How to make Mexican cebollitas on the grill. These onions are a staple side dish at any Mexican barbecue! In English, these onions are known as spring onions, and in Spanish, they're called cebollas or cebollitas cambray. Recipe via theothersideofthetortilla.comI love grilling. The smell of the charcoal, the crackling sound of the fire roasting the food and the anticipation of what’s about to land on my plate. And whenever we grill in Mexico, my suegro (father-in-law) is the king of the barbecue.

At any parrillada at la casa de mis suegros, you can count on one side dish being the same, no matter what kind of meats are chosen for the main dish – cebollitas.

This dish is so simple and easy (and almost totally impossible to mess up even if you’re not a grilling pro), it’s the single dish that most reminds me of a Sunday parrillada in Mexico.

RELATED RECIPE: Calabacitas con elote

You can add as much or as little lime juice and salsa Maggi, a Worcestershire-style seasoning sauce, or soy sauce as you like – it all depends on your taste buds. The Maggi sold in the U.S. doesn’t taste the same as salsa Maggi sold in Mexico, so I sometimes substitute soy sauce.

Not only is this dish often served at barbecues and family gatherings, you can also often find them at little street food stands around Mexico. I especially love to pair this side dish with tacos de rib eye and my Mexican chimichurri-marinated flank steak.

RELATED RECIPE: Calabacitas rellenas

A note for my gluten-free friends: Salsa Maggi contains wheat gluten, wheat and wheat bran among its ingredients. A suitable alternative for you to be able to enjoy this dish is Kikkoman’s gluten-free soy sauce.

Cebollitas asadas

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Cook Time: 15 minutes

Total Time: 20 minutes

This classic side dish is a staple at any Mexican barbecue.


  • 1 bunch of large spring onions (the kind with the little bulb on the end); these are sometimes called cebollitas cambray
  • fresh-squeezed juice of 1/2 to 1 whole lime
  • Salsa Maggi (jugo sazonador) or soy sauce to taste


  1. Wash and grill the onions until they start to get grill marks and the bulbs look mostly cooked through. Leave the green stem tails on. (Some people don't eat the tails; it's up to you!)
  2. Once you've removed the onions from the grill, put them on a plate or in a bowl and squeeze the desired amount of lime juice over them.
  3. Add desired amount of Maggi or soy sauce over the top and let the onions sit in the juices for a few minutes. Pick up by the stems and eat the bulbs.

RELATED RECIPE: Arrachera borracha

  • What reminds you of a parrillada?


  1. says

    Love cebollitas, too! First time I ate them was in Guatemala and fell for them.

    Did you know that in El Salvador we pour salsa maggi on plain rice? It´s kind of a staple. Only seen it there! Try it 😉

    • says

      Ana, I didn’t know they pour Maggi on rice in El Salvador! Actually, I have seen a family member or two do it in Mexico, but never in a restaurant there. I’ve also seen lots of people put it in a broth soup with rice and using lime and Maggi to season it. I’ll have to give it a try.

    • says

      It is just so unfair that you cam make your pictures look better than anything Ive ever attempted to cook! Lol! So I’m wondering, excuse my ignorance but where or how do you make salsa maggi?

      • says

        Haha, Jennifer, it’s ALL about the lighting when it comes to photos! Everything is photographed in my own kitchen on the dishes we eat off of, and with no fancy faux lighting. I wouldn’t have the first clue about how to make my own salsa maggi, but you should be able to find it at any Latino grocery store or even in most non-Latino stores if they have at least a Latino foods aisle. If all else fails, you can always purchase online! :) I know carries Maggi as well as some other Latin grocery sites.

    • says

      Hi Mercedes, thanks for the great question! Some of the recipes here come direct from relatives in Mexico; some are versions of recipes from relatives that I’ve adapted to our liking at home (i.e. leaving things out, adding ingredients, changing the cooking method, etc). When a family recipe has never been written down and no one is quite sure exactly how to make it but they at least know the ingredients, I experiment in my kitchen until I get it right. Sometimes I get second and third-hand recipe info passed along from aunts in Mexico.
      My husband is obviously my No. 1 taste-tester and we often talk it out when trying to get it right. I also invite other Mexican friends to taste-test when I’m trying to replicate something that I know they’re familiar with and I need feedback on authenticity, texture, smell, ingredients, etc. Some of the recipes are created from memories of when we eat something at a restaurant or a friend’s home in Mexico and we don’t have the recipe or can’t get it, so I tinker until I come up with a good version of it. Sometimes, I get recipes from friends or their relatives too, and in those cases, I note that on the post. I have learned some specific techniques from Spanish-language cookbooks and friends or family members, and whenever I share those tips, I mention where I learned them to give credit where credit is due. :) I like to tinker a lot with recipes! To this date, I’ve never posted a recipe adapted from a cookbook, but that’s not to say I wouldn’t in the future. Often, the recipes I post are a result of a random craving or a conversation that makes me remember a meal somewhere, or my husband saying, “I loved XYZ as a kid, can you make it for me?” Hope that answers your question thoroughly enough 😉

  2. says

    Mmmmmmm….. Cebollitas! They go with everything… even hot dogs wrapped in bacon. Can’t go wrong having cebollitas and [fill in the blank]. But they’re even fantastic just by themselves. Thanks for this great post, Maura.

    • says

      Aurelia, you have me giggling! I can’t remember the last time I had a hot dog wrapped in bacon but now I’m thinking about grilling for lunch…better run out and get some more cebollitas! 😉

      • Miguel Angel says

        Great post. Here in Northern Sonora, we wouldn’t dream of carne asada sin cebollitas.

        Hot dogs wrapped in bacon are called “momias” or mummies.


  3. says

    Love this photo Maura – so simple and elegant. And LOVE Cebollitas of course. They are the perfect complement to anything off the grill. Mmmmm!


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