These Jerk Salmon Tacos + Avocado Cilantro Lime Sauce are the absolute perfect tacos! Packed with bold, spicy, + savory Jamaican flavors–this recipe is a sure crowd-pleaser and is finger-licking goodness on a plate. Perfectly charred tortillas loaded with chopped red cabbage, roasted tomatoes, jalapeños, pineapple chunks, onions, and topped with a freshly made avocado cilantro lime sauce or green goddess sauce. These tacos are a great reminder that tacos can be thoroughly enjoyed during any season! Gluten-free + Make ahead options.
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I couldn’t be more excited to share this recipe with ya’ll because it's one that I originally created years ago, however, I recently decided to reshoot and revamp the entire recipe for a much more delicious experience. These Jerk Salmon Tacos + Avocado Cilantro Lime Sauce are absolutely incredible and such a delicious meal for the entire family---with a nice kick of spice! The best part is that you get a nice balance of coolness from the homemade sauce and pineapple chunks, which creates the best bite. I promise you that these jerk salmon tacos will be a hit!
While I thoroughly enjoy sharing recipes from my Southern roots as well vegan options, I definitely enjoy sharing my Jamaican roots as well. When it comes to Jamaican dishes, it's all about the spice, meaty options, and just good ole' flavor combinations that are out of this world! But I'm also currently loving these Vegan Jamaican Jerk Walnut Tacos for all of my vegan peeps and I definitely recommend!
Overall, these jerk salmon tacos are super easy to make, a great weeknight option, can be easily personalized with your fave ingredients, includes bold flavors, balance between savory, spicy, and sweet, and just plain DELICIOUS.
New to Jamaican Cuisine? Try these Authentic Dishes First:
The THREE parts of these Jerk Salmon Tacos are the roasted veggies + pineapple, jerk salmon, and the homemade dairy-free sauce.
Start by adding your veggies + pineapple to a baking sheet along with olive oil and the herbs + seasonings. Bake until charred and tender. Meanwhile, you can bake the salmon once washed, patted dry, and seasoned. Once salmon is done, shred or flake them using forks. Then char the tortillas, prep/chop other ingredients, and make the homemade sauce/dressing. Assemble and and finally, enjoy!
Here’s what you need for these Jerk Salmon Tacos + Avocado Cilantro Lime Sauce:
Salmon fillets. I like to use wild-caught Sockeye salmon for a tastier flavor. If yours are fresh, defrost them in the refrigerator prior to making tacos and when ready to use, let them sit at room temp. for 30 minutes or so before seasoning + baking. you can also use shrimp, lobster, or a non-meat option like chickpeas or tofu, which all can be jerked!
Olive oil. you can also use avocado oil or Grapeseed oil, if you prefer.
Red cabbage. Chopped cabbage makes for a nice fresh + light topping for these tacos. You can substitute with regular cabbage or shredded brussels sprouts or some sort of slaw.
Jerk seasoning. You can purchase a store-bought blend or make your own using staple herbs + seasonings.
Jalapeños. I like the extra spicy flavor. They are nice when roasted in the oven. Remove the seeds for less spicy. You can also use poblano peppers as well.
Onion. I love using red onions, but yellow would do. Adds great nutritional value.
Fresh pineapple or pineapple chunks. I like to purchase organic canned pineapple chunks for convenience. However, you can peel + chop a fresh pineapple into chunks.
Lime juice. I like to freshly-squeeze 1 lime. You can also use lemon if preferred.
Tortillas. I like to use organic corn-flour tortillas from Whole Foods, however, you can use corn or flour.
Homemade sauce/dressing. I love using either homemade Avocado Cilantro Lime Sauce or Green Goddess Sauce, which both adds a nice finish to these tacos.
Jamaican Herbs That You Should Always Keep On Hand + Remedies:
When it comes to herbs + plants, there are so many benefits to using them, especially when used for medicinal purposes. This list of Jamaican Herbs That You Should Always Keep On Hand + their Remedies showcases many popular (and not so well-known) herbs that fight everything from colds/flus to pain to acne; traditionally used by many Jamaicans for centuries.
Best Jerk Salmon Taco Toppings
Everyone is different when it comes to taco toppings in general, which is why I love using a variety of ingredients. However, for these Jerk Salmon tacos, I like to add ingredients that compliment the bold flavor of "jerk".
This is a great opportunity to teach children about what they like, how much to add, and helps to develop their palate—which is what I try to do with my son. Plus, maybe they’ll try something new on their own—who knows?!
Some of the most popular taco toppings in my house for these Jerk Salmon Tacos are:
Tomatoes. You can add as many tomatoes as will fit on your baking sheet.
Olive oil. Don’t skimp on the oil! It helps concentrate the tomato flavor and makes a nice jammy texture. You can use these roasted tomatoes like a dressing or sauce.
Dried herbs. I like a mixture of Italian herbs like oregano, basil and parsley. But you can mix up the seasonings with other fresh or dried herbs. Thyme, rosemary, marjoram and tarragon are all delicious with tomatoes.
Spices. Likewise, feel free to play with different spices in your roasted tomatoes. I like paprika, garlic powder and a pinch of red pepper flakes for a slight kick.
What You’ll Love About These Jerk Salmon Tacos The Most?
Easy to make.
A great kick of spice without being overwhelming.
Minimal ingredients to create a fantastic taco experience.
Fun meal for entire family.
Has a great gluten-free option.
Did I mention the burst of flavor? Haha.
Looking for Great Leafy Green Options for these Tacos?
When it comes to vegetables, there are so many benefits as we all know. While some veggies pack a greater punch when it comes to nutrients, we’ve curated a special list of our Our Top 12 Favorite Healthy Green Leafy Vegetables! Most of these are super popular while others are under utilized in many dishes. Lettuce Eat, Shall We?
Best Tortilla for Jerk Salmon Tacos?
You can choose either corn or flour tortillas for this jerk salmon taco recipe. If you’re looking for a gluten-free option, corn is your best bet or a GF-friendly tortilla made from quinoa flour or chickpea flour----Siete Foods has a great one! Whichever option you choose, I recommend the small street taco-size. They’re easy to fill, hold and eat by the dozen!
Of course, in a pinch, larger tortillas will work too. You can also use hard taco shells if you prefer a crunchier taco. If that’s the case, skip heating the tortillas and simply fill your taco shells with the roasted veggies + pineapple, chopped cabbage, jerk salmon, and toppings.
How to Best Char or Warm Tortillas
To lightly toast taco tortillas, preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place tortillas directly on the rack. Turn off the oven once heated and let tortillas warm for 2 minutes. Remove from oven. For char on a stovetop, pop one of the tortillas onto a gas burner until you begin to see a little smoke. Remove tortilla to rotate it onto opposite side until it’s lightly charred. Repeat until all tortillas are charred.
How To Store Leftover Jerk Salmon Tacos + Avocado Cilantro Lime Sauce
Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days. Leftover sauce can be stored in a tightly sealed mason jar or container for up to 4 days in the refrigerator.
Can I Make these Jerk Salmon Tacos Ahead?
Absolutely! All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (excluding tortillas) and assembled when ready to serve.
Other Jerk Recipes You’ll Love
If you are a fan of my Jerk Salmon Tacos, you will also love these other jerk options also!
Be sure to roast your veggies in the oven at this point. See Roasted Herb Tomatoes recipe for instructions on how to roast all veggies and the pineapple chunks.
TO MAKE THE JERK SALMON:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit and line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Season your washed and patted dry salmon with the olive oil + homemade jerk seasoning: onion powder, garlic powder, cayenne pepper, salt, black pepper, thyme, brown sugar (if using), allspice, parsley, red pepper flakes, cinnamon nutmeg, cloves, and cumin, rubbing everything atop salmon until completely coated. Add all salmon to baking sheet and roast (on the top rack) for 15-20 minutes or until fully cooked through. NOTE: When done, salmon should "flake apart" when touched gently.
Remove from oven and using two forks, gently pull the flesh apart until entirely "shredded" and in medium to large chunks. Set aside.
OPTION #1 - AVOCADO CILANTRO LIME SAUCE:
Place all the ingredients into a food processor or blender and process/blend until combined and full broken down and smooth, about 10 seconds or so. NOTE: Scrape down sides using a rubber spatula + process/blend again if needed.
OPTION #2 - GREEN GODDESS SAUCE:
Add all ingredients into a high-powdered blender and blend until sauce becomes creamy and smooth. Set aside in the refrigerator until ready to use.
CHAR OR WARM TORTILLAS:
To lightly toast taco tortillas, preheat oven on 350 degrees Fahrenheit and place tortillas directly on rack. Turn off oven once heated and let tortillas warm for 2 minutes. Remove from oven. For char on a stovetop, pop one of the tortillas unto a gas burner until you begin to see a little smoke. Remove tortilla to rotate it onto opposite side until it’s lightly charred. Repeat until all tortillas are charred.
To assemble tacos, add a bit of chopped cabbage atop a charred tortilla followed by: roasted tomatoes, chopped jalapeños, onions, a few spoonfuls of shredded jerk salmon, and pineapple chunks. Repeat until desired amount of tacos are made. Garnish with your choice of homemade sauce.
Tips & Tricks
STORAGE: Place any leftover ingredients in a tightly sealed container in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
MAKE AHEAD: All ingredients can be made and individually stored as meal prep (excluding tortillas) and assembled when ready to serve.
GLUTEN-FREE OPTION: To make these tacos gluten-free, simply substitute tortillas with great GF-friendly tortillas made from quinoa flour, chickpea flour, etc. Siete Foods has great ones!
JERK SEASONING (STORAGE): You can keep leftovers in a small tightly sealed jar and at room temperature for up to 6 months like your other herbs + spices.
EQUIPMENT: Here, I’ve curated a list of cooking + baking essentials that I use to achieve my favorite baked goods or cooked meals, especially with these Jerk Salmon Tacos. Everything from my fave high-powered blender, baking sheets, wooden spoons, mixing bowls, and more.