August 2, 2021

How to Make Easy Quick Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are a delicious and flavorful condiment that can be added to so many dishes. All you need are four simple ingredients and around fifteen minutes to make this easy recipe!

The Best, Easy Quick Pickled Red Onions

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.

pickled onions ingredients

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.

vinegar mixture in pot with whisk

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.

pickled onions in jar

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.

red onions in pot

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.

pickled onions in jar

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.

shrimp fajitas on corn tortillas

Ways to Use Those Delicious Quick Pickled Onions

Slow Cooker Chipotle Beef Burrito Bowls

Salmon Burrito Bowls

Sheet Pan Shrimp Fajitas

Healthy Burger Bowls with Special Sauce

Honey Chipotle Chicken Bowls with Spicy Lime Tahini Dressing

Sheet Pan Chipotle Chicken Burrito Bowls

Roasted Chipotle Cauliflower Tacos

hope you give these Pickled Red Onions a try! It’s so easy to make and has the best flavor.

If you do give this recipe a try, I want to know! Leave a comment with a star rating below. You can also snap a photo & tag @allthehealthythings / #allthehealthythings on INSTAGRAM. Your reviews help support All the Healthy Things and make it possible for me to continue to create the recipes you know and love.

Print

How to Make Easy Quick Pickled Onions

  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free
/
Scale:
  • Author: Ashlea Carver
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x
  • Diet: Gluten Free

Ingredients

Method

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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

This post contains affiliate links.

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Recipe rating

    19 comments
  1. These were super easy to do and they turned out amazing. I am for sure making these again to add to my salads and other recipes.

  2. Made these for the first time this week and am absolutely in love! They were so easy, quick, delicious, and elevate every meal. Thank you, Ashlea!

  3. I’m in love with this pickled onion recipe! I’ve used them in my salads, chipotle chicken bowls, and tacos. I’ve grown used to the bitter taste of raw red onion, but when pickled, they’re on a whole different level. Will be making these often as they only last about 2 weeks in my house!

  4. These are so easy to make and taste amazing!!! I use the pickling juice as dressing too. So yummy and I love that is doesn’t contain refined sugars.

    • I’m so glad you liked the recipe, Chrissy! Using the pickling juice as a dressing is a great idea! Thanks for sharing!

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

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

  7. 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!

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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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