These Quick Pickled Red Onions are so quick and easy to make and they are so versatile. Add them to sandwiches, burgers, salads or tacos for an easy way to add lots of colour and flavour. They are a tangy addition to any dish!
Pickled red onions are a delicious and versatile condiment that can add a pop of flavour and colour to any dish. I first had them on tacos and was instantly hooked by their tangy and slightly sweet taste. We now love these red pickled onions in a variety of dishes, from salads to sandwiches to grilled meats.
These pickled onions are so easy to make at home. All you need is some red onions, water, vinegar, sugar, and salt, and you can have a jar of pickled onions that only take 15 minutes to marinate in the fridge.
They keep well in the fridge, so you can always have them on hand to add to your favourite dishes.
Ingredients and substitutions
- Red onion - You can pickle any onions using this recipe, but red gives the best flavour. We like using shallots too.
- Vinegar - We used white vinegar, which will ensure the brightest clearest colour, as well as the longest shelf life in the fridge. White vinegar is more concentrated than apple cider or red wine vinegar, but they will work.
- Water - This is mixed with the the vinegar.
- Sugar - We used white cane sugar, which gives the clearest colour. You could use honey or maple syrup, but this would change the colour.
- Salt - Generously season.
A full ingredients list with measurements is in the recipe card below.
How to make pickled red onions - Step by step
One: Place the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a small saucepan on the hob and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30-60 seconds, stirring. Turn off the heat and let this cool completely.
Two: Put the onions in a jar and pour over the liquid. Put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
What are pickled red onions?
Pickled red onions are a popular condiment that can add a tangy, sweet, and slightly sour flavour to any dish, like sandwiches and tacos. They are made by soaking thinly sliced red onions in vinegar, water, sugar, and salt.
You can add other spices and flavourings like garlic, bay leaves, and peppercorns. You then leave them in the fridge for just 15 minutes to soften, although you can leave them for longer.
Pickling is a process of preserving food by immersing it in a solution of vinegar or another acidic liquid. The acid in the vinegar helps to break down the cell walls of the onions, which allows them to absorb the flavours of the other ingredients in the pickling solution. This process also helps to preserve the onions, so they can be stored for longer periods of time.
Pickled red onions are versatile and can be used in a variety of dishes. They are a popular topping for tacos, sandwiches, and burgers, and can also be added to salads, soups, and stews. Their bright colour and tangy taste can add a pop of colour and flavour to any dish. Here are some of our favourite recipes to add them to:
- Air Fryer Burgers
- Fish Tacos
- Loaded Tuna Sandwich
- Baked Chicken Burgers
- Indian Burger
- Crispy Prawn Tacos
- The BEST Fish Finger Sandwiches
- Steak Salad
We love them on our Vegetarian Charcuterie Board too.
Store: The best thing about these is that they store well. If they are kept in an air tight jar, then they will keep for up to 3 weeks, but we usually use them up before that.
Frequently Asked Questions
Yes, they are high antioxidant and have natural anti-inflammatory properties, and support healthy bones. They’re also high in Vitamin B6, Vitamin C, and Manganese. Because these onions are preserved, they retain their health benefits.
Yes, as long as you have used white vinegar and make sure there is no cross contamination, these are gluten free.
More onion recipes
Quick Pickled Red Onions
- 3 Red onion - finely sliced
- 500 ml Water
- 250 ml Vinegar - white
- 3 tablespoon Sugar
- 1 teaspoon Sea salt
- Place the vinegar, water, salt and sugar in a small saucepan on the hob and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 30-60 seconds, stirring. Turn off the heat and let this cool completely.
- Put the onions in a jar and pour over the liquid. Put in the fridge for at least 15 minutes.
- We haven't added anything extra into ours in terms of flavour, but you could add peppercorns, pickles jalapeños, cumin seeds, fennel seeds garlic cloves or a bay leaf.
- You can either use a really sharp knife, or a mandolin to slice the red onions. Try to get them as thin as possible.
- These can be ready in as little as 15 minutes, but for the best pickled red onions, let them marinate for 24 hours.
The nutritional information provided is approximate and is calculated using online tools. Information can vary depending on various factors, but we have endeavoured to be as accurate as possible.