Quick & Easy Mexican Pickled Onions

Ready to put a spicy spin on your favorite quick pickled onions?! These quick and easy Mexican Pickled Onions are made simple ingredients that you probably already have in on hand. Thanks to lime juice, jalapeno, and cumin; they make a sweet and spicy addition to tacos, nachos, bowls, salads, burgers, and more. This is one of those quick and easy recipes that impress!

Looking for more salsas and toppings? Don't miss my all time favorite Guacamole, the best Pineapple Salsa and these Spicy Radishes! P.S. If you can't handle the heat, try my Quick Pickled Onions instead!

All About These Mexican Pickled Onions

  • Flavor: These quick pickled onions are salty, spicy, and a tad sweet! We really show off those spicy Mexican flavors by using lime juice, cumin, and some fresh jalapeno slices. I love adding a few cloves of garlic to my jars so they get a nice hint of garlic, but that's completely optional. If you don't think you can handle the heat, try my Quick Pickled Onions instead!
  • Texture: The texture of these spicy pickled onions cannot be beat! I prefer slicing them into thin rounds with a sharp knife as opposed to a mandolin so my slices are really thin, but not so thin that they lose the crunch I love. The perfect pickled onion to me is one that has soaked up enough of the vinegar mixture that they have killer flavor, but still retain some crunch. And what a treat when you're the one who gets to the jalapeno slices first!
  • Ease: These pickled onions are beyond easy to make! They take all of 5 minutes of work and a beginner can easily master this recipe by following the instructions below. The hardest part is waiting on them to chill!
  • Use: You can use these quick pickled onions on just about anything. Literally! Some of our favorite ways to eat them are on our Vegan Street Tacos, Sweet Potato Nachos, Vegan Burgers, Black Bean Burrito Bowls, or on a salad.
Mexican pickled onions in glass jar on white marble counter.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do Mexican pickled onions last?

Pickled onions keep in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

How long before you can eat Mexican pickled onions?

When you quick pickle onions you can eat them almost immediately. Just give the flavors 20-30 minutes to meld and chill in the fridge and you're good to dig in!

What is the best vinegar for pickling?

We use white vinegar in this recipe to keep a more neutral flavor and allow the lime juice to stand out, but any kind of vinegar is game for pickling! White vinegar, apple cider, white wine, and rice vinegar all work well. Pick your favorite!

Do I have to boil vinegar for pickling?

Heating your vinegar mixture helps all the flavors meld together better. For a quick pickling you don't need to bring it to a boil, just heat it enough to where the salt and cumin melts into the liquids.

Mexican pickled onion ingredients on white marble counter.

What You Will Need

To make this recipe, you will need the following ingredients. See the full recipe card at the end of this post for detailed amounts and instructions! 

  • Red onion - One large red onion is what I used for this recipe, but you can use this quick pickle method for any kind of onion, radish, cucumber, etc!
  • Distilled white vinegar - I like using a more neutral flavored distilled white vinegar for these Mexican pickled onions so the lime juice and cumin can really stand out, but really any kind of vinegar will work.
  • Lime juice - The juice of 2 regular sized limes is what we need here. Love the bright fresh tang that the lime adds to these onions.
  • Jalapeno - A few slices of fresh jalapeno gives these pickled onions a nice touch of spice. You can alter the spice level by including the seeds or not. Include more seeds for more heat, or remove them all together for a more mild flavor.
  • Cumin - Just a touch of cumin help give these pickled onions their Mexican flavoring. So good!
  • Garlic - If you aren't a garlic lover then you can completely omit these, but if you love garlic (like me!) then add a few cloves of fresh garlic for the most delicious infusion!
  • Sea salt - You already know my favorite flaky sea salt!

How to Make These Mexican Pickled Onions

To make this recipe, simply:

  1. Bring to a simmer.

    In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, lime juice, cumin, and sea salt to a simmer.

  2. Prep onions.

    Thinly slice the onion with either a mandolin or sharp knife and layer them in a glass jar with the jalapeno slices and garlic (one with an air tight lid).

  3. Combine.

    Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions in the glass jar. Using the back of a wooden spoon or a smaller cup, press down the onions for a few seconds as tightly as you can get them.

  4. Chill.

    Cover with air tight lid and let chill in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes to get nice and cold.

To store: These quick pickled onions are perfect to make ahead of time. They taste even better the longer that the flavors get to marry. Store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Mexican pickled onions in glass jar on white marble counter.

Variations

  • Remove the garlic. If you aren't a garlic lover you can definitely just omit the garlic in this recipe, but if you love garlic (like me) then load them up!
  • Swap the pepper. If you love to spice things up try using a serrano, habanero, or any other pepper you have on hand. If you can't handle too much heat try a red bell pepper or simply remove all of the seeds from the jalapeno.
  • Swap the seasoning. Some other great seasonings to try are chili lime seasoning or a bit of your favorite taco seasoning!

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Mexican pickled onions in glass jar on white marble counter.

Quick & Easy Mexican Pickled Onions


  • Author: Lauren
  • Total Time: 5 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Vegan

Description

Ready to put a spicy spin on your favorite quick pickled onions?! These quick and easy Mexican Pickled Onions are made simple ingredients that you probably already have in on hand. Thanks to lime juice, jalapeno, and cumin; they make a sweet and spicy addition to tacos, nachos, bowls, salads, burgers, and more. This is one of those quick and easy recipes that impress!


Ingredients

Scale

1 large red onion

Juice of 2 limes

½ cup distilled white vinegar

1 garlic cloves, sliced

½ to 1 jalapeno, sliced

1 ¼ teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon cumin


Instructions

  1. Bring to a simmer. In a small saucepan, bring the vinegar, lime juice, cumin, and sea salt to a simmer.
  2. Prep onions. Thinly slice the onion with either a mandolin or sharp knife and layer them in a glass jar with the jalapeno slices and garlic (one with an air tight lid).
  3. Combine. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions in the glass jar. Using the back of a wooden spoon or a smaller cup, press down the onions for a few seconds as tightly as you can get them.
  4. Chill. Cover with air tight lid and let chill in the fridge for at least 15-20 minutes to get nice and cold.

Notes

  • To store. These quick pickled onions are perfect to make ahead of time. They taste even better the longer that the flavors get to marry. Store it in an air-tight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.
  • Remove the garlic. If you aren't a garlic lover you can definitely just omit the garlic in this recipe, but if you love garlic (like me) then load them up!
  • Swap the pepper. If you love to spice things up try using a serrano, habanero, or any other pepper you have on hand. If you can't handle too much heat try a red bell pepper or simply remove all of the seeds from the jalapeno.
  • Swap the seasoning. Some other great seasonings to try are chili lime seasoning or a bit of your favorite taco seasoning!
  • Prep Time: 5

Keywords: Mexican pickled onions

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Welcome!

I'm Lauren, creator here at by Lauren Cermak! My husband Michael and I live in Tennessee. I'm into classic style, British baking shows, and pretty finds. My motto is dress like Kate, work like Reese, and entertain like Martha!

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{Hello 30!} When Michael asked how I was feeling about this birthday I said, “I’ve always wanted to be in my 30s!”. Blame it on Jennifer Garner’s thirty flirty and thriving or the fact that I’ve had the personality of a 30 year old woman since I was 18 😂, but today I’m living the dream! My twenties were full of joy, discovery, and so much growth. By the grace of God, I became a stronger and more confident person than I ever thought I could be. It’s hard for me to think about the past decade of my life without tearing up and every bit of it has to do with the man beside me. My best friend, confidant, cheerleader, champion, bodyguard, and simply everything! So to you, Michael Cermak, thank you for lifting me up and making all of my dreams come true! Here’s to 30! 
.
P.S. We’ve been falling in love with Georgetown/DC the past week and decided to hire someone to take some pictures of us together after seeing how many I have of just me from our other trips this year 😂 Thank you @cheyennemacielphotography for this sneak peak! If you’re in the DC area you must use her!
{Hello 30!} When Michael asked how I was feeling about this birthday I said, “I’ve always wanted to be in my 30s!”. Blame it on Jennifer Garner’s thirty flirty and thriving or the fact that I’ve had the personality of a 30 year old woman since I was 18 😂, but today I’m living the dream! My twenties were full of joy, discovery, and so much growth. By the grace of God, I became a stronger and more confident person than I ever thought I could be. It’s hard for me to think about the past decade of my life without tearing up and every bit of it has to do with the man beside me. My best friend, confidant, cheerleader, champion, bodyguard, and simply everything! So to you, Michael Cermak, thank you for lifting me up and making all of my dreams come true! Here’s to 30! . P.S. We’ve been falling in love with Georgetown/DC the past week and decided to hire someone to take some pictures of us together after seeing how many I have of just me from our other trips this year 😂 Thank you @cheyennemacielphotography for this sneak peak! If you’re in the DC area you must use her!
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Great experience at @audreynashville this weekend! Not only is the food incredible, but the space is inspired! Photo dump featuring yet another one of Michael’s artistic (accidental) screenshot selfies 😂
Great experience at @audreynashville this weekend! Not only is the food incredible, but the space is inspired! Photo dump featuring yet another one of Michael’s artistic (accidental) screenshot selfies 😂
Great experience at @audreynashville this weekend! Not only is the food incredible, but the space is inspired! Photo dump featuring yet another one of Michael’s artistic (accidental) screenshot selfies 😂
Great experience at @audreynashville this weekend! Not only is the food incredible, but the space is inspired! Photo dump featuring yet another one of Michael’s artistic (accidental) screenshot selfies 😂
Great experience at @audreynashville this weekend! Not only is the food incredible, but the space is inspired! Photo dump featuring yet another one of Michael’s artistic (accidental) screenshot selfies 😂
Great experience at @audreynashville this weekend! Not only is the food incredible, but the space is inspired! Photo dump featuring yet another one of Michael’s artistic (accidental) screenshot selfies 😂
Great experience at @audreynashville this weekend! Not only is the food incredible, but the space is inspired! Photo dump featuring yet another one of Michael’s artistic (accidental) screenshot selfies 😂
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