Quick Pickled Red Onions is a recipe you’ll use again and again to add flavor to your salads, grain dishes, sandwiches, tacos and avocado toast.
“Most of us have fond memories of food from our childhood. Whether it was our mom’s homemade lasagna or a memorable chocolate birthday cake, food has a way of transporting us back to the past.” – Homaro Cantu
My grandmother used to make homemade everything. She had a large garden that fueled her family. I was one of those lucky people that got to have a slice of fresh-from-the-oven pie or homemade pickles.
There’s something so comforting about making our own food. Lately, I’m getting to pickling and I couldn’t wait to try this recipe from Mollie Katzen’s cookbook Vegetable Heaven.
If you don’t know who Mollie Katzen is, she was the owner of a famous vegetarian restaurant called Moosewood. One of my most popular recipes on the blog (To-Die-For Hungarian Mushroom Soup) came from one of her cookbooks.
Whenever I talk about my stash of onions in the refrigerator, I always get asked “How do you make pickled red onions?” It surprises me more people don’t make their own, because its so simple to make and keep on hand.
Once you start making this quick pickled red onion recipe, you’ll be like me and never be without them again. I always buy a large bag of red onions because I know I’ll use them up.
What I love about making Homemade Pickled Red Onions is how the onions go from a deep red color to just a gorgeous purplish-pink color because of adding the hot water.
They are simply beautiful!
The onions stay crunchy and add that special touch to your food. This recipe is made with apple cider vinegar, so your adding a healthy ingredient to this yummy condiment.
I like to make pickled onions with honey instead of sugar, but sugar can be used instead.
Red onions are loaded with antioxidants, may boost digestive health and have antibacterial properties. Plus, they make everything taste a little bit more delicious!
You could also make quick pickled red onions to give away as gifts. You can also type up the recipe on your computer and put How to Pickle Red Onions at the top of the page. Roll the recipe up like a scroll and attach it to your jar of homemade goodness!
Pickled Red Onion Ingredients:
This recipe has just five ingredients besides water. It has red onions, apple cider vinegar, honey, salt and peppercorns.
That’s it. Super simple to make, and you probably already have the ingredients on hand.
I once read a cookbook that featured a line-up of famous chefs. They asked the same question of all of them – “What things do you always have on hand in case you might have a last-minute guest?”
One of the most popular responses was pickled vegetables in the refrigerator. It makes sense, because you can always put together a quick quesadilla, tacos or a charcuterie board.
You’ll look like a rock star with this handy recipe in your arsenal.
Since you like to cook, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 6,000 like-minded souls.
It’s a group where we share recipes, pictures of things that leave you in awe, and ideas on how to make your life just a little bit more snug. Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.
How to Make Pickled Red Onions:
2 medium red onions
4 cups boiling water
For the Marinade:
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
3 tablespoons honey (you can substitute sugar)
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
1) Peel the red onions. Slice the onions thinly (I use a Mandoline – if you don’t have one you don’t know what you’re missing!)
2) Transfer onions to a medium-sized bowl.
3) Pour the boiling water into the bowl over the sliced onions. Let the onions soak in the boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
4) Drain the onions in a colander.
5) Let the onions sit in the colander while you mix the marinade. Combine all the ingredients of the marinade in the medium-sized bowl, and stir well.
6) Add the onions into the marinade mixture and let them sit for at least 10 minutes.
7) Transfer the red onions with the liquid to jars with tight-fitting lids.
8) Soak onions in vinegar mixture. Chill the pickled red onions in the refrigerator until very cold.
- 2 medium red onions
- 4 cups boiling water
- For the Marinade:
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 3 tablespoons honey (you can substitute sugar)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- Peel the onions. Slice the onions thinly (I use a Mandoline - if you don't have one you don't know what you're missing!)
- Transfer onions to a medium-sized bowl.
- Pour the boiling water into the bowl over the sliced onions. Let the onions soak in the boiling water for at least 5 minutes.
- Drain the onions in a colander.
- Let the onions sit in the colander while you mix the marinade. Combine all the ingredients of the marinade in the medium-sized bowl, and stir well.
- Add the onions into the marinade mixture and let them sit for at least 10 minutes.
- Transfer the red onions with the liquid to jars with tight-fitting lids.
- Chill the pickled red onions in the refrigerator until very cold.
Tips for making the Best Pickled Red Onions:
1) On the original recipe there was 1/2 teaspoon of whole cloves that was optional. Since I’m not a big fan of cloves, I omitted them.
2) For a healthier vinegar, use apple cider vinegar with the mother.
3) One of the ladies in our Cozy Living Group prefers spicy pickled red onions. She suggested adding chili pepper flakes for a nice kick.
You can also add a couple cloves of garlic and a minced jalapeno for a different variation.
4) For pickled red onions no sugar, you can substitute Stevia for the honey. For every tablespoon of honey, you can use 6-9 drops drops of liquid Stevia.
How long do Pickled Red Onions last?
According to Mollie Katzen, these Homemade Pickled Red Onions will keep for months in the refrigerator with a tightly-lidded jar.
Here’s some fun pickling cookbooks I found on Amazon:
We’ve reached the end of the pickled red onion recipe. Let me know in the comments below if you tried the recipe and how you liked it.
Thanks for stopping by!