Pickled Red Onions

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These easy pickled red onions are delicious and versatile. They add a tangy, slightly sweet, and crunchy element to steaks, sandwiches, tacos, burrito bowls and more!

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions are so simple to make, and add the perfect touch to so many recipes. They’re a tangy and flavorful condiment made by soaking thinly sliced red onions in vinegar, water, sugar, and salt, which infuses them with a sweet and acidic taste and softens their texture. They have a distinctive flavor that combines the red onions’ natural sweetness and slight spiciness with the pickling liquid’s tanginess and acidity. Use them as a topping for sandwiches, burgers, avocado toast, enchiladas, nachos, tacos, salads, and grain bowls. And if you love onions, don’t miss my Hot Dog Onions!

pickled red onions on avocado toast

Pickled Onion Ingredients

  • Onions: Peel and slice one medium red onion into rounds.
  • Pickling Liquid: Apple cider vinegar and water
  • Sweetener: Cane sugar or maple syrup
  • Salt: You’ll need one teaspoon of kosher salt.
  • Bay Leaves for flavor

How to Make Pickled Red Onions

  1. Boil the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt in a small saucepan until the sugar dissolves.
  2. Cool: Put the onions into a heat-safe bowl with the bay leaves, pour the liquid over them, and let them cool. Then transfer them to a glass mason jar, cover and refrigerate overnight.
  3. Quick Pickled Onions: If you need them sooner, let the onions cool for 30 minutes to an hour before serving them. They will have a slightly more intense flavor than soaking them overnight, but they will still be good.

How to Use Pickled Red Onions

Pickled onions are a versatile condiment that can add a pop of flavor and color to a wide range of dishes. They are eaten in many cuisines, including Mexican, Middle Eastern, and Mediterranean. Here are some ideas for using pickled onions – the possibilities are endless!

How long will pickled red onions last?

Pickled onions typically last a few weeks when stored in the refrigerator. The longer they sit, the softer they will become, and their flavor may intensify. If you like a milder taste, rinse them briefly under cold water before eating.

Can you pickle red onions without white vinegar?

Yes, you can use any vinegar you prefer, which can change the flavor. I chose apple cider for this pickled red onion recipe, but you can play around with other options, like white vinegar, red wine vinegar, or rice wine vinegar, for slightly different profiles.

Pickled Red Onions in mason jar

More Condiment Recipes You’ll Love

Pickled Red Onions

5 from 9 votes
These easy pickled red onions are delicious and versatile. They add a tangy, slightly sweet, and crunchy element to steaks, sandwiches, tacos, burrito bowls and more!
Course: condiment
Cuisine: American
Pickled Red Onions
Prep: 5 minutes
Cook: 2 minutes
Refrigeration time: 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 7 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Serving Size: 1 /8th of recipe


  • 1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced into rounds
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 2 bay leaves


  • In a small saucepan heat the vinegar, water, sugar and salt until it boils and the sugar dissolves, about 2 minutes.
  • Transfer the onions to a heat safe bowl with the bay leaves and pour liquid over the onions.
  • Set aside to cool then transfer to a glass jar and refrigerate overnight. For quicker onions, you can leave around 30 minutes to 1 hour. The onions will have a slightly less intense flavor compared to leaving them overnight, but they will still be tasty.

Last Step:

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Onions will keep for at least 2 weeks.
If you make them comment below and let us know how you used them!


Serving: 1 /8th of recipe, Calories: 16 kcal, Carbohydrates: 3.5 g, Protein: 0.5 g, Sodium: 38.5 mg, Fiber: 0.5 g, Sugar: 2.5 g


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19 comments on “Pickled Red Onions”

  1. I made these this morning, I used a few about an hour after for avocado toast…10/10. Can’t wait to see what the flavor is like tomorrow after a full day of pickling.

  2. This recipe was great! I added sliced jalapeño. I added the onions and jalapeño to my steak fajitas.

  3. Avatar photo
    Corinne Snorton

    Looking to make this diabetic friendly. Suggestions please to make it sugar free? Thank you!