Pickle Me This: Red Onions


These slightly sweet, slightly tart pickled red onions can be eaten right out of the jar. Or, in a hundred other ways.


As I wrote in my pickled fennel post, being half Finnish and half Polish, pickling is in my DNA. And, you can pickle just about any vegetable — and many fruits, too. Onions are one of the more obvious choices from pickled pearl onions for cocktails to ruby red onions for garnish and zing. Use on: Meats, fish, poultry, chopped in salads and other chilled vegetables, on cheese. You name it, it deserves the addition of pickled onion.


Lots of restaurants use pickled onion as a condiment, but many people don’t make their own at home. Don’t be one of those poor people; they’re missing out! This can be made in 10 minutes flat and a jar lasts for up to a month in the refrigerator.



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Pickled Onions

  • Servings: 3, one-pint jars
  • Difficulty: Easy
  • Print


  • 2 large red onions
  • 1 1/2 cups white wine vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups water
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup sugar (depends on your pickle sweetness preference)
  • 1 tablespoon Kosher (not table) salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 2 bay leaves (fresh or dry)
  • 2 garlic cloves


  1. Combine all ingredients except for onions in a small sauce pan. Bring to boil and stir to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat. (This is your pickling brining solution)
  2. Peel and slice onions between 1/8 to 1/4-inch thick (.3 – .6 cm), depending on your preference and use of the onions
  3. Tightly pack onion slices into 3 pint-sized jars or a one-quart jar
  4. Pour brining liquid into each jar. Fill until liquid completely covers onions. If you don’t quite have enough brining liquid, top the jars off with extra vinegar. Distribute the peppercorns, bay leaves and garlic between the jars
  5. Let jars cool at room temperature, then refrigerate for 24 hours before serving.


Pickled Fennel

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Author: gregnelsoncooks

Visit weekly for original and adapted recipes as well as cooking tips to make your kitchen life easier — and more delicious! I’ll include simple, straight forward instructions along with recipes that are truly worth your time making. And, recipes that elevate the familiar and introduce you to the new and unexpected.

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