Insider Encurtido de Cebolla (Pickled Onions) Recipe Revealed

Encurtido de Cebolla (Pickled Onions) 

Encurtido de Cebolla are the perfect garnish to class up up your meals. Transform your weekly staples into a colorful display with a flavor-packed punch! Check out this exclusive recipe from Karin’s kitchen after years of perfecting pickled onions.

Why I love this recipe:

  • The color from the red onions turns the encurtido a gorgeous purple color 
  • The flavor is salty, spicy and sour with a hint of sweetness
  • It adds a little extra kick to make ordinary dishes extraordinary

When I lived in Honduras, I was surprised by how many different vegetables one could find in a jar of encurtido; carrots, cauliflower, cabbage, onions, hot peppers, green beans, broccoli, baby corn. In the open air markets, bags of purple or yellow encurtido were sold, but I never knew what magic they contained.

My favorite was the purple encurtido with spicy pickled onions. Once I moved back to the US, I had no way of satisfying my craving for encurtido, so I had to figure out how to make my own. I researched,  and tried many different recipes, tweaked the amounts of each ingredient, and finally came up with this recipe. Enjoy!

Encurtido de Cebolla Recipe



Sliced red onions (enough to fill a mason jar with onions packed down tightly; 2 to 3 onions)

1 Cup distilled white vinegar

1 Cup water

1 heaping Tbsp of salt

1 heaping Tbsp of sugar

1 to 2 bay leaves

4 garlic cloves; peeled and sliced

1 tsp of black pepper

1 tsp of crushed red pepper flakes (or more if you like it spicy)

1 tsp of cumin

1 tsp of oregano



  1. Slice onions and place in a clean glass jar. Pack them down as tightly as you can.
  2. Put water and seasonings in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes
  3. Carefully pour the hot liquid through a strainer and into the jar of onions. Then pour in the vinegar. 
  4. Let the onions sit with the lid resting on top until it cools, and then tighten the lid and store in the refrigerator.

How to serve:

This is great over rice and beans, in Baleadas (Honduran street food; a folded flour tortilla filled with refried beans and a variety of other ingredients), over nachos, on veggie burgers or veggie hot dogs, chili, and with any other dish that would normally include onions. 

Thank you to our contributor Karin Martinez for this classy Encurtido de Cebolla recipe!


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