Asheley loves pickles. LOVES them. I even got her an “I Love Pickles” t-shirt for Christmas. She wears it with a smile on her face and pride in her heart. You have to try and make these easy pickled onions.
Personally, I’m not a fan of the conventional cucumber pickle. They just don’t do it for me, unless we are talking about those little bread and butter pickle chips. I’ve liked those since I was a little squirt of a kid.
But we’re about to embark upon a completely different story. These easy pickled onions are a precious gift. I cherish them. I adore them. And they are ridiculously easy to make. 5 minutes, a red onion, and you’re done.
You can add pickled onions to pretty much anything and it will taste better. They add a perfect, tart crunch to sandwiches, burgers, salads, nachos, tacos, and really anything else you can think to add them to.
And it really is as easy as mixing up a quick brine solution and pouring it over a thinly sliced onion. No cooking required.
These easy pickled onions really taste best once they’ve had at least a day to relax and chill out in the brine bath. And they last for a few weeks kept refrigerated.
I always try to have a mason jar full of them in the fridge… you don’t want to be unexpectedly caught pickled-onion-empty-handed. That would just be plain embarrassing.
I attended a pickling seminar this past fall at the NYC Wine and Food Festival, hosted by Iron Chef Geoffrey Zakarian. He mentioned that when he cooks a dish and feels like it’s missing a certain something, 9 times out of 10 he ends up adding some sort of pickled vegetable. The power of the pickle!
Go ahead and use red onions. You won’t achieve this vibrant pink color with any other onions, unless your talking about adding some artificial food dye to your pickled onions. And really, why would you do that?
You’re going to see a bunch of recipes coming up in the next couple of weeks that include these pickled onions. Get ready now and whip up a batch. It will literally take you 5 minutes, unless you are out of red onions and need to go the store. In which case, can you pick me up some milk? I’m out of milk.
I’ll just come out right now and say You’re Welcome, since I’m pretty sure you’ll want to thank me after adding pickled onions to your condiment pantry. What do you like to put pickled onions on?
I found this recipe in one of my recent issues of Bon Appetit...
Here are a few other recipes I have made that feature these easy pickled onions. If you try them out please let me know. We think this is the best best pickled onions recipe. You can also use white onions if you do not have red onions available.
Tips and facts about easy pickled onions
A few tips and facts about these easy pickled onions are. To get rid of onion breath eat some parsley. A really great way to tell if an onion is fresh is by picking it up and feeling if it is squishy. If the skin is also slimy or has a odd smell pick a different one. Your onions will stay fresh in a cool dark place for up to 2 or 3 months. Also the biggest onion ever grown was over 10 pounds. Homemade pickled onions last about 2 – 4 weeks refrigerated.
Recipes that use Pickled Onions
- PULLED PORK BANH MI SANDWICH WITH PICKLED PINEAPPLE AND AVOCADO
- CALIFORNIA BREAKFAST SLIDERS
- CHIMICHURRI SKIRT STEAK FRIES
- SLOW COOKER DR PEPPER BBQ PULLED CHICKEN SLIDERS
Easy Pickled Onions
- Total Time: 15
- Yield: 1 Ball Jar 1x
- Diet: Gluten Free
This is a easy recipe for pickled onions.
- 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher salt
- Combine vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a medium bowl. Whisk together until sugar and salt is fully dissolved.
- Place onion in a jar or bowl (I like to use a mason jar). Pour vinegar mixture over the onions and let sit at room temperature for at least 1 hour if you’re in a rush. Preferably, cover jar or bowl and place in refrigerator for at least 1 day. Pickled onions will last for a few weeks stored in the refrigerator.
- Use pickled onions to top tacos, nachos, sandwiches, salads, and more!
- Prep Time: 10
- Cook Time: 5
- Category: condiment
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1 cup
- Calories: 28
Keywords: Pickled onions, Red onions, vinegar, Salt, Sugar, Tacos,
Easy pickled onions FAQ
Do you have to soak onions before pickling?
No soaking the onions only dulls the flavor.
Can you pickle with just vinegar?
Yes but its better with sugar and salt.
Do you have to add sugar to pickled onions?
No but we think it adds great flavor
How long do you leave onions in salt before pickling?
We leave the onions in the brine for one day before eating.
How to make pickled onions crunchy
They will stay crunchy for about a week in the fridge.
I love pickled onions, but not sure how to make them. Thanks a lot for sharing. Love to try this.
Add cabbage! My MexiMan makes this all the time (with a little jalapeño and carrot) and we put it on everything. You should look up
A recipe for tostadas!
I just now found your website while looking for Strawberry Habenero Jam recipe. Saw your Pickled Onions recipe and you mention you have several recipes incorporating pickled onions. Can you mention a few of those recipes. Thank you!
Hi Linda, thanks so much for stopping by! Yes, check out Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Onions and Salsa Verde and Numpang Pulled Pork Sandwich. I also love to add them to Pulled Pork Sandwiches, burgers, salads, nachos, and more!
I made a quart of these last month and my oh my – they were wonderful! We just finished up the jar last night. We’ve put them on hamburgers, hot dogs, pork chops, meatloaf, you name it. I’ll be making more very soon. Thanks for a great “keeper” of a recipe.
So glad you loved the pickled onions, Joan! Aren’t they great with pretty much everything?! I love putting them on burgers, sandwiches, and Mexican-type things. YUM!
After you make these, do you continue to store them in the vinegar/water liquid mixture, or do you drain them?
Yes Beth, keep and store them in the liquid mixture. This is what’s going to pickle them and will actually keep them from spoiling b/c of the vinegar. I’ve had a jar of them in the fridge for weeks and weeks without it going bad.
Could I use distilled white vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar?
Hmmm probably, although it would probably change the flavor a little. Cider vinegar has a lighter taste. The acidity in apple cider vinegar is normally 5-6%, versus distilled white which is normally somewhere in the range of 4-7%… since they are pretty similiar in the acidity range, you can swap out the apple cider for the distilled white and still get the pickled effect. Let me know how it turns out!
love pickled onions my son got me hooked on these.
They are pretty addicting!
Hi I just came back from Mexico and tried these onions for the first time and fell in love with them. So happy I found your website can’t wIt to make these, thanks.
Thanks so much Shay! Pickled onions are a fave of mine 🙂
Love this recipe !!!!
Thanks so much Tyler! My family loves it too!
It’s soooo good!
What else can I pickle
Chris @ Shared Appetite
You can pickle pretty much any vegetable! And even some fruits!! They add so much flavor!
Wow this recipe is really easy to make thanks Chris.
This was a huge hit yesterday for father’s day barbecue! Thanks so much for posting.
So glad it was a hit!
Can the sugar be skipped? Or would that take away the crispness?
I think from a flavor standpoint it would make the onions too tart and astringent. The sugar helps to balance out the salt + vinegar.
These were delicious, thanks.