Quick Pickled Red Onions add great flavor, texture, and crunch to any dish you add them to. Pickled Red Onions are the perfect balance of sweet, sour, and salty flavors, adding a great tangy topping to accompany your favorite recipe.
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This Quick Pickled Red Onions recipe can be made in minutes, using ingredients you will have in your stores at home.
Thinly sliced red onions are combined with a quick pickling liquid combining water, white vinegar, salt, and sugar. My Quick Pickled Red Onions no-cook recipe does not require the liquid to be heated in a pot, so it could not be any easier!
That’s not to say you can’t add other flavors, you can, and I’ve made some suggestions for those later in the post.
I love making my own quick pickles as they really elevate a dish, adding a real hit of flavor.
Here’s what you will need to make quick pickled red onions:
- Vinegar – I use both hot water and white vinegar to make the pickling liquid.
- Sugar – granulated sugar is added to the pickling liquor to get a balance of sweet and sour.
- Kosher Salt – I add salt to balance out the sweet and sour flavors in this pickle.
- Onion – I’ve used red onion as it has a lovely mild onion flavor. Slice the onions thinly on a mandolin.
How to make Quick Pickled Red Onions
Thinly slice your red onions and set aside. Then, add hot water, white vinegar, granulated sugar, and kosher salt into a heat-proof jar and stir to combine until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
Next, add the red onions into the jar until the mixture covers the onions.
Then, let the onions sit in the pickling liquid for at least 30 minutes before serving, but preferably for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
When ready to serve, remove onions with a fork or slotted spoon and use them in your favorite recipes.
These tips will help you make the best quick pickled red onions you’ve ever tried.
- I suggest using a mandolin to get thin sliced red onions. However, take care when using a mandolin to avoid slicing your hand and fingers.
- If you don’t have a mandolin, a sharp kitchen knife will work well too.
- White vinegar can be replaced with white wine, apple cider, or sherry vinegar.
- Swap red onions for white onions or shallots.
- If you like pickles, use the same process to pickle other vegetables. Try thinly sliced cucumber, red chili peppers or jalapenos, carrots, radish, or zucchini.
- Add some spices to the pickling vinegar, like black or pink peppercorns, coriander seeds, red pepper flakes, fennel seeds, or mustard seeds.
Quick Pickled Red onions go with just about any savory dish. I add them to curries like my Jamaican Curry Chicken or Jamaican Curry Shrimp.
They work a real treat with the most savory Mexican dishes. Try them over chilies like my Instant Pot Chili or with Slow Cooker Black Beans. Scatter some over your favorite tacos, like my Air Fryer Fish Tacos or my Air Fryer Chicken Tacos. Great with Air Fryer Steak Fajitas and Sweet Potato & Black Bean Nachos.
I also love them over seasoned fish, like my whole oven-roasted fish.
They’ll add a great zing to your hot dogs, burgers, salads, and sandwiches too.
How to store quick pickled onions
Store the onions in an airtight jar or container, fully submerged in the pickling liquid. Keep the container in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks for optimal freshness and flavor.
Tools You’ll want to Use
This handheld mandolin is a dream when it comes to thinly slicing vegetables. It also doesn’t take much storage space.
Quick pickling is a great process for preserving fruits and vegetables as it can be prepared in minutes and is ready to enjoy in under an hour. This differs from traditional pickling where you have to store the pickles in a dark cool place for at least a month before enjoying them.
You can use pretty much any vinegar for pickling, it all comes down to the flavors you like. I’ve used white vinegar as I like it’s strong, sharp flavor. However you could use red wine, white wine, apple cider or sherry vinegar too.
These pickled onions can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.
Looking for other quick pickle recipes? Try these out:
If you have tried this Quick Pickled Red Onions recipe or any other recipe on my blog, then please rate it and let me know how it turned out in the comments below!
Quick Pickled Red Onions
- 1/2 cup hot water
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
- Add hot water, white vinegar, granulated sugar, and kosher salt into a heat-proof jar and stir to combine until the sugar and salt are dissolved.
- Add the red onions into the jar until the mixture covers the onions.
- Let the onions sit in the pickling liquid for at least 30 minutes before serving, but preferably for a few hours or overnight in the refrigerator.
- When ready to serve, remove onions with a fork or slotted spoon and use them in your favorite recipes.
- I suggest using a mandolin to get thin sliced red onions.
- These pickled onions can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.