Learn how to prepare these pickled red onions; sweet, tangy and delicious. Made with simple ingredients, they are perfect for adding a zingy flavor to your recipes!
Hate onions? These tangy pickled red onions will change everything.
Forget the sharp and pungent flavor of raw onions; these pickled onions are much more mild, balanced and even a tiny bit sweet. From salads and sandwiches to tacos, they will become your favorite new mix-in!
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Why you’ll love this recipe
- Easy. Just a few simple ingredients and 10 minutes are all you need to make these.
- Healthy. Packed with antioxidants and essential nutrients, this recipe is super healthy.
- Versatile. Serve these with tacos, salads or sandwiches, they will complement the flavor of every dish.
- Seriously addictive. Once you start eating these, you won’t be able to stop. The tangy, sweet flavor is hard to resist.
What I love the most about these pickled red onions is that they are a great way to use the leftover onions and they last for months!
No lengthy ingredient list for this recipe. Here is everything you need to make the best red pickled onions.
- Red onion. The primary ingredient and provides the recipe with its characteristic texture and flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar. Gives the onions a tangy flavor and prevents them from spoiling.
- Water. To dilute the vinegar and make the brine more balanced.
- Sugar. Sweetens the brine and balances out the acidity. You can use brown, white or cane sugar.
- Salt. Adds flavor and preserves the onions.
- Black peppercorns. Add a touch of heat to the pickled onions.
- Garlic cloves. Add flavor and aroma.
- Mustard seeds. Add heat and spice to the recipe. You can also swap them with red pepper flakes.
How to make pickled red onions?
You can make your own red pickled onions at home following the easy 5-step process below:
Step 1 – Prepare the onions. Thinly slice the red onion. You can use a mandoline for this, or just slice the onion as thinly as possible.
Step 2 – Make the brine. Combine the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and peppercorns in a small saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring until the sugar and salt dissolve.
Step 3 – Pack the onions in a jar. Transfer the sliced onions to a clean jar.
Step 4 – Pour the brine over the onions. Carefully pour the hot brine over the onions, ensuring they are completely submerged.
Step 5 – Let cool, seal, and refrigerate. Let the jar cool to room temperature, then seal it and refrigerate. The pickled onions will be ready to enjoy after at least 1 hour, but they will taste even better after 2-3 hours or overnight.
Tips to make the best recipe
- Slice the onions thinly. The thinner the slices, the quicker the onions will pickle and the more evenly they will absorb the pickling liquid.
- Soaking the onions in salt water for 30 minutes before pickling will help remove some harshness from the onions.
- Use a combination of vinegar to enhance the flavor. White vinegar gives the onions a more tart flavor, while the apple cider vinegar adds a bit of sweetness.
- If your pickled onions are too salty, rinse them under cold water for a while before serving.
Want to try different flavors of pickled onions? Here are some variations that you’ll love.
- Add some herbs. Such as dill, thyme, or rosemary can add freshness and more flavor to pickled onions.
- Make them more spicy. Add some sliced jalapenos to the pickling liquid for more heat.
- Give them a smoky flavor. For a smoky flavor, smoke the onions before pickling them.
To store. Put them in an airtight container to store in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.
To freeze. When sealed in zip-lock bags or airtight containers, these can be frozen for up to 6 months.
Recommended tools to make this recipe
- Mason jar. To mix the pickled onions with brine and store them.
More quick side recipes to try
Yes, these pickled onions are healthy as they are a good source of vitamins C and K and fiber.
No. If you are allergic to onions, avoid eating red pickled onions.
Yes, red pickled onions are gluten-free. They do not contain any gluten.
Pickled Red Onions
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar white or brown
- 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns whole
- 1 clove garlic smashed (optional)
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds (optional)
- Slice the red onion thinly.
- Bring to boil the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, and optional ingredients in a saucepan until sugar and salt dissolve.
- Put sliced onions in a clean jar.
- Pour warm brine over onions, ensuring they're submerged.
- Let cool, seal, and refrigerate.
- After at least 1 hour, pickled onions are ready to use. For the best flavor, wait 2-3 hours or overnight.