Quick Pickled Red Onions are easy to make at home in under 30 minutes. Seasonless, they’re incredible with tacos, salads, nachos, burgers and more.
These onions are incredibly easy and quick. In fact, they can be ready after a brief 20 to 30 minutes of cooling. We like to spice ours up a bit and add red pepper flakes. But, as always, if that isn’t your thing, simply eliminate the spice.
This is one condiment you’ll want to keep handy in the refrigerator, season after season!
Quick Pickled Onions
These quick pickled onions are tangy and crisp, and incredibly easy to make.
If you love topping burgers, tacos, nachos, and salads with pickled onions, you’ll be thrilled at how easy they are to make at home.
What to Love About Pickled Onions
- Simple and easy to make at home
- Pickling transforms red onions from crunchy to crisp and tangy… and a tiny bit sweet.
- Adding a dash of red pepper flakes elevates the flavor tremendously.
- They’re ready in 30 minutes!
- Keeps in the refrigerator for 2 to 3 weeks.
- Perfect for meal prep.
Ingredients for Quick Pickled Onions
You will need one medium red onion, very thinly sliced, and a garlic clove, also thinly sliced.
This recipe calls for apple cider vinegar, but you can also use white distilled vinegar if that’s what you have on hand. For sweetening, we’ve used sugar, but honey or maple syrup can also be used.
Fine sea salt is preferred for flavor and red pepper flakes for added heat.
How to Make Quick Pickled Onions
- Thinly slice and pack the onion and garlic into a pint-size mason jar or heatproof container.
- In a small saucepan, combine water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. With medium heat, bring the brining mixture to a simmer, then carefully pour into the mason jar over the onions and garlic.
- Use a spoon to press the onions down into the vinegar. Let the pickled onions cool on the counter, 20 to 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate. The pickled onions will keep for two to three weeks, but we like them best within a few days after making.
Tips for Quick Pickled Onions
Slice the onions thinly
In order for the vinegar to absorb quickly, the onions need to be very thinly sliced. As in 1/8-inch, which is easy with a sharp knife or a mandoline.
Onions sliced thicker will take more time to pickle. You may need to refrigerate overnight to let the vinegar do its job.
While I’ve added sugar to this recipe, you can easily swap it for honey or maple syrup if you want to keep it vegan. Sweetening the onions is an important element to balance the acidity of the vinegar.
Doubling the Recipe
While this recipe will yield a pint-size jar, it’s easily doubled or even tripled for gatherings.
How to Use Pickled Red Onions
Quick Pickled Red onions are perfect with:
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- 1/2 cup water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 1/2 teaspoons fine sea salt
- 1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1 red onion, thinly sliced about 1/8" thick
- 1 clove garlic, sliced
- Thinly slice the onions and garlic and pack a pint size mason jar or heatproof container.
- In a small saucepan, combine the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and red pepper flakes. With medium heat, bring the brining mixture to a simmer, then carefully pour into the mason jar over the onions and garlic.
- Use a spoon to press the onions down into the vinegar. Let the pickled onions cool on the counter, 20 to 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate. The pickled onions will keep for two to three weeks, but we like them best if used within a few days after making.
ONIONS: The onions will continue to soften in the refrigerator. If serving right away, and you desire softer onions, let the onions and garlic boil in the brining liquid about 2 minutes before packing into the mason jar. Then let cool before serving.
MAKE IT VEGAN: Be sure to use maple syrup instead of honey.
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Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 28Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 531mgCarbohydrates: 6gFiber: 0gSugar: 5gProtein: 0g