Des

Hey! I'm Des!

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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Quick pickled red onions are all kinds of easy and all kinds of delicious. Marinated onions can be used in all sorts of dishes, from breakfast to appetizers and main dishes.

If you are looking for a condiment to give your tacos, nachos, salads and burgers a tangy kick, look no further than these Quick Pickled Red Onions.

Close up photo of quick pickled red onions in a glass jar.

Pickling red onions takes a lot of the raw onion bite out of them but still keeps some of the fabulous oniony flavor. This recipe also gets some heat from sliced jalapeño peppers.

What ingredients do you need:

Overhead photo of ingredients needed to make pickled onions.

RED ONION: You want to thinly slice them. Thick sliced onions won’t work as well in this recipe

GARLIC: Minced small.

JALAPEÑO: This is totally optional. It does make the onions a bit spicier. If you don’t want them to be too spicy, you can absolutely leave it out.

CUMIN: Adds a touch of smokiness that makes these the perfect topping for tacos.

APPLE CIDER VINEGAR: Gives these pickled red onions the tanginess that you associate with pickles.

SALT: No special salt needed, kosher works fine.

SUGAR: Sugar helps cut the acidity of the vinegar.

Step by Step Instructions:

A couple great things about his recipe, unlike traditional pickles, you don’t need any special equipment. No canning equipment. Not even any cooking!

Overhead photo of red onion and jalapenos in the brine in glass bowl.

All you need to do is whisk together the vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cumin in a large bowl. Next, add the red onions, jalapeños and garlic. Cover and refrigerate for about 2 hours.

DES’ TIP: Make sure that the onions and jalapeños are submerged in the vinegar mixture so that they all pickle. 

Overhead photo of pickled red onions in a glass jar.

How long do quick pickled red onions last?

Because these red onions are not canned, they need to be kept in the refrigerator. As far as leftovers, I prefer my onions to still have a bit of a crunch to them so I say they are best eaten within a week. They start to get soft after a while.

Looking for something to put these pickled red onions on? Try these adding them to these recipes:

Crispy Fish Tacos

Shrimp Tacos with Cilantro Lime Sauce

Bourbon BBQ Cheeseburgers

BBQ Pulled Pork Sandwich

Onion fan? Check out these recipes where onions are the star!

Fried Onion Rings

French Onion Dip

Sautéed Mushrooms and Onions

Note: This recipe was originally posted in 2014. It was updated in 2021 with  new photos and nutrition facts.

Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe

Makes about 2 cups Prep Time:
5 based on 1 reviews

Ingredients:

  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup warm water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 - 2 jalapenos, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced

Instructions

1

Whisk together vinegar, water, sugar, salt and cumin. Continue whisking until sugar is dissolved.

2

Place red onion, jalapenos and garlic in a bowl. Pour vinegar mixture over the top. Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour. Cover and chill for an additional 1 - 2 hours. Serve.

3

Store onions covered in a glass jar in the refrigerator. Will keep refrigerated for about a week.

Notes

Nutrition facts for estimation purposes only.

Nutrition information

Calories: 32 , Total Fat: 0.1g , Saturated Fat: 0 g , Cholesterol: 0mg , Sodium: 587mg , Carbohydrates: 5.8g , Fiber: 0.8g , Sugar: 3.5g , Protein: 0.5g

Leave a Comment

  • Reply
    Adria
    December 12, 2018 at 5:55 pm

    Wow, I’ve been making pickled onions for a long time, but the jalapeños & cumin added something extra. Thank you!!!

    • Reply
      Deseree
      December 13, 2018 at 7:58 am

      You are so welcome!

  • Reply
    Regan @ Healthy Aperture
    July 17, 2015 at 12:44 pm

    I love pickled onions and have been wondering the best way to make them. Now I know :)

  • Reply
    Beth B
    July 17, 2015 at 12:25 pm

    Is it weird that I want to drink the juice? It’s so pretty, hehe :)

  • Reply
    Janalyn K Salhaney
    July 17, 2015 at 11:31 am

    This makes me want a refrigerator filled with little jars of beautifully colored condiments :) Bet they taste great, too!

  • Reply
    Dee Dee Eberle
    July 17, 2015 at 10:24 am

    Aside from just being so pretty, these look delicious too! In fact, I just posted about bacon-stuffed waffles this morning, and I suggested changing up toppings to include caramelized onions. Well, why not spicy pickled onions?! That would be a flavor BOMB together! :o)

    • Reply
      Des @ Life's Ambrosia
      July 18, 2015 at 12:49 am

      Well I am kind of in love with that idea!

  • Reply
    MomOnTimeout
    July 17, 2015 at 9:59 am

    Oh man do these look good! Definitely a condiment that should be in every fridge!

  • Reply
    Lisa @ Healthy Nibbles & Bits
    July 17, 2015 at 7:45 am

    I LOVE pickled onions. They’re great for tacos, and I love throwing it on a salad, too!

  • Reply
    Manila Spoon
    July 17, 2015 at 7:04 am

    These pickled onions will surely perk-up tacos or nachos as you mentioned! Love the idea! Thanks for sharing.

  • Reply
    Kaitie Lawlor
    July 17, 2015 at 5:30 am

    They look amazing and so easy to make! Perfect when you have a BBQ with friends or family!!

  • Des

    Hey! I'm Des!

    Welcome to Life’s Ambrosia where Dinner is served and memories are made. Here you will find over 1000 tried and true recipes for every possible occasion. In the last 10 years, this blog has helped millions of families put dinner on the table and create food memories. Let me help you too.

    Read more »

    Have new recipes emailed to you.