Pickled Red Onions

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Pickled Red Onions

Cooking time:

  • 10 minutes in total
  • 5 minutes of cooking
  • 5 minutes of preparation

Serves: 8


  • 1 red onion, sliced
  • 1 dl water
  • 2 dl vinegar
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • Salt (to taste)
  • 1 dried chile, de-seeded (see author's notes)
  • Optional: 1-2 bay leaves and peppercorns


Pickled red onions are a beloved addition to many Mexican dishes such as a topping for tacos and tostadas. We recommend that you try them on our Tacos de Res for an extra acidic touch. You can always modify your recipe and add different flavorings to the brine such as peppercorns, fresh herbs, lime, or garlic. We know that taste buds can vary, so feel free to let your creativity run wild and adjust the amount of sweetness and flavorings to your taste.


  1. Peel and discard the outer skin of the red onions.
  2. Slice the onions and fill up your desired airtight container such as a mason jar.
  3. Heat the water, sugar, and vinegar in a small saucepan over medium heat until the sugar has been dissolved.
  4. Add the salt, peppercorns, and sliced dried chile to the mixture.
  5. Pour the hot brine into the jar with the sliced red onions until they’re fully covered.
  6. Close the jar and refrigerate for at least a couple of hours or preferably overnight (see author notes).

Author notes

  • Adding the chili is optional but will give your onions and a nice spicy kick, we used a Vera Mexicana Dried Pasilla Mixe​ in this case but ancho and guajillo chilies would also work. Feel free to experiment!
  • The pickled red onions will keep in an airtight container for about one month in the fridge.
  • Ideas for additional flavorings: Lime, grapefruit or orange juice, peppercorns/rose pepper, bay leaves, fresh herbs such as oregano, thyme or cilantro, garlic, and allspice berries.