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Quick Pickled Red Onions

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Quick pickled red onions are an easy way to add extra flavor and texture to your favorite dishes. Tangy, crisp, and sweet! You only need 5 ingredients and 30 minutes to enjoy these.

Quick pickled red onions are an easy way to add extra flavor and texture to your favorite dishes. Tangy, crisp, and sweet! You only need 5 ingredients and 30 minutes to enjoy these.
two jars of pickled red onions
two jars of pickled red onions

Pickled red onions are serious magic when you add them on top of your favorite dishes. From pungent and crunchy to tangy and crisp, pickling onions is sooo good! Plus I love their pretty pink color, don’t you?

There aren’t many things that don’t get an upgrade with the addition of some pickled onions! Anytime you want a zippy, colorful, tangy add-on to balance your meal, these are what you need!

overhead view of two jars of quick pickled red onions

The best part is you only need a few pantry staple ingredients, and about 30 minutes to make these! So you can easily have these any time you feel like them! Give them a try, and you will soon be adding them to everything!

Get these started, and then make the rest of your meal. By the time you are ready to sit down and eat, these will be ready to enjoy.

Add these on cheeseburger salad, pork carnitas, beef kofta, and flank steak tacos, to start!

overhead view of fork pulling pickled onion out of jar

Ingredients needed:

  • Red Onions – Either one large one, or two small. Slice them as thin as you can (a mandoline works great for this), but you can use a good sharp knife, too! The thinner they are sliced, the better they soak up the pickling solution. Getting them about ⅛ of an inch is perfect. If you want them to have a little more crunch, then ¼ inch is good, but they might need an overnight soak to get pickled all the way.
  • Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar is sweeter and tangier, and makes a great choice here. You can also use rice vinegar or red wine vinegar.
  • Sugar – Sweetens things up so you have a nice contrast of tart and sweet. Don’t skip the sugar, you need it for the balance of the flavors.
  • Salt – Brings balance to all the flavors
  • Water – to create the brine with!

Equipment Needed

Here are the tools you need to have on hand to make these.

  • Chef’s knife OR mandoline 
  • Saucepan or kettle to boil water in
  • Measuring spoons and cups
  • Spoon for stirring
  • Glass storage jar with tight fitting lid. You want to store them in a glass or ceramic container. Metal containers could react with the vinegars, and any plastic container will absorb the flavors.
two jars filled with quick pickled red onions

How to make these

These could not be easier to make! For the full set of directions, make sure to scroll down to the recipe card below:

  1. Thinly slice the onions. You can do this by hand, or with a mandolin. 
  2. Place the onions in a sterilized mason jar with a lid.
  3. In a heatproof measuring cup, combine the apple cider vinegar and boiling water.
  4. Add in the sugar and salt and stir until dissolved.
  5. Pour the vinegar mixture over the sliced onions.
  6. Make sure that all the onions are submerged in the liquid – if they aren’t, push them down with a spoon. 
  7. Let the brine cool slightly, then seal the jar and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 30 minutes.
cutting onions, mixing brine, assembling pickles

Storage information

These quick pickled onions will keep in the fridge for 2 to 3 weeks! 

How to serve this to your family

You can use pickled onions in so many ways!

Try them:

  • As part of your favorite Tex-Mex classics. Add them to your tacos, burritos, quesadillas, nachos and more!
  • In your favorite breakfast foods. Use them to top your eggs, breakfast sandwiches and more!
  • Add them in sandwiches. Add them to any panini, sandwich, wrap, or burger.
  • In side dishes. Add them into egg salad, potato salad, roasted veggies, rice, or beans.
  • Other ideas. Also toss them into soups, salads, pizza, on falafel… your imagination is the limit!

Food tastes better when its shared! If you try this recipe, let me know! Leave a comment and rate below!

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two jars of pickled red onions

Quick Pickled Red Onion Recipe

Quick pickled red onions are an easy way to add extra flavor and texture to your favorite dishes. Tangy, crisp, and sweet! You only need 5 ingredients and 30 minutes to enjoy these.
5 from 4 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Kid Friendly Side Dishes
Cuisine: American
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Additional Time: 30 minutes
Total Time: 35 minutes
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 10kcal
Author: Jenni – The Gingered Whisk


  • 2 medium-sized red onions
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ cups boiling water
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Very finely slice red onions, either by hand or with a mandolin if you have one.
  • Place onion slices into a sterilized mason jar with a lid.
  • In a heatproof measuring jug, pour apple cider vinegar and boiling water.
  • Stir in sugar and salt until dissolved.
  • Pour vinegar mixture into jar to cover sliced red onions.
  • Put on lid and thoroughly shake the jar then allow to settle.
  • Ensure the onions are submerged under the liquid- if they are not, push them down with a spoon. Seal jar with lid.
  • Place onion jar in the fridge and allow to marinate for at least 30 minutes before using.


Pickled onions will last 2-3 weeks in the fridge.


Serving: 1g | Calories: 10kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Sodium: 196mg | Sugar: 1g


  1. Can these be canned in a water bath to last longer?

  2. Used these pickled onions for our taco night and it was soooo fun! Everyone was satisfied! It was so tangy and delicious.

  3. These really were so easy! thank you!

  4. These were so easy to make and turned out amazing! Thank you for sharing, I bookmarked this recipe to make again!

5 from 4 votes (1 rating without comment)

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