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Quick pickled red onions pair with any food that comes off the grill or smoker.

Quick Pickled Red Onions

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Just about any dish can be elevated with some Pickled Red Onions. Their tangy, zesty bite adds a burst of flavor that not only tastes delicious but works to enhance the other flavors of the meal itself. Quick and simple to prepare, these are always in our fridge and pair with anything that comes off the grill.

  • Total Time: 30 minutes
  • Yield: About 2 cups 1x


  • 1 large red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 1 teaspoon dried Mexican oregano


  1. Slice the onion. Using a sharp knife, slice off the top and remove the skin. Cut the onion in half, and then cut thin slices. You may also use a mandoline slicer to speed up the process and create consistent slices.
  2. Warm up the brine. Add the water, vinegar, salt, and sugar to a small saucepot over medium heat. Stir to dissolve the salt and sugar in the warm brine and remove from the heat, cooling to a lukewarm temperature.
  3. Pour the brine over the onions. Add the peppercorns, oregano, and red onion slices to a glass mason jar. Add the brine to the jar, making sure that everything is submerged. If there’s not quite enough brine, you can add a few tablespoons of water. Allow the onions to sit at room temperature for 30 minutes.
  4. Store the onions in the fridge. They will be ready to eat after 30 minutes and will last in the fridge for 2-3 weeks depending on how thick they were sliced.


  • Make sure the brine has cooled to a lukewarm temperature, do not pour boiling or hot water over the onions. They get still pickle but will lose their crunch.
  • Slice the onions thicker if you want them to have more crunch.
  • Experiment with different spices and kinds of vinegar to change the flavor profile.
  • Author: Brad Prose
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 30 minutes
  • Category: Sauces & Salsas
  • Method: Pickling
  • Cuisine: Condiment
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