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

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 5 from 65 reviews
  • 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


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  1. Hi Sylvia! Your recipes are the best, thanks you for sharing your gift! I was wondering if cutting back the sugar would be okay? Any suggestions on an amount to cut back to? I really want the flavor, but eat lower carb due to type one diabetes. Thanks!

    1. You can certainly can try! Try halving it, you can always add more. 🙂

    2. Yes, it’s just there to temper the acidity and not necessary for preservation. Adjust to suit your palate.

    1. Thanks so much Sheila! I am so glad you are enjoying these Pickled Onions!

  2. I make a batch of these every few weeks…easy, delicious and make so many dishes that much tastier!

  3. Super easy and just elevate the flavour and add and interesting component to any recipe as a topper. I am someone that cannot tolerate raw red onions anymore but these are perfect.

    1. Great to hear Tracey, and thanks for dropping a comment and rating;very appreciated 🙏

  4. Delicious! I made these to go on the Bombay Burritos (OMG! SOOooooo delicious!). The pickled onions are easy to make—I’ll definitely make them again.

  5. I love pickled everything! Have made these so many times now, they’re pretty much always in our fridge—and you can add them to sooo many dishes!

    1. Yes, totally Jess! I am so happy you enjoy these and thankyou for rating; it is always very appreciated.

  6. Hi Sylvia, how much of the Indian spices should we be adding? Luckily, we have the option to add all the ones you listed. Can’t wait to use in the Frankie Burrito!!

  7. Love this recipe for pickled onions. It is not overly sweet and the spices come through. I also like the alternatives offered for different cuisine profiles. Yum.

  8. Our family loves onions and this pickled onion recipe has become a family favorite. Having experimented with various combinations of vinegars, I favor 1/2 white and 1/2 rice wine vinegar which keeps the pickling liquid nearly clear and lets the beautiful purple color of the onions shine. All the spice combinations work well – we especially love the Indian and Mexican versions. These onions can find a place on nearly every plate!

  9. Amazing !!! Thank you.. the best pickled onions recipe I’ve used, no faff or hassle! Thank you! My 2 year old and 6 year old love them too!!!!

  10. 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!

  11. 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!

  12. 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!

    1. No Lynn, not with this recipe- it is not the right acidity, so I would look up shelf-stable cucumber pickles. 🙂

  13. 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…

  14. Another easy recipe with BIG flavor!! Love these on wraps of all kinds….,bowls…..tacos.,,, salads….



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