Pickled Red Onions

5 from 2 votes

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Pickled onions are a delightful and zesty condiment that can elevate any dish with their tangy, sweet, and sour flavors. Loved for their versatility and easy preparation, pickled onions have become a staple in kitchens worldwide.

pickled red onions in a jar with a lid
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Pickled onions are incredibly versatile and can be used to complement a wide range of dishes. Their tangy and slightly sweet flavor makes them an excellent topping for tacos, burgers, and sandwiches, adding a delightful crunch and zest. They also work wonders in salads, offering a bright, acidic note that balances out rich, creamy dressings.

For a more adventurous culinary experiment, try incorporating pickled onions into your charcuterie boards or as a garnish for hearty stews and soups. Their vibrant color and distinct flavor can turn an ordinary dish into something extraordinary.

pickled red onions on top of a slice of wheat avocado toast

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

  • Quick and Easy: With minimal preparation and no cooking required, pickled onions are a hassle-free addition to your meals.
  • Flavor Booster: They add a burst of tangy, sweet, and sour taste that can enhance various dishes.
  • Long Shelf Life: When stored properly, pickled onions can last for weeks in the refrigerator.
raw ingredients for pickled red onions on a wooden board
  • Vinegar: Substitute apple cider vinegar with white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar for a different flavor profile.
  • Sweeteners: Replace sugar with honey or agave syrup for a natural sweetness.
  • Spices: Experiment with various spices like cumin, coriander, thyme, and oregano, or spices like black peppercorns or red pepper flakes to customize the flavor of your pickled onions.

How To Make Pickled Onions

raw ingredients for pickled red onions on a wooden board

1.Peel and thinly slice the red onions into half-moon shapes.

raw ingredients for pickled red onions on a wooden board

2. In a non-reactive bowl or measuring cup, combine the red wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. Stir until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.

raw ingredients for pickled red onions on a wooden board

3. Place the sliced red onions in an airtight container. A glass jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid works well.

pickled red onions in a jar with a lid

4. Pour the prepared pickling liquid over the red onions in the container, ensuring that the onions are fully submerged.

pickled red onions in a jar with a lid

5. Seal the container with its lid or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place the container in the refrigerator.

pickled red onions in a jar with a lid

6. Allow the onions to marinate in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours or longer for a stronger flavor. The longer they marinate, the more pronounced the pickled flavor will be.

Frequently Asked Questions

How long do pickled red onions last?

When stored in the refrigerator in an airtight container, pickled red onions can last for several weeks to a few months. The flavor may become more pronounced over time.

Can I adjust the level of sweetness or saltiness in the pickling liquid?

Absolutely! Feel free to adjust the amount of sugar and salt to suit your taste. Add more or less according to your preference.

Do I have to refrigerate pickled red onions immediately after making them?

It’s best to refrigerate them promptly to preserve their freshness. However, if left at room temperature for a short period, they should still be safe to consume.

Can I use the pickling liquid again for another batch of onions?

Yes, you can reuse the pickling liquid for a second batch of onions. Just make sure the liquid is still flavorful, and you may need to adjust the seasoning slightly.

raw ingredients for pickled red onions on a wooden board

Expert Tips

  • Thinly sliced onions will pickle faster and absorb more flavor.
  • To extend shelf life, use sterilized jars for storing your pickled onions.
  • Adjust the sugar and vinegar ratio to suit your taste preference. More sugar for sweetness, more vinegar for tartness.
  • The onions should be fully submerged in the pickling liquid for even pickling. You can add a bit of water if there’s not enough liquid to cover the onions.

Can I use this pickling method for other vegetables besides onions?

You can use this pickling method for various vegetables like cucumbers, carrots, radishes, and bell peppers. Adjust the marinating time to suit the vegetable you’re pickling.

How can I make the pickled onions less pungent?

To make pickled onions milder, you can soak the sliced onions in cold water for about 10-15 minutes before pickling. Drain and proceed with the pickling process.

Serving Ideas for Pickled Onions

Pickled red onions are versatile and can be used as a condiment for tacos, burgers, sandwiches, salads, toast, and more. They also make a colorful garnish for appetizers and main courses.

While pickled red onions are typically served cold or at room temperature, you can also incorporate them into warm dishes if desired. They add a delightful tangy contrast to many dishes.

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small dish with a lid filled with pickled red onions
5 from 2 votes

Pickles Red Onions

Pickled onions are a delightful and zesty condiment that can elevate any dish with their tangy, sweet, and sour flavors.
Prep: 2 hours 15 minutes
Total: 2 hours 15 minutes
Servings: 8

Ingredients 

  • 2 medium red onions
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon sugar

Instructions 

  • Peel and thinly slice the red onions into half-moon shapes.
  • In a non-reactive bowl or measuring cup, combine the red wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. Stir until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved.
  • Place the sliced red onions in an airtight container. A glass jar or plastic container with a tight-fitting lid works well.
  • Pour the prepared pickling liquid over the red onions in the container, ensuring that the onions are fully submerged.
  • Seal the container with its lid or cover it tightly with plastic wrap. Place the container in the refrigerator.
  • Allow the onions to marinate in the refrigerator for about 1-2 hours or longer for a stronger flavor. The longer they marinate, the more pronounced the pickled flavor will be.
  • Your pickled red onions are now ready to use as a delicious condiment or topping for various dishes.

Notes

  • Thinly slicing the onions into half-moons ensures they pickle evenly and absorb the vinegar mixture well.
  • It’s important to use a non-reactive bowl (like glass or ceramic) for mixing the pickling liquid to prevent any chemical reaction with the vinegar.
  • The combination of red wine vinegar, salt, and sugar creates a balanced pickling liquid. Adjust the quantities slightly according to your taste preference.
  • Ensure that the salt and sugar are completely dissolved in the vinegar for a consistent flavor throughout the pickling liquid.
  • The onions should be fully submerged in the pickling liquid for even pickling. You can add a bit of water if there’s not enough liquid to cover the onions.
  • Pickled red onions are versatile and can be used to enhance many dishes. They can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/8 Pickled Red Onions, Calories: 8kcal, Carbohydrates: 1g, Protein: 0.01g, Fat: 0.001g, Sodium: 293mg, Potassium: 12mg, Sugar: 0.5g, Vitamin C: 0.1mg, Calcium: 2mg, Iron: 0.1mg
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