Quick and Easy Pickled Red Onions
Making Pickled Red Onions is so incredibly easy and quick! About 5 minutes and a handful of ingredients that you most likely have at home is all takes! And they go so good with just about everything, they will become your favorite condiment for sure.
Pickled red onions have become my favorite condiment in the whole wide world. Well, after olives, that is. Me and olives, it’s a life-long love story. But pickled olives are very complicated to make at home, whereas these pickled onions are incredibly fast and easy.
And seriously, these things are so good, you’re gonna want to put them on everything. Think sandwiches, wraps, hamburgers, hot-dogs, tacos, poke bowls, buddha bowls… they’re even delicious on their own! I think they would go crazy well with shepherd’s pie or even a big bowl of piping hot mujadara.
Even if you’re not a fan of onions, I’ve no doubt that you will absolutely love these. Think pickled pearl onions, only better. Much better. Those pickled red onions are sweet, tangy, zesty, salty, crunchy… and pretty addictive, too!
You’ll love having them in the fridge!
Start by slicing your onions really nice and thin. If you happen to own a mandoline, now would be a very good time to take it out for a spin: not only will it ensure that your onions are sliced super thin and evenly, but it’ll get the job done at blazing fast speed!
How many onions you will need depends a lot on their size, but it’s not an exact science so don’t fret; 3 to 4 cups is what you’re aiming for. For me that was 6 small ones, so I’m guessing that 3-4 medium or 2-3 large ones would do. Roughly a pound of onions, say. Enough to fill your jar loosely.
Speaking of jar, I used a 0.75l glass canning jar, which was the perfect size, and tool, for this project. However, if you didn’t have one exactly like that in your pantry, there’s no need to rush to the store to get one. Feel free to use any other similar container that you have on hand, just preferably use one that has a matching lid so it can also be used for storage.
Throw your sliced onions in that jar, along with the garlic clove and pink peppercorn. Oh, right… Same goes for the pink peppercorn: while their flavor complements that of the pickled onions superbly well, don’t you go making a special trip just to get some. If you don’t have any on hand at this time, feel free to use a few black peppercorns instead, or simply plain omit them altogether.
Next, you need to work on the pickling brine. Don’t worry, that part is no rocket science either. Simply grab a large glass measuring cup and in it, combine the hot water (yeah, that’s hot water coming right out of the tap), apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and salt and stir to help dilute the salt. Then, pour this pickling mixture right into the jar with the onions, until the onions are completely submerged.
Now, about that vinegar, I pretty much always opt for apple cider vinegar in my recipes because I believe it is by far the best vinegar for my health. However, you could very well use white wine vinegar, if you preferred, or any other light colored vinegar. If you were in a serious pinch, you could even use plain white vinegar…
All that’s left to do now is cover your jar loosely and let those onions sit in the brine for about an hour.
If you are using one of those canning jars, you can close the lid but remove the rubber gasket, just to be on the safe side. This will allow any potential heat, steam or whatever needs escaping to escape. Likewise, if you are using a jar with screwable lid, just place it on but do not close it tightly.
After an hour has passed, your pickled onions will be ready to use. However, I find that they taste much better and also get crunchier once they’ve had a chance to fully chill. So I totally recommend closing that lid tightly and transferring your onions to the fridge, until they are completely chilled.
From there, they will keep for about a month, if you put them way in the back of the fridge and hide them behind a whole bunch of other stuff. Otherwise, I can guarantee you that they won’t make it through the week…
Pickled Red Onions
- 3-4 cups thinly sliced red onions, about 2-3 medium
- 1 tbsp pink peppercorns, *
- 1 clove garlic, peeled
- Place the sliced onions, garlic clove and peppercorns in a 0.75l glass canning jar (or any other similar container, preferably one that can be used for storage)
- In a large glass measuring cup, combine the hot water, vinegar, maple syrup and salt and stir to help dilute the salt. Pour this pickling mixture over the sliced onions, cover loosely and let them set for about an hour.
- After that time, your pickled onions are ready to use, but they do taste better and get crunchier once they've had a chance to fully chill.
- Close the lid tightly and transfer your onions to the fridge, where they will keep for about a month.