These incredibly easy pickled red onions take just minutes to prepare, then simply leave them in your fridge for a few days. Suitable for almost every diet!
These incredibly easy pickled red onions are TRULY spectacular.
Pickled red onions are one of my favorite additions to so many meals. They complete pretty much any salad, are outstanding on tacos, and can be stuffed into just about any sandwich or wrap.
Plus, if you are as dedicated of a pickled red onion lover as I am, you will find endless other recipes to add them to. The only thing I don’t necessarily recommend adding them to are dishes where you continue to cook them. They lose much of their potency after being cooked. Raw is definitely the best way to enjoy these little red gems.
Super easy to make, and requires only a few very basic ingredients.
To make these pickled red onions, you will need just a few very simple ingredients. I’m willing to bet that you already have most, if not all, in your pantry!
- Red onions, of course
- Apple cider, red wine or distilled white vinegar
- Granulated sugar, maple syrup or honey, optional
- Filtered water
Start by slicing the red onions very thin. The thinner they are, the faster they will become pickled. To a small bowl, add the vinegar, sweetener (if using) and water. Mix well to dissolve the sweetener.
As a side note: do not use a sugar substitute here, as it will not aid in the pickling process and can create off flavors or odors. If you do not want to use any sugar, simply omit the sugar, or add just a dash when you plan to serve.
Add the red onions to a jar and pour the water/vinegar/sugar mixture on top of the onions. Try to keep the onions below the top of the water line as best as possible. Put a lid on and place in the fridge for at least a few days, but up to 1 week for a full pickling process.
Keep in the fridge and simply remove the amount needed for a recipe with a clean fork. Return to the fridge. They should last for weeks in the fridge this way.
I like to make a big batch to fill a quart-size mason jar. That usually requires doubling the recipe.
Another tip – the leftover liquid is delicious as an ingredient in homemade salad dressing! Plus who could resist that gorgeous pink color in a dressing?!
Can I make this with white or yellow onions instead?
Yes you can! You can follow the same exact process, regardless of the type of onions you have available.
Can I use a sugar substitute?
No, I cannot recommend that here. It may be possible with some experimentation, but I’ve found that a lot of brands will produce pickled red onions with a weird aftertaste. If you are concerned about the sugar (which is quite minimal), you can definitely omit it with no issues. If you want them to be sweeter for serving, simply move the amount for your recipe to a bowl, and mix in your sweetener of choice at that time.
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Incredibly Easy Pickled Red Onions
- 1 large red onion
- 1/2 cup filtered water
- 1/2 cup apple cider or distilled white vinegar
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar optional, to help cut the acidity of the vinegar
- Slice red onions into very thin slices. Place red onion into a pint-sized jar. Mix filtered water, vinegar and sugar together in a bowl and stir to combine. Pour over red onion. Place into the fridge and allow to sit for 2-3 days at a minimum. The onions will slowly change color to a uniform pink, and will taste more pickled the longer they rest.
- Be sure to remove the amount of onions you need for a recipe with a clean fork, so you do not contaminate the rest of the jar. Return to the fridge and use periodically. They will store for weeks, or even longer, in the fridge.