Salsa criolla in a while bowl.

Salsa Criolla (Red Onion Dressing)

Salsa Criolla (Red Onion Dressing) is the most popular accompaniment for Peruvian dishes. It's simple to prepare and brightens any dish. Serve alongside beef, chicken, pork, seafood, or use it to top beans, tacos, or anything your heart desires. 
Course Dressing
Cuisine Peruvian
Keyword Red Onion, Salsa Criolla
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Author Natalie


  • 1 large red onion, sliced into thin half moons should yield about 3 cups when thinly sliced
  • good pinch of kosher salt for "washing"
  • 1/4 cup vegetable or neutral oil
  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon aji amarillo paste - or to taste* optional
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper or to taste


  • Place the sliced onions in a bowl and sprinkle with a good pinch of kosher salt. Cover with cold water and squeeze the onions to "wash" them. This separates the membrane from the onion making them sweeter. Drain the water and add more cold water and squeeze the onions again without adding more salt. Drain.
  • Add in remaining ingredients and stir.
  • Adjust for salt and pepper.
  • Can be served immediately or refrigerated. Keeps refrigerated for a few days.


*Aji amarillo is optional. Add 1/4 teaspoon of aji amarillo paste or to taste. Start with a little. You can always add more. Hot sauce can be substituted for the aji amarillo.
Recipe can be halved or doubled.