Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots

by Dorothy Reinhold on August 26, 2019

Print This Post Print This Post Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots are traditional garnishes or condiments offered at Mexican restaurants as a flavor brightener. Make your own in 30 minutes.

Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots are traditional garnishes or condiments offered at Mexican restaurants as a flavor brightener. Make your own in 30 minutes.

You know that little bowl of pickled vegetables they bring you at Mexican restaurants?

It usually has sliced onions, diagonally cut carrots and sometimes hot pepper rings, swimming in a salty vinegar bath.

You can make it in 30 minutes, and it’s a great little garnish or addition to tacos, burritos, Mexican dinner bowls, nachos, or any Latin-flavored dish that comes out of your kitchen.

Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots soaking in brine on ShockinglyDelicious.com

You’re just going to toss everything in a bowl and let it marinate for a little bit.

Picking a red onion from the garden on ShockinglyDelicious.comGrab an onion. I was growing them, so I got this one from the garden. It looks a bit gnarly…

Red Onion on ShockinglyDelicious.com…but once cleaned up and peeled looks very presentable!

Grab a carrot and the bottle of apple cider vinegar from the pantry, and let’s get to it.

These pickled vegetables will perk up nearly any main course you can think of!

Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots

Prep Time: 2 minutes

Cook Time: 2 minutes

Total Time: 34 minutes

Yield: Serves 4-6

Pickled onion and carrot are traditional garnishes or condiments offered at Mexican restaurants as a flavor brightener. Make your own in 30 minutes.


  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar (I used Vanilla Sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 of a large red onion, peeled and cut into slices
  • 1 carrot, scrubbed and sliced on the diagonal


  1. In a small sauce pan, heat the vinegar, water, sugar and salt until boiling. Turn heat off. Add onion and carrot slices to hot liquid, put a lid on the pan, and let it sit for 30 minutes. You are not cooking the vegetables, but the hot liquid will pickle them faster than room temperature liquid.
  2. To serve, drain vegetables into a small serving dish and offer at the table as a garnish.
  3. Serves 4-6.


Recipe source: Dorothy Reinhold | Shockingly Delicious

Note: You may also add a Jalapeno sliced into thin rings to the mixture, but it will make the whole thing hot. I often do a separate jar of quick pickled Jalapenos, since not everyone likes the heat.


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Easy and Quick Mexican Pickled Onions and Carrots | Mexican Restaurant Pickled Vegetables Recipe | ShockinglyDelicious.com

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This was originally published Aug. 22, 2015 and has been updated, refreshed and published today.

{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

Lynn Hill August 27, 2019 at 10:08 pm

This looks delicious. A great side order for our August themed menu. I’m learning so much from being a member of this wonderful Progressive Eats group.


Dorothy Reinhold August 28, 2019 at 9:43 am

I feel the same way! It’s interesting to watch everyone’s take on the theme each month.


Karen August 27, 2019 at 6:06 pm

My favorite mixture on a banh mi sandwich!


Dorothy Reinhold August 27, 2019 at 6:17 pm

RIGHT! Not even Mexican, but can be so useful for so many other things!


Ansh August 27, 2019 at 5:34 pm

Pickles make any dish pop! Love this version! and your garden onion is beautiful <3


Dorothy Reinhold August 27, 2019 at 6:05 pm

I have to say, it is pretty rewarding to walk out to the garden, pluck a papery onion, and have it be beautiful inside!


Jane August 27, 2019 at 4:28 pm

I love quick pickles and yours look amazing Dorothy! I love that you were able to pull that beautiful onion out of the ground and snap you have pickled veggies! Perfect accompaniment for any gathering.


Dorothy Reinhold August 27, 2019 at 6:05 pm

Snap….it’s ready!


Liz August 27, 2019 at 9:02 am

You must have a fabulous garden! Love that your own harvest was used in this yummy condiment!


Dorothy Reinhold August 27, 2019 at 3:58 pm

I go hit or miss on my garden, depending on the year and my laziness!


Maggie January 20, 2017 at 8:57 am

So easy! But we thought these were too sour … strange for me to say, because I definitely prefer sour pickles over sweet, but I think I’ll try this again with a little more sugar, and maybe a little less vinegar, plus a jalapeno. It did go really well with the Mexican dish I made last night.


Dorothy Reinhold January 20, 2017 at 4:32 pm

Glad you tried them! Of course add more sugar (or honey or agave) if you like…sweet is a very personal taste, isn’t it? A jalapeno would be great in here if your people can take a bit of heat!


Justine | Cooking and Beer August 24, 2015 at 11:01 pm

I seriously love pickled anything. Love this!


Susan | LunaCafe August 24, 2015 at 9:12 pm

Love these. Can’t wait to make them.


sippitysup August 24, 2015 at 1:56 pm

I always scarf on these at Mexican restaurants. Now I’ll try my own and scarf on them at home! GREG


Des @ Life's Ambrosia August 24, 2015 at 7:21 am

I love pickled onions! Ive never tried the carrots before but they look just as yummy!


Marye August 24, 2015 at 5:03 am

Pickled onions and carrots sounds really good, I am saving this one!


Liz August 24, 2015 at 4:32 am

So darned easy!!! And perfect to garnish all sorts of yummy entrees!!!


Abigail August 24, 2015 at 4:29 am

Easy and simple recipe – that’s my kind of food to enjoy! I can imagine the delicious tangy flavors this pickled onions add to any dish! Yum!


Rebecca @ Strength and Sunshine August 24, 2015 at 4:28 am

Love all the pickled veggies! These look fantastic!


Valerie | From Valerie's Kitchen August 23, 2015 at 8:13 pm

I love all things pickled! These look so yummy!


sue|theviewfromgreatisland August 22, 2015 at 8:19 pm

This is not only beautiful, but delicious — I’m jealous of your garden onion!


Andi @ The Weary Chef August 22, 2015 at 7:31 pm

I have to say I never eat that carrot onion thing on the side because I didn’t know what it was. Now that I see what’s in it, it sounds pretty dang good! Thanks for opening my eyes on this one, Dorothy 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold August 22, 2015 at 7:32 pm

Unless they put peppers in it, it is simply pickled veg. It goes really well and sparks everything!


Amanda @ Cookie Named Desire August 22, 2015 at 7:01 pm

yeah I can see myself using this in everything!!!


Dorothy Reinhold August 22, 2015 at 7:30 pm

I have put in on lunch and dinner for the last 3 days!


Julie Blanner August 22, 2015 at 6:37 pm

I’m convinced everything should be pickled! Looks delish!


Dorothy Reinhold August 31, 2015 at 7:01 am

That is so interesting! I am going to try putting cukes in mine now, too.


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