How to Make Pickled Red Onions

CondimentHow ToOnionPickle

How to make pickled red onions, it's EASY! Thinly sliced red onions pickled in vinegar with spices.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

I keep on making things that when I think about it, would be enhanced with some pickled red onions.

Bean soup, liverwurst, salmon, and especially hot dogs and hamburgers would all be terrific with some pickled onions on the side.

All you really need to make pickled red onions is some sliced red onion, vinegar and sugar! There’s lots of leeway with the spices and herbs used.

For this batch I used cinnamon, cloves, star anise, bay leaf and red pepper flakes. You could easily thrown in some ginger, swap out the chile flakes for some cumin, or allspice for the cloves.

Pickled Red Onions

How to Make Pickled Red Onions

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Makes 1 1/2 pints

Ingredients

  • 1 pound red onions (about 2 med or 1 large), thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar

Spices

  • 1/2 cinnamon stick
  • 5 cloves
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 star anise
  • Dash red pepper flakes

More spices (optional): Fresh ginger slices, allspice berries, oregano, garlic, cumin seeds, mustard seeds

Method

1 Blanch the onions: Blanch red onions in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain in colander.

2 Boil vinegar with sugar and spices: While the water is heating in step 1, in a separate saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer, cover and simmer for 5 minutes.

3 Add blanched, drained onions to the vinegar mixture. Simmer for 1 minute.

4 Transfer to a glass jar. Allow to stand until cooled. Will keep several weeks refrigerated.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. Thank you!

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

Links:

Molly's pickles based on the Zuni Cafe recipe from Orangette

Carnitas Tacos with Pickled Onions and Salsa Verde from Shared Appetite

Quinoa Veggie Burgers with Pickled Red Onions from Love and Olive Oil

 

Pickled Red Onions

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

31 Comments / Reviews

No ImageHow to Make Pickled Red Onions

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Max Schoenholtz

    This sounds delicious! I recently made refrigerator bread-&-butter pickles, and this is now going into my arsenal!

    If I want to use garlic and mustard seeds, how much of each should I try?

    Show Replies (1)
  2. Sandra

    Second time making this recipe. It is so easy and I love it, it adds wonderful flavour to hot dogs, hamburgers, fish, cochinita pibil, grilled flank steak etc. Thank-you for this simple and flavourful recipe!

    xxxxxyyyyy

  3. Terry

    Elise – if the hat remains sealed can I store the pickled onion in a dark cupboard say through the winter ? Thank you for your help with this

    Show Replies (1)
  4. Diane

    So darn easy! And the flavour too. I made these to serve with a wine and cheese due but I’m going to make more next time we have company company — an excellent side dish and the guys loved it! Oh, and it’s pretty too.

    xxxxxyyyyy

  5. Colleen

    Hi Elise,
    I am new to pickling. Do you have to put the jars in boiling water with every recipe? Or are there pickling recipes that don’t call for it?

    Show Replies (1)
View More
Pickled Red OnionsHow to Make Pickled Red Onions