Pickled red onions are one of my favorite condiments. I always keep a batch in my fridge because they are so easy to make and add a pop of flavor to so many dishes.
If you have never made pickled onions before, you may be surprised to find just how easy they are to prep.
Watch How to Make This Recipe
With just a few simple ingredients (just four!) you can have a batch of delicious pickled onions to use at breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Ingredients You Will Need to Make This Recipe
Red Onion: peel and then slice your red onion roughly one-eighth of inch thick.
Apple Cider Vinegar and White Vinegar: this recipe uses a combination of both apple cider and white vinegar for the best flavor.
Honey or Maple Syrup: a little sweetness is added to the vinegar mixture to help balance the acidity and tang of the vinegar. I have tested this recipe with both maple syrup and honey and both work very well.
How to Pickle Red Onions
Step One: In a small pot, combine the apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, honey or maple syrup and heat until hot, but not simmering or boiling, and the sweetener has completely dissolved.
Step Two: Next, add the sliced red onion to the vinegar mixture. Press the onions down with the back of a spoon until they are completely submerged in the vinegar mixture. Let the onions sit until they begin to turn a bright pink, purple color.
Step Three: Remove the pot of onions from the heat and let them come to a complete cool. Once the onions are room temperature, transfer them to a storage container and store in the fridge.
The Best Way to Store
Once the onions have been pickled you will need to store them in the fridge for safe keeping.
I like to store the onions in a large mason jar with a tightly sealed lid.
You can also store them in a heavy duty deli container with a tight fitting lid.
Optional Additions to the Recipe
This pickled onion recipe is great as is, but if you would like to add more flavor or change the flavor profile a bit, you can easily do so with the addition of a few different ingredients.
Garlic cloves – add a few fresh garlic cloves when you add the red onions to the garlic mixture for an infusion of garlic flavor.
Black peppercorns – add whole black peppercorns to the vinegar mixture while heating.
Fresh dill – add a few sprigs of fresh dill to the jar before adding in the finished pickled onions.
Frequently Asked Questions
How long do pickled onions last?
If you store these pickled onions properly in the fridge, with a tight-fitting lid, they should last for up to three weeks.
Which vinegar is best for pickling?
Any regular vinegar, like white, apple cider, or rice vinegar will work for quick pickling onions.
The flavor combination of white vinegar and apple cider vinegar tastes great in this recipe which is why I like to use a combination of both.
I would avoid using more concentrated types of vinegar like balsamic vinegar when making pickled onions.
Why do my pickled onions go soft?
Your pickled onions should still have a bit of “bite” to them even after being pickled. This is why we do not boil the vinegar mixture and just heat until hot and the added sweetener is dissolved.
The goal is to add the onions to the hot vinegar mixture, cook them briefly to mellow the flavor and take away some of the bite, but remove them from the heat before they are completely softened.
If your onions are too soft or mushy, that likely means that they cooked a bit too long before being removed from the heat. If the onions are sliced too thinly they are also more likely to be softer after pickling.
I hope you give these Pickled Red Onions a try! It’s so easy to make and has the best flavor.
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In a small pot, combine the apple cider vinegar, white vinegar, honey or maple syrup and heat until hot, but not simmering or boiling, and the sweetener has completely dissolved.
Next, add the sliced red onion to the vinegar mixture. Press the onions down with the back of a spoon until they are completely submerged in the vinegar mixture. Let the onions sit until they begin to turn a bright pink, purple color.
Remove the pot of onions from the heat and let them come to a complete cool. Once the onions are room temperature, transfer them to a storage container and store in the fridge.
Keywords: quick pickled red onions, how to pickle red onions, pickled red onion recipe
Recipe by: Ashlea Carver / All the Healthy Things | Photography by Casey Colodny / THE MINDFUL HAPA