Update: Hey guys, I’ve been getting questions about these Pickled Onions so I added a video to the post. You’ll find the video down below, right before the recipe box (or if you’re on a desktop it will be at the top of the post). It’s a super easy technique so give it a whirl if you’re new to it. Enjoy!
You can make a batch of delightful pickled onions faster than you can read this post.
How To Make Pickled Onions
(Note: these instructions are not meant for long-term canning.)
If you’re ever hesitant to slice into a fresh onion just to use a single ring for your sandwich, you can now think of that as Step One to keeping a jar of these beauties in your fridge.
In addition to livening up a wide range of Mexican dishes, these pickled onions also come with the side benefit of thoroughly impressing family and friends when you pull that pink jar out of the fridge. You made those? They are one of those condiments that for some reason people don’t expect to see in homes. Yet.
In a saucepan over medium heat bring 3/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of sugar to a light boil. Kosher, sea, or pickling salt are usually recommended for pickling as table salt typically has additives that can negatively affect the brine.
Meanwhile, chop up the rest of the onion. It only takes about 3/4 of a normal-sized red onion to fill a pint-sized Mason jar full of pure zip.
Slice a quarter of the onion lengthwise and you’ll end up with half moons that work well for sandwiches and tacos, but of course you are a free chopper so feel free to get creative.
Give them a quick toss so the rings separate from each other and stuff ’em in a Mason jar. Since we are using vinegar for the pickling a non-reactive container will work best, i.e. glass jars for the win.
Pour the vinegar solution into the jar and add a single clove of garlic chopped in half and some cracks of black pepper.
You could also use whole peppercorns.
It’s also worth mentioning that I don’t have much of a sweet tooth, so I like these best when they are barely sweetened. For most of the other pickled goods on the site I don’t add any sugar at all (see Pickled Jalapenos).
But taste buds vary so you can definitely add more sugar if you want a sweeter batch. One teaspoon of sugar would probably be a decent starting point for that option.
Let this mixture cool on the counter for a bit, cover, and then store in the fridge overnight.
Tomorrow your mostly white onions will have transformed into some pink delights that will be magnetically attracted to your next lunch. And dinner. And breakfast.
Use liberally on tacos, sandwiches, tostadas, or just about anything that needs a final dash of zip.
You can get creative too; we use our pickled jalapenos on this Chicken and Jalapeno Pizza and you could do something similar with pickled onions.
These will keep in the fridge for at least a few weeks, after which you can joyfully slice into a brand new red onion and make a new batch in a matter of minutes.
Click Play to see how easy it is to make Pickled Onions!!
Here's an easy recipe for a quick batch of delightful pickled onions. You can use these on sandwiches, tacos, tostadas, or anything that needs a final dash of zip to liven it up. (Note: instructions are not meant for long term canning.)
- 1 red onion
- 3/4 cup vinegar
- 3/4 cup water
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 clove garlic
- freshly ground pepper
- pinch of sugar (optional)
In a saucepan over medium heat, combine 3/4 cup vinegar, 3/4 cup water, 1 teaspoon salt, and a pinch of sugar (optional). Bring to a light boil or until all of the salt is dissolved.
Chop up the red onion (you can peel and discard the outer skin). I cut it into quarters and then slice lengthwise.
Give the slices a quick toss and then stuff them in a pint-sized glass jar. Add the vinegar mixture along with 1 garlic clove chopped in half and some freshly ground pepper (or whole peppercorns).
Let cool on counter for a few minutes. Then cover and store in the refrigerator.
The pickled onions will have most of their flavor after a few hours of resting in the brine.
These pickled onions will keep in the fridge for up to a month.
I like these Pickled Onions best when they are barely sweetened, so I only add a pinch of sugar. For a sweeter batch you can add up to 1 teaspoon of sugar.
A non-reactive container is best to house the vinegar brine, with glass being the preferred choice.
It's also best practice to use a non-reactive pan when heating up the vinegar.
Table salt is not recommended as it typically has additives and this can negatively affect the brine. Kosher, sea, or pickling salt are recommended.
I almost always use a simple white vinegar as opposed to flavored vinegars.
You can make and use these same day, but they will be sharper and fully pickled after resting in the fridge overnight.
You can use a similar technique to make some Mexican Pickled Carrots.
Or some Pickled Tomatillos.
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