Spicy Grilled Fish with Citrus Slaw

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Spicy Grilled Fish tastes even better when you pair it with fresh citrus slaw! You’ll love how easy it is to make this grilled fish, and the tangy slaw on top is like the icing on a cake.

Love easy dinner recipes? Our parmesan crusted tilapia is so good. Paired with some lemon garlic pasta and you’ve got a delicious meal.

Grilled fish topped with citrus slaw on a white dinner plate.
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Why this Recipe Works

Cooked correctly, fish is one of my favorite proteins.

  • It’s healthy
  • Easy to prepare
  • Absorbs the flavors of all kinds of marinades and seasonings.

There’s no better way to enjoy fish than when it’s grilled!

Use an outdoor grill or a grill pan on the stove, brush the fish with a spicy citrus marinade and cook it to flaky perfection.

We love our grilled fish best paired with this easy citrus slaw. Unlike my traditional coleslaw recipe, the coolness from the citrus salad combined with the spicy fish is a perfect match.

Serve the fish on a plate and top it with a generous amount of the salad for a light meal. You can also put this fish and slaw on a tortilla, I know my kids love to eat everything on a tortilla!

Ingredients needed for grilled tilapia and citrus slaw.

What Fish to Use

Tilapia is my preferred fish to use in this recipe because my kids love it! I choose 4 ounce tilapia fillets–they’re the ideal size for grilling.

You can try other types of fish like salmon or tuna too, just adjust your cooking times based on the thickness of the fillets.

Spices- chili powder, garlic salt, kosher salt, cumin and cayenne pepper. You’ll also need fresh lime juice for the fish marinade.

The ingredients list for the citrus slaw I make with our grilled fish looks lengthy, but it’s super easy to assemble and really MAKES the meal. Don’t skip it!

With crunchy cabbage, red onion, peppers, basil and cilantro the slaw is a total explosion of flavor! Jalapenos make it spicy and the fresh orange juice ties everything together.

TOOLS: I love this grill pan on Amazon!

Easy Instructions

Step by step photos showing how to make grilled tilapia with citrus slaw.

Assemble the slaw.

Toss all the citrus slaw ingredients together in a large salad bowl. Refrigerate until you’re ready to serve.

Season the fish.

Mix chili powder, garlic salt, salt, cumin and cayenne in a small bowl. Add lime juice and mix thoroughly. Brush the seasoning on both sides of the fish filets.


Grill the seasoned fish fillets for 5 minutes on each side, or until the fish is flaky at the touch of a fork. Be careful not to overcook.

Serve immediately on a plate with a heaping portion of citrus slaw on top of each filet!

Serving Ideas

This spicy grilled fish is awesome in fish tacos, paired with cilantro lime rice, or tossed into a dinner salad!

Our roasted broccoli and zucchini pairs perfectly with today’s spicy fish recipe too.

Add a side of roasted radishes for a crunchy bite without the carbs!

Store leftover grilled fish in the refrigerator and enjoy within a day. Leftovers taste good cold in a salad or wrap for lunch.

Spicy grilled tilapia on a white rectangular serving plate.

More Seafood Recipes

Family Friendly Dinners

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Spicy Grilled Fish with Citrus Slaw

5 from 7 votes
By: Aimee
Easy spicy grilled fish recipe with a homemade citrus cole slaw! Healthy and delicious.
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 6 servings


For the Fish:

  • 6 tilapia fillets 4 ounce each
  • 1 ½ teaspoons chili powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic salt
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon ground cumin
  • 1 pinch cayenne pepper
  • 1 lime juiced
  • 2 Tablespoons olive oil

For the Slaw:

  • 1 cup thinly sliced green cabbage
  • ½ cup thinly sliced red cabbage
  • ½ red pepper diced
  • ½ small red onion sliced in thin strips
  • ¼ cup fresh basil chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons fresh cilantro chopped
  • 1 jalapeno seeded and chopped
  • 1 large orange peeled and sectioned
  • 1 Tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ teaspoon kosher salt
  • teaspoon black pepper
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  • For the Slaw, mix everything in a large bowl. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  • For the fish, mix chili powder, garlic salt, salt, cumin and cayenne in a small bowl. Add juice of one lime and mix thoroughly.
  • Heat grill pan on medium-high heat with olive oil in pan. Brush both sides of fish with seasoning. Grill 5 minutes on each side, or until flakes with a fork.
  • To serve: lay grilled fish on a plate and top with a heaping serving of citrus slaw. ENJOY.
  • **you can also warm up flour tortilla and place fish and slaw inside, eat and enjoy!


  • Want more spice? Add in more cayenne pepper!
  • Store leftover grilled fish in the refrigerator and enjoy within a day. Leftovers taste good cold in a salad or wrap for lunch.


Serving: 1fish fillet, Calories: 83kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 6g, Sodium: 449mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 2g
Course: Main Dish
Cuisine: American
Did you make this recipe?Mention @shugarysweets or tag #shugarysweets!
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About Aimee

Aimee is a dessert lover (specifically rice krispie treats), workout enthusiast, self-taught foodie, and recipe creator.

Learn more about Aimee.

Affiliate Disclosure:**There may be affiliate links in this post! By clicking on them, or purchasing recommended items I may receive a small compensation. However, I only recommend products I love! Thank you for supporting Shugary Sweets! See my disclosure policy for more info**

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Posted on August 27, 2021

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