How to Make Pickled Red Onions – the EASY Way!
Wondering how to make pickled red onions? No canning or pressure cookers are needed with this quick pickled red onions recipe! Just a few simple ingredients and you’ll get the most flavorful, crisp pickled red onions for topping salads, sandwiches, wraps and more!
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These Quick Pickled Red Onions are your new favorite ingredient for everything!
I’m ashamed to say that it wasn’t until just a couple years ago that I tried pickled red onions. One of my favorite places to grab a salad – Cava Mediterranean Grill – has pickled onions as an optional side. Whoa, salads are NOT the same without these glorious magenta onions. I soon discovered how to make pickled red onions and home and never turned back!
I pretty much always have a jar of these crisp, flavorful onions not only for topping salads, but adding to a BLT, topping a burger, adding to egg salad, lettuce wraps, turkey club sandwiches and more.
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Here’s the simple steps for how to make pickled red onions
Step 1: Thinly Slice Red Onions and Add to a Mason Jar
Start with a large red onion and slice thinly. I like to start by cutting the onion in half so it’s easier to handle. You don’t necessarily need a mandolin to slice the onions, just a sharp chef’s knife or santuko knife, which is what I used.
Add the thinly sliced onions to a mason jar. I like to use these 16 oz. Wide-Mouth Pint Mason Jars. If you’re slicing a very large red onion, you’ll likely need two of these pint jars.
Step 2: Make the Brine and Pour Over the Onions
You’ll make the pickling brine by adding red wine vinegar, honey, salt, cloves and red pepper flakes to a boil in a small saucepan.
Once the liquid comes to a boil, you’ll turn off the heat and let the brine sit for 5 minutes.
While the liquid is still hot, you will then pour the brine over the top of the onions in the jar. Pour the liquid to near the top of the jar leaving approximately 1/4″ head-space at the top of the jar.
Step 3: Let the Jar Cool to Room Temperature then Refrigerate
The last step of making these quick pickled red onions is letting them cool. This is when the pickling actually happens.
The hot liquid will infuse into the crisp raw onions, and as they cool they will take on the flavors of the red wine vinegar, honey, cloves and red pepper flakes. Because the onions are not cooked before the brine is added they will remain crisp.
Don’t be stingy – pile those delicious pickled red onions to your salads, burgers, sandwiches and wraps!
Adding these tangy, flavorful onions to your salad, wrap, and sandwich is the ultimate way to add another level of flavor and crunch. Think BLT’s, burgers, turkey wraps, lettuce wraps, egg salad, tuna sandwiches, breakfast sandwiches and more!
FAQ’s about making Quick Pickled Red Onions:
How long does it take for onions to pickle?
It only takes about 30 minutes for the pickling to happen. However, I would recommend letting the pickled red onions sit overnight, refrigerated for best results. The onions will take on the flavors of the brine and be the most flavorful the longer they sit in the brining liquid.
How long do pickled red onions last?
Because the vinegar acts as a natural preservative, pickled red onions can keep for up to 2 months refrigerated.
Do I have to boil vinegar for pickling?
Yes. Boiling the vinegar along with the honey, salt, cloves and red pepper flakes allows the honey to properly dissolve and all the flavor to come together.
What do I eat pickled red onions with?
Pickled red onions can be added to just about anything, including salads, sandwiches, burgers, egg salad, tuna salad and more.
A side salad topped with these beautiful magenta pickled red onions goes wonderfully with my Apple Cider Glazed Pork Chops with grilled peaches.
Need some ideas for ways to enjoy this delicious pickled red onions recipe? Check out these recipes that are approved by my family and me:
Balsamic Grilled Chicken Salad
Creamy Broccoli Salad with Apples and Cherries
Make sure you’re topping your salads with a healthy dressing. These are fantastic:
Here’s the recipe for my Quick Pickled Red Onions:
Quick Pickled Red Onions
Wondering how to make pickled red onions? No canning or pressure cookers are needed with this quick pickled red onions recipe! Just a few simple ingredients and you'll get the most flavorful, crisp pickled red onions for topping salads, sandwiches, wraps and more!
- 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
- 1 1/2 c. red wine vinegar
- 2 Tbsp. honey
- 1 tsp. salt
- 3-4 cloves
- 1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
- Thinly slice a large red onion. Place the sliced onion in a 16 oz. pint mason jar and pack well. Set jar aside.
- In a small saucepan, add the vinegar, honey, salt, cloves and red pepper flakes and heat over medium-high heat stirring occasionally. Bring to a boil, and then remove from heat. Let liquid sit for five minutes.
- Pour hot liquid over the onions, filling the jar to nearly full. Leave approximately 1/4" head space at the top of the jar. Top with lid (not outer ring) and let the contents of the jar come to room temperature.
- Refrigerate for at least 3 hours or overnight before enjoying. Onions will keep for up to 2 months refrigerated.
Because the jar is not sealed, make sure the onions are kept refrigerated. Do NOT store un-refrigerated.
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