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Mexican Pickled Onions

This recipe for Mexican pickled onions is the ultimate versatile condiment. Whether spooned over salads, tacos, fajitas, sandwiches, or a myriad of other delicious dishes, these onions add a vibrant and tasty flair. The possibilities for their use are practically endless!

A fork holding the onions out of the jar of pickled red onions
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Unsurprisingly, I love Mexican food’s flavor, and it’s my favorite cuisine. The love affair started when I worked at a Mexican restaurant right out of college. Before that, I never thought anything would usurp the number one place in my heart reserved for Italian food. How wrong I was!

These days, I could eat Mexican once a week and often do. If Christopher could take spice, I would make my recipes spicy. But alas, he can’t.

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However, these Mexican pickled onions aren’t spicy, so he can eat them. And the recipe is easy to make. The hardest part is waiting four days to taste these pickled red onions to marinate and become delicious!

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Helpful tips

  • If you aren’t fond of red onion, use a Vidalia onion, which is sweeter. Just know that it won’t turn red as it pickles.
  • Use a large onion or a few medium onions.
  • Slice the onion as thinly as you can. Unless you are a whizz with a sharp chef’s knife, use a mandolin or a food processor.
  • Don’t be alarmed that the onion will fill the jar, but the liquid will NOT cover the onion. The onion shrinks and is marinated as it sits in the fridge.
  • You can store pickled onions in the fridge for at least a month.
  • Even though I’m using apple cider vinegar, you can substitute white vinegar.
  • Sometimes, if I know hubby isn’t going to eat this condiment, I add red pepper flakes.

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An open jar with Mexican pickled onions in it along with juice
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

How to make Mexican pickled onions

Step one

Gather the ingredients – red or Vidalia onion, lime, apple cider vinegar and salt.

overhead view of the sliced onions with lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step two

Slice the onion as thinly as possible (see tips above). Also, take out a large jar.

Step three

Stuff the onion in the mason jar.

Step four

Add lime juice, apple cider vinegar, and salt in the jar. (A) Cap it and turn the jar upside down. Leave it on the counter for 30 minutes. (B)

Notice that the liquid doesn’t cover the onions. Don’t fret.

red onions added to the jar with the pickling liquid, and then capped and turned on its cap
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Step five

Turn the jar right-side up for 30 minutes. (C)

Step six

Turn the jar on its side for 30 minutes.

Place in the refrigerator for four days.

Here’s what it looks like after the four days. Look how much the onions shrank. (D)

Left - the jar of onions turned back upright. Right - the Mexican onions after being pickled
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

Transfer to a smaller more appropriate jar.

A fork on the table with an open jar of pickled red onions
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.


vertical view of a glass jar with pickled onions in it
Photo Credit: Dishes Delish.

That’s it! Now, all that’s left to do is drape the pickled onions on your favorite Mexican dishes like tacos, nachos, refried beans or something equally as delicious! Woohoo!

I hope you enjoyed this Mexican pickled onion recipe.

Other Mexican dishes

And as always, may all your dishes be delish!

If you’ve tried this recipe, I’d love to know your thoughts in the comments below. I love hearing from you! You can also FOLLOW ME on FACEBOOKTWITTERINSTAGRAM and PINTEREST to see more of my delicious food and delightful cocktails!

A forkful of Mexican pickled onions - square

Mexican Pickled Onions

These Mexican pickled onions are the perfect thing to drape over tacos, sandwiches, salads and the list goes on! They are slightly tangy and so delicious!
5 from 16 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: Mexican
Keyword: Mexican pickled onions, onions, pickled onions, taco condiment
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Rest in the refrigerator: 4 days
Total Time: 5 minutes
Servings: 2 cups
Calories: 65kcal


  • 1 large red onion (sliced thinly – see notes)
  • 4 limes (juiced)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • .50 teaspoon salt


  • Add sliced onions to jar.
    1 large red onion
  • Add lime juice, apple cider vinegar and salt.
    4 limes, 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar, .50 teaspoon salt
  • Cap jar and turn upside down and leave on the counter for 30 minutes.
  • Turn the jar rightside up for 30 minutes. Next turn it on the side for 30 minutes.
  • Place in fridge for four days. The onions will shrink and now the liquid will almost be covering the onions.
  • Transfer to a better fitting jar.
  • Serve
  • Smile
  • Enjoy
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Helpful tips
  • If you aren’t fond of red onion, you can use a Vidalia onion, which is sweeter. Just know that it won’t turn red while it pickles. 
  • Use a large onion or a few medium onions.
  • Slice the onion as thinly as you can. So, unless you are a whizz with the knife, you can use a mandolin or you can use a food processor.
  • Don’t be alarmed but the onion will fill the jar but the liquid will NOT cover the onion. The onion will shrink as it sits in the fridge.
  • You can store pickled onions in the fridge for at least a month.


Serving: 0.25cup | Calories: 65kcal | Carbohydrates: 19g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 587mg | Potassium: 217mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 65IU | Vitamin C: 43.1mg | Calcium: 57mg | Iron: 0.9mg
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From lighting up stages with her BA in theater to food journalist, Elaine Benoit's journey is a testament to passion's transformative power. As the CEO of Dishes Delish, she offers a blend of healthy, comforting recipes and exquisitely crafted cocktails. Beyond the kitchen, Elaine voiced her culinary adventures on her podcast, "Dishing," and co-owns Food Blogger Help, extending her expertise to guide budding food bloggers to success. Whether it's for a heartwarming dish or insights into food blogging, Elaine's diverse experiences make her a beacon in the culinary digital landscape.

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  1. Homemade pickled onions are the best. I love doing red onions too. The perfect topping for burgers and sandwiches this summer. A bbq party must!!

  2. Oh wow I had no idea it was so easy to make pickled onions at home! They look like a little jar of happiness. ๐Ÿ™‚

  3. My favorite taco truck has these and they are amazing! I’ll have to try making them soon, I had no idea it was this easy

    1. I love pickled onions! This is such an easy recipe,thanks for sharing your step by step instructions!

  4. Such a lovely recipe. I love making sandwiches, wraps and Burgers and this topping will surely enhance the taste. Thanks

  5. I think I need to make a bigger batch of these! They go with so many things and love them on my fish tacos!!

  6. I can think of so many things this would be delicious on — it would add such an interesting flavor, and a great pop of color! I’ll have to make some of this to keep on hand!

  7. This is a great recipe! What is it about pickled onions that’s so amazing? I could eat them all the time. But Italian is still my favorite…

  8. Oh my goodness I want these for my hot dogs and burgers! my grandmother used to pickle onions and I know with your easy steps I’ll be able to do the same! Thank you so much for this recipe!

  9. I rarely ever ate Mexican food until I moved to Oklahoma in 2007,..and now i eat it ALL THE TIME! But I’ve never heard of these pickled onions! I will have to give them a try

  10. These taste delicious, but to be completely honest with you – my favorite part is the color. It’s just so gorgeous! It ends up making everything they go on look even prettier.

  11. Lovely pics and the recipe looks fantastic. I have never tried pickled onions at home. Thanks for sharing.

  12. I have always been curious how to make Mexican pickled onions. Can’t wait to try these next time we have tacos!!

  13. I love how neatly the onions are sliced using mandolin. Homemade onion pickle is THE BEST. For hot dogs, burgers it’s so delicious!

  14. We’re doing taco night on Thursday โ€“ these are gonna be an amazing addition to the topping selection. I’ve never made my own pickled onions but you make it seem easy!

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