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Plate of carnitas with pickled onions and avocado

30-minute Pickled Onions

30-minute pickled onions are a perfect condiment for Mexican food, especially carnitas, cochinita pibil or fish tacos.
Course condiment
Cuisine Mexican
Keyword Mexican food, Mexican side dishes, pickled onions, taco sides
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Fermenting time 30 minutes
Total Time 43 minutes
Servings 10
Calories 43kcal
Author dorothy stainbrook



  • 2-3 red onions large onions
  • 1.5 Teaspoons whole black peppercorns
  • 2 Cups vinegar white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar
  • 2 - 3 Tablespoons sugar
  • 3 Teaspoons table salt
  • water enough to fill jar


  • Peel the onions and cut them in half. Using a sharp knife or a mandolin, thinly slice the onions and place in a large glass jar (or heat proof bowl) with an airtight cover
  • Add the peppercorns to the jar and lightly shake the jar to disperse the peppercorns
  • In a small pot, combine the vinegar, sugar, and salt and heat until sugar and salt are dissolved (couple of minutes). Pour into the jar (or a heat proof bowl) with the onions
  • Fill the jar with water until the water level reaches the top of the onions
  • Let sit in room temperature for 30 minutes to an hour and place the extra in the refrigerator for later. Serve immediately, or refrigerate in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.


Calories: 43kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 700mg | Potassium: 42mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 4IU | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg