Pickled Onions

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Pickled red onions are one of those super versatile ingredients. They do quadruple duty. They add texture, acidity, flavor, and color — all in one fell swoop.

The best part? They’re super easy to make. 

I usually add them to my list of make-ahead condiments and flavor bombs to use later in the week to lighten up heavy dishes (like pulled pork) and add some extra flavor and color to fish tacos. 

The Brine

The most important components to pickled onions are the onions themselves and the brine.

Both are really easy to work with and only take a few minutes to prepare.

Depending on how many onions you’re making, you’ll need to adjust your liquid amounts.

You’ll always use a 1:1 ratio of vinegar and water. Since I make one mason jar’s worth of onions each week, I use only one cup of each.

The size of the saucepan you’ll heat the brine in will depend on how much liquid you need.

I use honey instead of sugar for my brine. 

Is honey healthier than sugar? Who knows?! All I know is that it’s the nectar of the gods, and if it’s good enough for godliness, it’s def. good enough for ‘lil ole me.

I usually just add a healthy squirt to the vinegar and water. It probably equates to about two tablespoons if you’re counting (which I’m clearly not).

Is honey healthier than sugar? Who knows?! All I know is that it’s the nectar of the gods, and if it’s good enough for godliness, it’s def. good enough for ‘lil ole me.

The Onions

While the brine is heating, I slice my onions.

Sometimes I use a mandoline to get thin, uniform slices. But sometimes it’s too much of a pain in the arse to climb up on a stool and drag down a kitchen tool from its home above the fridge (the home of all kitchen tools I rarely use). 

I like thin half-circles because I don’t want to deal with cutting that Sh*t later to get all those onion slices to stay put in my taco without folding them.

All-in-all, slicing the onion only takes a few minutes.

Some of This, Some of That

After the liquid has been simmering for a few minutes (or when I remember that there’s something cooking on the stove), I turn off the burner and let the liquid cool.

It doesn’t need to be warm or hot to do its thang, and I don’t need to worry about splashing hot liquid everywhere. 

Stuff your onions into your glass jar, and cover them with the cooled liquid.

How to Eat Pickled Red Onions

Eat these bad boys on whatever you dang-well please. 

Personally, I think they taste really good when added to rich foods that need a little breath of fresh air (just remember that the foods enjoy that breath of air — not your dining companions. I do not recommend breathing near others while eating these).

Use them to add some fresh flavor and bright color to tacos, pulled pork, jackfruit, chili, or curry.

Pickled Red Onions Recipe

Prep Time: 5 min.

Pickled Red Onion
  • Red onions
  • Vinegar
  • Honey

1. Pour equal parts vinegar and water into a saucepan (I used one cup of each).

2. Add about 1/8 cup of honey (just eyeball it).

3. Heat liquid on medium heat; let it simmer for a few minutes. Turn off burner, and allow the mixture to cool.

4. Add thinly sliced red onions to any glass jar with a lid. 

5. Pour the cooled liquid over the onions to cover.

Allow to completely cool before popping in the fridge to let the flavors marinate.


Optional Add-Ons

Feel free to add any spices or herbs to your pickled onions. A few suggestions include:

  • Pink or black peppercorns
  • Garlic
  • Thyme




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Hey, hay! Guess what, guys? I’m not a nutritionist, nor am I a doctor. Even worse, I’ve never even played one on TV. Please check with your doctor or nutritionist before switching up any diet. Most of my recipes/recommendations include known allergens. If you have an allergy or food insensitivity, please don’t use those ingredients in your cooking.