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Learn how to make Pickled Red Onions and customize the pickling juice several different ways. Pickled Red Onions add a punch of flavor to any dish!

Three Mason Jars full of Pickled Red Onions

Do I need to use a red onion? Can I use white or yellow?

Red onions are best suited for pickling because they have a more mild flavor. While you can certainly pickle white or yellow onions, they both have much sharper, more potent onion flavors. Yellow onions in particular are rarely consumed raw. Red onions will produce the best results.

What kind of jar or container should I use?

When pickling any kind of vegetable, you should use containers that are suitable for fermentation and pickling. These include stoneware, glass, and food grade plastic containers. Mason jars are the most commonly used containers for pickling for home cooks.

Can I make different flavors of pickled red onions?

Yes you can! You can use a very basic recipe for pickling and then add other items to the container to change the flavor slightly. This recipe, as written, contains both a base recipe as well as gives you several suggestions from which you can mix and match, or come up with your own. Fresh herbs and whole spices are the most common used additions.

Fork pulling out some pickled red onions from a mason jar.

How long can you keep pickled vegetables?

Opened, unsealed jars of pickled vegetables will stay good in the fridge for about 6 months. Be sure to keep your pickled vegetables in the refrigerator.

What do pickled red onions go good with?

Pickled red onions can be used in place of raw red onions in any recipe calling for red onion. They are great in salads, on tacos, on sandwiches, on burgers, and more!

Here are some recipes that are great with pickled red onions:

Watch the video below where Rachel will walk you through every step of this recipe. Sometimes it helps to have a visual, and we’ve always got you covered with our cooking show. You can find the complete collection of recipes on YouTube, Facebook Watch, or our Facebook Page, or right here on our website with their corresponding recipes.

Three Mason Jars full of Pickled Red Onions
Learn how to make Pickled Red Onions and customize the pickling juice several different ways. Pickled Red Onions add a punch of flavor to any dish!
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes

Pickled Red Onions

  • 1 red onion
  • 1 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 tablespoon salt

Optional Flavorings (Pick one or mix and match)

  • 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon allspice berries
  • 2 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 small hot red pepper
  • 3 whole peeled garlic
  • 1 teaspoons whole cumin seeds
  • Peel and slice red onion into thin slices. Place into a pint sized mason jar, or other glass, plastic, or ceramic container with a sealable lid.
  • In a small saucepan stir together vinegar, sugar, and salt. Add in 1 or more additional optional flavorings as desired. Bring to a boil, then remove from heat.
  • Pour mixture over onions in jar until full. Place the lid on and let cool to room temperature.
  • Place the lid on to seal and refrigerate.


Calories: 273kcal | Carbohydrates: 49g | Protein: 3g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 7003mg | Potassium: 487mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 31g | Vitamin A: 580IU | Vitamin C: 80.8mg | Calcium: 135mg | Iron: 3.2mg
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Pickled Red Onions
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Diane Traeger
October 6, 2020 4:34 am

5 stars
love this but can I leave out the sugar?

March 17, 2020 6:54 am

I love it cooking everyday yeah!!!

stacy miller
June 5, 2019 7:24 pm

4 stars
Can you store unopened jars at room temperature until you are ready to use?

June 2, 2019 4:55 pm

These turned out wonderful so much so I had to make a second batch I took so to my mother and she made me make more she absolutely loved thanks for making really simple for timer.

March 3, 2019 11:24 pm

5 stars
This looks Incredibly delicious. I have to make this soon for my family!

Shelly Stone
January 9, 2019 5:52 pm

5 stars
How long will these last in my refrigerator?

Deacon Koitz
January 12, 2019 11:57 am

Thank you for your response. You are awesome! Cant wait to put these on pulled pork sandwiches! Had them at my sister-in-laws over the summer, I haven’t forgot about them since!

November 7, 2018 10:17 am

Is Morton’s kosher salt recommended for 1 TBSP or is table salt suggested?

August 12, 2019 4:59 pm

Kosher salt is best for pickling or canning

August 25, 2020 5:09 pm
Reply to  Oz

What about sea salt. I only have course salt

dipraj sain
October 30, 2018 6:40 am

4 stars
can I do it without refrigerating?

Barbara Allen
September 17, 2018 10:55 am

I have been given a large amount of small red onions.

Could I pickle them whole?


Clair Brown
September 8, 2018 5:13 pm

I would like to make this for Christmas gifts for my co-workers. Do I need to process or will they seal with the hot liquid?

Susan Liggett
September 3, 2018 1:06 pm

If I want to leave out the sugar, what spices would be best?

May 3, 2018 6:45 am

I tried something like this once but my onions became too soft and lost their purple color

April 16, 2018 6:56 pm

5 stars
When is it ok to eat them?

Lori Degenhardt
April 15, 2018 6:19 pm

When i put onions & hot broth in jars and put seal lids on can i boil the jars for 5 mins so the jars seal down as they will be stored in basement Cubboard. Will this make onions to soft.

April 15, 2018 6:16 pm

When i put onions & hot mixture in jars i put sealers on jars and do i put jars in hot boiling water for 5 mins so the seal pops down .will this make onions to soft. I will be storing in basement cubboard with my other canning stuff. Thank you

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