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How to make pickled onions!

Pickled Onions Recipe

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  • 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