Chilero Nicaraguense


All other condiments can step aside for this spicy and crunchy delight



I discovered a new Nicaraguan staple in my “I Made 5 Pickled Foods from 5 Countries” series called chilero nicaraguense. Consisting of fermented onions, carrots, and chili peppers, this vinegary, this slaw-like dish is the perfect pairing with any savory food. As a huge hotdog lover, it was amazing sprinkled on top of a simple hotdog! 

 This chilero nicaraguense recipe comes from Thalissa, who was born and raised in Managua, Nicaragua but has lived in Florida in the United States for the past seven years. This food is somewhat of a comfort food for Thalissa. It reminds her of her culture, as it’s often found as a side dish no matter where you go to eat throughout Nicaragua.  

 Thalissa spefically remembers her grandmother picking chili peppers from a tree out back of her house to make a new batch of chilero nicaraguense each day. She was always excited to visit her grandmother, as she knew a fresh batch of this delicious, spicy pickled condiment would be awaiting her. I must say that I would be excited to visit a loved one kind enough to whip this up for me, too! 

 Although I opted for a hotdog, chilero nicaraguense can be paired with any food. Thalissa recommends carne asada or vigoron. It can be stored for about a week to use with many dishes throughout the week, but smaller daily batches yield a fresher taste. My final product was tangy, crunchy, and a little spicy in the most pleasant way. It is so easy to make, and the ingredients are simple and cheap! 

If you love slaws or savory add-ons, chilero nicaraguense is the next dish you should try. Since I always keep pickled red onions in my house, this recipe will always be kept in my house from now on! I hope you enjoy a taste of Nicaragua by giving it a try. 

Watch the Video

Chilero Nicaraguense


  • 1 large white onion
  • 1 large carrot
  • 2-3 chili peppers of your choice depending how spicy you want it
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp sugar
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water


  • Dice the onion and chili(s) into small pieces. Peel and grate the carrot. 
  • Using your hands, combine the three ingredients and massage them so the flavors can fuse. 
  • Add remaining ingredients and stir to combine. Pour into a mason jar. 
  • Let it sit under the sun or outside of the fridge for 2-3 days and then it’s ready to eat!
Course: Snack
Region: Latin America
Diet: Vegan, Vegetarian


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