Mahi Mahi with Crunchy Coleslaw

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Pan-seared mahi mahi recipe coated with a blend of savory and sweet spices. Each fillet is served with a crunchy and refreshing honey lime coleslaw.

pan seared Mahi Mahi recipe with crunchy coleslaw

I was doing a little brainstorming for quick and easy dishes and I dreamed up something I know you ‘re going to love. I’ve taken one of my most popular fish tacos and added some extra crunch. This mahi mahi recipe with honey-lime coleslaw is a flavorful explosion!

All the magic is in the spice rub, and I want to let you in on my tasty secrets. Just promise me that you’ll share! Mahi Mahi is one of my favorite fish to cook because it has a very neutral flavor, heartier texture and takes on any flavors so effortlessly.

Searing mahi mahi fish fillets in a cast iron pan

I break out my trusty cast iron skillet for a quick pan sear of the spiced fillets. I love how I get a little bit of caramelization on the surface from just a tiny bit of brown sugar and dry spices that sizzle on the hot pan.

These fillets cook quick depending on the thickness, so once it’s nice and flaky, it’s done. I am all about blackened dry rub seasoning. I keep my spice cabinet fully stocked with a variety of spices. It’s the best way to add a ridiculous amount of healthy flavor.

crispy fish fillet on a bed of homemade coleslaw

I’ve coated these gorgeous fillets with a mixture of smoked paprika, cumin, chili powder, a touch of brown sugar, garlic and onion powders, oregano, black pepper, and salt. A bit of sweet, savory and smoky, oh yeah.

All of the earthy flavors from the mahi-mahi calls for a refreshing salad. Just a few chops with your knife and it’s ready in minutes. I’ve mixed the crunchiest vegetables I could find, bell peppers, cabbage, and carrots. All of those colorful vegetables get tossed in a simple honey-lime dressing. Cool, crisp and satisfying.

Pan-seared Mahi Mahi on a plate with coleslaw

Whenever mahi-mahi is available fresh at the store, I swoop up a few pounds. I’ve also used frozen fillets many times and just defrost the day before, or run it under cool water in the sealed package for a few minutes right before cooking.

I like to have this fish on hand whenever I’m craving my mahi-mahi with Tahitian vanilla sauce. If you haven’t tried that recipe yet, it’s a must, don’t wait for a second longer!

My blackened mahi-mahi fish tacos have been a hit with my incredible readers, so I knew that I needed to take those flavors and create a new dish to give you an even healthier option. I hope you enjoy it as much as my family does!

Closeup photo of seasoning on a fish fillet browned from a frying

Seafood recipes you might also like

How do I properly store spices and herbs?

Make sure to store your spices and herbs as far away from intense heat sources like ovens and stoves. The heat will speed up flavor loss and may cause caking. Keep spices away from direct sunlight, or you will notice dulling of color and loss of flavor. Keep those containers tightly closed and use dry measuring spoons to prevent adding moisture to the jar. Your spices will typically have an optimal flavor for about 6 to 9 months after opening, so try to do an annual check for appearance and aroma. Toss out and get new spices when needed, so your dishes have maximum flavor! (Source: Tampico Spice)

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Mahi Mahi with Crunchy Coleslaw

Pan seared mahi mahi recipe coated with a blend of savory and sweet spices. Each fillet is served with a crunchy and refreshing honey lime coleslaw.
Pin Print Review
4.31 from 119 votes
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time25 mins
Servings 4 servings
Course Entree
Cuisine Mexican

Ingredients

Mahi Mahi

  • 1 ½ teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 1 teaspoon dark brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon onion powder
  • ½ teaspoon kosher salt
  • ¾ teaspoon cumin, ground
  • ¼ teaspoon chili powder
  • ¼ teaspoon black pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon oregano, dried
  • 1 pound Mahi Mahi fillets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil

Coleslaw

  • 1 cup green cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup red cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup carrots, shredded
  • 1 cup red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • ½ cup green onions, sliced
  • 2 tablespoons lime juice, plus zest of 1 lime
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • ½ clove garlic, minced
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • ¼ cup cilantro leaves, finely chopped

Instructions 

Mahi Mahi

  • Combine paprika, brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, salt, cumin, chili pepper, black pepper, and oregano in a small bowl.
  • Sprinkle seasoning evenly over both sides of the fish fillets.
  • Heat oil in a large cast iron skillet or sauté pan over medium-high heat.
  • Add fish to the pan and cook 2 to 3 minutes on each side or until desired degree of doneness.
  • Transfer cooked fish to a clean plate.

Coleslaw

  • Add cabbage, carrots, bell pepper, and onions in a large bowl.
  • In a separate medium-sized bowl whisk together dressing ingredients; 2 tablespoons lime juice, lime zest, honey, and garlic.
  • Slowly add 2 tablespoons olive oil and whisk until combined.
  • Whisk in cilantro. Season with salt and pepper as needed.
  • Add dressing to vegetables and toss to combine.

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Nutrition Facts
Mahi Mahi with Crunchy Coleslaw
Amount Per Serving
Calories 283 Calories from Fat 108
% Daily Value*
Fat 12g18%
Saturated Fat 2g10%
Polyunsaturated Fat 2g
Monounsaturated Fat 7g
Cholesterol 65mg22%
Sodium 558mg23%
Potassium 247mg7%
Carbohydrates 16g5%
Fiber 3g12%
Sugar 9g10%
Protein 36g72%
Vitamin A 7950IU159%
Vitamin C 112.2mg136%
Calcium 190mg19%
Iron 2.5mg14%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Jessica Gavin

I'm a culinary school graduate, cookbook author, and a mom who loves croissants! My passion is creating recipes and sharing the science behind cooking to help you gain confidence in the kitchen.

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Reader Interactions

66 Comments Leave a comment or review

  1. Christopher Stuart says

    Hi Jessica,

    My wife and I live in the Seattle area and although we have some great fish here, fish tacos are nowhere near as delicious as those I have consumed in So Cal, specifically from Coronado Brewing Co in San Diego. That is to say until I tried your Blackened Mahi Mahi Fish Taco recipe, Wow is all I can say. Thank you so much for sharing your simple recipe that just explodes with flavor.

    Really looking forward to trying your Mahi Mahi with Honey Lime, if it’s half as good as the fish tacos, it will be incredible!

    Thank You,

    Chris S.
    Seattle, Wa

    • Jessica Gavin says

      You made my day Christopher! Seattle is known for some amazing fish so I’m happy that you enjoy the fish tacos! I would love to hear your feedback about the new recipe. Looking forward to sharing more recipes with you 🙂

  2. Jeff Scotti says

    Tried your Blackened Mahi Mahi last week, soooo good! Thanks Jessica! Headed to the market right now, going to try your Blackened Mahi Mahi tacos tonight… can’t wait, I’m sure there going to be amazing!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      So glad to hear you liked the blackened mahi mahi Jeff! The tacos are even more yummy with all of the fillings!

  3. Avery says

    I made this for my family tonight, keeping a sliver of lime on the side to squeeze over the fish. My family loved this. My dad is on a no-carb diet and this meal was perfect for him. I also made your baked chick pea’s as a snack for him to take on long bike rides. What I love most about this recipe is how much can be done ahead of time so that timing with kids coming home isn’t an issue. Thanks for this one, it was awesome as always.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Wow Avery, you are incredible! I’m so thrilled to hear that your family enjoyed the recipe, especially your dad who is on a more restricted diet. What a great idea to make the crunchy chickpeas as a snack for bike rides! Looking forward to sharing more recipes with you!

  4. Stacy says

    Made this for the family tonight. Soooo good! I didn’t have smoked paprika, so I imagine it is that much better with it. Thank you!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay Stacy! I’m so thrilled to hear that your family enjoyed the recipe 🙂 The paprika just adds a little more smokey flavor and color, definitely a nice add if you have it!

  5. Jenna says

    We made this recipe for a cookout and it was just amazing! I had to share it with my friends. Can’t wait to try the mahi tacos!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Thank you so much for trying the recipe Jenna! I’m so thrilled to hear that your friends enjoyed the mahi mahi 🙂 Let me know what you think about the tacos!

  6. Lesley says

    Great recipe! Our family very much enjoyed the Mahi and the coleslaw. We added just a touch more kosher salt to the Mahi rub to balance it to our palate. The coleslaw was a perfect crisp, flavorful compliment to the fish. We will make this again.

  7. Jessica says

    Great alternative to grilling! It’s been raining so I couldn’t grill my recent purchase of gorgeous mahi. I substituted the greens for heartier sides but the recipe inspired my garnish. Thanks Jessica!

    -Jessica
    Houston, TX

  8. Gina says

    Needed a quick recipe for my mahi, and I had all the spices so I gave it a try. It was delicious! I didn’t have the coleslaw, but next time I will definitely try it! My husband said he didn’t feel like having fish for dinner, but when he saw it, he wanted it! He loved it! Thank you!!!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay! That is so awesome that your family enjoyed the mahi mani Gina! The coleslaw will definitely be a must try for next time 🙂

  9. Holly says

    This was SO good! Thank you so much! I love that it’s really simple but still super delicious. I’ll be making this again!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Yay Holly! I’m so thrilled to hear that you enjoyed the mahi mahi. I make it all the time on weekdays for a quick and flavorful meal 🙂

  10. John Cocks says

    I’m letting the coleslaw sit in the fridge for a little bit for all the juices to come out of everything…

    I left to go to the store, cause I realized I’m out of dark brown sugar and onion powder. When I come back, I realize i can smell that honey\garlic\lime\veggie juice combination throughout the apartment! i can’t wait to try the mahi mahi. usually its a boring fish to me, I live in the Seattle area, and Mahi Mahi is definitely a backup-frozen-fish-alternative, if you accidentally waited a day too long to use the fresh fish in the fridge. But with this kind of slaw, I’m sure it’ll be amazing.

    … and I was right!!!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      I’m so happy that you enjoyed the mahi mahi recipe John! It’s a great light and easy meal 🙂

  11. Craig Blewett says

    This is an outstanding recipe. Made this tonight and it looked just like the photos! Jessica has done an excellent job putting the rub together which provides a lot of flavor but doesn’t overpower the fish. The coleslaw provides a nice contrasting set of flavors to the fish/rub. Easy to make. A new favorite fish dish.

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Whoo hoo! Thank you so much for your feedback Craig, you made my day 🙂 So thrilled to hear that it was easy to make and you liked the flavor combos. Cheers!

  12. Bob M. says

    Jessica,

    I just made the mahi mahi with fresh caught fish and my wife loved it, especially the slaw. This recipe is going in my go-to binder. Winner, winner fish dinner!

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Bob! Wow, fresh caught mahi mahi sounds amazing. I’m thrilled to hear that this recipe is going into your binder, whoo hoo!

  13. Sue says

    I made this last night…it was delicious! At first I was leary about the slaw, yet it was a perfect paring with the mahi….even though I didn’t have any cilantro…it was still very good. Thank you for sharing…can’t wait to make this again!

  14. Susan says

    Just made this for my husband. Overall very good. Our suggestions are: add a little cayenne pepper to fish seasoning, add a little more honey to slaw dressing.

  15. John Bowman says

    Wow simply wow, the coleslaw recipe was amazing, I added a little more lime and honey that’s just me. But what really catches your taste buds is the pan seared Mahi Mahi. the recipe was dead on with taste, felt like I was easting in a fine seafood restaurant. My wife loved it she said afterwards you won the apron tonight on Master chef. Anytime my wife loves my cooking then its a great night. I even got friends now asking for me to cook this for them. Thanks Jessica it’s perfect.

  16. sue says

    Loved this recipe, the spice rub isn’t too spicy and if you like it can be made spicier according to your taste. The cabbage slaw is delicious and compliments the mahi. I will be making this again tomorrow as we get our seafood from our favorite market in Northeast Ohio. I was wondering if I could broil the fish with the same results as pan searing?

    • Jessica Gavin says

      Hi Sue- I think you could broil, just keep a close eye that the spices don’t burn. Let me know it turns out!

  17. Donna says

    This was delicious! Truly a restaurant quality dish that was so simple to put together. The cilantro/lime slaw complements the spice-rubbed fish perfectly and it looks so pretty on the plate! Only changes I made were to add 1/4 tsp cayenne to rub and 1 thinly sliced jalapeño pepper to the slaw, as we like a little heat 🙂
    I will definitely make this again and look forward to trying your other recipes. Thank you!

  18. Stefanie says

    My local WholeFoods had a half off sale on fresh Mahi so I chose to use this recipe! Mahi was sold out so I went for salmon instead and used the same recipe. This was soo delicious!! Made enough for lunch the next day, the cole slaw tastes even better the 2nd day! Can’t wait to try it with Mahi

  19. Katie B says

    Delicious! The slaw was an amazing compliment to the spice on the fish! Great summer dinner choice!

  20. Rachel Warren says

    Loved this recipe. Didn’t have green onion so I used red onion. Topped my dish with a few slices of avocado.This one’s A+

  21. Andrea says

    Decided on fish for dinner because my father-in-law is really struggling with his high blood pressure. Made the fish and cole slaw without any salt. Still really flavorful! I’m sure I’ll be trying out more of your recipes!

  22. Jim McWilliams says

    A fantastic recipe. I used a teaspoon of dried onion instead of a half teaspoon of onion powder because it was all I had. Served it atop the incredible coleslaw. Amazing! Carbs were brown & imperial (black) rice. This recipe is going in my favorite file. Thank you!

  23. Jeff Brock says

    Kick ass recipe especially the slaw. I made double batch hoping for left overs, they ate almost all of it. Will make again.

  24. Steve says

    Wow! This recipe rocks!! My daughter insisted I try it and I’m glad she did. Always getting fresh fish here in Sunny South Florida and Dolphin (Mahi-Mahi) season is just starting. Will be adding this one to my favorites and recommending to a friend to serve in his restaurant as a “special”. Thank you!

  25. Melissa Salazar says

    I hate fish but I know it’s important to eat it. So I came across this wonderful recipe. I absolutely loved it. I don’t hate fish anymore. My 2 year old son couldn’t get enough of it. Thanks for sharing this wonderful dish with the world.

  26. Christina says

    I’ve made your salad from scratch before, but tonight I was going to use the dressing with a bag of coleslaw mix to save a couple of minutes. I accidentally bought a mix called Super Blend, made of kale, carrots, Brussel sprouts, and some other crunchy veggies. I poured the dressing over this super blend and it was fantastic! Tonight’s fish was great as always too. Thanks for creating such a fast, yummy, and healthy recipe!

  27. Jane says

    This had my husband BEGGING for more and he was very upset that there was not left overs for lunch the next day. It was amazing!!!!

    We have had it three times in the last two weeks!

  28. Aaron says

    What an awesome recipe!!! Looking for lean and green meals and this was a home run… I will try it with a chicken breast!!!
    Thank you so very much
    Aaron

  29. Robb S. says

    I didn’t make the coleslaw, but the fish recipe was brilliant. I added 1/2 tsp of MSG to the seasoning. MSG is the king of flavor.

  30. Barb S says

    This was delicious and easy to make. My hubby, who is a meat and potato kinda guy, said we needed to add this fish and slaw to the regular rotation. I followed the mahi mahi portion of the recipe exactly. For the slaw, I had to use a package of pre-shredded slaw mix because it was what I had on hand. Based on another review I added a little diced jalapeno and a small handful of chopped roasted almonds. I followed the directions for the dressing as written. The fish and slaw complemented each other beautifully. Definitely making this again. Thanks!

  31. Amanda says

    I love the slaw in this! I didn’t have purple cabbage so I just doubled green. I would say I might add a little more brown sugar and a little less cumin next time for the spice mix on the fish. Cumin always overtakes taste in my opinion. Lol.

  32. Monica says

    Thank you so much for the excellent dinner! I felt like a chef tonight. I don’t think a seafood restaurant could have done any better! No leftovers!

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