This super easy Pickled Onions Recipe using only 3 ingredients is the perfect condiment for tacos, burgers, salads, and sandwiches. Made in minutes and no fancy equipment needed.
Quick pickling transforms raw red onions into tangy, crisp pretty pink ribbons of marinated onions.
Do you like pickling and canning? I am not into all the involved steps, so this quick pickled onions recipe is perfect. In fact, you can even eat these pickled onions the same day! This is also a great way to make pickled zucchini too!
Quick pickle recipes are great to have in the fridge during grilling season. The perfect topping to lots of great burgers, like in this homemade burger roundup.
RECIPE and INSTRUCTIONS for making these pickled red onions can be found at the bottom of this post.
Recently I shared a salad recipe, and I had a visitor comment that they would like the recipe for the onions I used in the post. So here it is, the secret pickled onions recipe used in my Best Cucumber Salad.
If you are like me, for the most part, I love things to be relatively simple when it comes to cooking. Yes, I do experiment and spend hours in the kitchen sometimes. Those are the days that I am trying out a new cuisine or technique.
My mom was ALL about pickling and canning. The cold room was full of glass jars. Fruit, jams, pickles, sauerkraut, and even pickled eggs. It was quite the ordeal watching her get everything ready. Wash and sterilize the jars, make the brine, fill the jars and then seal them.
Weeks of work during harvest kept the shelves stocked all winter long with delicious, homemade preserves. Canned tomatoes for pasta sauce and soups, jam for your toast, and my hubby’s favourite, pickled beets to eat with a meal.
I do miss all those wonderful foods my mom made. Unfortunately the “canning thing” did not rub off on me. I am all for “quick pickling”. This pickled onions recipe is just that, QUICK.
Only 3 Ingredients
This pickled onion recipe is super fast, and you can even eat the onions in about 15 minutes if you like. The longer you keep them, the vinegar will turn a beautiful pink colour, and the onions will soften slightly. They will always be crisp and have a nice tang to them, even after weeks in the fridge (if they last that long).
You will need:
- red onion
- rice wine vinegar
You can even turn this into 2 ingredients if you omit the sugar. I like to balance out the flavour a bit, so adding the sugar helps with that.
My husband’s family was from England, and as you know they do love their pickled foods. My first experience was a store-bought variety. I am not a fan of malt vinegar, so although he liked these very much, they were not my cup of tea.
Raw onions can be a bit hard to eat, even red ones. Hubby does not like raw onions at all, so I wanted a quick and easy way to pickle onions. I didn’t want to involve any special equipment.
He does however LOVE my Crispy Air Fryer Onion Rings.
How To Pickle Onions
These pickled onions are made in minutes, I am not kidding. I just use a plain old sharp knife to slice the onions. If you want perfect slices, by all means use a mandolin. I am all about the simple here. No equipment, no cooking brine, no fuss!
All you do is:
- thinly slice the onion
- pack the slices in a glass jar
- mix the rice vinegar and sugar in a measuring cup
- pour over the onion slices
- put on the lid
Quick Pickling Tips
Be sure to thinly slice the onions. The easiest way is with a (affiliate) mandoline. You can also use a very shape knife. Thinner slices will absorb the vinegar quickly. The thicker the slices, the more time it will take to fast pickle the onions.
I need to try these in my Snap Pea Salad Recipe. I bet they would be awesome.
Choosing different kinds of vinegar. For this recipe, I used rice wine vinegar. Feel free to experiment. Other choices could be distilled white vinegar, sherry vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
I used red wine vinegar in this Smoked Salmon Plate to quickly pickle a cucumber.
Ways to sweeten pickles? In this recipe, I used white sugar. You can also use maple syrup, honey, or agave nectar. Again have a little fun in the kitchen and see what you like best.
Best onions for pickling? I like red onions. Other great choices would be White onions, Spanish, Vidalia, or Sweet onions.
OMG, have you tried my homemade onion gravy from scratch? Seriously it is the best onion gravy in town. Move over HP Sauce, this is the NEW steak topper.
You can see why this easy Pickled Onion Recipe has become a staple. With BBQ season here, they will be flying out of the fridge into salads and burgers all summer long.
Do you have a herb garden? Give Fresh Herb Salt a try. A fun way to make a homemade seasoning salt. Great as a meat rub, finishing salt and an awesome food gift too.
Do you have a quick pickle recipe you make all the time?
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Pickled Onion Recipe Only 3 Ingredients
- 10 ounces red onion (1 onion)
- 1 cup rice wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp granulated sugar
- Get a glass jar with good fitting lid. I used a mason jar.
- Peel the onion and thinly slice.
- Place the onion slices into the jar.
- Mix the vinegar and sugar in a measuring cup until the sugar dissolves.
- Pour over the onion slices.
- Put on the lid.
- Place in the fridge till ready to use.