Quick pickled red onions can be effortlessly prepared with only a few simple ingredients.
When I am looking to jazz up a simple meal, these quick pickled red onions have been my go-to creation for years. Simple to prepare, and packing a ton of flavor, they add a tangy twist to a variety of dishes.
Quick Pickled Red Onions
Quick pickled red onions are easy to prepare since they quickly absorb their flavor soaking in a sweet and tangy vinegar solution. The pungent heat from the red onion dissipates overnight into a sweet crunch and a vibrant pink color. Its flavor is as bright as its appearance.
Quick Pickled Red Onion Ingredients
To prepare your own batch of quick pickled red onions, all you need are onions, vinegar, sugar, and salt. The vinegar solution is briefly boiled on the stovetop to combine the sugar and salt, then cooled so the onions are able to be added without being cooked.
I believe apple cider vinegar makes the best quick pickled onions, however, other vinegars can be used. You can even substitute sugar for a different sweetener such as brown sugar, honey, or maple syrup. If you are feeling adventurous try jazzing it up with seasonings and spices.
How to Cut Onions
To cut an onion for pickling, you want thin slices. Begin by slicing the onion in half through the stem. Remove the dry outer leaves and then lay cut side down on a cutting board. The onion can now be thinly sliced.
As you know, chopping red onions is hard on your eyes. This is why you need a sharp knife in your kitchen. A dull knife bruises the onion with its pressure as you attempt to cut through it which releases more of the onion's renowned tear-jearking properties, whereas a very sharp knife can cut cleanly through the onion with very minimal irritation. This is why I highly recommend purchasing a good quality chef’s knife (affiliate link) for chopping onions.
How Long do Pickled Red Onions Last?
When stored properly in the refrigerator your pickled red onions will last about 2 weeks. I find the flavor and texture to be best the second day, as the color will slowly bleed out and the onions will begin to soften over time.
Uses for Quick Pickled Red Onions
This is such a simple recipe and the perfect accompaniment to Mexican dishes, like steak fajitas, or even a tangy twist on a classic chicken salad recipe. Also, since it is soaking in vinegar it keeps fresh in the fridge for a long time, which means one batch can be used for many meals. Try using these onions as toppings for chicken sandwiches, pork burgers, taco salads, or of course my cilantro lime chicken tacos.
Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe
- 1 red onion thinly sliced
- 2 cup water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons sugar
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- Whisk vinegar and seasonings with 2 cups of water until fully dissolved.
- Place onion slices in a container and add liquid until covered. 1 quart mason jars work perfectly for this.
- Let sit for at least 1 hour, but it is best if left in the fridge overnight.