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On my family’s ranch in Durango, Mexico, we primarily grows apples and quince, but there’s also one acre set aside just for the family. That’s where we grow our food – jalapeños, onions, carrots, pinto beans, and more.
During harvest season, we pickled our food from that one little acre – just like these Mexican Pickled Onions, or Cebolla en Escabeche.
They are ready in no time. You’ll wonder why you never made them before.
How to Make Mexican Red Onions
- Slice the red onion.
- Yes, you can use white onions too.
We love our toppings in Mexico – pickled jalapeños, radishes, cucumbers, Mexican salsas, avocado slices, etc. Forget “top of the morning to you.” We’re ready to Top OFF everything in sight.
When traveling throughout the country, you’ll find these Mexican Pickled Onions at just about every taco stand. These are the same onions you’ll find served with Tortas Ahogadas.
Sure, you can buy them, but they’re so incredibly easy to make. Why waste your money when you can make them exactly the way you like them? Plus, you can stretch the lifespan of an onion for months, even up to a year.
Best Storage Jars for Pickled Onions
You can store Mexican Pickled Onions in any glass jar. However, my favorite are the Ball jars. They’re super cheap and good quality. I use them for other things too like storing sauces and salsas.
I got mine at the local grocery store, but you can also find them on Amazon. (AFFILIATE)
- Pour the mixture over the onions.
- Give everything a gentle stir to combine.
The beauty of making food at home is making it exactly according to your taste. I’m using a red onion and jalapeño.
In Southern Mexico, they make Mexican Pickled Red Onions with habanero peppers. That is some spicy stuff! It’s a classic topping for Cochinita Pibil.
If you’re not into spice, you can take out the chile pepper. The sugar is totally optional, but it will add some sweetness to the tangy, tart onions.
You also might hear people refer to Mexican Red Onions:
Pickled Red Onions
Escabeche de Cebolla
Cebolla en vinagre
Are pickled onions healthy?
Yes! Red onions are rich in folate (Vitamin B9) which helps reduce the risk of a stroke and improves heart health.
They also have a good amount of probiotics and digestive enzymes to help maintain a healthy stomach.
How long do pickled onions last?
What do you eat pickled onions with?
They are delicious on just about anything. However, I highly recommend making this recipe next time pork carnitas, carne adsada, or chuletas adobadas are on the menu.
Or include the pickled onions to the recipe itself. For example, Salpicon de Pollo, Salpicon de Res, or Tostada de Atun are authentic Mexican recipes that are made with pickled onions.
You will love the flavor they bring to any dish. Hope you enjoy!
Mexican Pickled Onions (Cebolla en Escabeche)
- 1/2 cup water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1⅓ cups apple cider vinegar (or white distilled vinegar)
- 1 large red onion thinly sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 2 slices jalapeño pepper
- 2 bay leaves
- Bring the water to a soft boil and immediately remove from the heat.
- Add the sugar and stir until dissolved.
- Mix the sugar-water with the vinegar, salt, oregano.
- Slice the onion into thin rings.
- Put the onion slices in a jar.
- If you'd like the onions to be spicy, add in strips of habanero, serrano, or jalapeño peppers.
- Add the bay leaves.
- Pour the mixed liquid into the jar and stir.
- Close the jar and leave to marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour.
Oh yuuummmm!!! Will the taste differ if I use different onions?
Yes. I have made this exact same recipe with white onion, and it tasted great!
I used your recipe and my jar is in the fridge now. I’m looking forward to trying them! Thanks for the recipe!
Hope you liked them. 🙂
This looks great! I love pickled onions but I’ve never tried it with habanero or serrano peppers in there. I definitely want to give that a go the next time I make them. I’ll have to monitor the heat and make sure it doesn’t get too crazy, still want my kids to be able to eat them! Thank you again for sharing!
The change of 1 lb ( pound ) unit in a lard measure equals = into 2.21 cup. Hope this helps! 🙂
These sound so good! I will get together with my sister and make some of these. Do you have a great recipe for the sliced pickled carrots that they serve in some Mexican restaurants? I’d like us to make those too, or can we just use the same recipe with carrots? Thanks!
I would like to make multiple jars at one time. How would I process them to keep in the pantry for a year or more? Will they keep their crunch if processed in a hot water bath?
They sound delicious!
If you process them in mason canning jars, they will not be as fresh tasting, they lose their vivid red color, (looking more brown), and I find that I end up not using them anyway. Just my thoughts, do what is best for you!!
Thanks for your comment.
Exactly what I was looking for.
So glad you enjoyed this!