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Pickled Red Onions

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Pickled red onions are not only gorgeous, but their sweet, tangy flavor perks up just about any dish, from sandwiches to salads to tacos.

bowl and jar of pickled red onions

Photo by Alexandra Grablewski (Chronicle Books, 2018)

I’m always happy to have a jar of these pickled red onions in the fridge. Not only are they gorgeous and easy to make, but also their sweet and tangy flavor perks up just about any dish—from sandwiches to salads to tacos. And if you’re a raw onion-phobe like I am, they’re a great way to add onion flavor to a dish without the sharp bite of raw onion.

What You’ll Need To Make Pickled Red Onions

pickled onion ingredients
  • Red onion: This onion variety is not only pretty but also has a mild, sweet flavor.
  • Salt: Draws out moisture from the onions, softening them and helping to preserve the texture. Also enhances overall flavor.
  • Sugar: Adds sweetness to balance the salt and acidity of the vinegar, creating a tangy-sweet profile.
  • Apple cider vinegar: Acts as the primary pickling agent, infusing the onions with acidity and providing a sharp, fruity flavor.
  • Jump to the printable recipe for precise measurements

Step-by-Step Instructions

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, and salt.

adding vinegar, sugar, and salt to saucepan

Bring to a boil and stir until sugar and salt are dissolved.

bringing vinegar mixture to a boil

Remove pan from the heat and add onion.

adding onions to the pan

Let sit for 10 to 15 minutes.

onions sitting in vinegar mixture

Stir occasionally, until onion slices are softened.

stirring onions

Transfer onions to a medium jar.

transferring onions to a jar

Pour vinegar mixture over onions. Press onions down so they are completely submerged.

pouring vinegar mixture into jar

Let sit for at least 30 minutes before using. Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

covering jar with lid

Ways To Use Pickled Red Onions

bowl and jar of pickled red onions

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Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions are not only gorgeous, but their sweet, tangy flavor perks up just about any dish, from sandwiches to salads to tacos.

Servings: 1 (24-oz jar
Prep Time: 10 Minutes
Cook Time: 15 Minutes
Total Time: 25 Minutes, plus at least 30 minutes to sit

Ingredients

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 large red onion, cut into ⅛-inch slices

Instructions

  1. In a small nonreactive saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat, and add the onion to the pan. Let sit, stirring occasionally, until the onion slices are softened, 10 to 15 minutes. Transfer the onions to a medium jar and pour the vinegar mixture over the top. Press the onions down so that they are completely submerged. Let sit for at least 30 minutes before using. Cover the jar and store in the refrigerator for up to a week.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Comments

  • These are delicious. I always have some on hand. They help so many dishes. Thank you!

    • — Darlene on May 19, 2024
    • Reply
  • Made this earlier today exactly as written. SO STRONG, inedible. Poured off some of the vinegar and added more sugar, Much better

    • — Carol on May 10, 2024
    • Reply
  • Is real sugar required or could you use Stevia or monk fruit?

    • — Lynne on May 2, 2024
    • Reply
    • Hi Lynne, I haven’t worked with any type of sugar substitute so I can’t say for sure, but I think it’s worth trying. Please LMK how they come out if you try it!

      • — Jenn on May 3, 2024
      • Reply

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