A guide to making quick pickled red onions.
Pickled red onion is a simple staple ingredient that can add life to dishes like tacos, salads, bowls, sandwiches, burgers, and even nachos. Stock your fridge with the easy quick pickle recipe and you will always be ready to level up meals by adding a crisp, tangy, crunch with these pickled onions.
This recipe is a sugar-free pickled onion recipe, but if you prefer a bit of sweetener it can easily be added in. Pickled red onions can store in the fridge for up to 3-4 weeks and be prepared in as fast as 5 minutes. It doesn't take much to keep this pickled condiment on hand.
This recipe was inspired by our fall grain bowl recipe, pickled onions were the final touch on this dynamic grain bowl. Pickled onions are a simple addition to add acidity and tang to meals.
Only 5 ingredients are needed to make this quick pickled onion recipe.
- red onion
- apple cider vinegar
- filtered water
- lemon or lime juice
See the recipe card for quantities.
Using a mandolin or sharp chef's knife, slice the red onion into thin slices. The mandolin is useful for slicing uniform cuts.
Add the apple cider vinegar, water, lemon (or lime) juice, salt, and any additional add-ins into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well incorporated.
Add the onions to the vinegar brine and shake a few times so the onion slices are coated in the brine.
Press the sliced onions down so they are covered in the vinegar brine. If need be add more vinegar and water to cover in a 2:1 ratio.
Let the onions marinate at room temperature for 30-60 minutes before refrigerating.
Keep the pickled onions refrigerated and enjoy them for up to 3-4 weeks.
Substitutions + Additions
Once you have this simple quick pickled onion recipe on your tool belt, it's easy to customize and adjust to your liking or for the meals you plan.
- add sweetness - sweetener is a common component in pickled recipes, for those who do not like the sour tang of vinegar adding a bit of sweetener will make it more palatable, try 1-2 tablespoons of agave, maple syrup, or your sweetener of choice
- peppercorns - for a bit of peppery taste add in whole peppercorns or cracked black pepper
- the cut - in general changing up the cut can really transform recipes, if you prefer more of a crunch go with a thicker-cut onion slice or stick to a thinner cut
- add spice - if you like things a bit spicy you can add your favorite hot peppers, like jalapenos or habanero peppers; or simply add red crushed pepper flakes
- garlic cloves - add in a few garlic cloves either thinly sliced or even crushed
- herbs - add in fresh or dried herbs, like a couple of bay leaves, or twigs of thyme
- the onion - you can really use any onion for this recipe, but red onion adds a beautiful touch of color to recipes
- switch up the citrus - instead of lemon or lime juice you could opt out of this addition or switch it out for orange juice
Quick Pickled Red Onion Recipe
- 1 medium red onion 215 g
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar 225 g
- ½ cup filtered water 100 g
- 2-3 tsp lemon juice or lime 12 g
- 1 tbsp salt 15 g
- 1 tsp peppercorns, optional 3 g
- Using a mandolin or sharp chef's knife, slice the red onion into thin slices. The mandolin is useful for slicing uniform cuts.
- Add the apple cider vinegar, water, lemon/lime juice, salt, and any additional add-ins into a jar with a tight-fitting lid and shake until well incorporated.
- Add the onions to the brine and shake a few times so the onion slices are coated in the brine.
- Press the sliced onions down so they are covered in the vinegar brine. If need be add more water to cover.
- Let marinate at room temperature for at least an hour before refrigerating.
- Keep refrigerated and enjoy for up to 3-4 weeks.