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
- 1–2 tablespoons sweetener (such as maple syrup, honey, sugar, etc.)
- 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.)
- 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.
- 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.)
- 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!