Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions

I don’t know about you, but I think pickled onions improve almost EVERY dish. Okay, not all, but the vast majority. I always have a jar in the fridge ready for garnishing my meals (they last very well for 2-3 weeks); and they’re so easy to make!

Pickled Red Onions

Ingredients Needed For These Pickled Onions

  • Onions: The main ingredient. Red onions are commonly used for pickling as they have a slightly stronger flavor and vibrant color that holds up well during pickling.
  • Vinegar/apple cider vinegar: Provides the acidic environment necessary for pickling. The acetic acid in the vinegar helps preserve the onions and gives them their characteristic pickled flavor.
  • Cane sugar: Added to balance out the tartness of the vinegar and provide a touch of sweetness.
  • Water: Dilutes the vinegar solution to the desired acidity level.
  • Salt: Enhances flavor and acts as a preservative. It also helps draw moisture out of the onions, allowing them to better absorb the pickling liquid.
  • Peppercorns (optional): Whole peppercorns add a subtle peppery flavor and aroma to the pickled onions.
  • Fennel seeds (optional): Contribute a licorice-like, slightly sweet flavor that complements the onions.
  • Garlic (optional): Imparts an aromatic garlic flavor to the pickles.
  • Bay leaves (optional): Provide an earthy, slightly minty background flavor.
Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions
Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions

Georgina Burgess
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 2 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes
Servings 20


  • 2 large red onions or 3 small
  • 450 ml white vinegar or you can use a mixture of white and apple cider vinegar
  • 100 grams cane sugar
  • 200 ml water
  • 2.5 tsp salt


  • 1-2 tsp peppercorns optional – for flavouring
  • 1-2 tsp fennel seeds optional – for flavouring
  • 3 garlic cloves (peeled) optional – for flavouring
  • 2 bay leaves optional – for flavouring


  • Halve your onions, from root to stem, then slice them very thinly.
  • Stuff in your jar along with the flavourings (if using).
  • Add the water, vinegar, sugar and salt to a medium pan and heat over a medium heat for around a minute, or until the sugar and salt has dissolved – feel free to taste at this point and add any extra sugar or salt to your preference.
  • Pour this over the onions. Cover and leave to pickle for a minimum of an hour. Enjoy! Store in the fridge for upto 2 weeks.

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