clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Quick Pickled Red Onions

Quick Pickled Red Onions

5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star 4.9 from 76 reviews
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 2 cups 1x


This quick pickled red onions recipe is easy to make in just 30 minutes with just 5 ingredients. See notes above for extra seasonings that you are welcome to add in too.


  • 1 large red onion, peeled and very thinly sliced*
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • 12 tablespoons sweetener (such as maple syrup, honey, sugar, etc.)


  1. Heat the vinegar mixture. In a small saucepan, stir together the vinegar, water, salt and your desired amount of sweetener. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture reaches a simmer. (Or alternately, you can heat the mixture in the microwave.)
  2. Combine in a jar. Place the thinly-sliced onions in a mason jar. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions, screw on the lid, and shake the onions briefly until they are evenly coated with the vinegar mixture.
  3. Marinate. Let the onions marinate for 30 minutes. (You may need to press the onions down with a spoon so that they are all submerged under the vinegar mixture.)
  4. Serve. Serve immediately, or refrigerate the onions in a sealed container for up to 2 weeks.


Slicing the onions: If you happen to own a mandoline, it is a great way to slice the onions very thinly. Otherwise, you can just use a chef’s knife. The thinner that you slice the onions, the faster they will pickle.

Microwave option: Alternately, you can heat the vinegar mixture in the microwave until it reaches a simmer and then add it to the onions, as directed.

Recipe edit: Per reader feedback, an extra 1/4 cup of water was added to this recipe in 2021, as well as an option for par-blanching the onions to mellow out their flavor if desired. Thank you for your reviews and suggestions that help make our recipes better!