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Quick Pickled Red Onions

5 from 5 votes

posted: 01/04/19

This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy
This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy

These Quick Pickled Red Onions only take 5 minutes to make! They are delicious, simple, and the perfect compliment to so many different recipes!

quick pickled red onions being pulled from a canning jar


Can I tell you guys that I kind of love that my first post of 2019 are these quick pickled red onions?! They are so . . . LISA! If you have been following my blog for way too long, you know that I define comfort food in the weirdest ways. I have been known to drink Bloody Mary Mix (yup, sans vodka) when I’m stressed and looking for a yummy treat. I would probably pick snacking on olives over eating chocolate. Which could explain my need to create all the olive appetizers like this Olive Cheeseball and this Olive Pizza Appetizer. And in college, it wasn’t unusual for me to unwind with a bowl full of fresh tomatoes covered in balsamic dressing. #dontjudgeme

I know, I’m super weird. But that pickled vinegar taste is so amazing to me. And so I HAD to make you some quick pickled red onions so we can all throw them on anything whenever the mood strikes us. They are good on so many different things! From sandwiches to tacos to pizza, these quick pickled red onions go on EVERYTHING!

red onions being sliced as a julienne shape on a cutting board to show how to make pickled red onions


You just need a few simple ingredients for this recipe!

  • 1 medium red onion
  • warm water
  • vinegar (more on that in a moment)
  • sugar
  • salt
  • garlic cloves (optional)

What type of vinegar should I use to make Pickled Red Onions?

This is kind of up for debate. Lots of recipes call for apple cider vinegar or rice vinegar, suggesting that white vinegar will result in too harsh of a taste. Given my love for the taste of vinegar (see above), I went with white vinegar and loved it. I would say that if you like pickles you will be fine with the white vinegar.

liquid being poured into a jar to make quick and easy pickled red onions


This recipe is very simple to make and takes just a few minutes to throw together.

  1. Slice a medium sized onion and pack it into a mason jar. (Be sure to use a glass jar as metal will react with the vinegar and affect the taste of the final product.) Add in the sliced garlic.
  2. Whisk together the warm water, vinegar, salt, and sugar until the salt and sugar fully dissolve.
  3. Pour the liquid over the red onions. Cover and let sit for at least a half hour.
  4. Store in the refrigerator for up to four weeks. (They will be best within the first week.)

pouring liquid into a jar of sliced red onions to make quick pickled red onions


There are so many different things you could throw in with your quick pickled red onions to add different flavors. I added some fresh sliced garlic and loved the flavor. Here are some other ideas:

  • peppercorns
  • red pepper flakes
  • bay leaf
  • fresh oregano
  • fresh thyme
  • fresh rosemary

jar full of easy quick pickled red onions

quick pickled red onions being pulled from a canning jar
5 from 5 votes

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Serves: 20 servings
(tap # to scale)
Prep: 5 minutes
Total: 5 minutes
These Quick Pickled Red Onions only take 5 minutes to make! They are delicious, simple, and the perfect compliment to so many different recipes!


  • 1 medium red onion sliced very thin
  • 1/2 cup hot water
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 2 garlic cloves sliced


  • Pack the sliced onion into a mason jar with the sliced garlic.
  • Whisk together the hot water, vinegar, salt and sugar until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
  • Cover the onions in the water and vinegar mixture. Cover the jar and let rest for 30 minutes.
  • Enjoy or store in the refrigerator for up to 4 weeks.
Author: Lisa Longley
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American


quick pickled red onions being pulled from a canning jar

did you make this

Quick Pickled Red Onions

I'd love to see what you made! Tag me @lisasimplejoy and hashtag it #simplejoyrecipes!

Other homemade condiments you will love

Homemade Taco Seasoning

Italian Seasoning

Cajun Seasoning

Hi! I'm Lisa Longley, and I am committed to giving you simple dinner ideas and recipes that are easy to make; recipes that will fill your home with joy. I am the owner and author of SimpleJoy.com and I'm so glad that you are here.

Reader Interactions


    Have a question? Use the form below to submit your question or comment. I love hearing from you & seeing what you made!

    Rate This Recipe:

  1. rosemary barrett says

    5 stars
    I love this. I make my own with just white vinegar and sugar, no water and pack the onions in the jar and we have it on bread with salad and cheese or when we have a salad, quick and easy.

    • Lisa Longley says

      So delicious!

    • Missy says

      That sounds DELISH!!!!

  2. Cheryl says

    5 stars
    Is that a quart jar you are using or a pint? Looks so good.

    • Lisa Longley says

      It’s a pint!

  3. G. Sumrall says

    Never used red onions just used white onions turned out very good but used other ingredients also

    • Lisa Longley says

      Good to know that it works well with white onions!

  4. Jen says

    Making some right now. We do not eat sugar so i replaced with stevia. Hope it turns out well. Thank you for the recipe!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Let me know how it works!

  5. Vickie Malis says

    5 stars
    I made this yesterday – using the white vinegar – and they were WONDERFUL!! My husband loved them too!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I’m so happy to hear that Vickie!

  6. maurice tyack says

    l used gloves garlic deep with olive oil. place them in the refrigerator for one and half week . He takes the strong taste away .l amusing four gloves a day very good for your health.

  7. Alyson says

    Do you let them rest on the counter for 30 minutes or do you pop them in the fridge. I just made mine and I put them in the fridge, I am not planning on eating them right away.

    Thanks for the recipe!

    • Lisa Longley says

      I put mine right in the refrigerate.

  8. Michelle says

    5 stars
    Love this recipe!

    • Lisa Longley says

      Glad to hear it Michelle!

  9. Margie. Foster says

    Can you can these onions like you do other foods and storag them to use later

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5 Secrets to Stress Free Dinners