Make Pickled Onions in Just 15 Minutes | August 11, 2023


Pickled red onions add a vibrant color and flavor to salads, soups, sandwiches and more. They are sure to make your dish stand out. Typically I like to give it a day or two for the onions to absorb the flavors of pickling juice. The end result is a crunchy, tangy delicious garnish!

Marinade for Pickled Onions

To make the marinade for the pickled onions, all you need to do is combine water, apple cider vinegar, salt, sugar and peppercorns. It’s so easy! Sometimes I even use a bit of the marinade and a drizzle of olive oil as a lazy salad dressing.

How to Prepare this Quick Pickled Onion Recipe

Making these quick pickled red onions doesn’t require heating up a brine in a small saucepan. It’s made with absolutely no need for heat!

  • Prepare the Marinade: First, combine the lukewarm water, vinegar, peppercorns, sugar and salt in a bowl. Whisk the ingredients until well combined.
  • Prepare the Onions: Next, slice onions into thin half moons with a sharp knife. Break them apart and stuff them into a jar.
  • Assemble the Jar: Pour the marinade over the onions and make sure they are fully covered. Seal the jar and refrigerate.
  • Marinade the Onions: Seal the jar and refrigerate the onions for at least two days.
  • Quick Pickled Onions Tips

    • Choose the right onion.Grab one large red onion or two small ones. I like using red onions the most because they have higher acidity and a stronger flavor than yellow or white onions.
    • Slice the onions thinly. For the best results, slice your onions as thinly as possible. You want each onion slice to soak up as much flavor as possible. If you have one, use your mandolin slicer.
    • Use apple cider vinegar. Apple Cider Vinegar is my top choice due to its subtle sweetness. However, you can use white vinegar as well.
    • Swap in a natural sweetener. Traditionally, pickled red onions are made with white sugar. But, if you want to be ultra-healthy, try using maple syrup, agave or honey instead.
    • Spice up your pickling brine. Want to add an extra flavor punch to your onions? Make it spicy by adding some habaneros or jalapeños to the mix. You can also add a couple of cloves of garlic cloves, ground cumin, bay leaf, red pepper flakes, fresh herbs or dried oregano. Get creative!


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