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close up of a fork taking a scoop of pickled red onions out of a mason jar
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5 stars (3 ratings)

Pickled Red Onions

A few of these quick and easy Pickled Red Onions on top of your favorite meals will add a burst of tangy flavor. Made with just 6 ingredients and ready in 30 minutes!
Prep Time10 mins
Total Time10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 11kcal
Author: Nora Taylor


  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons salt
  • tiny pinch red pepper flakes


  • Slice the red onion as thin as possible. Use a mandolin for evenly sliced onions.
  • Add the sliced red onions to a glass jar, such as a 16-ounce mason jar. Even a bowl will work or container with a lid, glass preferred.
  • In a small saucepan, combine the white vinegar, water, sugar, salt and pepper flakes. Bring the mixture to a simmer over medium heat, then immediately remove from heat.
  • Pour the pickling liquid over the onions in the jar. Use a butter knife to press the onions down into the liquid, making sure they are immersed completely. Let them sit at room temperature, uncovered, for 30 minutes, then cover and refrigerate for at least an hour before serving. They will have a stronger flavor after at least 4 hours in the refrigerator.
  • They will keep for approximately 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


  1. Add 1-2 cloves fresh garlic to the jar.
  2. For heat, add a few slices of jalapeño peppers.
  3. Add a few whole black peppercorns for a peppery flavor.
  4. Add a tablespoon or two of fresh dill.
  5. Refined sugar free? Use coconut sugar, monk fruit, agave or maple syrup instead.


Serving: 1of 12 servings | Calories: 11kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 292mg | Potassium: 14mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin A: 1IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 3mg | Iron: 1mg