish, sitting on top of some flavorful, vegetable laced steamed turmeric rice. Serve with a avocado salsa and dinner is served.

Yesterday I was in the mood for some fish. Grilled or fried didn’t matter as much as it wasn’t pork, beef or chicken. I thought about making a favorite dinner, Grilled Halibut with Lemon, Capers and Basil, but the only fresh fish that looked good at the market was the tilapia. So I brought that home and as is a fun custom, decided on making something from what was in the refrigerator. I like to challenge myself and this meal was a winner.

I simply took some olive oil and brushed it on the tilapia, and seasoned it with kosher salt and fresh black pepper. Tilapia is a simple, light fish and I wanted it to have a little crunch so I patted some Panko bread crumbs on top of each side and set it aside as I made the rice for the tilapia to rest on.

I decided on chopping the vegetables and making a pilaf of sorts. I toasted some pine nuts until golden brown and added some butter and sautéed some green onions, carrots and celery. With the addition of a little turmeric for color and flavor I added the rice and and let it steam away.

Next I thought about a topping of sorts for the fish. I had an avocado that was ripe and I diced that up and placed it in a bowl I had got from a recent trip to Manzanillo, Mexico. So I thought of a salsa or a chimichurri and made a combination of the two. Why not?

So in the mini food processor the jalapeño, Serrano and cilantro went, as well as a half a red bell pepper and 2 juiced Mexican limes from my tree out back. That tree is on overload for producing the most juicy, thin skinned limes and they are delicious. With a quick few pulses to keep things slightly chunky, not puréed, I mixed that with the avocado, tasted and seasoned with kosher salt and set the bowl in the refrigerator until serving.

With a little olive oil in the hot frying pan I quickly pan seared the tilapia on both sides for several minutes until the breadcrumbs were golden brown and the fish was cooked. At the last minute I squeezed in the juice from a Mexican lime and cover the fish for a minute. I plated the tilapia on the steamed vegetable rice mixture.

Now does that not look delicious? Easy and all done in a little more time then it takes for the rice to steam.

Golden brown toasted Panko crumbs coating a delicious and light fish, sitting on top of some flavorful, vegetable laced steamed turmeric rice. Oh wait, you forgot the avocado salsa you say? Why yes I almost did, I knew if I left it in the refrigerator I might!

The addition of the avocado salsa on top makes this meal. The creamy aspect of the avocado mixed with the slight crunch of the peppers and citrus all comes together nicely.

This ended up being an amazing meal. The salsa was not as spicy as you might think and the acidic lime and creamy avocado made for a light and chunky topping. The crispy and lightly breaded tilapia was flavorful, and the seasoned, steamed rice with it’s vegetable mixture of chopped celery, shredded carrot and sliced green onions with toasted pine nuts made for a fantastic dinner.

10-Minute Blackened Tilapia with Avocado Cucumber Salsa

This Blackened Tilapia is packed full of spicy Cajun flavor and comes together in LESS THAN 10 MINUTES! Topped with a cool and refreshing avocado cucumber salsa, this is the perfect quick and easy low-carb recipe.

It&rsquos ridiculously fast and easy to make this blackened tilapia. With the help of some very high heat and pre-mixed blackening seasoning, this is a no-fuss recipe that&rsquos perfect for busy weeknights.

Blackening is a Cajun cooking technique that involves coating fish, shrimp, or other protein in a spice mixture, usually consisting of thyme, oregano, chili powder, salt, pepper, garlic, and onion, and cooked over very high heat in butter. The spices become burned (yes, it&rsquos OK to burn your food in this situation), hence the term &ldquoblackened.&rdquo

For a 100% paleo/whole30 compliant or dairy-free recipe, you can use ghee or olive oil instead of butter. I like using butter because it&rsquos more authentic- the milk solids in the butter also become a bit burnt, enhancing the blackened flavor.

I used a store-bought blackening seasoning for this, but you can easily mix up a homemade version. I was just feeling a bit lazy. There&rsquos just something about having two kids under two makes me want to simplify my cooking even more than usual.

You can also use another seasoning mix with similar flavors in a pinch, such as taco seasoning. Blackening is more about the technique than the specific blend of spices.

The avocado cucumber salsa is a deliciously refreshing accompaniment to the spicy blackened fish. It&rsquos so easy to throw together in a few minutes- just mix some diced avocado, diced cucumber (seeds removed, so it doesn&rsquot get too watered down), parsley, lemon juice, and salt together in a bowl. Done.

The salsa is delicious on it&rsquos own, and it would be great on avocado toast or served with steaks or on chicken tacos.

And the fish could not be easier to make. Here&rsquos how.

First, I recommend using a cast iron skillet for this. You can use another heavy skillet, but cast iron will get intensely hot and, if it&rsquos well-seasoned, provide the perfect non-stick surface for cooking this delicate fish.

You&rsquore going to want to get the skillet insanely hot. Like smoking, turn on your oven fan and open a window hot. This will enable the fish to cook extremely fast and develop the burnt, blackened crust without overcooking the inside.

Pat the tilapia filets dry with a paper towel, then coat each in the blackening seasoning, pressing the spices into the fish and covering every speck of surface area.

Then, melt the butter in the hot skillet. Cook the fish for two minutes on each side (yes, only two minutes!), or until fully cooked (you can tell if it&rsquos cooked if it flakes apart easily with a fork). If you have extra thick filets, it may take 2 1/2-3 minutes per side.

I had to cook my tilapia in two batches, so I divided the butter in half for each batch.

You can use this blackened tilapia in tacos, or use the same blackening technique for shrimp, salmon, chicken, catfish, or other proteins.

We had this with Mango Quinoa Salad&ndash a cool, refreshing, sweet salad that pairs perfectly with the blackened fish. It would also be great with this Thai Sesame Red Cabbage and Carrot Salad or this Mediterranean Chickpea Salad.

Mango Habanero Salsa — Maybe Too Hot for You…

Colleen and I are both spicy food lovers, but my heat tolerance is a bit higher than hers, and I’m more likely to push that fine line between pleasure and pain with hotter peppers and spicier food than she is. I’ve spoken of this before, confessing to injuring her a time or two in the past when my spice limit was reached, and hers was definitely breached, like with the jerk chicken the time I did it on boneless thighs instead of drumsticks.

The raw materials for Mango Habanero Salsa look innocent enough–but watch out for those little orange buggers!

We recently had this problem again, when I merged an Emeril Lagasse recipe for Mango Salsa (with jerk pork tenderloins) with several other recipes I had found for habanero salsas to create a Mango Habanero Salsa. Really I just added two finely diced habaneros to his recipe, which had the best base I could find.

Everything but the mango diced up neatly in a bowl.

Habanero peppers are a fruit that must be handled with care. They are the hottest of the readily available peppers, at somewhere around 10-100 times hotter than jalapenos on the Scoville Scale. And that range (10-100+) leaves an awfully large margin for error!

The first time we did this recipe, we used store bought habaneros, and the salsa was perfect! Habaneros have a spice that seems to burn differently than jalapenos, one that heats up your whole head, rather than just scorching your tongue. And the taste of habaneros lends itself extremely well to fruity mango or pineapple flavors in a salsa or sauce.

We used it as an accompaniment to some grilled John Dory fish we’d gotten at the Torrance Farmer’s Market, and both agreed that it was an excellent complement to the meal.

The second time we did it (with some grilled tilapia fish tadcos), I used home grown habaneros in the recipe, and unfortunately, it was much closer to the 100X hotter level than the 10X level, and I nearly killed her. As an endorphin junky, I was able to eat it and enjoy it, but it was indeed very nearly at that pleasure/pain line. I actually ate the rest of it myself the next day with chips and loved it, but I am aware that I am an outlier on this sort of thing…

Mixed and ready to serve—Look at the pretty colors!

We’ve had similar problems with jalapenos, where you could eat some like an apple one week, and others picked up the next week at the same store nearly steamed our ears off. And there doesn’t appear to be any way you can tell at the store or in a farmer’s market, or when it is hanging on the vine in your backyard.

So if you are a pepperhead and a risk-taker, and like to live life on the edge, I highly recommend this recipe. The flavors are awesome, the colors are great, and the recipe is quite easy. But if you are easily injured by spicy foods, or have to please a diverse crowd of many different tastes and spice tolerances, the habanero version is one you should probably skip, because it may or may not be edible to the average person, and you really won’t know until you have already made it. You could still make the original Emeril version without habaneros, or you could cut it down to one habanero instead of two, but it is really your call, and I hereby wash my hands of any liability if you choose to make it (but you’re way cooler in my eyes if you do it my way).

Mango Habanero Salsa, served with grilled fish and chile-lime grilled corn.

Reheated fish is notoriously maligned, and that’s generally with good reason—the texture can suffer greatly from a second cook. Since the fish is cooked in sauce here, it provides a decent buffer if you do have leftovers and want to reheat the fish.

Spoon some salsa verde into a nonstick skillet and add your fish. Reheat, covered, over medium-low heat, only as long as needed to warm through. That said, consider just serving the fish at room temp. If you’ve got rice, warm it up and then create a lunch bowl with fish, sauce, and veggies.

Reviews ( 20 )

This is my favorite recipe for fish tacos. I followed the recipe exactly and they came out amazing. I also loved the mango salsa. These have heat but cool down with the yummy mango. My husband didn't think he liked fish until he had these.

I didn't mess with the cumin seeds, I just sprinkled ground cumin with the other seasoning on the fish before cooking. These were really good - a bit messy because of the liquids. Whole wheat tortillas might work better. But I'd definitely make these again.

These were delicious! Even my two-year-old ate them, sans salsa because it was spicy. Highly recommend.

This gets 5 stars because I actually got my ten year old to eat a fish taco. At Mexican places, he is the king of beans and cheese, but now maybe I can persuade him to try some new things. I did modify this - cod was cheaper the day I made this, so I used that. Also, I didn't go all out on the salsa to keep it kid friendly. Their version was just avocado, mango, cilantro, lime juice, salt and a little ground chili (I put chopped jalapeno in the grown up version but skipped the green and red onions as I got tired of chopping stuff). He picked out the avocado, but was delighted with the mango/fish combination. I should mention he tried this on a day in which his lunch was forgotten at home and he didn't like the hot lunch at school. Hunger is the best sauce? My husband and I were very pleased. I will be serving this again! The side dish was Jalapeno Lime Slaw, also on this site. My husband ate about 8 cups of cabbage - look out!

More Recipe Tips for Best Tacos

  • Adjust the fish amount: I specify 3lb fish for this recipe as different family members add different amounts to their tacos, so it’s always good to have leftovers! However, feel free to reduce it to 2lb if preferred.
  • Don’t overcook the fish: As soon as it’s white on the bottom, flip it over and cook for a few more minutes. It will finish cooking off the heat with the residual heat that’s leftover. If you’re using a grill pan indoors, then cover the fish with a lid after flipping it to help it cook through (this may take a few extra minutes).
  • Warm the tortillas: Make sure to warm the tortillas ready for the grilled fish tacos. This not only tastes better, but it helps to make them more pliable, so they don’t crack/break while eating.
  • Use corn tortillas: Yes, you can use flour tortillas if that’s all you have, but I find this grilled fish taco recipe 1000% better with authentic corn tortillas and the extra flavor they add.

Grilled Whole Grouper With Spicy Tropical Salsa

It doesn't get any simpler than grilled whole fish. Preparing and eating it practically transports you back to our hunter-gatherer days or a beach vacation. Of course, back then we would likely count ourselves extremely lucky to have assembled such a wonderful array of delicious ingredients: fresh fish, ripe pineapple and mango, spicy peppers, and flavorful herbs. Colorful and healthful, quick and delicious, who could ask for anything more?

The trickiest part here is proper grilling. Every grill is a little different, with grills ranging in design, functionality, and fuel. While fish is simple to do on just about any setup, it does require attention and a gentle hand, especially when cooking directly on the grill grate close to the heat. If you're concerned about your fish sticking to the grill then, by all means, wrap it in some foil or in banana leaves. The skin of the fish won't take on quite as much grilled flavor, but at least there's no chance of disappointment with overcooked fish that's falling apart.

The Most Epic Grilled Fish Tacos with Mango Salsa

  • Author: Krista @
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins
  • Total Time: 25 mins
  • Yield: 10 - 12 tacos 1 x
  • Category: Seafood, 30 Minute Meal, Gluten Free,


30 Minute GRILLED FISH TACOS topped with a fresh MANGO SALSA, Avocado, and Chimichurri! This easy grilling recipe is one &ldquowinner&rdquo of a meal that you&rsquore family will fall in love with!


Grilled Fish:

  • 1.5 lbs. cod filet
  • 1 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

Mango Salsa:

  • 1 1/2 cups fresh mango, diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tablespoon diced jalapeno
  • 1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste


  • 3/4 cup fresh cilantro
  • 1/4 cup fresh oregano
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin
  • 2 tablespoon red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon lime juice
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil


Grilled Fish:

  1. Heat grill to medium high heat, about 375°-400°F.
  2. In a small bowl, add cumin, garlic powder, smoked paprika, ancho chili powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt and olive oil. Gently mix with a spoon.
  3. Pat the cod dry, rub spice blend onto the fish.
  4. Place fish on the grill and grill for 3-5 minutes per side. (DO NOT TOUCH WHILE IT&rsquoS GRILLING OR YOU&rsquoLL HAVE A MESS)
  5. Once fish is done, remove from the grill and let rest.

Mango Salsa:

  1. To a small bowl add mangos, red onion, fresh cilantro, jalapeno, lime juice, and salt to taste. Gently toss to mix all the ingredients. Set aside.


  1. To make the chimichurri: add 3/4 cup fresh cilantro, fresh oregano, garlic clove, red pepper flakes, 1/4 teaspoon cumin, red wine vinegar, and 1 tablespoon of lime juice to a small blender. Pulse until the herbs are finely chopped. Add in the 3 tablespoons of olive oil, pulse until everything is combined.

Let&rsquos put everything together:

  1. Assemble your tacos: add one corn tortilla, 1-2 oz. of cod, top with mango salsa, purple cabbage, 2 slices of avocado, and chimichurri sauce.


  • Serving Size: 2 tacos
  • Calories: 406
  • Sugar: 9 g
  • Sodium: 342 mg
  • Fat: 21 g
  • Saturated Fat: 3 g
  • Carbohydrates: 34 g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Protein: 21 g
  • Cholesterol: 52 mg

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