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

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    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

    frequently asked questions

    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 6 votes
    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!
    Servings: 4
    Prep Time: 5 minutes
    Cook Time: 5 minutes
    Total Time: 10 minutes



    • 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 Information

    Calories: 28kcalCarbohydrates: 6gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 585mgPotassium: 41mgFiber: 1gSugar: 4gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 10mgIron: 1mg

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