June 27, 2019

How to Make Easy Quick Pickled Onions

These easy Quick Pickled Onions are a must-have in your recipe arsenal! Pickled onions add so much flavor to everyday dishes. The pickling process takes away the harsh bite of red onions and gives them a milder and more enjoyable flavor. Make a batch of these delicious quick pickled onions to keep in the fridge and add to salads, burrito bowls, tacos, and more!

pickled onions in a glass jar

The Best Easy Quick Pickled Onions

Oh, happy day! I’m just so excited to be sharing this easy “how-to” recipe for quick pickled onions with you today. Few things give me more joy than sharing how I make some of my favorite and most used recipes, like this one, with you. Because, here’s the thing, if you have a few solid staple recipes in your healthy eating toolbox, then I firmly believe you can accomplish jut about anything in your kitchen. The recipe for these easy quick pickled onions is one that I would highly suggest you memorize (it’s only four ingredients, let’s not get crazy here) and have in your back pocket at all times.

I didn’t grow up a huge pickled red onion eater and, honestly, it wasn’t until a few years ago that I really started to get into them. When I lived in the DC/Maryland area a couple of years ago I used to eat at this Mediterranean spot called Cava and one of the topping options was pickled onions. I had them one time, fell in love, and I’ve been obsessed with them ever since.

Ok, so let’s address the elephant in the room you might currently be staring at…you don’t actually like red onions. At all. Trust me, I get it. I’m not a fan of raw red onions either. They only way I’ll actually eat (and enjoy) them is if they’re finally diced or chopped up in something like guacamole, salsa, or my favorite broccoli salad.

But, here’s the thing about pickled onions, the quick pickling process really brings a mildness to that sharp bite that red onions are often known for and instead replaces it with this bright, slightly sweet flavor that I promise you won’t be able to get enough of. They’re addicting and I firmly stand by it.

Easy Quick Pickled Onion Ingredients

sliced red onion on a wood cutting board

To make these easy quick pickled onions you only need four ingredients. All of these ingredients are items you likely already have in your kitchen pantry which is great because it means you can whip up a batch of pickled onions at a moments notice. Which, you may not believe it right now, is important because you would be surprised at how fast you can go through a batch of these things. I meant it when I said they were addicting.

To make these easy quick pickled onions you’ll need:

  • red onion

  • white vinegar

  • apple cider vinegar

  • maple syrup or honey

How to Make Pickled Onions

red onions in vinegar in a pot

Once you have your ingredients the process to actually make these onions if fairly simple. Before you get started however, I highly recommend having some sort of storage jar prepped and at the ready. My two favorite options for storing my pickled onions are either a tall Weck jar or canning jar.

Step One: Once you’ve got all your stuff, you’ll heat your vinegars and honey (or maple syrup) in a small pot until the honey has melted and the vinegars are warmed through. No need to boil anything, you just want the vinegars to hot and your sweetener to be completely dissolved.

Step Two: Once everything is nice and warm, you’ll add in your sliced red onions. When it comes to slicing your red onions, you don’t want them to be too thick or too thine. I recommend slicing around 1/8 inch thick but no need to pull out your ruler and grab measurements. Just try to slice them into even-sized rings.

pickled red onions in a pot

Step Three: Next, add the rings to the hot vinegar and let them hang out until they begin to turn more of a soft purple color. Remove them from the heat, let them cool, transfer the onions and the pickling liquid to your storage jar, and your done! You’ve got a fresh batch of quick pickled onions that can hang out in your fridge.

pickled onions in

How to Use Pickled Onions

The options are endless when it comes to actually using these pickled onions. They add a huge punch of flavor to everything. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them:

  • As a topping on tacos or burrito bowls
  • In salads
  • On sandwiches
  • With scrambled eggs or quiche
  • As a topping on these Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls

More Delicious Recipes to Love


How to Make Easy Quick Pickled Onions

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 10 minutes
  • Yield: 6 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free



  1. In a small pot, heat the vinegars and honey or maple syrup until hot but not boiling and the sweetener has dissolved.

  2. Add in the sliced red onion and press the onions down until they are completely submerged in the vinegar. Let the onions sit until they begin to turn a light purple/pink color.

  3. Remove the onions from the heat and let cool. When cool, transfer to a storage container store in the fridge!

Keywords: easy pickled onions, quick pickled onions, pickled onions

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Recipe rating

  1. These are so simple and tasty! I keep these as a staple in my fridge to add to breakfast, lunch and dinner dishes!

  2. So easy and so delicious. Already have this recipe memorized and have made them twice in a week. LOVE!

  3. Classic recipe! I always loved eating pickled anything but didn’t realize how easy it was. I didn’t have white vinegar so I added 1 cup of apple cider vinegar and it came out just as good. Also i like my pickled onions really pickled haha, so I did 1/2 onion instead 1 whole one. Love this one!

  4. Thanks so much for this easy way to pickle onions! Because of you, I was not intimidated to try it & we devoured them! I have to make them again SOON!

  5. Such an easy recipe – I only had 1/4 white vinegar so I substituted 1/4 red wine vinegar and it turned out great. I love how there is only natural sugars in this recipe!

  6. Just make these already.
    I have these in my fridge constantly and always run out of them before they go bad.
    Breakfast needs waking up? Pickled onions. Sheet pan dinner is a little bland? Pickled onions. Sandwich or salad is not gourmet? Pickled onions. Skin is looking dull? Pickled onions. Husband isn’t acting right? Pickled onions.
    I made those last two up, but truly, these are that good. The recipe is very forgiving if you need to alter the ratios for whatever reason and these will improve absolutely any savory dish, I’m convinced.

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