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Hi! I'm Ari, photographer and recipe developer behind Well Seasoned. As a former NYC chef, I'm spilling all my tips and tricks from the restaurant industry with you! To learn more about me click here.

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quick pickled red onions in a mason jar

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Posted by: Ari Laing

Quick pickled red onions are an easy, flavorful, crunchy condiment you can make at home! Read below for our step-by-step guide on how to pickle onions (or any other vegetable!) and elevate your meals! Tips included for ways to vary the flavor of the pickling brine, including flavoring with additional vinegar, herbs, and spices.

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Posted by: Ari Laing
quick pickled red onions in a mason jar
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5 from 8 votes

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Quick pickled red onions are an easy condiment you can make at home that add so much flavor to dishes! Read below for a step-by-step guide on how to pickle onions (or any other vegetable!) and elevate your meals! Suggestions included for easy ways to vary the flavor of the pickling brine, including additional vinegar, herbs, and spices.
Prep Time5 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Total Time35 mins
Course: Condiment
Cuisine: American
Keyword: how to pickle onions, how to pickle red onions, onions marinated in vinegar and sugar, pickled red onion recipe, quick pickled red onions
Servings: 4 servings
Calories: 23kcal
Author: Ari Laing


  • Sieve or fine mesh strainer
  • Mason jars or other glass jars with lids for storing
  • Kettle for heating water


  • ½ large red onion thinly sliced into half moons (about ~½ cup)
  • 1 cup rice vinegar or other vinegar (see note below)
  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp granulated sugar
  • 2 cloves garlic peeled and halved
  • ½ tsp whole black peppercorns
  • thyme optional
  • lemon peel optional
  • ½-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes optional
  • ½-1 tsp mustard seeds optional


  • Pour vinegar in a mason jar or glass container that is large enough to fit both the vinegar and the red onions. If the vinegar only comes up halfway on the jar, you've likely got enough room to add the onions. If not, grab a larger container.
  • Add kosher salt, sugar, garlic, and peppercorns to the vinegar. If you're using any fresh herbs (thyme, rosemary, oregano, etc.) or citrus (lemon, lime, or orange peel), add them now. Seal the container and shake to dissolve sugar and salt, then reopen.
    pickling spice in a mason jar before adding sliced red onions
  • Place thinly sliced red onion in a sieve or fine mesh strainer and set in a sink or over a glass bowl.
    sliced red onions in a colander
  • Heat water in a kettle until boiling, then pour over sliced red onions. Carefully transfer onions to the jar, then seal, shake, and place in a refrigerator for at least 30 minutes (longer is better). Add to any recipe where you'd like a burst of sweet, bright acidity! Pickled onions will keep for 2-3 weeks.
    quick pickled red onions in a mason jar


  • Other vegetables - This same method will work with other vegetables too! Onions, shallots, fennel, thinly sliced carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, radishes. The list goes on and on! 
  • Vinegar - my favorite vinegars to use are rice vinegar and apple cider vinegar, but white wine is a great too! Do not use something strong like balsamic vinegar, as it will overpower the flavor of the onions.
  • Herbs - Adding fresh herbs is a great way to customize the flavor of pickled vegetables. Thyme, rosemary, oregano, tarragon, mint, dill, chervil, etc. are all great options!
  • Citrus - You can add the peel of any citrus to the vinegar to give a fresh, fruity flavor
  • Sweetness - If you prefer a less sweet, more tart pickle, increase, increase the kosher salt to ¾ tsp and reduce the granulated sugar to ⅛ tsp.
  • Spice - Want to give your pickling brine a kick? Add ½-1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes. This makes it hottt, so proceed with caution!
  • Double the recipe - This pickled red onion recipe can easily be doubled or tripled to serve a larger crowd!


Sodium: 293mg | Calcium: 10mg | Vitamin C: 1mg | Sugar: 1g | Fiber: 1g | Potassium: 20mg | Calories: 23kcal | Saturated Fat: 1g | Fat: 1g | Protein: 1g | Carbohydrates: 3g | Iron: 1mg
Did you make this recipe?Tag @wellseasonedstudio and hashtag it #wellseasonedstudio!