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Tex-Mex Taco Cups

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  • Level: Easy
  • Total: 25 min
  • Active: 25 min
  • Yield: 4 servings
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Quick Pickled Onions:

1/2 cup apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons sugar 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

1 teaspoon black peppercorns 

1 bay leaf 

1 jalapeno, sliced, seeded if desired 

1 small red onion, thinly sliced 

Taco Cups:

8 small flour tortillas

Nonstick cooking spray, for the tortillas 

1/2 teaspoon chili powder 

Iceberg Slaw:

1/4 cup mayonnaise

1/4 cup buttermilk 

1 teaspoon yellow mustard 

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder 

Juice of 1 lime 

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper 

4 cups shredded iceberg lettuce 

1/2 cup shredded carrot 

1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves 

2 scallions, thinly sliced 

1/2 small red bell pepper, thinly sliced 

Taco Filling:

One 10-ounce package smoked chicken sausage, cut into 1/2-inch-thick slices on the bias

1 cup grated yellow Cheddar 

1 avocado, diced 

Lime wedges, for serving 


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. For the quick pickled onions: Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt, peppercorns, bay leaf and 1/4 cup water in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil and stir to dissolve the sugar and salt. Put the jalapeno and red onion in a medium heatsafe bowl and pour the hot vinegar mixture over. Let cool to room temperature. (The onions can be made ahead and refrigerated for up to a week.) 
  3. For the taco cups: Lightly spray the tortillas on both sides with cooking spray and dust with the chili powder. Fit each tortilla into a cup of a standard muffin pan, pleating the edges and making a space in the center to form a cup. Stagger the tortillas in the muffin pan so they are not bunched together. Bake until crisp and browned on the edges but still pliable in the center, about 8 minutes.  
  4. For the iceberg slaw. Whisk together the mayonnaise, buttermilk, mustard, garlic powder and lime juice in a large bowl. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Add the lettuce, carrot, cilantro, scallion and bell pepper and toss to coat the vegetables in the dressing. 
  5. For the taco filling: When ready to serve, heat a grill pan over medium heat. Grill the sausage slices, turning frequently, until heated through, 3 to 4 minutes.  
  6. To serve, divide the sausage among the taco cups. Top with some slaw, pickled onions, Cheddar and avocado. Serve with lime wedges.