This Pickled Onions Recipe is the best!  Give your favorite meals a huge burst of flavor with these picked onions in just 15 minutes! They keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, but we doubt they will last that long! Video.

This Pickled Onions Recipe is the best!  Give your favorite meals a huge burst of flavor with these picked onions in just 15 minutes! They keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, but we doubt they will last that long! Video.

Pickled 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 pickled onion recipe only takes 10-15 minutes and will keep in the fridge for  up to 3 weeks. What a huge payoff! But trust me; I doubt this small batch of pickled red onions will even make it that long… you’ll find a hundred uses for them!

 Pickled Onions Recipe | 35-sec video

 Pickles Onions Ingredients

To make this pickled onion recipe, you really only need 5 basic ingredients; red onions, vinegar, sugar, salt and water. Then you can embellish as you like!

 pickled onions recipe

How to make Pickled Onions

  1. Slice red onions thinly using a sharp chef’s knife or a mandolin.
  2. In a small pot, bring white vinegar,  water, salt, sugar to a simmer. Add the onions and stir for 30 seconds. Turn the heat off, cool on the counter, then store in a clean jar and refrigerate!
  3. Pickled red onions will keep up to 3 weeks in the fridge.


Depending on what you are serving up for dinner, you can enhance the pickled onions with different whole spices, seeds and flavors!

  1. Mexican Pickled Onions: add whole cumin seeds and coriander seeds  plus Mexican oregano to the pickling liquid. Thinly sliced jalapenos are nice too.
  2. Scandinavian Style: add fresh dill, caraway and peppercorns.
  3. Indian pickled onions:  fennel seeds, coriander black mustard seeds, and fenugreek.
  4. Island style: Allspice berries, cumin seeds, peppercorns
Pickled Onions Recipe

A small batch recipe that is fast and easy and will elevate many dishes you already make.

Pickled Onion FAqs

How long do homemade pickled onions last in a jar?

These pickled onions last up to 3 weeks inn a jar in the fridge.

Do you need to soak onions before pickling?

When making quick pickled onions stored in the refrigerator, there is no need to soak the onions first.

What onions are best for pickling?

Red onions and shallots are best for pickling because of their beautiful vibrant color. But any onion can be pickled.

What is the best vinegar to use for pickled onions.

White vinegar or white rice vinegar is best when pickling onions because will both amplify their color-producing bright and vibrant results with a clear pickling liquid- whereas apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar can “muddy” and mute their color.

Ways to use Pickled onions

Pickled onions can be used on tacos, enchiladas, burritos, or burrito bowls, or any any meal you want to add a punch of flavor!

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 so many  Mexican Recipes and I love them on Indian food – but they really go with almost everything.

More pickling recipes you may enjoy

⭐️ Do you love them? Please rate these for us!



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How to make pickled onions!

Pickled Onions Recipe

  • Author: Sylvia Fountaine
  • Prep Time: 10
  • Cook Time: 5
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x
  • Category: condiments
  • Method: pickled
  • Cuisine: american
  • Diet: Vegan


This Pickled Onions Recipe is the best!  Give your favorite meals a huge burst of flavor with these picked onions in just 15 minutes! They keep for up to 3 weeks in the fridge, but we doubt they will last that long! Video.


Units Scale

Optional additions:

  • garlic cloves, cut in half
  • Bay leaves
  • Fresh or dried herbs (oregano, cilantro, scallions, curry leaves, dill)
  • Jalapeno slices


  1. Thinly slice red onion (you’ll need one cup)
  2. Place the vinegar, water, salt, sugar and whole spices in a small pot on the stove and bring to a simmer. Add the onions, and simmer for 30-60 seconds, stirring. Turn off the heat.  Stir in any of the optional additions above. Let this cool completely.
  3. Place in a clean jar and store in the fridge for up to 3 weeks.


Vinegar:  White vinegar is more concentrated than other kinds of vinegar.  If subbing other vinegar like rice wine viniegar, apple cider 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 and amplify the red onion’s color.

Pickled Onion Variations:

  1. Mexican pickled red onions: add sliced jalapeno and whole cumin seeds and coriander seeds, 1-2 whole clove seeds, garlic, plus Mexican oregano to the pickling liquid.
  2. Scandinavian pickled red onions: add fresh dill, caraway and peppercorns.
  3.  Indian pickled red onions: add fennel seeds, coriander seeds and either fenugreek, cilantro or curry leaves.


  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 20
  • Sugar: 3.2 g
  • Sodium: 219.1 mg
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Saturated Fat: 0 g
  • Carbohydrates: 4.2 g
  • Fiber: 0.3 g
  • Protein: 0.2 g
  • Cholesterol: 0 mg

Keywords: pickles onions, pickled onions, pickled red onions, quick pickled onions, pickled onion, pickling onions, how to pickle onions, best pickled onion recipe,


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  1. At what point should any oregano, cilantro, or fenugreek be added? Do I just throw it in at the same time as the whole spices?

    Also, I’ve been loving the chipotle portobello tacos. Your Frankies recipe is up next!

  2. Yum! I made this for the Bombay Burritos recipe. I’m happy to eat these onions on their own – delish! Will definitely make again.

  3. I love this recipe. So easy to make! I keep a big jar on hand all the time because it’s such a great add to so many meals!

  4. Does the type of vinegar make a difference in the resulting flavor? Or does it all end up tasting the same regardless of which type of vinegar?

    1. It can make a slight difference- and also can affect the color of the onions. But I use different vinegars all the time here- it’s fun to mix it up and experiement.

  5. Love this recipe. I can tailor the spices and it’s such a great addition to so many things. I usually use them in salads, sandwiches, or a wrap!

  6. This literally took me 10 minutes to make and it is soooo good! I doubled the batch and it made one mason jar full (good thing since I have been eating it straight from the jar!). I went through our spices and anything that was whole I threw a pinch in and it turned out to make an awesome combination. I used half red wine vinegar and half apple cider vinegar and threw in a few whole fresh garlic. My very discerning husband said they were better than any restaurant pickled onions he has had. So versatile as well, I look forward to trying this on several dishes.

  7. The Pickled onions were delicious .
    Can I try putting mint leaves next time?

  8. Well, this is fabulous. I just purchased a 10 lb bag of Red onions because it was so economical. my husband just asked me what I was going to do with all those onions?

    Can I preserve these onions as I do with my Chow Chow and pickles?

    1. Do you mean can you pressure-can these? This recipe is not designed for canning. BAsically just refrigerator pickles- but I like your idea, A LOT!

      1. Hi Sylvia Fountaine:

        No, not pressure canning but, canning with a Canner boiling them as I do with my Bread and Butter Pickles so that they are shelf stable??

        1. I don’t think the acid level here would be right for that. I think if you found the correct acid level-or vinegar amount (in a recipe designed for that) and then added the spices,it would work. This is probably too weak of a vinegar solution for canning. Just guessing here.

  9. I am definitely looking forward to trying this! One question… if adding sliced jalapeno for the Mexican version, is it added before the simmer or afterward? Thanks!

  10. I’ve made this twice now and it’s really good. the onions come so soft and not at all acidic like raw pickled onions do. I use them on everything…fried eggs, sandwiches, salads. cheese plates etc.. so good.
    For whole spices I’ve used lightly toasted fennel seeds, nigella seeds and coriander seeds which makes a nice subtle flavour that goes with everything I think.

    1. These are amazing!!! I was shocked cause I had more onions so I just wing it with adjusting the ingredients but it did well!! I can’t wait for tacos tonight I’ll let you all know how it goes!!

    1. The Pickling or Kosher salt doesn’t have the iodine that table salt as this will cause the colour of your pickles to turn dark. Also there is an anti-caking element in some salt , that Pickling salt doesn’t have.

  11. Could you can these in a water bath, or would the recipe need to be changed for that to work? These look delish!Thanks!

  12. These are so simple, quick, and delicious. They have quickly become a staple in my house. My kids like to snack in them 😊

  13. Another fabulous recipe from you Sylvia!
    Simple to make and so very delicious.
    A lovely addition to our evening salad.
    Ps… I still have not purchased bread since early May when I first commenced making your ‘no-knead sourdough’- it’s just so beautiful to eat!😍

  14. Simple recipe but packs so much flavor as well as adding beautiful color to any dish! We used them on the birria tacos and they’re delish!

  15. I needed pickled onions for a tuna salad recipe from the New York Times and found your recipe at the right time. They are a wonderful
    addition to my refrigerator. We love them as an addition to sandwiches. Thank you.

  16. These are the best!! One question … where did you get your square swing top jars? I love them!

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