Pickled Red Onions

pickled onions 4

Pickled red onions make a delicious and versatile addition to many dishes. Over time, the onions take on a beautiful pink or rosé color which adds brightness to the plate. In the summertime, I like to make these as a topping for grilled cheeseburgers, in tacos, pulled pork sandwiches, added to potato salad and other salads. With barbecues, it is easy to pull out a jar, set on the table (or dock box) and simply let guests help themselves.

I have often seen pickled red onions roughly chopped, but I prefer to slice the onions as thin rings. This makes it easier to pick up out of the jar or a serving dish with a fork. Just call it my personal preference. Either way, this is a delicious side dish or condiment to add to your summer cooking repertoire.

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Pickled Red Onions
Makes 0.5 liter canning jar


  • 1 medium red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar, more to fill jar
  • 1 tsp. kosher sea salt
  • 1 tsp. sugar
  • 10 black peppercorns
  • 5 allspice berries (optional)
  • 2 rosemary sprigs
  • 6-8 thyme sprigs
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1/2 ancho chili, cut into strips


  1. In a small saucepan, heat 1/2 cup vinegar, sugar, salt, spices and chili until boiling and sugar has dissolved. Reduce to a simmer for another minute, then turn off heat and set aside.
  2. Cut the onion into thin slices (circa 1/4″) and quickly blanch by placing onions in a strainer and pouring about 3 cups of boiling water over them. Rinse with cold water, and let drain.
  3. In a glass jar, pour half the vinegar seasoning mixture into the bottom, add a sprig of rosemary and a couple sprigs of thyme. Add some onion rings, and more thyme sprigs, then more onions and thyme. When jar is filled with onions, add another sprig of rosemary and thyme, pour remaining vinegar seasoning mixture over onions. Add more vinegar if needed to fill the jar.
  4. Wait at least an hour to serve, although the longer the better. The pickled onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up several weeks.




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