December 8, 2022

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Cooking Is My World

Pickled Red Onion – Spoon Fork Bacon


Our Quick and Easy Pickle Red Onions are jam packed with fresh, vibrant, tangy flavor and will add brightness to a wide variety of dishes. We love adding the pickled onions to salads, sandwiches, tacos/burritos, grain bowls, nachos, avocado toast, the options are endless!

Pickled red onions with a fork in it.

I absolutely love quick Pickled Red Onions! Actually I love pretty much all pickled vegetables, but pickled red onions are at the top of my list and I think one of the most versatile. They’re so easy to make and pack such a delightfully tangy flavor punch!

Not only is our pickled red onion recipe so easy to make (and to modify based on personal preference), but it pairs well with SO many dishes. Some of my favorite things to add picked red onions are sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, and tacos.

How to Make Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onion ingredients on a kitchen counter.

Process

  1. Place sliced red onion into a large bowl. Set aside. (If using spice mix, combine with sliced red onions.)
Pickled red onion spiced laid out.
  1. In a small pot combine, vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Stir together. Place mixture over medium heat and simmer until sugar and salt dissolve, 2 to 3 minutes.
Pickled red onion mixture simmering in a pot.
  1. Pour hot vinegar mixture over sliced onion. Gently stir and set aside (allow mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes). Use immediately or transfer contents to a jar, tightly seal and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
Pickled red onion in a jar to rest in the refrigerator.

Tips and Tricks for Pickled Red Onion Success

  • For the most vibrant tart flavor, use white vinegar. It you want a more slightly sweet, softer flavor use apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Some recipes mention to soak the sliced onion in a brine for 24 hours to keep them crisp, but I’ve actually discovered that this does the opposite and softens the onions. For the most crisp pickled onions, pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions (and spices, if using) and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before transferring to a jar and refrigerating.
  • Use kosher (non-iodized) salt. Iodized (table) salt contain anti-caking agents. That plus the iodine can make the pickling liquid cloudy, darken the pickled red onions and alter the overall flavor.
  • To preserve the shelf life of the pickled red onions, we highly recommend canning your onions once they’re made. This will allow you to keep them for months on end!

Variations

  • Use half the amount of vinegar and add sour citrus juices in its place like fresh lime juice or lemon juice (or even fresh seville oranges, which is a sour orange variety) . This gives the onions a deep citrus, briny flavor that is delicious!
  • Alternatively you can add a few strips of citrus rind to the pickling mixture to add a subtle citrus flavor to the onions.
  • If you want a more mild onion flavor overall, you can blanch the onions in boiling water and transfer them to an ice bath. This will mellow out the onion’s acidity, making it more palatable for some people.
  • Use different types of onions such a maui sweet onions for a slightly sweeter and milder flavor or a white onion for a more intense and acidic pickled onion.
  • Play around with spice mixtures depending on your flavor preferences. We gave our preferred spice blend in the recipe card below, but the options are truly endless!
  • Slice thicker or thinner slice of red onion if you want a greater crunch (thicker) or a more delicate texture (thinner). If slicing ultra thin slices, we recommend using a mandoline.
  • Replace the sugar with more natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or agave.
How to make pickled red onions at home.

What to Eat with Pickled Red Onion

Pickled Red Onions pair incredibly well with a wide variety of dishes and some of our favorites are below!

Salads

Appetizers

Mains

How to make pickled red onions.

More Delicious Quick and Easy Recipes You Will Love

Pickled red onions with a fork in it.

Quick and Easy Pickled Red Onions

PRINT RECIPE Pin Recipe

Our Quick and Easy Pickle Red Onions are jam packed with fresh, vibrant, tangy flavor and will add brightness to a wide variety of dishes. We love adding the pickled onions to salads, sandwiches, tacos/burritos, grain bowls, nachos, avocado toast, the options are endless!

Prep Time: 5 mins

Cook Time: 5 mins

pickling time: 30 mins

Total Time: 40 mins

Servings: 12

  INGREDIENTS  

  INSTRUCTIONS  

  • Place sliced red onion into a large bowl. Set aside.

  •   In a small pot combine, vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Stir together.

  • Place mixture over medium heat and simmer until sugar and salt dissolve, 2 to 3 minutes.

  • Pour hot vinegar mixture over sliced onion. Gently stir and set aside (allow mixture to sit for at least 30 minutes).

  • Use immediately or transfer contents to an airtight mason jar or container and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.

  • **If using spice mix, combine with sliced red onions before pouring hot vinegar mixture over.**

  NOTES  

Tips and Tricks for Pickled Red Onion Success
  • For the most vibrant tart flavor, use white vinegar. It you want a more slightly sweet, softer flavor use apple cider vinegar, red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar.
  • Some recipes mention to soak the sliced onion in a brine for 24 hours to keep them crisp, but I’ve actually discovered that this does the opposite and softens the onions. For the most crisp pickled onions, pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions (and spices, if using) and allow the mixture to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour before transferring to a jar and refrigerating.
  • Use kosher (non-iodized) salt. Iodized (table) salt contain anti-caking agents. That plus the iodine can make the pickling liquid cloudy, darken the pickled red onions and alter the overall flavor.
  • To preserve the shelf life of the pickled red onions, we highly recommend canning your onions once they’re made. This will allow you to keep them for months on end!
Variations
  • Use half the amount of vinegar and add sour citrus juices in its place like fresh lime juice or lemon juice (or even fresh seville oranges, which is a sour orange variety) . This gives the onions a deep citrus, briny flavor that is delicious!
  • Alternatively you can add a few strips of citrus rind to the pickling mixture to add a subtle citrus flavor to the onions.
  • If you want a more mild onion flavor overall, you can blanch the onions in boiling water and transfer them to an ice bath. This will mellow out the onion’s acidity, making it more palatable for some people.
  • Use different types of onions such a maui sweet onions for a slightly sweeter and milder flavor or a white onion for a more intense and acidic pickled onion.
  • Play around with spice mixtures depending on your flavor preferences. We gave our preferred spice blend in the recipe card below, but the options are truly endless!
  • Slice thicker or thinner slice of red onion if you want a greater crunch (thicker) or a more delicate texture (thinner). If slicing ultra thin slices, we recommend using a mandoline.
  • Replace the sugar with more natural sweeteners like honey, maple syrup or agave.

Calories: 15kcal Carbohydrates: 2g Protein: 0.1g Fat: 0.03g Saturated Fat: 0.003g Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.01g Monounsaturated Fat: 0.01g Sodium: 389mg Potassium: 9mg Fiber: 0.1g Sugar: 2g Vitamin A: 5IU Vitamin C: 0.4mg Calcium: 4mg Iron: 0.1mg

CUISINE: American

KEYWORD: pickled vegetable

COURSE: condiment

DIET : Gluten Free, Low Calorie, Low Fat, Low Lactose, Vegan

About Jenny Park

Jenny Park is half of Spoon Fork Bacon. She is also a food stylist and recipe developer. One of her favorite foods is donuts. #sfbJENNY

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