Chilean Tomato and Onion Salad

Ensalada Chilena

Marian Blazes. The Spruce Eats, 2017.

Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 55 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
99 Calories
7g Fat
10g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 99
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 7g 9%
Saturated Fat 1g 5%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 83mg 4%
Total Carbohydrate 10g 4%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 1g
Calcium 47mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Ensalada chilena is quite popular in Chile, probably because it's so simple to make and goes well with many different things. This salad is similar in appearance and preparation to the Peruvian salad salsa Criolla, except that the Chilean version has tomatoes. Like salsa Criolla, the onions should be thinly sliced "a la pluma" style (like feathers), and soaked in salt water for a bit to soften their intense flavor and sweeten them.

Serve ensalada chilena alongside grilled meats, empanadas, or milanesas with rice. Diced avocado makes a nice addition to this salad.


  • 1 large tomato
  • 1 large onion
  • Juice of 1 to 2 limes (to taste)
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons coarsely chopped cilantro leaves
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Peel the onion and slice it in half. Place each half cut side down, then carefully slice the onion crosswise into very thin half-moon slices. Place onion slices in a bowl of salted water and let them soak for about 20 minutes. Drain onions in a colander and briefly rinse them with fresh water. Pat dry with paper towels.

  2. Chop the tomato and place in a bowl. Add the juice of 1 lime and the olive oil. Add the onions and toss everything together well. Taste for seasoning, adding more lime juice if desired and seasoning with salt and pepper to taste.

  3. Arrange salad decoratively on a plate. Garnish with chopped cilantro.

  4. The salad can be covered with plastic wrap and stored in the refrigerator for up to 12 hours.