Quick Pickled Red Onions

This Quick Pickled Red Onions recipe is going to be a staple in your fridge all summer long! They’re tart, sweet, briney, and the perfect addition to any family meal or weekend barbecue. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes to pickle the onions and you only need 5 ingredients! Anyone can make this easy recipe!

If you love pickles, then you’ll love my Instant Pot Potato Salad and my BEST Macaroni Salad!

How To Make Quick Pickled Onions Recipe

Homemade Pickled Onions

I absolutely love pickles. Whether it’s traditional dills or the more interesting veggie variety like okra, carrot, or daikon radish, there’s just something so divine about a tart, sweet, vinegary brine with the satisfying crunch of the vegetable.

The only downside? Traditional pickling can be painfully tedious and time consuming. Luckily, I’ve developed a quick pickle method that gets the job done in just 30 minutes without 5 ingredients and tastes just as delicious!

This Quick Pickled Onions recipe is a staple in my fridge, especially in the summertime. They’re a refreshing side for nearly every meal and pair particularly well with a good old-fashioned backyard barbecue. They’re also great on tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, sloppy joes, eggs and even pasta dishes like homemade Hamburger Helper!

Pro Tip! It is important that the onions are sliced thin. This helps them pickle faster! A sharp knife or a mandolin works best for slicing them super thin.

Pickled Red Onions Ingredients

You can make your own pickled onions at home with just 5 ingredients!

  • Red onion: Sliced very thin! You could also use vidalia onions or white onions if you have those on hand.
  • Vinegar: I typically use apple cider vinegar because I prefer the taste however any vinegar will work.
  • Salt: Kosher salt or any type of table salt will work!
  • Sugar: I use granulated sugar however you could use a natural sweetener like honey, agave or maple syrup in place of the granulated sugar.
  • Water: Is added to help balance out the tartness from the vinegar and to help soften the “bite” of the onion. If you find red onions are too strong use Vidalia or sweet onions or soak the sliced onions in water before adding them to the brine.

How To Make Quick Pickled Onions Recipe

How To Make Pickled Red Onions

First, you need to make your brine. Do this my combining the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Cook until the sugar has dissolved, approximately 3-4 minutes.

Vinegar and water mixture for pickling onions

Next, add the sliced red onion to a mason jar or bowl, and pour the pickling solution over the onions. Let this concoction stand for 20-30 minutes at room temperature.

pouring vinegar mixture over sliced red onions

That’s it! You’ve just made homemade pickled onions. They’re ready to eat at this point, but you can also store them in a sealed container in the fridge for a week.

avocado toast topped with pickled red onions

Do I have to use apple cider vinegar?

No! I personally prefer to use apple cider vinegar for the taste however if I am in a pinch and don’t have that I will typically use either white wine vinegar or white distilled vinegar.

Can this be used for other vegetables?

Yes this pickled red onions recipe is my go to for pickling jalapeños, carrots, cucumbers or even beans!

Can this be reused?

Yes absolutely! We typically reuse the brine at least once if we use. up the red onions within a few days. Feel free to throw in more onion or mix it up with some of the suggestion vegetables above!

How long do Pickled Red Onions last?

These pickled red onions will last for up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator!

Optional Add In’s

  • Jalapeno slices for some heat
  • A couple garlic cloves (because garlic!)
  • Add whole black peppercorns
  • Any fresh or dried herbs would be amazing in this

How To Make Quick Pickled Onions Recipe

How to use Pickled Red Onions

These onions go great on so many things! Here are just a few of my favorites!

southwest salad with pickled red onions

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Quick Pickled Onions

5 from 5 votes
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 4

This Quick Pickled Red Onions recipe is going to be a staple in your fridge all summer long! They're tart, sweet, briney, and the perfect addition to any family meal or weekend barbecue. Plus, it only takes 30 minutes to pickle the onions!


  • 1 medium onion, sliced thin
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup vinegar
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbsp granulated sugar , or honey or maple syrup


  • Add water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a medium saucepan. Heat over medium high heat until the sugar is dissolved 3-4 minutes.
  • Add the onions to a mason jar or bowl. Pour the liquid over the onions and let stand for 20-30 minutes at room temperature. At this point the onions are pickled and ready to use. You can also store them in the refrigerator for up to a week!
Nutrition Facts
Quick Pickled Onions
Amount Per Serving
Calories 28 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 585mg25%
Potassium 41mg1%
Carbohydrates 6g2%
Fiber 1g4%
Sugar 4g4%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin A 1IU0%
Vitamin C 2mg2%
Calcium 10mg1%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
Course: Condiment, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Canning, Pickling, Quick Pickled Onions

Leave a Comment

Recipe Rating


  • Beth

    I love it! Pickled onions are one of my favorite foods, and I love how easy you’ve made it to make them!

  • Kerri

    I love pickled onions! I like that you added several different pictures of different ways to use them. I’m definitely going to try these on my next burger night!

  • Patricia

    Love how easy it is to make this delightful “add-on!” These are great on so many things — my favorite is tacos! Yum!

  • Nathan

    I love how easy this recipe is; it’s always nice to have some pickled red onions on hand just in case!

  • Mirlene

    These pickled red onions are so delicious. They add so much flavor to my sandwiches!



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