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Chilean Pickled Onions Recipe
Chilean Pickled Onions Recipe

Pickled onions are an economical and easy-to-make appetizer, also somewhat “addictive,” to enjoy on their own, with homemade bread, in salads, or crowning hearty main dishes like Chilean charquicán or porotos con riendas.

How to make Chilean Pickled Onions?

Whether enjoyed alone or as a side, when it comes to pickled onions, imagination is the limit, experimenting with various varieties or vinegars.

Nutritional Information

Category: Appetizers
Cuisine: Chilean
Calories: 200
Preparation: 7 days
Cooking: 10 minutes
Servings: 8 people

Homemade Pickled Onions Recipe


  • 2 kg small onions or pearl onions
  • 1 liter red wine vinegar
  • 1 liter boiled purified water
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 2 bay leaves (optional)
  • 2 green chili peppers (optional)
  • Whole black pepper
  • Coarse salt


  1. Sterilize the jars by boiling them for 20 minutes in a pot with boiled water or for 10 minutes in a pressure cooker.
  2. Peel and wash the onions, and make a cross-cut at the top of each one with a depth not exceeding half of its diameter, ensuring they don’t fall apart.
  3. Distribute the little onions into 2 clean and sterilized glass jars, interspersing a bay leaf and a chili pepper in each one (optional), along with peppercorns and coarse salt.
  4. Gently fill half of each jar with boiling water and the other half with red wine vinegar. Seal the jars. Optionally, you can fill them only with vinegar, but the flavor will be much more intense.
  5. Let the jars sit for at least 7 days, preferably for 15 days in a cool, dry, and preferably dark place until they have absorbed the vinegar well.
  6. When ready, serve the pickled onions chopped or whole, optionally adding a drizzle of olive oil and salt to taste. Refrigerate once opened for up to 2 months. Properties of Pickled Onions Onions are rich in fiber and antioxidants, low in calories and fats, adding flavor and depth to your meals. They contain a natural antioxidant called quercetin, which helps combat oxidative stress and reduce the risk of chronic diseases.

Origin of Pickling

The word “pickling” originates from the Arabic-Persian “sikbâg” (stew with vinegar), specifically referring to meat stews with vinegar and some herbs, a recipe even mentioned in the book “One Thousand and One Nights.”

Did you know?

Today, pickling is understood as a method of food preservation in vinegar, essentially a marinade that usually incorporates pepper, bay leaves, and garlic.


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