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Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions – BEST RECIPE!!

Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions is a recipe you’ll use repeatedly to add flavor to your salads, grain dishes, sandwiches, tacos, and avocado toast.

If you’re looking for more pickled recipes, look at my recipe for Quick Refrigerator Bread & Butter Zucchini Pickles. Another fun recipe to try is Refrigerator Tomato Jam. It’s so good!

Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe in Clear Mason Jar
Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe

Don’t you love a recipe that’s super easy to make and adds amazing flavor to your meals?  I’m not a person that cans things – but refrigerator pickling is my jam.  Why?  Because it’s easy.

There’s something so comforting about making our own food.  Plus, it’s fun to open your refrigerator and find jars of homemade condiments waiting to for use in future dishes.

I found this recipe many moons ago in 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, To-Die-For Hungarian Mushroom Soup, came from one of her cookbooks.

Whenever I talk about my stash of pickled onions in the refrigerator, I always get asked, “How do you make pickled red onions?”

It surprises me that more people don’t make their own because they are 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.

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.

Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe - on cutting board with fresh thyme
Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe

The jars full of these pinkish onions are simply beautiful! Pickled 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 you can use sugar instead.

Red onions are full of antioxidants, may boost digestive health, and have antibacterial properties.  Plus, they make everything taste a little bit more delicious!

Quick pickled red onions make a great gift idea as well.  Put a couple of jars of pickled onions in a basket. Add whole red onions, a jar of local honey, and a print-out of the recipe rolled in a scroll and tied to one of your jars.

Your friends and family will love your thoughtfulness.

Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions 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 charcuterie board.

With this handy recipe in your arsenal, you’ll look like a rock star.

Ingredient Fresh Sliced Red Onions
Ingredient Fresh Sliced Red Onions

Cozy Living Group

Since you found this recipe for quick pickled red onions, I’m guessing you like all things cozy living. I created a Facebook group called Creating a Cozy Life with over 96,000 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 Quick Pickled Red Onions:  

Ingredients for 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 black peppercorns

How to Make Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions

1) Peel the red onions.  Slice onions thinly using a sharp knife or a mandoline. (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 vinegar solution and let them sit for at least 10 minutes until they come to room temperature.

7) Place onions with the pickling liquid in a glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.

8) Chill the pickled red onions in the refrigerator until cold.

Printable Version Best Pickled Red Onions:

Yield: 3 1/2 cups

Homemade Pickled Red Onions

Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe

Crunchy and delicious, Homemade Pickled Red Onions is an easy recipe to make and the perfect addition to sandwiches, salads, grain dishes or your favorite bean recipe.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

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 a medium-sized bowl, and stir well.

6) Add the onions to the marinade mixture and let them sit for at least 10 minutes.

7) Transfer the red onions with the marinade to jars with tight-fitting lids.

8) Chill the pickled red onions in the refrigerator until very cold.

Tips for making the Quick Pickled Red Onions:  

  • In 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.
  • For a healthier vinegar, use apple cider vinegar with the mother.
  • One of the ladies in our Cozy Living Group prefers spicy pickled red onions.  She suggested adding red pepper flakes for a nice kick.
  • You can also add a couple of garlic cloves or a minced jalapeño for a different variation.
  • For pickled red onions with no sugar, you can substitute Stevia for the honey.  For every tablespoon of honey, you can use 6-9 drops of liquid Stevia.
  • Maple syrup or cane sugar can replace the honey in this recipe.
  • White wine vinegar, rice vinegar, white vinegar, sherry vinegar, and red wine vinegar can replace apple cider vinegar this quick pickled onions recipe.
  • Mustard seeds, bay leaf, fresh herbs, cumin seeds, coriander seeds, and star anise are also simple ingredients you can add to your pickles.
  • White onions can replace the red onions.
  • Make thicker onions if you are using them for a burger topping.

How long do Quick Pickled Red Onions last?

According to Mollie Katzen, these Homemade Pickled Red Onions will keep for months in the refrigerator in a glass container with a tightly-lidded jar.

What to do with Quick Pickled Red Onions:

This recipe is a favorite way to add flavor to your meals. They are the perfect addition for healthy eating to your favorite dishes.

Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions on Hot Dogs
Pickled Refrigerator Red Onions on Hot Dogs

Hot Dogs and Sandwiches

Quick pickled red onions work well on sandwiches and hot dogs. Whether you put them on an Italian sub, pork sandwiches, favorite burger, gyro, or grilled cheese sandwich, everyone will love the zing these onions will give your next culinary adventure.

Quesadillas

Put some pickled red onions in your next quesadilla to take it to another level.

Tacos

Fish tacos, beef tacos, and chicken tacos will all taste better with the crisp texture of pickled red onions.

Burritos

Refrigerator red onions all wrapped up in a burrito with your favorite beans, rice, or meat is the perfect combination. They also go well in burrito bowls.

Eggs

Add the pickled onions to scrambled eggs, quiche, or omelet. Pickled thin slices of red onions also taste amazing on breakfast sandwiches.

Potato Salad

Pickled red onions add big flavor to potato salad.

Raw Red Onions in a Bowl
Raw Red Onions

Here’s some fun pickling cookbooks I found on Amazon: 

Pickling Everything: Foolproof Recipes for Sour, Sweet, Spicy, Savory, Crunchy, Tangy Treats 

Fermented Vegetables:  Creative Recipes for Fermenting 64 Vegetables & Herbs in Krauts, Kimchis, Brined Pickles, Chutneys, Relishes and Pickles

Tip on Storing Red Onions

We’ve reached the end of Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions. I hope you enjoyed this wonderful recipe.

Let me know in the comments below how you liked it

Make sure you join our Creating a Cozy Life – Hygge Style facebook group.  You’re not going to believe how amazing it is.  Join here to be part of the virtual cozy cabin.

Pin this easy recipe below on your food Pinterest board.

Thanks for stopping by.  I’m so happy you found us!

More Recipes You’ll Love

Close-up Quick Pickled Red Onions
Refrigerator Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe

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Jackie

Sunday 27th of November 2022

Super easy and very tasty! Love these pickled onions and they were a breeze to make. Using a mandoline to slice the onions helped quite a bit to keep the tears away and got them all sliced in just a couple minutes. The marinade is tasty. There is a perfect balance of sweet and sour. The only challenge I had was needing to pick out the peppercorns depending on how I served these. If they are in a condiment dish of their own - no problem, folks can pick them out. When I added them to a salad though, I needed to pick them out first. Not a big deal, and much better than someone getting a surprise bite of peppercorn!

Kelly

Sunday 27th of November 2022

Hello Jackie! Thank you for letting me know you loved the recipe. I sometimes put the peppercorns in a mesh bag. Kelly

Katie

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

I’ve made theses a few times and can’t keep them long enough. They are so good on crackers with cream cheese too!! Do you keep the peppercorns in the marinade when you transfer the onions to the jars? It doesn’t look like they are in your pictures and sometimes I find it hard to pick them out when putting the onions on stuff like tacos.

Kelly

Wednesday 16th of November 2022

Hello Katie! I actually put the peppercorns in a mesh little bag and then shake the Mason jar often. It makes it easier to take them out. - Kelly

Kym

Thursday 27th of October 2022

I had 3/4 of a red onion left over after dinner, hated to waste it. So glad I found your recipe.

Kelly

Tuesday 1st of November 2022

I'm so glad you tried the recipe Kym! Thanks for letting me know.

7 Amazing Homemade Pickle Recipes You Need To Try - Yellow House On Yale

Tuesday 23rd of August 2022

[…] Pickled Red Onion – Montana Happy […]

Diana

Wednesday 18th of May 2022

I don’t see why you wouldn’t be able to can these. I would look up food fermentation for information on that.

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