Recipe: Quick Refrigerator Pickled Red Onions 

This recipe for pickled red onions, prepared quickly with vinegar and without fermentation, makes a crunchy, flavorful condiment good for a number of dishes.

by Stephanie Thurow
PHOTO: Barbro Bergfeldt/Shutterstock

Early last year I shared a recipe for fermented pickled onions. They are incredibly simple to make and full of flavor. However, I always keep another version of pickled onions on hand and it’s actually one of the most requested preserves in my household.

The two pickled onion recipes are quite similar, however this recipe is made with a vinegar brine instead of a salt water brine. Therefore, there is no fermentation involved this time, and the two recipes have completely different flavor outcomes.  

Read more: Start fermenting with this simple onion pickles recipe.

Yield: 1 pint 

Pickled Onions Ingredients 

  • 2 cups red onions, peeled, thinly sliced (1 large red onion) 
  • 5 whole black peppercorns  
  • 2 whole bay leaves 
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar 
  • 1 cup water 
  • 1 tbsp canning salt 


Prep the ingredients. Add the onion slices and seasonings into a clean pint canning jar. Pack the jar full of onions slices well, but stay mindful not to smash or break the onions. 

Heat the brine ingredients and simmer until the salt has dissolved. Pour the brine over the sliced onions until they are submerged. Add a clean canning jar lid and tightly screw on the ring. Allow the jar to cool on the counter to room temperature, then transfer to the refrigerator. 

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These onions will be ready to eat just as soon as they are cooled. For best flavor and texture, enjoy within 2 months. Store continuously in the refrigerator. 

Read more: Grow your own bunching onions, but be ready to fall in love with them!

Side Notes 

We enjoy these pickled onions on tacos, in salads, on sandwiches, as a garnish for deviled eggs and so much more. They add a nice acidic note to any meal. You’ll be surprised at all the ways you can incorporate them.  We easily go through a pint a week. 

Add in additional herbs for different flavors, such as thyme, garlic or hot peppers. 

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