Pickled Red Onions – 5 Easy Ingredients!

Pickled red onions are a colorful and tangy way to dress up almost any dish!

It’s an easy recipe and these marinated red onions add fresh zing to a salad, a sandwich, or even on top of tacos!

Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a fork in it

Perfectly Pickled Onions

Popular in Mexico and beyond, pickled red onions are often served tucked into tacos, carnitas, and burritos.

They’re so easy to make with just a few ingredients.

ONIONS
Red Onions are thinly sliced for this recipe. Some onions tend to be quite strong and have a lot of bite.

I find the onions taste best if they’re rinsed in hot water first, this helps tame them a little bit without sacrificing flavor.

VINEGAR
Cider vinegar is used in this recipe, but you can experiment with different kinds of vinegar for new flavors- red wine vinegar, or even rice vinegar!

SEASONINGS
Sugar & salt are added to the pickled mixture. Switch it up with black peppercorns or sliced raw garlic to the cooking liquid, or add a sprig or two of rosemary, thyme, or oregano.

Pickled Red Onions in a strainer

How to Pickle Red Onions

Thinly slice the onions and rinse them in hot water for 1-2 minutes.
Bring the remaining ingredients to a boil in a saucepan (per recipe below). Add the onions & boil one minute.
Remove saucepan from heat & cover, letting the onions sit for about 20 minutes in the pickling mixture before cooling completely.

Pickled red onions will last up to a month in the refrigerator, but they’ll be gobbled up long before then!

Pickled Red Onions in a pan

Tips for Success

Slice Thinly In order to get the best results, slice red onions thinly using a sharp knife or a mandoline slicer.
Salt Ensure you use kosher salt or coarse salt, the grains are larger. If you use table salt, reduce the amount or the onions will be too salty.
Short on jars? Put those old marinara sauce jars to good use and store your pickled onions in there!
Use the Liquid When the pickled red onions are gone, add some olive oil to the pickling liquid and whisk or blend for a zippy house-made salad dressing or add to your favorite marinade in place of vinegar!

What to Serve Pickled Onions With?

Salmon Tacos with Pineapple Salsa – fresh & easy
Turkey Burgers – juicy & moist
Carne Asada Recipe – with marinated steak
Classic Hamburger Recipe – easy to make

Did you love these Pickled Red Onions?  Be sure to leave a rating and a comment below! 

Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a fork in it

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions are quick and easy! Serve on tacos or burritos for a fresh, tangy twist!

Course Side DishCuisine American

Prep Time 10 minutesCook Time 25 minutesChill Time 1 dayTotal Time 1 day 35 minutes

Servings 2 cups
Calories 139
Author Holly Nilsson

Ingredients1 medium red onion small, thinly sliced¾ cup water⅔ cup cider vinegar3 tablespoons sugar1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt
InstructionsVery thinly slice the onion. Optional: If your onion is very strong, place in a strainer and rinse under hot water 1 minute, tossing as you rinse.Bring water, cider vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil. Add onion and boil 1 minute.Remove from heat and cover with a lid. Let sit 20 minutes.Place into jars and refrigerate at least 24 hours or up to 1 month.

Notes
Ensure you use kosher salt or coarse salt, the grains are larger. If you use table salt, reduce the amount or the onions will be too salty.
Short on jars? Put those old marinara sauce jars to good use and store your pickled onions in there!
Use the Liquid When the pickled red onions are gone, add some olive oil to the pickling liquid and whisk or blend for a zippy house-made salad dressing or add to your favorite marinade in place of vinegar!
Store pickled onions in a jar in the fridge for up to 1 month. 

NutritionCalories: 139 | Carbohydrates: 29g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 1758mg | Potassium: 248mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 23g | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg
Pickled Red Onions in a jar with writing
close up of Pickled Red Onions with writing
Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a title
Pickled Red Onions in a jar with a title and cut up onions on a cutting board