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How to make Pickled Red Onions– a quick and easy recipe that can be made in 15 minutes flat! Give your favorite meals a huge burst of flavor; this recipe includes a Mexican version, Indian version and a Nordic version! Keeps up to 3 weeks in the fridge. Video.
Pickled Red Onions give all our favorite foods like tacos, bowls, burritos, and wraps, a massive burst of flavor! So simple and easy, but the difference they can make to an ordinary meal, can be mind-blowing!
This recipe takes only 15 minutes, and you probably already have everything you need on hand… so no excuses! Make a batch today of pickled red onions and store them in the fridge for up to a month – but trust me, I doubt this small batch of deliciousness will even make it that long…. you’ll find a hundred uses for them!
Pickled Red Onions | 35-sec video
Ingredients in Pickled Red Onions
- Red onion: One small red onion, 3-4 inches in diameter.
- White Vinegar: Using white vinegar will ensure the best bright clear color here, as well as a longer shelf life in the fridge. White vinegar is more concentrated than Apple Cider vinegar or Red wine vinegar– both of which will work but see the recipe notes.
- Sweetener: White cane sugar offers up a clear, clean-looking pickling liquid, but honey, maple syrup, coconut sugar or agave all work too, however, they can “muddy” the color.
- Salt & Spices: Whole Spices can add so much flavor here, depending on the direction you are going. Our favorites include: fennel seeds, peppercorns, coriander seeds cumin seeds, caraway seeds, star anise, juniper berries, allspice berries.
- Optional additions: Garlic, bay leaves, fresh herbs.
How to make Pickled Red Onions
- Slice red onions thinly using a sharp chef’s knife or a mandolin.
- Place in a small sauce pan and simmer with white vinegar, water, salt, sugar and any whole spices you like for 1 minute.
- Cool on the counter, then store in a sealed jar and refrigerate!
- Pickled red onions will keep up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
Variations of Pickled Red onions
Depending on what you are serving up for dinner, you can enhance the picked onions with different spices and flavors.
- Mexican Pickled Onions: add whole cumin seeds and coriander seeds plus Mexican oregano to the pickling liquid. Thinly sliced jalapenos are nice too.
- Scandinavian Style: add fresh dill, caraway and peppercorns.
- Indian pickled onions: fennel seeds, coriander black mustard seeds, and fenugreek.
- Island style: Allspice berries, cumin seeds, peppercorns
I am so excited for you to try these! Pickled Red Onions will give your favorite foods a burst of flavor! They pair well with many Mexican Recipes and I love them on Indian food – but they really go with almost everything.
A small batch recipe that is fast and easy and will elevate many dishes you already make.
WAYS to use Pickled onions
- Frankies (Bombay Burritoes)
- Grilled Steak Tacos with Chimichurri
- Spaghetti Squash Sliders
- Quick Fish Tacos with Cabbage Slaw
- Oaxacan Bowls
Pickled Red Onions
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 5
- Total Time: 15 minutes
- Yield: 1 cup 1x
- Category: condiments
- Method: pickled
- Cuisine: american
- Diet: Vegan
A simple tasty recipe for Pickled Red Onions, that can be made in 15 minutes flat! Give your favorite foods like tacos, bowls, burritos, wraps, or grilled meats a huge burst of flavor in an instant. Store in the fridge for up to two months! This small-batch recipe is fast and easy and will elevate many dishes you already make.
- 1 cup red onion, very thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup white vinegar, or use apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar -see notes
- 1/2 cup water
- 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons white sugar (or honey , agave, or other substitute)
- 1 teaspoon whole spices (optional- one or any combination of peppercorns, fennel seed, cumin, coriander, peppercorns, caraway, star anise, juniper, allspice.)
- optional additions:
- 1 garlic clove, cut in half
- 1 bay leave
- 1 teaspoon dried or fresh oregano ( if using on Mexican food)
- Thinly slice red onion ( you’ll need one cup)
- Place the sliced onion along with the vinegar, water, salt, sugar and whole spices and any optional additions in a small pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. Simmer 1 minute, stirring.
- Remove from the stove and let cool. Add fresh herbs if you like.
- Place onions and liquid in a clean jar and store in the fridge.
- This will last up top 3 weeks in the fridge.
White vinegar is more concentrated than other vinegars. If subbing AC vinegar or red wine vinegar, and you plan on keeping this for 3 weeks in the fridge, I would lower the water by 2 tablespoons. White vinegar will also ensure the clearest-looking pickling liquid ( along with white sugar).
- Mexican pickled red onions: add sliced jalapeno and whole cumin and coriander seeds plus Mexican oregano to the pickling liquid.
- Scandinavian pickled red onions: add fresh dill, caraway and peppercorns.
- Indian pickled red onions: add fennel seeds, coriander and either fenugreek or cilantro!
- Serving Size:
- Calories: 8
- Sugar: 1.5 g
- Sodium: 116.7 mg
- Fat: 0 g
- Saturated Fat: 0 g
- Carbohydrates: 1.8 g
- Fiber: 0.1 g
- Protein: 0.1 g
- Cholesterol: 0 mg
Keywords: pickled red onions, pickled onions, quick pickled onions, pickled onion, pickling onions, how to pickle onions, best pickled onion recipe,
Loved these. I would love to be able to use the 3x recipe due to having a large bag of onions and easy to read, just in case it’s possible – right now it didn’t update!
Can you try it again? I think I fixed it Rachel!
Made this and used with your lamb burger recipe. Scrumptious!
I almost always make one of your recipes when I’m having friends over for dinner as I can be confident they will be thoroughly enjoyed!
That is so nice to hear Leslie!
Love this recipe! Adds the perfect punch of flavor to any dish. Can you reuse the liquid for another onion?
I have tried but find its not quite as punchy- perhaps adda splash more vinegar?
I have been using this recipe for years now, it is absolutely wonderful! Always a hot and usable within just a few hours. I absolutely love it!
I agree, it just makes everything better!
How long do I need to put in the fridge before they’re ready?
Just until cold. 🙂
Can I can the pickled onions?
No Lynn, not with this recipe- it is not the right acidity, so I would look up shelf-stable cucumber pickles. 🙂
Yum! Made the Indian version to go with your Bombay Burrito recipe. So so so delicious!
Awesome- I love that version!
Hi Silvia, I’ve just made a post about this recipe on Insta with a photo etc! SO I have made your Pickled Red Onions – in 6 different types of vinegars this morning (w/ Carraway, Cummin, Pepper & Coriander seeds; plus a smidgen of garlic)! Anyway the Insta photo says it all but thanks for a wonderful morning in the kitchen… I cannot wait to taste the results in about a week at least, the mix of the full amounts of salt & sugar you suggest in the recipe were super throughout each type of vinegar! Also in the tasting of the fresh ‘dregs’ of each blend was sublime. Looking forward to the Apple Cider version – it was very smooth! Cheers…
Great to hear Michael! Will look for the post!
Another easy recipe with BIG flavor!! Love these on wraps of all kinds….,bowls…..tacos.,,, salads….
Glad you enjoyed them!
Excellent and exceptional recipes great god bless yo