Pink pickled onions

I love Mexican food, I”m lucky enough to have been to Mexico twice. I first had these wonderful spicy onions on some tacos and I couldn’t get enough of them!

Now these are not pickled in the usual sense, so they’ll only keep for about a week, but they never last that long in our house!.

51wGocpxXVLI’ve adapted this recipe from the Thomasina Miers book you see here.  I add the zest of the orange and lime (as I don’t believe in waste and I feel it enhances the flavour), I don’t add anywhere near the amount of chilli she recommends and, even though my main picture shows the larger quantity,  I now only make half the recipe because it does not keep more than a week. So, unless you are planning a Mexican party any time soon I’d absolutely only make the quantity I’ve suggested below.

In Mexico they tend to preserve stuff by curing in fruit juice rather than pickling in vinegar as we do in England. I’d never ever tried anything like this before but I’m glad I did. The result is a more subtle flavour and it takes far less time to do.

These onions are absolutely addictive, they are great on a cheese sarnie, onto of chilli con carne, and especially good sprinkled on tacos or enchiladas.

It’s really important that you use red onions in this recipe. I’ve tried recently with a pink onion and a normal white onion and, not only do they not taste the same, but you also don’t get the lovely vibrant pink colour!

I’m lucky as I grow most of my own veg and up until now I’ve been able to use my own onions, but in future, I’ll have to use shop bought as I’ve finally used up the red onions I grew this year 😦

Here are some images from the process of making these onions. They are so simple and take next to no time to do.

I literally can’t get enough of these – of course, after I consume too many, they do have one minor side effect though, but I’ll leave that to your imagination 😉


Below is the printable recipe for these addictive pink pickled onions. For other recipes on my site please follow this link.

Sign off image

Pink pickled onions

  • Servings: 1 jar (see note below)
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

These are addictive pink pickled onions.

Now as I’ve said above in the main body of my post. This is adapted from a recipe in a Thomasina Miers book. These are not pickled in the usual way, so won’t keep as long. Although the image above shows two jars, I actually only now make 1 jar (the quantity below).


  • 1 very large red onion or two medium sized ones sliced quite thinly.
  • A small amount of fresh habanero chilli very finely chopped (I literally only use a quarter of a quarter, I’ve tried it with more and even for me they are too spicy!
  • Zest and juice of 2 limes.
  • Zest and juice of 1 orange.
  • Salt and pepper to season.


  1. Put the thinly sliced onion in a heat proof bowl, cover with boiling water and set aside for 10 minutes. This process removes all of the bitterness from the onions and softens them.
  2. Drain the onions giving them a good squeeze to get as much water out as possible.
  3. Put them back in the bowl, add the chilli, the zest and juice of the limes and oranges and then season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside for 30 minutes to marinade. You can then use these straight away, or pack into a sterilised jar and they’ll keep in the fridge for up to a week. Enjoy!

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Bread, Baking and More

Lover of bread, baking and growing my own veg.

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