Quick pickled red onions are an easy way to add a pop of flavor to your favorite salad or wrap. I’ll show you a step-by-step guide on how to quickly pickle onions in a few minutes, using only a few ingredients.
If you haven’t tried pickled onions before, you are in for a treat. I discovered my love for pickled red onions when it was on a salad I had from a restaurant. These pickled onions are not only a vibrant red color but they’re also so tasty! The tangy and sweet combination of flavor is simply irresistible.
Ingredients for quick pickled red onions
Red Onions: Of course you’ll need a red onion for this recipe but you could also try pickling with yellow onions too! I love the color of red onions and the flavor is a little less onion-y and a bit more sweet and jazzy in my opinion.
Water: The water and vinegar make the base of the pickling liquid for this recipe.
Apple Cider Vinegar: We use apple cider vinegar but I’ve also seen recipes using rice vinegar and white vinegar. I prefer to use apple cider vinegar because it’s what I have on hand most of the time and it adds a subtle sweetness.
Garlic: I recommend adding three smashed cloves of garlic. This is optional but I really love the added flavor the garlic brings to the pickled onions.
Sea Salt: The salt finishes off the recipe and brings out the flavors.
Sweetener: I use either maple syrup or honey in this recipe as the sweetener. This tames the zingy flavor of the onions a bit and brings out sweetness.
How to pickle red onions
I happily surprised when I discovered that you can quick pickle onions without having to wait days for them to be usable. It’s seriously so easy and quick!
Step 1 - Place the thinly sliced red onions in a mason jar.
Step 2 - Heat the water, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar mixture to a simmer.
Step 3 - Remove from heat and immediately pour over the red onions in the jar.
Step 4 - Cover and let the onions sit (completely submerged) until they come back to room temperature. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator covered for up to 2 weeks.
Tips for quick pickling onions
Quick pickling onions is a pretty straightforward process but here are some tips that might be helpful!
- Get thin slices: An easy way to get uniform thin onion slices is using a Mandoline. I recently got one of these and it’s been a game changer. I think the thin slices of onion makes them more versatile and easy to add to recipes without adding too much onion flavor.
- Cover the onions: Make sure that the onions are fully submerged when you pickle them. This will ensure that all parts of the onion slices are softened and pickled properly.
How to serve pickled onions
These pickled red onions are great on salads, bowls, sandwiches, wraps, burgers, etc! I also love to use them in Buffalo Chickpea Wraps and they give a delicious tangy flavor to many recipes.
How to store
Store pickled onions in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks. Mason jars make great containers for storing them also.
Other Recipes To Try
- Strawberry Spinach Salad with Strawberry Poppy Seed Dressing
- Easy Buffalo Chickpea Wraps
- Best Deviled Egg Potato Salad
- Broccoli Salad with Honey Dijon Dressing
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Quick Pickled Red Onions
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- ¼ cup water
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 3 garlic cloves smashed
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup or honey
- Place the thinly sliced red onions in a mason jar.
- Heat the water, apple cider vinegar, garlic, salt, and maple syrup in a small saucepan. Bring the vinegar mixture to a simmer.
- Remove from heat and immediately pour over the red onions in the jar.
- Cover and let the onions sit (completely submerged) until they come back to room temperature. Serve right away or store in the refrigerator covered for up to 2 weeks.