Easy Quick Pickled Red Onions (Made in 10 Mins.)

Quick pickled Red Onions with raw red onion and tongs
Posted On: February 18, 2022
Last updated: September 29th, 2023

Quick Pickled red onions are the condiment you didn’t know you’ve been missing out on! I did not realize how great they were to have at home till I made my first batch just a few months ago. They add a nice little zesty flavor, crunch and esthetic flair to certain foods.  They’re great on tacos, sandwiches, flatbread, gyros, salads or just an elegant addition for appetizers. They look and taste great on just about anything.  I love these gorgeous strips of ruby deliciousness!  After all, we do eat with our eyes as well.  Quick pickled red onions is what you’ve been missing in your refrigerator condiment department.  The best part is you can make this delicious condiment in just a few minutes of prep time!  

Red Onions pickled and held up with tongs

The Beauty of Red Onions-Inside & Out

Not only are pickled red onions gorgeous with their ruby red color, adding beautiful color to your dishes, they have great health benefits! Check out WebMD’s article on the Health benefits of red onions. They have antibacterial qualities, reduce cancer risk, have prebiotics, great for bone health and of course lots of great vitamins. The are considered the healthiest of onion types. As with anything, due to them being pickled with a little salt and sugar, they are healthy in moderation.

Quick Pickled Red Onions with garlic and peppercorns

How to Make Pickled Red Onions

The quick way of pickling red onions is as easy as cut, simmer and cool. Carefully slice up the red onion. I use a mandolin which works great for me for perfectly evenly sliced pieces. My husband gets quite nervous watching me as he’s had a few traumatic accidents with the mandolin. I do it carefully without distractions and slow down when my vegetable gets low and close to the blade.

Pickled onion in jar with tongs and cutting board

After you slice up all the red onion, add the vinegar, water, sugar and salt to the medium sauce pot, get it to a simmer and then add your onions and garlic to the boiling water. Lastly, simmer the pickling solution for just 2 minutes and then you’re done!

Quick Pickled Red Onion Step by Step Collage

Quick Pickled Red Onion Ingredients

These are all simple ingredients you probably already have on hand at home.

Red Onions– Cut into thin slices, about ⅛” thick. I love my mandolin to make even slices.

Apple Cider Vinegar– I always have apple cider vinegar in the house, it’s my favorite go to vinegar. I always buy the type with “The Mother.” Costco sells it for the last couple years in a 3 pack for about the same price of 1 bottle in the grocery store. In a pinch you could use a combination of vinegar that you have on hand; white vinegar or red wine vinegar.

Water – I use plain ordinary tap water, but use what you prefer.

Sugar – Organic cane sugar is my sugar of choice.

Sea Salt – I use fine ground sea salt.

Garlic Cloves- Peeled, whole or cut just in half. I use 2 if they’re small or 1 large clove.

Whole Black Peppercorns– (Optional). I sometimes make the pickled red onions with peppercorns added, but not always because I don’t like picking them out. I do like the taste, but I think they’re just as good without. It adds aesthetic appeal more than anything.

Canning Jar– For this recipe I use a Wide Mouth Pint 16 oz. jar with a Leakproof lid. It might look like your onions will not fit into this size jar, but once they are fully cooked, they soften up enough to fit in this size jar.

Pickled Red Onion Ingredients & Tool

Optional Extra Flavor Additions:

  • Red Pepper Flakes– If you want to add a little heat, it’s a perfect addition. 
  • Raw Jalapeno slices– Same thing, for a little heat for you spicy food lovers. 
  • Mustard Seeds– I love mustard seeds, but in with red onion it’s sometimes not the flavor profile I’m looking for and they little seeds annoy some people. 

Equipment for Quick Pickling Onions

  • Mason Glass Jars– For this recipe I use a Wide Mouth Pint jar (16 oz.) with a Leakproof lid. It might look like your onions will not fit into this size jar, but once they are fully cooked, they soften up enough to fit in this size jar.
  • Mandolin– This is Optional, but I think it’s quite handy for even slicing. 

How to Use Pickled Red Onion

There are many delicious ways to enjoy these little ruby red delights!  They are amazing on tacos, hot dogs, burrito bowls, pizza, breakfast sandwiches, deviled eggs, potato salad, avocado toast and more! It’s a great way to add a little zest to food without the harsh bite of fully raw onions.  You can even add a little bowl of them to a charcuterie board.  

Here are some of our recipes you can try them on.

I hope you try making these Quick Pickled Red Onions, and if you do, please comment below! We’d love to hear how you like them!

Pickled Red Onions on Instant Pot Flank Steak Tacos
Instant Pot Flank Steak Tacos
Pickled Red Onion in Jar with raw red onions

Easy Quick Pickled Red Onions (Made in 10 mins.)

These quick-pickled red onions are the delicious and gorgeous condiment you've been missing in your refrigerator! They add an awesome tangy flavor to tacos, pizza, flatbreads, appetizers and more! Make these pickled onions with this quick method and keep enjoying them for up to a month.
5 from 3 votes
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 9 minutes
Course Condiment
Cuisine American
Servings 24 tablespoons
Calories 15 kcal


  • 3 Cups Red Onion peeled & sliced into half round strips, about 1/8." On my mandoline it's setting #2 (About 2 large red onions)
  • 1 cup Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 Tbsp cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp fine sea salt
  • 1 clove garlic peeled
  • 1 tsp whole peppercorns optional


  • Add vinegar, water, sugar and salt to a medium saucepan on medium-high heat. Heat until it begins to simmer and the sugar and salt dissolve.
  • Once simmering, add sliced onions and garlic to pot, pushing down onions with a spoon or whisk into the pickling liquid.
  • Simmer 1-2 minutes (1 minute if you would like it crunchier, 2 if you prefer if more tender), then turn off burner and let cool slightly.
  • When cool enough to handle, use tongs to transfer red onions to a glass canning jar.  
  • Carefully pour liquid into jar with onions, just to about 1 inch from top of jar.
  • Let cool about 30 minutes, place tight fitting leak proof lid and then enjoy immediately or place in refrigerator for use within the next 4 weeks.


This recipe makes a 1 pint jar of pickled red onion.  You will have liquid leftover.  You can save it if you like to use as a marinade! Great to marinade chicken or pork. 

Nutrition Disclaimer:

The nutritional information provided is only an estimate based on a third party nutritional plugin. Different online calculators may give different results depending on their own sources. The estimates may also change based on the ingredients you use. If you have dietary restrictions and need to accurately calculate the nutrition of this recipe, Whole Made Living recommends consulting a professional nutritionist.


Serving: 1TbspCalories: 15kcalCarbohydrates: 3gProtein: 0.2gFat: 0.03gSaturated Fat: 0.01gPolyunsaturated Fat: 0.01gMonounsaturated Fat: 0.004gSodium: 292mgPotassium: 39mgFiber: 0.4gSugar: 2gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 2mgCalcium: 7mgIron: 0.1mg
Keyword condiment, onions, pickling
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