Pickled Red Onions – 5 Easy Ingredients!

Pickled red onions are a colorful and tangy way to dress up almost any dish!

It’s an easy recipe and these marinated red onions add fresh zing to a salad, a sandwich, or even on top of tacos!

Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a fork in it

Perfectly Pickled Onions

Popular in Mexico and beyond, pickled red onions are often served tucked into tacos, carnitas, and burritos.

They’re so easy to make with just a few ingredients.

ONIONS
Red Onions are thinly sliced for this recipe. Some onions tend to be quite strong and have a lot of bite.

I find the onions taste best if they’re rinsed in hot water first, this helps tame them a little bit without sacrificing flavor.

VINEGAR
Cider vinegar is used in this recipe, but you can experiment with different kinds of vinegar for new flavors- red wine vinegar, or even rice vinegar!

SEASONINGS
Sugar & salt are added to the pickled mixture. Switch it up with black peppercorns or sliced raw garlic to the cooking liquid, or add a sprig or two of rosemary, thyme, or oregano.

Pickled Red Onions in a strainer

How to Pickle Red Onions

  1. Thinly slice the onions and rinse them in hot water for 1-2 minutes.
  2. Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil in a saucepan (per recipe below). Add the onions & boil one minute.
  3. Remove saucepan from heat & cover, letting the onions sit for about 20 minutes in the pickling mixture before cooling completely.

Pickled red onions will last up to a month in the refrigerator, but they’ll be gobbled up long before then!

Pickled Red Onions in a pan

Tips for Success

  • Slice Thinly In order to get the best results, slice red onions thinly using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer.
  • Salt Ensure you use kosher salt or coarse salt, the grains are larger. If you use table salt, reduce the amount or the onions will be too salty.
  • Short on jars? Put those old marinara sauce jars to good use and store your pickled onions in there!
  • Use the Liquid When the pickled red onions are gone, add some olive oil to the pickling liquid and whisk or blend for a zippy house-made salad dressing or add to your favorite marinade in place of vinegar!

What to Serve Pickled Onions With?

Did you love these Pickled Red Onions?  Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a fork in it

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions are quick and easy! Serve on tacos or burritos for a fresh, tangy twist!
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Chill Time 1 day
Total Time 1 day 35 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 139
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients

  • 1 medium red onion small, thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup water
  • cup cider vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

Instructions

  • Very thinly slice the onion.
  • Optional: If your onion is very strong, place in a strainer and rinse under hot water 1 minute, tossing as you rinse.
  • Bring water, cider vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Add onion and boil 1 minute.
  • Remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let sit 20 minutes.
  • Place into jars and refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 1 month.

Notes

  • Ensure you use kosher salt or coarse salt, the grains are larger. If you use table salt, reduce the amount or the onions will be too salty.
  • Short on jars? Put those old marinara sauce jars to good use and store your pickled onions in there!
  • Use the Liquid When the pickled red onions are gone, add some olive oil to the pickling liquid and whisk or blend for a zippy house-made salad dressing or add to your favorite marinade in place of vinegar!
  • Store pickled onions in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

Nutrition

Calories: 139 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1758mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Pickled Red Onions in a jar with writing
close up of Pickled Red Onions with writing
Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a title
Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a title and cut up onions on a cutting board

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