These Quick Pickled Red Onions Taste Great On Everything

Pickled Onions - jars of pickled onions surrounded by red onions

Homemade Pickled Onions Made Easy

I’ve recently become a bit obsessed with quick pickled red onions! If I see a dish on a menu that includes pickled onions, I almost always end up ordering it. Pickled red onions have a bright, tangy flavor that makes everything taste better, so I decided to try my hand at making them at home.

A few months ago, I saw an episode of Kelsey’s Essentials on The Cooking Channel where she talked about “quick pickling”, which I had never heard of before that point. I guess I’d always assumed that pickling was a complicated, labor-intensive process, but quick pickling turned out to be quick and easy!

I happened to have a copy of Kelsey Nixon’s book, Kitchen Confidence, sitting in my office and discovered it had a section on quick pickling. The basic recipe and technique can be used to pickle anything your heart desires, but it’s great for red onions!

Pickled Onions - bowl of red onion slices, bowl of salt, bowl of sugar, pitcher of vinegar, measuring cup

How To Make Quick Pickled Red Onions

Adapted from Kitchen Confidence by Kelsey Nixon

Ingredients :

  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 Tbsp kosher salt
Pickled Onions - pouring apple cider vinegar into a pan


Combine the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil.

Three jars of quick pickled red onions on a marble counter.

Put the onions in jars of your choice — I used 3 pint-sized mason jars. Pour the boiling liquid over the onions.

Pickled Onions - three mason jars full of sliced onions in pickling liquid

Put lids on the jars and let the onions sit for at least 20 minutes.

Pickled Onions - small jar full of red onion slices

At that point they are ready to eat but will probably still be a bit crispy. If you like a softer onion, let them sit longer before eating. The onions should keep in the fridge for about a week. Try putting them on salads, sandwiches, tacos etc. to add an extra punch of flavor!

Pickled Onions - mason jar full of pickled onion with a round

Add a cute label to any of the jars and you’ve got a simple gift for foodie friends! I can’t wait to try pickling other veggies too.

You might also like:

What is your favorite pickled vegetable?

Quick Pickled Onions

Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe

Jill Nystul
Pickled red onions make just about everything taste more delicious, and making them at home and is super simple!
4.67 from 3 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Resting Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 3 pints
Calories 176 kcal


  • Jars


  • 1 red onion thinly sliced
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt


  • Combine the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar and salt in a medium pot. Bring to a boil.
  • Put the sliced onion in jars of your choice.
  • Pour the boiling liquid over the onions, then put the lids on and let them sit for at least 20 minutes.
  • If you like a softer onion, let them sit longer before eating.


Calories: 176kcalCarbohydrates: 38gProtein: 0.4gFat: 0.1gSaturated Fat: 0.02gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.003gSodium: 4667mgPotassium: 171mgFiber: 1gSugar: 35gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 3mgCalcium: 26mgIron: 0.5mg

Read This Next

Jill Nystul Photo

Jill Nystul (aka Jillee)

Jill Nystul is an accomplished writer and author who founded the blog One Good Thing by Jillee in 2011. With over 30 years of experience in homemaking, she has become a trusted resource for contemporary homemakers by offering practical solutions to everyday household challenges.I share creative homemaking and lifestyle solutions that make your life easier and more enjoyable!

About Jillee

Jill Nystul

Jill’s 30 years of homemaking experience, make her the trusted source for practical household solutions.

About Jillee


Food & Recipes

  • I tried this today and they were amazing with our barbecued burgers – I’m planning to have the leftovers with lunch tomorrow-Thank You!

  • […] Other Fermented Food: Pickled foods that are fermented (as opposed to being brined in vinegar, like this), make a great addition to your diet, but it can be hard to eat enough of these foods often enough […]

  • My grandmother is from Bulgaria, and she made us such onions when I was little girl! I think it’s the same recipe will definitely try it! thanks so much!

  • This recipe works really well with shredded carrots too – excellent on sandwiches.
    Or, if you add about 2 tblsps of pickling spices* to the mix, also makes delicious quick pickled green beans that are great for snacking.

    * Allspice, Bay Leaves, Cinnamon, Cloves, Coriander, Chiles, Dill Seed, Mustard Seed

  • Hi, can’t wait to make these, they look delicious. Just a quick question though… Do you leave them in the pickling liquid to store? or have you drained them & placed into clean jars to store? Thanks, Tina.

  • I love pickles, but nowadays that fermenting is so recommended, would this procedure be good for letting it fermenting outside the refrigerator? And have the same health benefits?

  • I have made pickles for quite a while, both processed and refrigerator pickles. These look great, but would like something that will last more than a few weeks. Has anybody tried processing these? Just curious.

  • Sorry, Jillee….I love you and what you do but I am being word patrol!! Bowling liquid might be icky! Don’t you hate it when one word gets substituted for another….!? I did not even notice this until I was writing it on an index card to keep! ;)

  • Jillee, just wanna say I love your website. As to pickling I’ve been doing a cold pickle for my recipe for cucumbers and onions with sour cream for years. I salt the cukes first to desiccate them, rinse then pour over a cold solution of cider vinegar, salt, sugar and pickling spices. Let it sit 20 min, drain and toss with the sour cream. Yummy.. ?. You should try it!

  • Mum here in UK always sliced onions and sometimes cucumber in a dish cover with vinegar touch salt ,, tiny pinch of sugar if wanted leave for two hours or so ready to eat

  • >