Easy Pickled Red Onions

By Rachel Tiemeyer
June 21, 2021

These Easy Pickled Red Onions are one of my favorite new homemade condiments and only take minutes to put together.

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The older I’ve gotten, the more I crave complexity in the dishes I make–more color, texture, and flavors coming through. I’ve found that the secret to achieving that goal is often in the toppings!

For instance, as we were testing our Carnitas recipe for one of our 1 Hour Freezer Prep Sessions, I knew they needed more. More crunch, more wow factor, more party-in-my-mouth. These pickled red onions, along with our Cilantro Lime Aioli, did the trick!

To quick pickle red onions, all you do is very thinly slice them vertically. A sharp knife and steady hand will work, or a mandolin could come in handy here. Then, shove them in a mason jar and add water, vinegar, sugar, and salt. They will need about two hours in the fridge at least before eating.

These Easy Pickled Red Onions only take a few minutes to put together and last for days in the fridge. Thinly sliced red onions go from an eye-watering spicy experience to a slightly sweet, mellow topping. My kids will actually eat these plain!


Easy Pickled Red Onions

  • Author: Thriving Home
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 2 hours
  • Total Time: 2 hours 10 minutes
  • Yield: 12 servings 1x
  • Category: Condiment
  • Method: Pickling
  • Diet: Gluten Free


Pickled red onions take minutes to throw together and add a briny-sweet-spicy crunch that kicks up the flavor and texture in all kinds of dishes, like tacos, salads, wraps, and more.


  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Optional: small pinch of red pepper flakes


  1. On a cutting board, very thinly sliced a red onion vertically. To do this, trim off both ends and discard the outer skin. Cut in half vertically. Lay both halves flat side down and then slice very thinly vertically. (Alternatively, you can use a mandolin to slice the onions.) Pack the onions down into a 16 ounce mason jar.
  2. In a small pot, add the water, both vinegars, sugar, salt, and (optional) red pepper flakes. Bring to a boil and then remove from the heat.
  3. Pour the brine mixture over the onions, screw on the lid, and place in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. These taste best if eaten within about 3 days, but can remain in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.


Serve these on our Carnitas for a delicious dinner!

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