Pickled red onions are surprisingly easy to make and provide a delicious and tangy condiment for salads, burgers, tacos, sandwiches, and more. With just a few simple ingredients you can quickly make your own pickled red onions at home - it's an easy way to add some extra flavor and texture to all of your favorite meals. It's a "Whole Lotta Yum!"
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Quick Pickled Onions
This easy pickled red onions recipe is an easy and flavorful way to add a pop of color and zing to any dish. The simple preparation only takes minutes and the bright, sharp flavor can be used in almost any savory application. The crisp texture of pickled onions has a pleasant crunch, while the complex flavor combines tangy tartness with subtle sweetness for a truly unique experience.
I've literally been obsessed with homemade pickled onions, they're way better than raw onions in my opinion plus are super versatile!
Our quick pickled onions recipe is the perfect meal-prep ingredient! Not only do they give any dish an instant flavor boost, but they can also be made ahead of time and stored in the refrigerator. Use them to top salads or tacos throughout the week, or add a few slices to sandwiches when you need a quick lunch. They can also be added to Buddha bowls or grain bowls for an extra kick of flavor.
Serve a generous helping of these beautifully tender pickled onions on top of our Mediterranean bowl recipe, in a BBQ chicken bowl, or turkey taco bowl, or as part of this delicious bagel charcuterie board.
Why You'll Love This!
- Great for meal prep - Perfect flavor addition to your weekly meal prep rotation.
- Healthy - Adds a boost of flavor and nutrients like folate and vitamin B9.
- Quick and easy! - As easy as slicing and filling the jars. You can easily make a double batch of easy pickled onions.
- Super yummy! - You're here because you like pickled recipes, and red onions are truly a delicious sweet and sour bite you'll want to make again and again.
🥘 Easy Pickled Onion Recipe Ingredients
Pickled red onions in the microwave are a quick and easy way to add a pop of flavor to any dish. All you need is a few simple ingredients like red onion, vinegar, sugar, and water.
- Red Onions -Make sure your red onion is clean and without blemishes or bruises. It's best to use 1 large red onion or 2 smaller onions. Aside from red onions, you can use white onions, sweet onions, or small pearl onions.
- Plain White Vinegar - Apple cider vinegar, rice vinegar, or red wine vinegar will also make delicious pickled onions.
- Water - Water gets added to the vinegar, this will help to tone down the vinegar flavor.
- Sweetener- Granulated sugar is the most common sugar used in pickling. For a sugar alternative, you can use monk fruit, agave, or honey.
- Salt and Pepper - Helps to bring out the natural flavors of the other ingredients.
** Please see the recipe card at the bottom of the post for the exact quantities **
- Spice! - Kick it up a notch with sliced jalapeno or habanero peppers. For just a little spice add red pepper flakes or black peppercorns.
- Garlic! - Add a garlicky punch with a few thinly sliced garlic cloves.
- Fresh Herbs! - A few sprigs of rosemary, thyme, or a bay leaf or two.
- Pickling Spices - Add any combination of pickling spices like kosher salt, fennel seeds, coriander seeds, cumin seeds, or mustard seeds.
- Mason jar
- Microwave safe bowl
- Mandolin or sharp knife
🔪 How To Make Quick Pickled Red Onions
Making quick pickled red onions is simple and easy. Start by thinly slicing the red onion. Pour the vinegar mixture over the sliced onions and let sit or enjoy right away!
Using a sharp chef's knife or a mandolin, thinly slice your red onions into half moons.
Add the white vinegar and water to a small microwave-safe bowl. Bring the mixture to a boil in the microwave for about 2-3 minutes. Or you can simmer the ingredients in a small saucepan on the stove.
Carefully remove the bowl from the microwave and add the sweetener, stir until the sugar has completely dissolved.
Place your thinly sliced onions into a mason jar or another glass container. Pour the pickling liquid over the onions.
Loosely cover the jar and let it stand on the counter to cool. It's best to let them sit for at least an hour, but they can be eaten right away if you need them immediately. Enjoy!
🥗 Dietary Substitutions
As written this pickled red onion recipe is dairy free, keto, and gluten free.
- Keto: Swap a keto friendly sugar substitute such as monk fruit or stevia (stevia is much stronger, so it's not a 1:1 swap).
- Gluten free: While this recipe is gluten-free, avoid making it with malt vinegar as it will then contain gluten.
- Whole30: To make this recipe whole30 compliant use pure apple juice or freshly squeezed lemon juice in place of the sugar.
💡 Pickled Onion Recipe Tips
- The pickled onions actually taste better if made in advance. The onions will gain a better pickle and have more flavor.
- They can be added to salads, tacos, sandwiches etc and are SO delicious.
- This is an easy recipe to double since they last up to 3 weeks in the fridge.
- Optional additions are salt, pepper, garlic cloves, cucumbers, or jalapenos. Youʼll need to increase the liquid and seasoning if youʼre adding veggies to the pickled red onion.
- If the boiled liquid doesn't completely cover your onions, just boil a little bit more. If you're using large or jumbo onions, you might need to 1.5 the liquid.
🥡 Storing and Reheating
- Storing: Homemade pickled onions will last up to three weeks in the fridge.
- Freezing: It isn't recommended to freeze a jar of pickled onions, you can however freeze sliced red onions before you plan on pickling if necessary.
Serve pickled red onions alongside any meal prep bowl or on top of a slice of avocado toast. Top fresh fish tacos, or a juicy burger. Use pickled onions in combination with salad dressings to complement your favorite salad.
Boiling the pickling liquid before pickling helps to dissolve the sugar to create the brine. This will help speed up the process of pickling after being poured over the jarred onions.
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