5 Ingredients or Fewer

Pretty Pickled Onions

April 28, 2021
1 Ratings
Photo by Basil and Roses
  • Prep time 10 minutes
  • Serves 1
Author Notes

Looking for a new condiment for summer time burgers, I started experimenting with fun pickling ideas, and these pickled onions have become a family favorite ever since. We use them on everything! They work with countless dishes. Pickled onions can be a nice addition to tacos, simple eggs, or, add a bright zing to salads and sandwiches. Their tangy goodness offers a balanced compliment to anything rich or sweet as well (i.e. roasted butternut squash or a creamy soup).

Besides, it takes about 10 minutes to make and the beautiful crimson jewel-toned color is gorgeous!

Full instructions are below, but you basically slice onions and submerge in a bath of vinegar, water, sugar and salt. After some experimentation, I've come up with a balanced ratio of these elements. You don't want the end result to be too sour, sweet or salty.

This is a quick pickle recipe so it comes together "quickly." Within about 20-30 minutes it starts tasting pretty darn good. You can add aromatics like garlic, thyme and peppercorns if you like, but this simple 4 ingredient version will just as great without the extras. —Basil and Roses

What You'll Need
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar or apple cider vinegar or both
  • 1 tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Kosher Salt
  • 1 Medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup Water
  • pinch Mustard seeds, Sliced garlic, Peppercorns or Fresh Thyme (optional)
  1. Slice onions as thinly as possible. A mandolin can be helpful but be careful if using.
  2. Place onions in a clean, high-quality airtight glass jar.
  3. If adding herbs or garlic, add to jar now. Sometimes I throw in a pinch of mustard seeds.
  4. In a separate bowl combine vinegar, water, salt & sugar and mix until dissolved.
  5. Pour liquid over the onions in the jar and let sit at room temperature for approximately 30 minutes.
  6. Cover and chill.
  7. Serve with your favorite meals and enjoy!

See what other Food52ers are saying.

  • Basil and Roses
    Basil and Roses
  • Kate

2 Reviews

Kate July 10, 2020
Love this! I make this all the time! The first couple of times with ACV. The acidity mellows out after a day or two but the first day packs a punch! Nowadays I use my favorite spicy vinegar from my Filipino store. I add it to everything.
Basil A. July 10, 2020
Thanks, Kate! I'm addicted to these pickled onions as well and glad you're enjoying it. The spicy vinegar sounds like it adds a nice kick and I'd love to try that!