Quick Pickled Red Onions

Quick Pickled Red Onions are a staple in my kitchen. They make their way into sandwiches and pasta, onto salads, and onto antipasto or charcuterie plates, and are used as garnish for their flavour, to be sure, but for their gorgeous hot pink colour as well!

Quick Pickled Red Onions for fast flavour and ZING on sandwiches, salads, antipasto and charcuterie plates, and more!  from foodiewithfamily.com

Simply put, I do not go more than a day without having Quick Pickled Red Onions in my refrigerator. There’s no reason to, really, because they take about five minutes of hands-on time and add flair and zest to everything they touch. There’s almost no savoury sandwich on which I wouldn’t stuff a fistful of  crisp-tender, tangy, magenta Quick Pickled Red Onions. Salad? You bet. Whether we’re talking lettuce, arugula, greens-of-another-sort, or pasta salad, they add the crunch and POP that wakes the whole thing up.  Smear some goat cheese on a cracker and top with a Quick Pickled Red Onion? Heck yes. Toss a couple with some scrambled eggs, cheese, and browned sausage into a warm tortilla and VOILA! Super speed breakfast burrito! A little bit of the pickle juice whisked into salad dressings adds a certain zip, too.

On hot days, I’ve been known to dip my fingers into the jar and nibble one or two. Somehow I feel like pickles cool me down. Am I alone on that one?

Pro-tip for you! The beauty of Quick Pickled Onion Rings is that you get all the crunch and taste of onion without getting the DRAGON BREATH and heartburn. The pickling process tames the fire of the raw onion without sacrificing the texture. Okay, it’s STILL an onion, and there will be SOME onion breath, but it won’t be like a raw onion and it doesn’t share the tendency to -er- repeat on you.

Quick Pickled Red Onions on Baked Ranch Fish Tacos

Cook’s Notes:

  • Don’t slice the onions whisper thin or you’ll lose some of the desirable crunch when you pickle them.
  • Conversely, don’t make ’em too thick or they’ll be like hot pink worms that slide out of your sandwich when you take a bite. Go for 1/8-inch (or 1/2-cm) slices for optimal results.
  • I’m pretty certain you can sub in other varieties of onions, but I love the BOOM PINK from the red onions.
  • This is a recipe designed for refrigerator storage and not for home canning. I do have a canning-friendly pickled onion ring recipe right here!
  • You can easily double or triple this recipe; I do regularly.


5 from 1 reviews
Quick Pickled Red Onions
  • 1 large red onion
  • ¾ cup red wine vinegar
  • ¾ teaspoon salt
  1. Slice the blossom end off of a red onion, lay the now stable, cut surface on your cutting board. Slice the onion in half and remove the peel. Holding the root end, slice the onion into thin half moons. Put them into a heat-proof bowl. Bring the vinegar and salt to a boil and quickly pour over the onions. Wrap the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and let sit at room temperature for at least an hour, removing the wrap and tossing with tongs every 20 minutes, then re-covering, until the onions are bendable. When they reach that point, load them into a jar, pour the pickling liquid over them and screw a lid tightly in place. Refrigerate until well chilled.
  2. Store tightly covered for up to a month in the refrigerator.


  1. says

    LOVE these. I have a similar recipe from long long time ago on RE. SO delicous on a salad or sandwich. Or, cheese for an appetizer.

    Miss you, R!

  2. says

    We love pickled onions too. Especially on a burger. And my 7 year old will eat any bizarre sandwich combo as long as it has pickled onions on it. Lol. Great idea to add to a tortilla with egg and sausage. Yummy! Love your photo Rebecca :)

  3. Sara says

    I found myself with a glut of red onions last year and some dill leftover from a batch of dilly beans, so I canned up some dilly onions. They were outstanding and I have added them to my yearly canning agenda. These sounds like a great quick alternative since I have run out of them and don’t have dill ready yet to make more.

  4. Sarah Edwards says

    I just made these last night and was already enjoying them at lunch today! They were so easy and DELICIOUS. They will be a staple in our house from now on. Thanks!

  5. Emily says

    I’m so excited to make these for the watermelon arugula salad from Epcot! I wrote down the ingredients when I had the salad at Epcot, and wrote “onions- pink?” This explains how they get to that pretty color! I’m actually working on a batch right now but I’m worried they might not turn out because the bowl may not be “heat proof.” Fingers crossed!

  6. Joanna says

    This is a great one for people who don’t even like raw onions! I’m one of those people. If I accidentally get a couple in a sandwich I can tolerate it, but I definitely won’t eat them by themselves. Just too strong. But my husband made this recipe for pickled red onions and we both loved them! I actually tried one by itself first, expecting to not like it, and was surprised that I did like it and could eat it that way! We put them on pulled pork sandwiches (Rebecca’s recipe for slow-cooker honey mustard pulled pork – also delicious!!) and they were so good on that! Besides adding great color, they add a tangy, juicy crunch to a sandwich which is really nice for both taste and texture! I also tried them on a salad the other day and they were great on that too. Sooo many ways to use them in everyday meals. Plus, they’re good for you, which is an added bonus! I highly recommend trying these!

  7. Kelli says

    I have never made pickled red onions before, but I just made these and….WOW! So easy and so tasty! Thanks for the great recipe! I plan to always keep a jar of these on hand from now on!


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