Pickled Red Onions and Taco Toppings

Avocado Sauce and Pickled Onions
Pickled red onions are amazing as are these other two taco toppings!
Pickled red Onions, Grilled Cabbage and Avocado Sauce are perfect toppings for tacos.

Pickled red onions are amazing on just about anything, but put them on tacos and oh man…you’ve hit on what makes them so addictive. This simple ingredient makes tacos so above the norm.

Tacos are where it’s at! It took me awhile to get on board, but let’s just say I’m now shipshape! The fun thing about tacos, or quesadillas for that matter, is the variety of ways they can be topped.

Toppings are an art form and too many or too little or not the right kind, can take away from your creation. The balance of flavors is what makes a taco special.

Each bite should contribute to the next, to the point of not wanting to put that taco down, because each morsel tastes so massively good. Little bites full of big flavor, but also a giant mix of textures come into play, in what seems like just a simple taco!

Grilled Cabbage


Should I use corn or flour tortillas for tacos?

Tacos can be made with either corn or flour tortillas. I find the type I choose depends on the type of protein I’m using as a base to build the taco. From there a combo of spicy, sour, salty and even sweet ingredients are added to round out the flavor of the taco.

Then think texture or crispy, crunchy, creamy, as ways to add interest. Salsas add complexity and guacamole adds creamy, salty and savory. Ordering a taco at a taco joint may seem simple, but I guarantee there was a lot of thought put into that taco!

pickled red onions

Below are a few simple taco toppings that I use to amp up the flavors of some of my favorite taco combinations. Use them also on burgers or sandwiches and anything else where you need a little extra! Alex love the pickled red onions on scrambled eggs. And then he tops them with avocado sauce.

However you choose to use these toppings, I can guarantee they will send you over the top!

Pickled Onions, Avocado Sauce are perfect toppings for tacos.

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Pickled Red Onions

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pickled red onions

Pickled Red Onions and Other Taco Toppings

  • Author: Abbe
  • Prep Time: 30 Minutes
  • Cook Time: Varies
  • Total Time: 30 Minutes
  • Yield: Varies
  • Category: Side Dishes
  • Method: Varies
  • Cuisine: American


These three taco toppings also make great topping on most everything. Simple and flavorful, I think you will enjoy them all!



Avocado Sauce

Serves 4
Time to Make: About 10 minutes
1 ripe avocado
2 T finely minced onion
2 T sour cream or Mexican crema
24 T heavy cream
1/4 t garlic powder
1/2 t salt
A few grinds of black pepper
Juice of 1/2 a lime

Pickled Red Onions

Serves 10
Time to Make: About 10 minutes active/ 20 minutes inactive
1 large red onion peeled, but root end still attached.Cut into quarters without slicing through the root. Do not separate. Brush with some oil and sprinkle with salt.
3 T white vinegar
1 crushed garlic clove
Pinch of oregano
4 peppercorns
Pinch of salt

Grilled Cabbage
Serves 48
Time to Make: About 15 minutes active/ 20 minutes inactive
1 head green cabbage
Olive Oil
Coarse Salt
Juice of 1 lime
Seasonings such as salt, smoked paprika, oregano, garlic powder, onion powder


Avocado Sauce:

Mash avocado. Stir in all ingredients while mashing to a sauce consistency. You may want it chunky or smooth and that is your choice.

If you want it more of a thin sauce, add more cream. Add your seasonings to taste. Avocados need to be bold. This sauce is tangier than guacamole and really brings out the richness of the avocado!

Pickled Onions

Preheat grill to medium high heat. Grill onion with bulb side down until blackened.

Now turn over and rest root end on grill and grill until that is blackened. It will start to spread like a flower opening. I only grill this partially, so that the onion retains some crispness. Take off fire and let cool.

Now cut off root stem and slice into thin slices.

Place onion, vinegar and seasonings in a pot. Bring to a boil. (I know it seems like you need more liquid, but you don’t.) As soon as it boils, turn into a container and let stand until cooled. These are great on sandwiches of all kinds and of course tacos or quesadillas! They keep in the fridge a long time!

Grilled Cabbage

Slice cabbage into 3/4″ rounds. Brush both sides with oil. Season one side well with salt.

Combine lime juice with seasonings and brush on to cabbage. Use more seasonings if necessary to cover cabbage rounds.

Let sit for at least one hour or up to overnight. When ready to cook, preheat grill to medium high.

Place cabbage rounds on an oiled grill and grill until cooked, but not soft. If some of the cabbage strings fall off gather them up and place a pile of them on a grill tray and cook by tossing until browned.

Cabbage can be used as a taco topping or it can even be tossed with cole slaw dressing and served that way as a  taco topping or as a replacement for cole slaw.


Onions do not have to be grilled. They can be sliced and then placed in the pot to pickle. I think grilling gives them more flavor, but is totally optional.

Keywords: pickled red onions, pickled onions, grilled cabbage, avocado sauce, pickled red onions quick, pickled red onions recipe


Some More Great Mexican Recipes:

Mexican Shrimp Cocktail
Pico de Gallo
Pineapple and Chipotle Guacamole with Tequila
Nachos Al Pastor with Pineapple Salsa
How To Make Chorizo
Pulled Chicken Tinga Tostadas
Coconut Rum Tres Leches Cake

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  • ChgoJohn
    July 10, 2016 at 10:42 pm

    I love everything about these tacos, Abbe. Your avocado sauce sounds delicious and while I've prepared pickled red onions, your idea of grilling them first is something I'm sure to try. The same is true for the cabbage, and I especially like the idea of going from the grill to cole slaw. As I said, love it all!

  • Erin
    July 8, 2016 at 5:58 pm

    Ooo I've never grilled cabbage for tacos before, now I must!

  • Liz Berg
    July 2, 2016 at 1:42 am

    Is it wrong that I could eat any of these toppings even without the tacos?!!! But they must taste incredible WITH tacos, too 🙂

  • Karen (Back Road Journal)
    July 1, 2016 at 6:14 pm

    I like pickled red onions but grilled then picked is new for me…I bet they are delicious.

  • Balvinder Ubi
    July 1, 2016 at 3:32 pm

    You had me at 'grilled cabbage' and 'pickled onions'! 🙂

  • Angie Schneider
    July 1, 2016 at 3:40 am

    Grilled cabbages!! Avocado sauce!!!! Now you are talking, Abbe. I am crazy for them.

  • Wendy Klik
    July 1, 2016 at 1:58 am

    3 recipes…woooohooooo we hit the jackpot.

  • Kitchen Riffs
    July 1, 2016 at 12:52 am

    We love tacos at our house! And you've reminded me it's been weeks since we've had any — shame on us! Love your pickled red onions and grilled cabbage — good stuff. Thanks!

  • SavoringTime in the Kitchen
    June 30, 2016 at 11:18 pm

    I am getting serious Mexican and Tex-Mex hunger pains after reading this post and your last, Abbe! One of my favorite food groups 🙂 I'm proud to say that I've actually grilled cabbage once! Great looking tacos and I could eat an avocado every day. The 'cado cream looks wonderful!

  • Cheri Savory Spoon
    June 30, 2016 at 8:18 pm

    Love tacos and your avocado cream and pickled onions sounds wonderful. Also such a clever idea to grill the cabbage, that is something we have never done. Nice post Abbe!