Quick and easy pickled red onions! 10-minutes and 4-ingredients is all you need to make a batch of flavorful pickled red onions.
Keep a jar on-hand, along with our pickled peppers recipe, pickled banana peppers, pickled peaches, Pickled Asparagus and pickled cucumbers, to add punch and flavor to your favorite Mexican recipes, taco recipes, pasta salad recipes (including Ensalada de Coditos), eggs and more.
Making pickled vegetables, such as Pickled Green Tomatoes, can be intimidating if you’ve never made them before. From the type of vegetables to the type of vinegar, it can lead to a ton of questions before you even begin. This pickled red onions recipe is a great one to dip your toes in as it’s short, simple and provides step by step instructions to teach you how to make pickled red onions. Not to mention you’re left with the best pickled onions to grub on.
How To Pickle Red Onions
Only 10 minutes stands between you and a jar of quick pickled red onions. Of course this doesn’t include the recommended hour or marinating time, but that’s not a hard and fast rule. Here’s how to make pickled onions:
Step 1. Slice the onions as thin and evenly as possible. I recommend using a Mandoline for best results.
Step 2. Stuff as many sliced onions as possible into a large jar. We use these glass mason jars (16 oz).
Step 3. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and water to a bowl and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Step 4. Pour the vinegar mixture over the onions and marinate for an hour before digging. Sure – that’s not a requirement but it does maximize the flavor.
What is the Best Vinegar For Pickling?
There are quite a few different vinegars that will work when picking vegetables, such as Mexican Pickled Carrots – each has pros and cons. Here are the top varieties:
Distilled White Vinegar
Most commonly used vinegar for pickling vegetables. It’s my preferred go-to vinegar for most vegetables, other than red onions.
Malt vinegar has a very bold flavor and adds a brown tint. It’s best to utilize on produce with a strong flavor that can hold up to it. It’s not my favorite, but it works.
Cider vinegar is a great option. It has a distinct flavor, lends a sweetness to the final product and is probably an ingredient you probably already have. Just make sure to check the acidity level. It MUST be over 5%. An acidity level under 5% won’t properly preserve the product.
Another great option for picking as it has a delicate flavor and lends just a slight color. As with cider vinegar, you must ensure the acidity level is over 5% to use. We also use this to make Pickled Mustard Seeds.
Which Onions To Grow For Pickling?
Looking into growing a garden full of onions for pickling? We did some research and the best varieties of onions for picking are: Barletta Silverskin, Small Paris Silverskin, Giant Zittau, Improved Queen, White Queen, Purplette and Covent Garden Pearl.
How Long Do Pickled Onions Last?
When property stored, in an airtight container, pickled onions last up to three weeks in the refrigerator.
What Do You Do With Pickled Onions?
I put picked onions on EVERYTHING. We’re born and raised in Southern California, so load them up on all our Mexican recipes. Think Pollo Asado Tacos using Grilled Pollo Asado, Birria, Carne Asada Tacos, Carne Asada Nachos, Carne Asada Fries, Steak Picado, Refried Bean Dip using Instant Pot Refried Beans, Steak Tacos, Breakfast Skillets, Slow Cooker Carnitas and more. You could even toss them in salads (like Ensalada de Papa) and sandwiches (Prime Rib Sandwich).
- 1 Large Red Onion (*Note 1)
- ½ Cup Apple Cider Vinegar (*Note 2)
- 1 Tbsp Granulated Sugar
- 1 ½ tsp Salt
- 1 Cup Hot Water (*Note 3)
- Slice the onion as thin and evenly as possible. I recommend a mandoline to ensure consistency.
- Add as many red onion slices into a jar as possible. I recommend a sealable glass mason jar (16 oz).
- Add the vinegar, sugar, salt and warm water to a medium size bowl and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Pour the vinegar mixture over the sliced onions, ensuring the liquid completely covers the onions. Marinate for at least an hour before enjoying to maximize flavor.
- Store in an airtight container for up to three weeks.