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Learn how to make the best quick pickled red onions using basic ingredients in just 10 minutes to top salads, toast and more. Vegan, gluten-free, oil-free.
These Quick Pickled Red Onions are made with simple ingredients with just a few minutes of practice. Make a batch today and enjoy the benefits of this tangy and crunchy condiment today!
- The perfect complement to… everything
- Ingredients for Quick Pickled Red Onions
- How to Make Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Presentation suggestions
- How to Store Pickled Red Onions Quickly
- Substitutions and variations
- Recipe FAQs
- Quick Pickled Red Onion Recipe
The perfect complement to… everything
I’ve always been a pickle girl, but once I learned how easy it is to make my own pickles at home, my love for pickles only grew. It’s a staple recipe that can be found in my fridge at all times and for good reason. These pickled onions are crunchy, salty, tangy, slightly sweet, and one of my favorite condiments to add to almost anything savory.
All you need is 10 minutes and 4 basic ingredients to make these babies. Chances are you won’t even need to run to the grocery store before you start.
Ingredients for Quick Pickled Red Onions
The key to making the best quick pickled onion recipe is to use a great pickling liquid. And luckily for both of us, it’s super simple to make. You will need:
- Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar (ACV) or regular old distilled white vinegar work in this recipe. I’ve made it with both and slightly prefer the apple cider vinegar as I find it has a deeper flavor.
- Salt: a good stripping solution is always salty, but salt also helps preserve our pickles! Kosher salt, sea salt or Himalayan pink salt are all good options 🙂
- Sugar: I like my pickled onions to be Spicy, so I use a little less sugar than other recipes. You only need 2 teaspoons total! I used granulated sugar, coconut sugar, maple syrup and agave for all my work. And tastes about the same.
- Peppers: Although optional, adding a teaspoon of black peppercorns is highly recommended. They infuse a distinct, spicy, peppery aroma and enhance the overall flavor.
How to Make Quick Pickled Red Onions
- Slice the onion in half or quarter slices, according to your desires. Break up the onion slices and place them in a quart-sized mason jar.
- Add vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and any additional add-ins of your choice in a small saucepan over high heat. Stir stir until sugar and salt dissolve and bring to a boil. boil.
- Pour pour the pickling liquid into the glass jar over the onions. Press the onions completely under the liquid and let the mixture cool at room temperature on the kitchen counter.
- Seal the pot, then store until cooled.
- Serve as wished.
Caitlin’s Cooking Tips
- Please store in a glass. These red onions not only fit perfectly in a quart mason jar, but it’s not best to pour boiling liquid into plastic. This could warp or even melt the plastic container and risk getting plastic into your onions. If you don’t have glass Mason jars on hand, try another resealable glass container that allows the onions to be completely submerged.
- Use a mandolin. The best way to cut onions thinly and evenly is to use a mandolin. It’s a really versatile appliance to have on hand for making lots of recipes, including shaved fennel salad, rosemary sweet potato gratin, and thinly sliced vegetables for salads like this spring orzo salad. You won’t regret adding one to your kitchen.
What can’t you serve these pickled onions with? Honestly, they’re good with pretty much Nothing. Try them on falafel burgers, stuffed into breakfast burritos, or tossed into salads like this Dill Pickle Pasta Salad, Curried Lentil and Roasted Cauliflower Salad, or this Roasted Cauliflower Salad. lentils with pomegranate and cider vinaigrette. You can even sprinkle it on simple avocado toast for a tangy flavor. There really are no limits!
If you’re looking for more basic cooking recipes to make from scratch, you’ll also love these Quick Pickled Jalapeños, Arugula Pesto, and Homemade Hummus!
How to Store Pickled Red Onions Quickly
These pickled red onions will keep best in the refrigerator for up to 1 month. They are crispiest during the first week and will gradually become softer over time.
I wouldn’t necessarily recommend freezing these pickled onions on their own because the texture will deteriorate, but if they are incorporated into another freezer-friendly dish, they will be fine!
Substitutions and variations
The great thing about pickling your own raw onions at home is that there are many ways to vary the recipe. Here are some of my favorite optional add-ins:
- Garlic: Add up to 5 minced or crushed garlic cloves.
- Mustard seeds: Adding mustard seeds to pickled onions is very common and can help enhance the flavor of the onions. If using, add 1 to 2 whole mustard seeds to the brine in step 2 of the recipe or step 3 of the recipe. It’s best to add the mustard seeds while the brine is hot to help the flavor infuse into the red onion slices.
- Jalapeno peppers: If you like to add a spicy touch to your red onions, add up to 1 full jalapeño or a pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Fresh herbs: Some of my favorites include fresh dill, thyme or rosemary or a combination of a few.
These sliced onions are ready to eat as soon as the pickling liquid has cooled to room temperature (about 1 to 2 hours), but their flavor will continue to develop the longer they sit in the refrigerator. If you’re hoping to eat them as soon as possible, slice the onions very thinly. Thinly sliced red onion will absorb the flavor of the brining liquid more quickly than thicker onion slices.
Yes, this quick pickled red onion recipe is naturally gluten-free, oil-free and vegan with no substitutions. This is a great recipe for all dietary needs!
Red onions are the popular choice because of their beautiful vibrant color, but that doesn’t mean other fresh onions can’t be substituted. If necessary or preferred, try white onions, yellow onions or sweet onions for a variety of flavors.
Store them directly in the brine. The brine helps preserve them and also enhances their flavor as it sits.
Appreciate! If you make this recipe and decide to share it on Facebook or Instagram, don’t forget to tag me @FromMyBowl + #FromMyBowl! I would also love for you to leave a comment below with a recipe rating! Thanks for the support 😊
- 1 medium to large red onion
- 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
- 3/4 cup filtered water
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 coffee spoons cane sugar*
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns optional, but recommended
- Optional additions*: 3 to 5 cloves of garlic 1 teaspoon mustard seeds, 1 chopped jalapeño, or 1 to 2 teaspoons fresh herbs
Slice the onion: Cut your onion into half rings or quarters. I prefer to slice mine so it’s about 1/4″ thick, but that comes down to personal preference. Use a mandolin if you want your slices to be more uniform and/or thinner. Break up the onion slices and place them in a quart-sized glass mason jar.
Pickling liquid: Add the vinegar, water, salt, sugar, peppercorns, and any additional add-ins (see notes) to a small saucepan or skillet over high heat. Stir the mixture to dissolve the salt and sugar and bring to a boil.
Pickle: Carefully pour the picking liquid into the glass mason jar and let it sit on your counter until it cools to room temperature. The onion pieces will gradually soften and shrink over time – if any stick to the top of the liquid at first, press them down with a fork 5 to 10 minutes later.
Store and serve: Close your jar, then store it in the refrigerator for up to a month. These pickled onions will be at their crispiest during the first week, then gradually soften over time. Serve as desired.
- Supplements: I like to add my hard spices (like black peppercorns or mustard seeds) to the marinade liquid as it heats. Otherwise, add your milder add-ins (like garlic or fresh herbs) to the pot with the raw onion.
- Sweetener: You can use any sweetener of your choice here. Coconut sugar, maple syrup, or agave are great options.
Calories: 123kilocaloriesCarbohydrates: 23gProtein: 2gFat: 0.3gSaturated fat: 0.1gPolyunsaturated fats: 0.1gMonounsaturated fat: 0.04gSodium: 2349mgPotassium: 351mgFiber: 3gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 26UIVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 64mgIron: 1mg