Quick Mexican pickled onions, pickled red onions

You’ll always find a jar filled with quick cebollas curtidas, Mexican pickled onions in my fridge. It is a staple in my home, and we use it on tacos, salads, soups, tortas, sandwiches, and soups. We use them everywhere! They are a great condiment.

 Mexican pickled onions in a jar, these are red onions

Fall in love with these Mexican pickled onion recipe

Having a jar of these quick Mexican pickled onions is total peace of mind. These pickled red onions have the power to transform every dish.

They transform it giving great texture, flavor-wise and visually. Great on tacos, salads, or as an accompaniment to any dish!

When preparing lunch for myself, I add some quinoa or rice in a bowl, some beans or lentils, greens, some dressing, half an avocado, and top it all with onion slices. And… BAM!!! Without any effort, I have a magical and fantastic lunch.

Benefits of red pickled onions

You may ask yourself, is eating pickled onions good for you? Of course! They are full of probiotics and digestive enzymes, critical for maintaining gut health.

Sliced red oinion on a cutting board

How to make Mexican pickled red onions?

  1. Slice red onions into thin rounds.
  2. Boil water, vinegar and spices: Mexican oregano, bay leaf, black peppercorn, salt and white vinegar.
  3. When the water is boiling, turn the heat off and add the sliced red onion until they’re submerged in liquid and let them cool.
  4. When the onions are completely cooled down, strain them and put them in a jar or glass container.
  5. Pour the lime juice, taste for seasoning. Adjust if needed with salt.
  6. Refrigerate for at least 2 hours before use. Enjoy.
sliced red onion in a pot with dried herbs

Tips and tricks to make the best Mexican pickled onions

  • Best material cookware. Use a glass container to store these Mexican pickled onions. Also, it is best to use stainless steel, ceramic, or glass bowls to make them. This recipe has a lot of acids that could make other materials breech.
  • How to store? Store these pickled red onions in the refrigerator
  • Vinegar substitutions. If you don’t have any white vinegar, you can also use rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar (affiliate link), or another mild vinegar
  • I love to use a Mexican lime/lemon squeezer. It is super effective in getting all the juice out; it also gets some oils and great flavors from the peel.
  • Wait at least 30 minutes before serving them.
  • In some states in Mexico, they use white onion for this condiment. Use what you have on hand.

How long do pickled onions last?

Anywhere from 2-4 weeks when properly refrigerated. See above.

 easy Mexican pickled red onions

how to use this pickled red onions Mexican condiment?

  • They are the BEST on top of SOPES (here is a complete post on how to make sopes)
  • You could finish enchiladas with them.
  • Put them on your favorite tostadas.
  • They go great with these awesome vegan nachos.
  • Or, if you want just a quick salad for lunch or dinner, you can always do a quick bowl with rice, beans, greens, a yummy dressing, and these onions.
  • If you liked this pickles recipe, check out my Mexican Pickled Jalapeños
  • They also go great as burger toppers.
  • These quick pickled red onions are a must for cochinita pibil tacos, tacos dorados Sinaloa style, and many more authentic Mexican dishes. In Spanish they are called cebollas encurtidas or cebollas en vinagre.
  • If you want more taste from the herbs, you can lightly toast them on a grill or saucepan.

Other recipes that you may love:

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Mexican pickled red onions

Mexican pickled red onions

Alejandra Graf
This recipe for quick Mexican pickled red onions is one of my favorite things to have in the fridge. It is perfect to finish up soups, salads, sandwiches or any Mexican recipe.
4 de 20 votos
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cool down time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Course Basics
Cuisine Mexican vegan food
Servings 2 cups
Calories 67 kcal


  • 2 teaspoon Mexican oregano
  • 1 bay leave
  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • Pinch of salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • 2 red onions medium-sized, thinly sliced
  • 1-2 limes juice


  • Boil the water with the vinegar, bay leaf, pinch of salt and oregano. When the water is boiling vigorously, turn it off and add the onions.
  • Let it cool completely and strain.
  • Add the onion into a jar or other glass container and finish with the juice of a lime and a pinch of salt. It should be a bit salty and with a good punch of the lime juice at the end.
  • Taste or seasoning and adjust if necessary.



Calories: 67kcalCarbohydrates: 16gProtein: 1gSodium: 12mgPotassium: 249mgFiber: 4gSugar: 5gVitamin A: 35IUVitamin C: 17.9mgCalcium: 78mgIron: 1.4mg
Keyword Mexican pickled onions


Nutritional information of this recipe is only an estimate, the accuracy for any recipe on this site is not guaranteed.

Did you make this recipe?Tag @piloncilloyvainilla on Instagram and hashtag it #alecooks so we can all see your creations.
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