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Easy Pickled Red Onion Recipe

Looking to spice up your next salad, wrap or sandwich? Add pickled red onions! With their perfect blend of tangy and sweet, they’re the ideal way to give any dish a vibrant burst of flavor.


Elevate your dishes with this simple sweet and tangy pickled red onion recipe-perfect for salads, sandwhiches, burgers, and more.


red pickled onions in a mason jar
Vibrant and zesty red pickled onions, the perfect addition to your favorite dish.

You only need a few minutes and five ingredients to make this pickled onion recipe. Give it a try—you'll love the taste, and be amazed at how simple pickled onions are to make.


I can't decide what I love more about these pickled red onions the slightly sweet and tangy flavor they add to salads, wraps, and sandwiches, or how simple they are to make and how many dishes you can pair them with!


Red pickled onions offer many delicious and vibrant possibilities beyond the typical salad or sandwich. Try them as a topping on my homemade chicken salad recipe or my cast-iron skillet pizza recipe. Yes, I said pizza! Add pickled onions during the last five or six minutes of baking for a great burst of flavor that complements the sauce and cheese perfectly.


Let's talk about how easy it is to whip up some pickled red onions. Whether you have a large family or just need enough for yourself, this recipe is customizable. The simple ingredients—water, vinegar, sugar, and salt—are used in equal amounts. Our recipe will fill approximately three 12-ounce jars using three large onions, 3 cups of water, 3 cups of vinegar, 3 tablespoons of salt, and 3 tablespoons of sugar. Keep in mind, that the amount of onions and liquid may vary depending on the size of the onions and jars you’re using. If you want to make just one jar of pickled onions, use 1 large onion, 1 cup of water, 1 cup of vinegar, 1 tablespoon of salt, and 1 tablespoon of sugar.


red pickled onions in a mason jar
Try to wait 24 hours for the best flavor

What types of dishes pair well with homemade pickled red onions?

Homemade pickled red onions can be used in a variety of dishes to add a tangy and colorful touch.


Here are some ideas:

1. Tacos: Sprinkle them on tacos for flavor and color.

2. Burgers: Add them to burgers for a crunchy, tangy contrast.

3. Grain Bowls: Top grain bowls or rice dishes with pickled onions for extra flavor.

4. Avocado Toast: Enhance avocado toast with a few pickled onions.

5. Charcuterie Boards: Include them on charcuterie boards for a flavorful and attractive addition.

6. Pizza: Add them to pizza during the last few minutes of cooking for a flavorful twist.

7. Chicken Salad: Mix them into chicken salad for extra zing.

8. Wraps and Burritos: Use them in wraps or burritos for added crunch and tang.

9. Egg Dishes: Sprinkle them on scrambled eggs, omelets, or frittatas.

10. Grilled Meats: Serve them as a condiment with grilled meats like steak, chicken, or pork.




To make pickled red onions, you'll need the following ingredients:

- 3 large red onions, thinly sliced

- 3 cups vinegar (or apple cider vinegar)

- 3 cups of water

- 3 tablespoons sugar (if you prefer things extra sweet you can add up to 5 tablespoons of sugar)

- 3 tablespoon salt

- Optional: spices and flavorings like garlic, peppercorns, bay leaves, or red pepper flakes.


red pickled onions
After 24 hours in the fridge, check out this vibrant color.

You'll also need clean jars with lids to store the pickled onions. I used the 3-pack of Ball jars for my pickled onions, but I also love this 5-pack of mason jars. The price is right, and they work just as well as Ball jars. Click the highlighted text to shop.




Important-sterilize the jars before adding the pickled onions

It's important to sterilize your jars before making pickled onions. Boiling the jars helps ensure they are free of bacteria, mold, and yeast that could spoil the pickled onions.


How To Sterilize Jars


Wash the jars and lids: Use hot, soapy water and rinse well.


Boil the jars: Place the jars in a large pot, cover them with water, and bring to a boil. Boil for 10 minutes.


Dry the jars: Carefully remove the jars using tongs and place them on a clean towel to air dry.


Boil the lids: Boil the lids for a few minutes in a separate smaller pot.



How To Make Red Pickled Onions


1. Slice the Onions:

• Peel the red onions and cut them in half.

Slice thinly into half-moons. The thinner you slice, the quicker they will pickle.



2. Prepare the Brine:

• In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. If you're adding any optional flavorings (garlic, peppercorns, mustard seeds, herbs, or red pepper flakes), add them to the saucepan as well.

Bring the mixture to a boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.


3. Combine and Pickle:

• Place the sliced onions in a clean, heat-proof jar or container. Pour the hot brine over the onions, making sure they are fully submerged.

Let the mixture cool to room temperature. Once cooled, cover the jar and place it in the refrigerator.


4. Wait and Enjoy:

• The pickled onions will be ready to eat in about an hour, but they get even better with time. For the best flavor, let them sit for at least 24 hours. They will stay good in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.


Making pickled onions at home is a simple and inexpensive process with minimal effort. You can have a jar of tangy, crisp onions to add delicious flavor to your meals. Happy Pickling!


Thank you for stopping by Lia Rose Simply Home, where you will find simple, inspirational, homemaking!
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Hello, my name is Wendy I live in upstate NY with my husband and four children. Now that my children are getting older I have some extra time to share my experiences, recipes, traditions and life tips.

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