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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.

Quick Pickled Red Onions, that can be made in 10 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.|

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


Pickled Onions with whole spices in a jar

How to make Pickled Red Onions

  1. Slice red onions thinly using a sharp chef’s knife or a mandolin.
  2. Place in a small sauce pan and simmer with white vinegar,  water, salt, sugar and any whole spices you like for 1 minute.
  3. Cool on the counter, then store in a sealed jar and refrigerate!
  4. 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.

  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

how to make Pickled Onions

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

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Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions

  • 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


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.


Units Scale


  1. Thinly slice red onion ( you’ll need one cup)
  2. 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.
  3. Remove from the stove and let cool.  Add fresh herbs if you like.
  4. Place onions and liquid in a clean jar and store in the fridge.
  5. 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).


  1. Mexican pickled red onions: add sliced jalapeno and whole cumin and coriander seeds 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 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,








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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!

Hi, I'm Sylvia!

Chef and author of the whole-foods recipe blog, Feasting at Home, Sylvia Fountaine is a former restaurant owner and caterer turned full-time food blogger. She currently lives in the Pacific Northwest and shares seasonal, healthy recipes along with tips and tricks from her home kitchen.

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