Pickled Red Onions (Cebollas Curtidas)

Simple & easy, these pickled red onions are the perfect condiment to brighten any meal. 

I made these for my Tortas Ahogadas, but you can eat them with pretty much anything. They are sweet & tangy while also adding a bit of crunch. I think they pair best with sandwiches and rice bowls!

I tried to make mine as close to the pickled red onions that Portos serves with their lechon plate. Ive tried many different types of pickled onions, and so far that one has been my favorite. 


It’s a very short list- only 6 ingredients!

  • Red onion- you can use white or yellow onions too. Make sure they are sliced thinly. I like to slice them into rings.

  • Spices-  Salt, sugar, & pickling spices. I use the Tampico pickling spice packet. It has mostly black peppercorns, whole  coriander, and bay leaves.

  • Liquids- Just distilled hot water & apple cider vinegar! You can use white vinegar instead if you don’t have acv. The ratio of water to vinegar will be different which each type of vinegar. 

  • Optional ingredients- I like to add 1 roasted serrano pepper (skin removed) and some chopped cilantro.

These onions definitely have some sweetness to them. If you are going for more of a tart pickled onion, just leave out the sugar. 

Pickled Red Onions (Cebollas Curtidas)

Prep Time 5 mins
Total Time 6 hrs


  • 1 large red onion sliced thinly
  • 1 cup hot water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp sugar
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pickling spices (tampico brand) black peppercorns, whole coriander, bay leaves


  • 1/4 cup cilantro chopped
  • 1 roasted serrano pepper
  • 2 dried chile de arbol


  • Slice the red onion thinly. I like to cut rings but you can cut whatever shape you'd like.
  • In a clean glass jar, add the onions, hot water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and the pickling spices. I recommend putting the pickling spices into a cheesecloth. Let it sit on the counter for a couple hours and then store in the fridge.
    Optional: Add a roasted serrano pepper.
  • After 5 hours or so, the onions are ready to eat. Keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Optional: I really like to add chopped cilantro to my pickled red onions. Add these after the onions have been pickled- do not put them in with the hot water in the first few steps.
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Stella Navarro-Kim

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Hi, I'm Stella! I come from a multicultural background, and learning how to cook has been one of the best ways for me to stay connected to my heritage. I truly believe that anyone can cook as long as they have the passion to learn. Thank you for being here!

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