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Quick Pickled Red Onions

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Quick Pickled Red Onions add the perfect tangy crunch to tacos, tostadas, grain bowls, and so much more. They take just about 50 minutes to make and only need to "pickle" for 30 minutes  before they're ready to eat.

Course condiments, cooking component, vegan, vegetarian
Cuisine American, Mexican
Keyword pickled onions, quick pickled red onions
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 30 minutes
Servings 10 people
Calories 12 kcal
Author India


  • 1 red onion sliced 1/8" thin
  • 3/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar see note 1 below
  • 3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon sugar see note 2 below
  • Additional flavorings see note 3 below


  1. Add the two vinegars to a jar with the salt and sugar. Shake to dissolve. Add any additional flavorings, if desired.

  2. Bring 2 cups water to a boil in a small saucepan. While water is boiling, remove papery skin from onion and using a mandoline or sharp chefs knife, slice onions very thin--about 1/8 inch thick.

  3. Place onions in a colander and place over the sink. Once water is boiling, pour water over onions. Immediately place onions in vinegar mixture in the jar. If there are any onions uncovered by the vinegar mixture, top off with a little bit of vinegar to completely cover. Let the pickled onions cool to room temperature for at least 30 minutes before serving. At this point, they are ready to serve but the longer they sit, the more the flavors will develop. Store in a tightly sealed jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.

Recipe Notes

  1. I always use plain old distilled white vinegar and another clear vinegar like rice wine vinegar (my favorite!), white balsamic vinegar, or white wine vinegar. I've also used apple cider vinegar and red wine vinegary in a pinch. Avoid super flavorful dark vinegars, like balsamic. The best vinegars to use are the ones you already have in your pantry. 
  2. Use honey, agave, or coconut sugar if you prefer to not use sugar. 
  3. Here are some ideas to add extra flavor to the pickling brine: crushed red pepper flakes, bay leaves, coriander seeds, mustard seeds, fresh garlic cloves, black peppercorns, or cumin seeds. 



These Quick Pickled Red Onions will keep in the fridge in a tightly sealed jar for at least two weeks.