Cooking Tips, Sides

How to Make Quick Pickled Red Onions

With all of this coronavirus stuff going on lately, it felt appropriate to share a recipe on how to pickle something. Rumor has to some people are pickling like crazy in order to preserve fresh vegetables and avoid leaving the house with the virus spreading, so I thought I would join the party and share how to make quick pickled red onions.

quick pickled red onions in a jar
fork in a jar of quick pickled red onions

Okay, okay. That’s not the real reason I’m sharing this recipe. Truth is, I love making pickled red onions to all kinds of dishes—tacos, salads, sandwiches—and find myself making a jar of them quite often. And since I’m all about sharing my favorite eats on this blog (and avoiding food waste), I figured it was time to share something I make regularly.

Why are they quick pickled?

Instead of pickling red onions using a water bribe and waiting a few days, you can easily make pickled onions using a combination of water and apple cider vinegar. With this combination, you’ll have pickled onions in just an hour rather than a few days (or weeks). Talk about quick!

Here’s my step-by-step process for making quick pickled red onions at home.

ingredients to make quick pickled red onions
whisking together a vinegar base

Mix the vinegar base.

In a medium-sized bowl, whisk together the apple cider vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. Once it’s whisked together, let it sit for a bit to give the sugar and salt time to dissolve.

slicing red onions on a cutting board

Slice the red onions thin.

While the vinegar base is sitting, slice the red onions. I like having thin pickled red onions, but you can chop them based on your preference. If you want thicker, slice them thicker!

pouring vinegar base into the mason jar for pickling red onions

Add the onions to a jar, then pour the vinegar base over it.

I like to use a mason jar or another type of jar that seals well because they’ll be sitting in the fridge for some time. Place the red onion slices in the jar, then pour in the vinegar base.

If you want to use similar mason jars, here’s a pack of four you can get on Amazon.

red onions after vinegar base has been poured into a jar for pickling

Let the onions sit at room temperature for 1 hour.

Make sure all of the pickled red onions are submerged in the vinegar base! You can close the lid and let the jar sit on your table or counter for one hour.

Seal and put in the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Pickled red onions will last in the fridge for up to 2 weeks—huzzah! No wonder people who have coronavirus want to pickle everything, it lasts so long!

My favorite thing is to add pickled red onions to tacos—especially fish tacos! They add a nice tangy flavor to a savory taco that can’t be beat. 

picking out pickled red onions from a jar

What other cooking guides should I show you next? Anything else you want to learn how to pickle? Share your requests with me in the comments below—I love hearing from you!

Pickled Red Onions

Pickle a jar of these and use them as a topping for salads, sandwiches, or even tacos!
Prep Time10 mins
Resting time1 hr
Total Time1 hr 10 mins
Course: Side Dish
Keyword: pickled red onions, quick pickled onions, quick pickled red onions
Servings: 8 servings


  • Mason jar


  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 red onion sliced thin


  • Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and water. Set it aside to let the sugar and salt disinegrate.
  • While the vinegar base is sitting, slice the onions as thin (or as thick) as you want them.
  • Place them in an wide mouth mason jar.
  • Pour in the vinegar base into the jar, making sure the onion slices are completely submerged.
  • Close the lid and let the jar sit for an hour at room temperature.
  • Move to the refrigrator and use the onions for up to 2 weeks.

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