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Pickled red onions are easy and quick to make. Perfectly tangy, sweet, AND they can be ready in under an hour and keep for two weeks.

These pickled red onions are the perfect condiment for salads, sandwiches and even nachos!

Pickled red onions in a jar with liquid and a fork.

Why We Love This Pickled Red Onions Recipe

  • 5 Minute Prep Time – With only a few simple ingredients, this recipe is super quick to prep!
  • Versatile – The meals that they can be added to are endless, from topping sandwiches to salads to wraps and more.
  • Easy to Make – This pickled onion recipe has just a few steps, and it’s as easy as slicing an onion and boiling some vinegar!

Ingredients For Pickled Red Onions

Super easy ingredients that you may even have on hand already!

  • Red Onion – This recipe works with white onions as well.
  • White Vinegar – This is just distilled white vinegar, but you can jazz it up with flavored vinegars if you wish.
  • Kosher Salt – An important ingredient to contrast the tanginess. If using table salt, cut the amount in half.
  • White Granulated Sugar
Ingredients for pickled red onions.

How To Pickle Red Onions

See the recipe card below for full, detailed instructions

It takes just minutes to prep these easy quick pickled onions and they can be ready to eat in under an hour!

  1. Make the Brine – Add the vinegar, water, salt, and sugar to a small pot and bring to a boil, covered, over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar and salt is dissolved. Set the pickling liquid aside to cool for a few minutes.
  2. Slice Onions – While the vinegar mixture cools, thinly slice the red onions. I like to use a mandoline, but you can use a sharp knife. Place the sliced onions into a 16-ounce heat-proof mason jar (or bowl).
  3. Pour Over Brine – Carefully pour the slightly cooled vinegar brine over the onions and set aside to cool to room temperature.
  4. Store or Serve – After the onions have cooled to room temperature, screw on the jar lid and store in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. Or if you want to use the pickled onions right away, just let them sit for 30-60 minutes before enjoying.
Collage of images for making pickled red onions.


How long do quick pickled onions last?

They will keep for up to two weeks in the fridge. Although with how versatile they are, I doubt they’ll last that long!

Do you have to boil the vinegar for pickling?

Boiling the vinegar brine helps the flavors meld together and lets the sugar and salt dissolve. It only takes a few minutes to do and makes a big difference.

What does pickled red onion taste like?

Pickled onions are slightly soft, but still have a nice crunch to them. They have a vinegary tanginess with a spicy bite that you’d expect from a red onion.

How To Use Pickled Onions

They are great additions to a variety of dishes! Here are some of our favorite meals to add them to:

  • Salads – They’re great in a lettuce based-salad like my Bibb & Blue Salad or even a potato salad.
  • Sandwiches and Burgers- Perfect to add more texture and tang to almost any sandwich or burger like these turkey burgers or Stovetop Burgers.
  • Tacos – We love them in any Mexican dish like tacos, enchiladas or burritos.
  • Bowls – Create a delicious grain bowl with cooked grains, veggies, a protein (or even chickpeas), and the onions.
Salad in a bowl with eggs, avocado, pickled onions, bacon and chicken.


Garlic – Add just a couple of garlic cloves to the jar.

Peppery – Add either a pinch of ground black pepper or a few whole peppercorns to the jar for a peppery bite.

Vinegars – Instead of white vinegar, these are also great with apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.


They can be stored in a sealed mason jar or other type of airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They will not hold up well to freezing.

Pickled red onions in a jar and on a fork.

Thinly Slice – The thinner you slice your onions the quicker they’ll ‘pickle’!

Use a Mandoline – If you have one, using a mandoline (carefully!) lets you thinly and evenly slice the onions in seconds.

Shape – You can slice the onions into thin rounds, or into half moons, cutting the rounds in half.

More Easy Condiments and Sauces To Try


Pickled Red Onions

5 from 2 votes
Pickled red onions are easy and quick to make. Perfectly tangy, sweet, AND they can be ready in under an hour and keep for two weeks.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 1 pint


  • 1 large red onion peeled and very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
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  • Bring vinegar, water, salt and sugar to boil in a small, covered pot over medium-high heat. Stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Set aside to cool slightly while you slice the onions.
  • Thinly slice red onions (using a mandoline if you have one) and place into a 16-ounce heat-proof mason jar or bowl.
  • Carefully pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions. Set aside to cool to room temperature, then screw on the lid and store in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. OR let sit for 30-60 minutes then add to your salads, sandwiches, tacos, etc.


They can be stored in a sealed mason jar or other type of airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. They will not hold up well to freezing.
Keyword pickled red onions


Calories: 136kcalCarbohydrates: 22gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 2341mgPotassium: 166mgFiber: 2gSugar: 17gVitamin A: 2IUVitamin C: 8mgCalcium: 46mgIron: 1mg

Nutritional Disclaimer Kristin Maxwell of “Yellow Bliss Road” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. For accurate calorie counts and other nutritional values, we recommend running the ingredients through your preferred online nutritional calculator. Calories and other nutritional values can vary depending on which brands were used.

Kristin Maxwell

Kristin Maxwell is the creator and main recipe developer, writer, and photographer of Yellow Bliss Road. A self-taught cook and self-appointed foodie, she specializes in easy, flavorful and approachable recipes for any home cook.

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  1. Lisa G says:

    Super easy recipe with great results! I can eat these right out of the jar!!

    1. Kristin says:

      Nice! Thanks for stopping by Lisa.