Quick Pickled Red Onions

large mason jar and small glass dish of pickled red onions on wood cutting board

5 from 10 reviews

Want to make your own Pickled Red Onions? All you need is 10 minutes and 4 common ingredients with this easy-to-follow recipe! 


  • 1 medium-to-large red onion
  • ¾ cup apple cider vinegar or distilled white vinegar
  • ¾ cup filtered water
  • 1 tsp kosher, sea, or pink himalayan salt
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns (optional, but recommended)
  • Optional add-ins*: 3-5 cloves of garlic, 1 tsp mustard seeds, 1 chopped jalapeño, or 1-2 tsp fresh herbs


  1. Slice your onion into half or quarter-sized rings. I prefer to slice mine to be about 1/4″ thick, but that depends on personal preference. Use a mandoline if you’d like your slices to be more uniform and/or thinner.
  2. Break up the onion slices and stuff them into a quart-sized glass mason jar.
  3. Prepare the pickling liquid by adding all of the remaining ingredients (see notes for add-ins) to a small pot or pan over high heat. Stir the mixture together to dissolve the salt and sugar. Once the liquid comes to a boil, carefully pour it into the glass mason jar and let it sit on your counter until it cools to room temperature. The onion pieces will gradually soften and shrink with time – if any stick above the liquid in the beginning, press them down with a fork 5-10 minutes later.
  4. Seal your jar, then store in the fridge for up to one month. These pickled onions will be the most crispy within the first week, then will gradually soften with time. Serve as desired.


  • On extra add-ins: I like to add my hard spices (like black peppercorns or mustard seeds) in with the pickling liquid while it’s heating up. Otherwise, add your softer add-ins (like garlic or fresh herbs) into the jar with the raw onion.
  • On sweeter: you can use any sweetener of your choice here. Cane Sugar, Coconut Sugar, Maple Syrup, or Agave are all great options

Keywords: quick pickled onions, red onion recipes, easy pickles recipe, quick pickles