Fish tacos are delicious, but what sauce are they best served with? After all, a good sauce does a lot for fish tacos. They can be a bit dry without it, even if you have plenty of vegetables in them. But you probably already know that and chances are, that’s why your here.
So, what are the best sauces for fish tacos? The best sauces for fish tacos are creamy; a simple crema, avocado sauce, plain sour cream based sauce (or one flavored by lime and garlic, or chillies) are great. If you’re not a fan of creamy sauces, try serving them with a chili sauce or pico de gallo.
You can even introduce fresh herbs too, namely cilantro!
Now, let’s explore the recommendations above in greater detail, add some other tips, and also go into what sauces you want to avoid when serving fish tacos!
The Best Sauces For Fish Tacos
Lime and Chipotle Sauce
You will find when looking for sauces for your tacos that there are two main sauces people use and simply refer to as “fish taco sauce.”
The first of these two sauces usually have a sour cream base, though some opt for part mayo, part sour cream.
And the sour cream is sometimes subbed with Mexican crema or Greek yogurt.
Additional ingredients include lime, garlic, and a hot sauce of some kind.
That’s it. It’s a very simple sauce to make.
One popular version of this sauce calls for chipotle sauce or chipotle adobo as the hot sauce of choice.
If you didn’t know this, a chipotle pepper is a dried and smoked jalapeño pepper.
Traditionally, the jalapeño peppers are smoked for several days using pecan wood.
As a result, if you add chipotle sauce, or chipotle peppers in abodo sauce to your fish taco sauce, it ends up having a slightly smoky flavor.
So, if making this particular fish taco sauce all you need is mayo, sour cream or Greek yogurt, lime juice, chipotle adobo, salt, and garlic powder.
If you want to go the extra mile, you can use fresh garlic, though note that this will make the sauce extra potent.
Note: this recipe calls for chipotle adobo sauce, not just chipotle sauce. Adobo sauce is usually made from chillies, vinegar, tomato (sometimes), oil, herbs, and spices.
Lime and Shriracha Sauce
As mentioned in the recipe above, there are variations on a theme of this sauce, calling for different kinds of hot sauces.
This particular recipe (as can be found here) calls for sriracha sauce instead of chipotle adobo sauce.
If you like your fish taco sauce with a bit of a kick, but prefer to leave the smoky flavor by the roadside, this is the way to go!
Herbal Fish Taco Sauce
As previously noted, there are two main sauces used for fish tacos.
The first one has been discussed above and the second one, while also made from mayo and sour cream/cream, lime and, sometimes, garlic, also contains fresh herbs. What herbs precisely vary.
One recipe for this kind of herbal fish taco sauce calls for sour cream, mayonnaise, lime juice, chili powder, salt, chopped jalapeño peppers, dill, oregano, and cilantro.
The full recipe can be found here.
Another recipe for this kind of sauce calls for sour cream, mayonnaise, chipotle adobo sauce, salt, lime, garlic, and cilantro.
In other words, the dill and oregano go out the door.
As you can also see, it calls for chipotle adobo sauce, so it will have a smokier taste than the previous recipe.
The full recipe for this sauce can be found here.
Other recipes for this kind of sauce includes cumin and capers, so you can experiment until you come up with the perfect herbal fish taco sauce!
Lime Crema Sauce
Not all that into chili? Thankfully you don’t have to be to enjoy good fish tacos.
A very simple fish taco sauce recipe is one for lime crema sauce.
All you need is Mexican crema (or sour cream), lime juice and zest, garlic, and salt. It’s really that simple.
Want to round out the flavor? Add some honey.
Pico de Gallo
If you love your fresh salsas, then you love pico de gallo.
At least if you like cilantro–not everyone does.
Thankfully, you can always sub it with parsley!
It will be a crime to the cilantro lovers, but the cilantro haters will thank you for it.
I often point this out, but did you know that loving or hating cilantro is a hereditary thing?
To some it tastes nice and herby, to others it tastes like soap.
So you can imagine the reaction of those to whom it tastes like soap when they find it in their food!
I got a tad sidetracked by the cilantro there.
Naturally, pico de gallo contains a few other ingredients!
Those ingredients are: tomatoes, onion, jalapeños, lime juice, salt, and jalapeño or serrano peppers. .And don’t forget the cilantro or parsley!
Should fancy take you, there’s no saying you can’t add some minced garlic, too.
And if a pinch, you can sub lime juice with lemon juice.
Taco Spice Sauce
In grocery stores and supermarkets around the globe today, you often find taco seasoning.
Not surprisingly, some people started making fish taco sauce using this!
Well, that and some other ingredients though, quite frankly, if you’re in a rush you could make fish taco sauce simply by combining taco seasoning, salt, and sour cream.
Supposing you aren’t in an absolute pinch, you might want to add some other ingredients, too.
In fact, this recipe calls for Greek yogurt (as opposed to the aforementioned sour cream, but you can sub with sour cream or Mexican crema), mayo, Sriracha sauce, taco seasoning, garlic powder, dill weed, cumin, smoked paprika, onion powder, and fresh lime juice.
Want to give the sauce an even smokier flavor? Sub sriracha with chipotle sauce.
Avocado and Herb Sauce
If you want something a little healthier than the options above that call for mayo, you might want to try this recipe!
For this recipe you need avocado, Greek yogurt (or one of the substitutes mentioned previously), water, cilantro, lime juice, garlic, salt, and chipotle sauce.
You need a food processor or very finely chopped cilantro if you make it by hand.
You might also want to omit some or all of the water as it’ll be difficult to make it blend properly without a food proccessor.
As most sauces were invented way before the food processor they can be made perfectly well without one.
It just takes a bit longer sometimes, but at least you don’t have to wash the food processor. Always something.
While this recipe doesn’t call for it, you could experiment with adding some of the herbs and spices called for in the sour cream and mayo based recipes found above.
What Types of Sauces Pair Best With Fish Tacos?
Fish tacos are usually paired with sour cream/Mexican crema and mayo based sauce. Sometimes the mayo is omitted entirely, sometimes an avocado is added. These sauces are traditionally flavored with lime juice, garlic, chilies or hot sauce, and sometimes herbs, such as cilantro.
As discussed already, the most common sauces for fish tacos call for a combo of sour cream/Mexican crema/Greek yogurt, mayo, lime juice, garlic, salt, and hot sauce/chilies.
Additionally, some contain fresh herbs, too, such as cilantro and dill.
Some people prefer a plainer sauce and stick with sour cream, lime juice, salt, and garlic.
As this is the basis for the above sauces, too, you can experiment with adding one ingredient or another to see what you like best.
For example, you might want to only add cilantro to this mix.
Or you might want to add a dash of chipotle sauce.
As a combo of mayo and sour cream can get a bit heavy, some people like to combine avocado and sour cream/Greek yogurt instead, add some cilantro and seasoning, pop it in a food processor and press the button.
Voilà–you’ve made a very fresh and herby sauce that’s perfect for fish tacos.
If you happen to be in a pinch, something as simple as combining sour cream and taco seasoning can work, too.
It may be a bit thick, but you can use guacamole on your fish tacos if you find you don’t have the time or ingredients to make the avo sauce above.
A fresh salsa, such as pico de gallo, can also work well.
It will, perhaps, be even yummier if you serve your fish tacos with some avo in them as pico de gallo isn’t creamy, but avo is.
While it’s not traditionally served with fish tacos, there’s no saying you can’t serve them with aioli, or tzatziki.
Both sauces, if not traditionally Latin American, have similar flavor profiles to popular fish taco sauces.
What Sauces To Avoid Serving With Fish Tacos
You want to avoid pouring ketchup or BBQ sauce over your fish tacos (unless they’re made specifically to be BBQ fish tacos). And only using hot sauce can make them a tad too spicy.
Common sense will likely tell you not to smother your fish tacos in something like béarnaise sauce, Hoisin sauce, or mustard.
But just in case you considered it–don’t do it.
If you’re making some special BBQ fish tacos, then by all means use a BBQ sauce, but while it often has the same smoky flavor as chipotle sauce, it’s rarely ever used for fish tacos. Nor is ketchup.
You may think that you should skip making a sauce and go for the easy option of pouring over some adobo, or hot sauce, but this will likely make the fish tacos way too hot.
Plus, it’s not creamy unlike most of the other sauces.
If you feel like keeping things simple, stir in some hot sauce in sour cream and/or mayo, and then use it as a sauce.
You could even mix the hot sauce up with some mashed avo if you want a very quick vegan sauce option.
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Hello, I’m Jeremy, a sauce enthusiast and taste trailblazer! My endless pursuit of new flavors has led me on a journey to master sauce making at home, along with try out a range of exciting brands and sauce offerings. Now I share my recipes, tips and recommendations on WeWantTheSauce to help fellow foodies find the perfect sauces.