A Heaping TBSP of Life

~ presenting a slightly currated collection of all things edible ~

Pickled Red Onions

Although burger season is officially over (sad face) I’ve still been making us delicious veggie burgers inside on my cast iron pan.  The best part of cooking burgers inside is that it saves so much time, I can focus more on whipping up unique and delicious toppers!  And the best burger toppers can double as a salad garnish as well!  These quick-pickled red onions are insanely easy to throw together, last in the fridge for well over two weeks, and are good on just about everything.  Even Mr. William and his one year old palate thinks they’re pretty darn good!

So far we’ve been eating them on burgers and brats, either in whole rings, or chopped up like a relish (for the dogs), I’ve cut them into strips and garnished salads with them (bonus points if they’re paired with kalamata olives) and used them as a zesty little topper for tacos.  Basically anything where you want a little punch of flavor you can sprinkle on some of these pickled onions and have excellent results.

The best part is how flexible the recipe is.  The basic recipe – water, vinegar, salt – is predetermined.  But what you add in afterwards is up to you!  My current favorite combination is a pinch of cumin seeds and 2 crushed garlic cloves.  A stem of fresh dill and some smashed garlic is also good, as are jalapeno rounds and garlic (are you seeing a trend here?  I like garlic).  Whatever you add, go light if you’re not sure how it will effect the flavor.  The longer the pickles sit, the more the flavor intensifies, it’s better to go a little light, and have a pleasant punch of flavor the second week, then go heavy and have onions so garlic-y it’s scaring the vampires away!!

Don’t worry about the juice turning red in these, that’s totally normal (they are red onions after all.)  Also on that note, when you are filling the jars and using the pickles, make sure that the onions stay submerged under the vinegar mixture.  This is what helps to preserve them, if they’re exposed to the air for too long they can get funky!

If you try any unique flavor combos make sure to drop me a note below and tell me how it turned out!


5 from 1 vote
Pickled Red Onions
Prep Time
5 mins
Cook Time
10 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Servings: 1 pint jar
  • 1 medium Red Onion, sliced 1/4" thick on a mandoline
  • 2 large Garlic Cloves, crushed and cut into quarters
  • 1 tsp Caraway Seeds
  • 1 cup White Vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Water
  • 1 Tbsp Sugar
  • 1 1/2 tsp Kosher Salt
  1. Pack the red onion into a clean 2 cup jar (pint jar) alternating the layers as you do so.  Add a few rings of red onion, a sprinkle of seeds, a piece of garlic and repeat.  Make sure to press down on the red onion as you go to ensure a tight fit.

  2. Meanwhile, bring the remaining ingredients to boil over high heat, stirring occasionally to ensure that the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.  Once the mixture is boiling and the ingredients are dissolved remove from the heat.

  3. Working carefully ladle or pour the hot vinegar mixture over the top of the onions in the jar, until the onions are completely covered.  Leave about 1/4 inch of room between the liquid and the top of the jar.

  4. Twist the lid onto the jar loosely, and allow the onions to cool completely on the counter, up to 12 hours.  Twist the lid on tightly and store in the refrigerator for up to two weeks.

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