Pickled Red Onions

Good pickled red onions are crispy, crunchy and full of flavor.   Additionally, they are versatile and can be used as  appetizers, healthy snacks or with just about any dinner idea.   Pickled red onions can be used as a side dish or added to sandwiches for extra punch. They are wonderful paired with many dinner ideas including just about any meat dish you can think of.  But many people feel that they are best enjoyed when eaten straight from the jar!

Pickled red onions contain extraordinarily powerful compounds that possess many health benefits. Hundreds of scientific studies published have shown that red onions offer superior benefits for both the prevention and treatment of many common diseases.  This includes various types of cancer, coronary heart disease, type 2 diabetes, and cataracts.   In addition, onions can act as a powerful antibiotic and are highly protective to nerves and the cardiovascular system, and that they enhance immune function.

Made with vinegar and salt, pickled red onion recipes can be tweaked to provide various flavorings. Different seasonings such as coriander, jalapeño, mustard seed and bay leaves can be added in order to vary the tastes.

Here are several healthy recipes for pickled red onions.

Pickled red onions- no cooking required (makes 1 quart jar)

1 quart sized glass Mason jar with lid

2 medium sized red onions

¼ cup lime juice

red onions

Red onions are perfect for pickling and make a great side dish.

1 cup red wine vinegar

1/2 cup distilled white vinegar

1 Tablespoon sugar

1 teaspoons sea salt

1/2 cup fresh garlic, oregano, thyme, peppercorns, rosemary, or cilantro sprigs, or a combination

Peel the onions and cut in half from tip to root, and then slice each half of the onion as thin as you can.

In a sterilized quart-size mason jar combine the lime juice, red wine vinegar, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir to completely dissolve sugar and salt.

Add the sliced onions and the herbs to the jar. Stir and push down the onion in order to submerge all the onions and herbs in the liquid.   If there is a lot of space at the top you can add some extra vinegar.

Let them sit for at least 2 hours before serving.  They can then be stored in the refrigerator for a month.

If you are making larger batches they can easily be canned and preserved for up to a year in a cool dry location.


Red onions recipe #2 (requires cooking)- Yields 1 pint

 You will need:

A small saucepan

3/4 cups white vinegar

1 red onion, sliced thinly

1Tablespoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

black peppercorns

1 red chile

thinly sliced garlic, optional

1 pint sized glass container with lid for storing (sterilize before using)

In the saucepan, bring the vinegar, sugar, salt and spices to a boil. Add in the red onion and stir for a few seconds until the rings begin to break up, and turn off the heat.  Cooking the onions too long will cause them to lose their crunch.

Remove from the heat and let the mixture sit until it is at room temperature. Next, press the onions into the glass container and pour over the vinegar mixture. This can then be stored in the refrigerator if you are planning on consuming within the next month or canned for longer term storage.

Larger batch of pickled red onions-approx 3 pints

  • 3 Mason glass jars with lids (pint size)
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 c granulated sugar
  • 2 Tbsp pickling or kosher salt
  • 3 lbs red onions, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 2 tsp brown mustard seed
  • 1 tsp celery seed
  • 1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 1/2 c water

Sterilize your pint jars and lids.

Combine vinegar, water, sugar and pickling salt in a medium/large sauce pot and bring to a boil.

Add onion slices to brine and stir to combine for several minutes until the onions have softened slightly.  Let the mixture cool.

In a separate bowl, combine the mustard seed, celery seed and red pepper flakes. Add equal portions to your 3 sterilized glass jars then add the onions and brine.  Place the lids on.  For best results wait a day or so before eating.  These can be stored in the refrigerator or you can put the jars back in the canner and process if you plan on storing them for a longer period of time.

Pickled onion chips are a tasty, and healthier, alternative to potato chips.

Pickled onion chips are a tasty, and healthier, alternative to potato chips.

Pickled red onions can be great healthy snacks or appetizers!