Red Onion Relish (Peruvian Salsa Criolla)

Updated: May 26, 2020

This red onion relish is crunchy, acidic, herby, and slightly sweet. It’s the perfect addition to savory dishes. From green rice and roasted vegetables to sandwiches and barbecues, and everything in between!

red onion relish

Now, if you’re like me and don’t like the taste of bitter uncooked onions, you’ll be surprised with this recipe! Soaking the onions in water is the trick to get rid of the natural bitterness. Instead, you end up with this tasty and delicious relish that goes well with almost everything!

peruvian salsa criolla

I grew up having this Peruvian onion relish or Salsa Criolla. It was part of almost every meal, and I can attest it really does liven up every meal you can imagine.

peruvian red onion relish recipe

If you’re making roasted vegetables, stews, curries, or rice for the holidays, you can give them an interesting twist with this quick and delicious onion relish.


Yield: 3 servings

Prep time: 5 min

Cooking time: 30 min

Total time: 35 min


½ red onion

1 lime

½ red bell pepper

2 tbsp chopped cilantro

Salt to taste


1. Thinly chop the onion.

2. Add the thin onion slices to a bowl and fill it with water. Add a generous amount of salt.

3. Let it sit for 30 minutes and then rinse thoroughly. This step removes the bitterness.

4. Chop the bell pepper into thin slices.

5. Roughly chop the cilantro into small pieces.

6. To a bowl, add the rinsed onion, bell pepper, cilantro, a pinch of salt, and lime juice. Don’t squeeze the lime all the way through to avoid getting a bitter flavor. That’s it! It’s ready to serve.


- Store in an airtight container for up to a week.

- Add chili flakes for a spicy version

Approximate cost:

$2.50. This takes into account the measurements listed in the ingredients section and for the main ingredients only. It does not include seasoning.


*Onions have antioxidant and anti-inflammatory effects and have been linked to lower blood sugar levels and improve bone health. They consist mostly of water, carbs, and fiber, which can feed the friendly bacteria in your gut, though they may cause digestive problems in some people. Onions also contain decent amounts of vitamin C, folate, vitamin B6, and potassium. They’re also rich in plant compounds and antioxidants, especially quercetin and sulfur-containing compounds. Colorful varieties, such as yellow or red ones, pack more antioxidants than white ones.

*Cilantro offers a substantial amount of vitamin K, among a few other nutrients. When you spice a dish with 1/4 cup of cilantro, you add 12.4 mcg of vitamin K to it, an essential nutrient for blood coagulation. Your body stores vitamin K in fatty tissue for times of need.

Along with calcium and other nutrients, vitamin K also promotes healthy bones.

In 2001, the Food and Nutrition Board of the Institute of Medicine established that adult males need 120 mcg of vitamin K daily, and females require 90 mcg.

*Bell peppers are very high in vitamin C, with a single one providing up to 169% of the RDI. Other vitamins and minerals in bell peppers include vitamin K1, vitamin E, vitamin A, folate, and potassium. Like other fruits and vegetables, bell peppers may have many health benefits. These include improved eye health and reduced risk of anemia.

healthy vegan condiments

Did you try this bright and crunchy red onion relish recipe? Let me know in the comments below and/or tag your creation on Instagram #everyhealthybite


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