How many calories in a battered fish taco?

A battered fish taco can range in calories depending on the size, type of fish, cooking method, and toppings used. However, a typical battered fish taco with deep fried white fish can contain between 300-500 calories on average.

Quick answer

A medium sized battered fish taco contains approximately:

  • 300-500 calories
  • 15-25g fat
  • 20-30g protein
  • 30-50g carbohydrates

The exact calorie count will vary depending on factors like:

  • Type of fish – fattier fish like salmon and tuna will be higher in calories than white fish like cod or tilapia
  • Cooking method – deep frying adds more calories than grilling or baking
  • Size of taco – large tacos have more calories than small or street size
  • Type of batter – beer batter, panko crumbs, cornmeal etc
  • Taco shell – soft corn or flour tortillas are lower calorie than deep fried taco shells
  • Toppings and sauces – avocado, cheese, sour cream and creamy sauces add more calories

Detailed nutrition information

Here is more detailed nutrition information for a typical battered fish taco:

Nutrition Facts Amount
Calories 360
Fat 18g
Saturated fat 3g
Trans fat 0g
Cholesterol 45mg
Sodium 460mg
Carbohydrates 35g
Fiber 2g
Sugar 3g
Protein 22g

This is based on a 6oz portion of battered and fried white fish like cod or tilapia in a medium sized flour tortilla taco with lettuce, tomato, onion and a drizzle of low fat sour cream as toppings.

Factors affecting calorie content

There are several factors that affect the calorie content in a battered fish taco:

Type of fish

The type of fish used will impact the calorie count:

  • White fish like cod, tilapia, halibut and mahi mahi are lower in fat and calories. A 3oz portion contains around 100 calories.
  • Salmon is higher in healthy omega-3 fats. A 3oz portion of grilled salmon contains about 155 calories.
  • Tuna is also higher in fat and calories. A 3oz portion of tuna steak has about 128 calories.

Going with a lean white fish like cod or tilapia will be the lowest calorie option for fish tacos.

Cooking method

Deep frying the fish adds a significant amount of extra calories and fat:

  • Deep fried – Uses oil for frying which adds about 120 calories per ounce of fish.
  • Pan seared – Cooked on the stovetop with just a teaspoon of oil, adding around 40 calories per ounce.
  • Baked – No added fat needed for baking, providing about 30 calories per ounce.
  • Grilled – Also a very low cal method when cooked on a grill pan with no added fat.

Choosing to bake, grill or pan sear the fish will keep the calorie count lower compared to deep frying.

Size of taco

Larger tacos mean more fish and more calories:

  • Street size – 4 inches wide and around 300 calories per taco
  • Standard size – 5 inches wide and 350-400 calories per taco
  • Large sized – 6 inches wide and up to 500 calories per taco

Opt for the street size or small tacos to reduce the calorie count.

Type of batter

The batter coating on the fish also impacts calorie content:

  • Beer batter – Made with beer, flour and seasoning. Adds about 50 calories per ounce of fish.
  • Panko breadcrumbs – Japanese style crispy crumbs add around 60 calories per ounce.
  • Cornmeal – A lighter coating with around 30 calories per ounce.

Lighter batters like cornmeal will be lower in calories than heavy beer batters.

Taco shell

The taco shell or wrap also factors into the total calories:

  • Soft corn tortilla – Around 60 calories per 6-inch tortilla
  • Flour tortilla – About 80 calories for a 6-inch tortilla
  • Crispy corn taco shell – Up to 150 calories for a deep fried 6-inch shell

Using soft corn or flour tortillas will provide the lowest calorie option for the taco shell.


High fat toppings will further increase the calories:

  • Cheese – Cheddar or Mexican cheese blend adds 50-80 calories per ounce
  • Avocado – About 115 calories in 2 ounces or 1/4 of an avocado
  • Sour cream – Regular sour cream has about 30 calories per tablespoon

Going light on high fat toppings like cheese and avocado can help reduce calories without sacrificing flavor.

Low calorie battered fish taco options

Here are some specific options to create lower calorie battered fish tacos:


  • 4oz tilapia, cod or halibut – 120 calories

Cooking method

  • Pan seared with cooking spray – 50 calories


  • 2 tbsp cornmeal – 60 calories

Taco shell

  • 2 soft corn tortillas – 120 calories


  • 1/4 cup shredded lettuce – 2 calories
  • 2 tbsp diced tomato – 4 calories
  • 1 tbsp diced onion – 5 calories
  • 1 tbsp low fat sour cream – 15 calories

Total Calories Per Taco: Around 380 calories

This provides a satisfying battered fish taco with crispy pan seared white fish, fresh veggies and just a touch of low fat sour cream to add flavor.

High calorie battered fish taco example

In contrast, here is an example of a higher calorie battered fish taco:


  • 6oz salmon – 465 calories

Cooking method

  • Deep fried – 240 calories


  • Beer batter – 150 calories

Taco shell

  • 2 fried corn taco shells – 300 calories


  • 2 tbsp Mexican cheese – 110 calories
  • 1/4 avocado – 115 calories
  • 2 tbsp sour cream – 60 calories

Total Calories Per Taco: Around 680 calories

The larger portion of salmon, deep frying method, fried taco shells and high fat toppings all contribute to the higher calorie count.

Healthy diet recommendations

When enjoying battered fish tacos as part of a healthy diet, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend:

  • Limit calories from saturated fat to less than 10% of total calories
  • Limit sodium to less than 2,300mg per day
  • Increase intake of omega-3 fatty acids by choosing fish high in these fats
  • Consume less than 10% of calories per day from added sugars
  • Increase consumption of fiber, vitamins and minerals by including fruits, vegetables and whole grains

To make fish tacos part of a healthy meal:

  • Use cornmeal instead of beer batter to limit sodium, calories and fat
  • Include cabbage, tomato, avocado and other produce to increase fiber, vitamins and minerals
  • Choose whole grain tacos or serve with brown rice or quinoa
  • Flavor with lime, salsa and chili powder instead of creamy, high calorie sauces
  • Enjoy fish tacos along with a side salad for added nutrients and balance


A typical battered fish taco made with a lean white fish, cornmeal batter and light toppings will provide around 300-500 calories. Exact counts vary depending on specific ingredients and preparation methods. Choosing grilled or baked fish, lighter batters and soft tortillas can help keep calories on the lower end of this range. Topping fish tacos with plenty of fresh veggies boosts nutrition for a satisfying, flavorful meal that can be part of an overall healthy diet.

Leave a Comment