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Bean and Cabbage Tacos with Pickled Onions

Hi. Things are going to be a little different around here for the foreseeable future. I don't really plan content too far ahead and I get a lot of inspiration from what I have on hand. That being said, the recipes are going to be really pantry heavy and probably pretty simple (since I have a 4-year-old sous chef right now).

That being said, I'm doing a lot of impromptu cooking on instagram (including some recipe videos with my son). I also have been sharing more day-in, day-out recipes on this site (they aren't tested but the inspiration is there!) With all of that said, here's a recipe that's been on repeat at our house.

The Beans

I would traditionally make these with pinto beans (which is what I call for in the recipe) but if you have a good eye for bean varieties, you'd notice these are actually Rebosero beans from Rancho Gordo. However, these tacos aren't bean specific. Use pinto, black, or even kidney beans


When it comes to variety, I like the texture of savoy cabbage and it tends to be the first cabbage I reach for when shopping. However, regular green cabbage and/or purple cabbage would work just as well. The key is to shredding it fairly fine and making sure all the ingredients of the slaw are well combined.

Pickled Onions

Finally, when I'm cooking from the pantry and relying heavily on dried-goods, I find myself throwing pickled items onto more meals. I keep my pickled onion recipe extremely straight-forward, primarily for ease of assembly. The pickled onions will store in the refrigerator for a week or so.


Bean and Cabbage Tacos with Pickled Onions

A simple pantry-inspired cabbage taco that features garlicky beans, cilantro-cabbage slaw, and pickled onions.

  • Author: Erin Alderson
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 10
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 servings 1x
  • Category: dinner
  • Method: stovetop



Pickled Onions

1 medium red onion

½ cup white vinegar

½ cup water

1 tablespoon cane sugar

1 ½ teaspoons sea salt

Cabbage Slaw

1 cup shredded savoy cabbage

1 scallion, thinly sliced

¼ cup minced cilantro

Juice from one lime

2 teaspoons olive oil

Pinch of salt


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 garlic clove, minced

1 cup cooked pinto beans (or similar beans), drained

4 corn or flour tortillas

Pepitas, for topping

Hot sauce, optional

Crumbled cotija, optional


  • Start by making the pickled onions. Peel and cut the onion into even ⅛" slices. Place in a heat-safe jar like a pint mason jar. In a pot, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Bring the mixture to a boil, remove from the heat, and pour over the onions. Let the onions sit while making everything else.
  • Next, make the cabbage slaw. Combine the slaw, sliced scallions, and cilantro in a bowl. Squeeze the lime juice over the cabbage, add in the olive oil, and salt. Toss to combine and coat everything evenly.
  • Finally, heat a pan over medium-low heat. Add the olive oil followed by the minced garlic. Cook the garlic until golden then add in the pinto beans. Cook for a minute or two more, just to warm the beans.
  • Assemble the tacos with ¼ cup of the beans, ¼ of the cabbage, some pickled onions, and toasted pepitas to finish.

Keywords: cabbage tacos