Easy pickled red onions are a delicious way to take raw onions and make them into a tangy sweet topping to add to your sandwiches, salads, burgers, or tacos.
Why this works
- Add flavor - top your favorite dishes with these easy pickled red onions like burgers, pizzas, tacos, fajitas, sandwiches, or fried rice.
- Quick and easy - a few minutes of prep and little time in the fridge while they marinate will give you pickled onion that you love to use on everything!
Ingredients you will need
Here is a quick snapshot of the ingredients you'll need for this recipe. Scroll to the recipe card where you will find the exact measurements.
- Red onions - Red onions are perfect for this but if you can't find any then Vidalia onions would be a good substitute. Use one large or two small red onions.
- Vinegar - I like to use and prefer the taste of apple cider vinegar. You can also use rice vinegar, white vinegar, or red wine vinegar. You can use them alone or a combination of them.
- Sugar - you can substitute with honey or agave syrup or another sweetener to your liking.
- Peppers - I used small poblanos that had been ripened so they that deep red color from our garden. You can a green poblano, jalapeno, or serrano pepper for this recipe. If you really want to turn up the heat then go for habanero.
How to make this
Step 1: Prepare the vinegar mixture
In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the apple cider vinegar, salt, and sugar. If you are adding water to the mixture for a milder vinegar taste add a ¼ cup now.
Step 2: Pickling the onions
Slice the red onions as thinly as possible with a chef's knife or mandolin. Slice the peppers in half or in slices.
Combine the sliced onions, peppers, and black peppercorns in a large bowl. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions. Allow to marinate for 30 minutes prior to serving.
If you are not using all of the pickled red onions now put them in a jar for storage.
To give your easy pickled red onions a milder flavor they can be par-blanched before pickling. To do this bring two cups of water to boil then place the onions in a strainer in the sink. Pour the boiling water over the onions.
You can also add a ¼-cup of water to make the vinegar a little milder. If super thin onions are not your thing then you can cut them thicker but this will double your marinating time.
You can tweak the flavors by adding garlic cloves, more black peppercorns, hot red pepper flakes, and fresh herbs to give them a different flavor profile.
Soaking red onions in salt water will make them softer and bring out the moisture in the onions. If you like your onions crunchy then skip this.
It is likely that you soaked them in salt water prior to pickling.
Store up to three weeks in an airtight container. Pickled red onions can be frozen in portions in freezer bags for up to three months.
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Easy Pickled Red Onions
- 1 large red onions sliced very thin
- ¾ cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar may double if you want the onions to be very sweet
- 1 teaspoon black peppercorns
- 2 peppers poblano, jalapeno, or serrano cut in half or in slices
- In a medium saucepan over medium heat combine the apple cider vinegar, salt, and sugar. Heat until the salt and sugar dissolve then remove from the heat.
- Slice the red onions very thin using a chef's knife or mandoline. Put in a large bowl or jar.
- Add the black peppercorns and sliced peppers to the bowl and toss.
- Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onion mixture. Allow to sit for 30-minutes prior to serving.
- These can be kept in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. These can be frozen in portions in freezer bags for up to three months.