These lime pickled onions will jazz up your burgers, salads and all your favorite Mexican dishes with their tangy and crunchy deliciousness.
With just a handful of ingredients and a few minutes of prep time, you’ll be able to make this quick pickle recipe.
Give this a try, and you’ll be surprised at how a simple amalgamation of onions with lime juice and a few other ingredients can turn into something so flavorful and delicious.
My recent obsession with pickling foods has led me to trying out new pickle recipes every time I run out of my jar of homemade pickles.
My Mexican pickled vegetables and Mexican pickled carrots were both amazing, and this time, I knew I wanted to try something that’s more versatile and easier to use as a topping for different foods- and not just my Mexican favorites.
And that’s when I thought of making these simple yet effortless pickled onions with lime juice.
- What's So Great About the Recipe?
- Ingredients For the Lime Pickled Onions Recipe
- How to Make Lime Pickled Onions
- 💭Top Tip
- Substitutions & Variations
- How to Store the Lime Pickled Onions
- Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- How to Use Lime Pickled Onions
- Related Recipes
- Lime Pickled Onions
- Food Safety
What's So Great About the Recipe?
The best part about these easy pickled onions, in my opinion, is the fact that they just need 5 minutes of hands-on time to put together.
You can easily make them over the weekend and have a nice crunchy and tangy condiment ready to be used throughout the week, if not longer.
If you love pickled onions and make Mexican food often, you’ll love this recipe.
Also Read: Pickled Green Onions
Ingredients For the Lime Pickled Onions Recipe
You’ll need just a few simple ingredients for this Mexican pickled onions recipe.
Red onions: You’ll need to start off with sliced red onions. I would recommend slicing them thinly, keeping them nearly the same width.
Apple cider vinegar: I used apple cider vinegar as the base for the pickling liquid. It brings a beautiful tangy flavor to the pickled onions.
Lime juice: Fresh lime juice is another hero ingredient here. While we already have the vinegar for the tanginess, using lime juice brings another dimension of citrus flavor to these easy Mexican pickled onions.
Jalapenos: Along with the sliced onions, I also added some jalapenos to get a nice kick of heat. Jalapenos are another star ingredient you’ll usually find in most Mexican dishes.
Bay leaf: A single bay leaf can also add an extra earthy and rustic flavor to the raw onion pickle.
Mexican oregano: A dash of Mexican oregano really amped up the flavor of the quick pickle- in my opinion.
Sugar: To balance the tanginess and sourness of the quick pickled onions, I also added some sugar. You can skip this one if you want to.
See recipe card for quantities.
How to Make Lime Pickled Onions
Got all the ingredients ready? Here’s what you’ll need to do to make the Mexican pickled red onions.
Thinly slice the onion and jalapenos.
Combine the vinegar with sugar and Mexican oregano in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
Add in the bay leaf and lime juice and turn off the heat.
Add the onion slices and jalapenos in a glass jar and pour the hot brine over it.
Let it sit at room temperature for an hour and then refrigerate.
To make Mexican pickled onions last longer, remember to pat them dry and then slice and use them for the recipe. The idea is to remove as much moisture as possible.
Substitutions & Variations
- If you don’t have Mexican oregano, you could use the classic Italian oregano instead.
- You could also choose to use distilled white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar if that’s what you have at hand. Red wine vinegar is another good option.
- You could also try using white onions or yellow onions instead of the red onions that I used for the recipe. Remember that if you use different onions, you won’t get that bright pink color.
Also Read: Balsamic Pickled Onions
How to Store the Lime Pickled Onions
These quick Mexican pickled onions will last for up to a week when refrigerated properly, if not longer.
You can make this recipe on a weekend and enjoy the tangy and crunchy pink onions throughout the week as a condiment with all your Mexican style foods, or even in your burgers, wraps and sandwiches.
Just make sure you add your onions into the jar when you’re ready to add the pickling liquid, and add enough brine to ensure that the onions are fully submerged.
Another great idea to get these Mexican onions to last longer is to add a teaspoon or more of pickling salt into the brine.
Also Read: Turkish Sumac Onions
Tips & Tricks to Nail the Recipe
- To make the red onion to have the perfect thin slices, I would recommend using a mandolin slicer.
- While I would recommend using freshly squeezed lime juice to get that perfect lime flavor, you could also use bottled lime juice if you aren’t able to get your hands on fresh limes.
- You could also try the same recipe with lemon juice, but remember that onions cured in lime juice have the best citrusy flavor.
- Jalapenos lend a medium kick of heat to these authentic Mexican pickled red onions, but if you want them to be more spicy, you can use Habanero peppers or any other spicy peppers of your choice.
- Another great idea is to add other sliced veggies of your choice- that’s actually exactly what I did when making my Mexican style pickled veggies.
How to Use Lime Pickled Onions
These lime pickled red onions are an absolute hit when paired with almost any Mexican food, but I specifically love teaming them up with my favorite tacos- especially my Air Fryer walking tacos.
Team these pickled red onions with lime juice and salt and use them as a tangy and flavorful addition to your salads.
If your spice tolerance is low, you can skip adding the jalapenos entirely, and just make simple quick pickled red onions instead. To bring a teeny bit of heat, you can always add some red pepper flakes.
Yes, you can make pickled onions without the lime juice too! Just make sure you use an extra bit of vinegar into the pickling liquid though.
The key to getting the proportions right is to start out small. Use red onions that are medium sized, or just use one large red onion for this recipe.
Looking for other recipes like this? Try these:
Lime Pickled Onions
- 1 red onion large
- 2 jalapenos
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 lime juiced
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 teaspoon oregano
- Thinly slice the onion and jalapenos.
- Combine the vinegar with sugar and Mexican oregano in a saucepan and bring it to a boil.
- Add in the bay leaf and lime juice and turn off the heat.
- Add the onion slices and jalapenos in a glass jar and pour the hot brine over it.
- Let it sit at room temperature for an hour and then refrigerate.
- Cook to a minimum temperature of 165 °F (74 °C)
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove