There are oodles, yes oodles, of topping choices out there for so many of our favorite meals. But if you are looking for that sweet, tangy, crisp red onion- look no further. This is such an easy and quick pickled red onions recipe. I actually made this for the first time when my kitchen was a disaster, the kids were about to explode, and everyone was hungry. That's how quick it is. I was able to whip this up with no trouble in the middle of a family emotional hurricane of hunger. The best part, it was ready right along with our pulled pork within 10 minutes.
What do you need to make pickled onions?
Honestly, if I have this in my currently sparse and sad kitchen, you probably have it too or at least it's not expensive at all. All you'll need is:
- A mason jar with lid. Preferably a wide mouth.
- One Onion.
- Rice Vinegar
- Sugar or Honey
- Salt and Pepper
Super easy. So the basics of making these quick pickled red onions are: soak the onion in vinegar and flavor additives; eat them up. Yum.
Flavors for Pickled Red Onions
In this recipe we added our favorites, lemon and garlic. It gives it such a nice vibrant summer feel and flavor especially when you use it to top a BBQ'd sandwich or pulled pork or chicken, aka savory smokey flavors.
So what can you do to make this your own? Well if you're a fan of heat (hell yes), add a sliced jalapeno to this recipe. Spicy pickled red onions are so so good! Try them out that way. Other options are fresh herbs like dill (think pickle), or even a couple of basil leaves is delicious. Let all your preferred spices and flavors soak together to create a jar of quick pickled red onions all for you.
Now, we love red onions. The color alone is amazing! Red onions also have that extra crisp bite to them that, I think, makes them perfect for this. You can, though, also use normal yellow or even sweet onions and make a great batch from those.
How long should pickle onions?
This depends entirely on you. The longer you let them pickle the more flavor they'll have. If you are in a hurry though, this recipe (as the name quick implies) is delicious after about 10-15 minutes.
Usually, we'll make these right when we want them. We'll eat them within that 10-15 minutes and just save the rest for later so they get even more flavor as we go. If you are dying for all that intense flavor though, make them the day before and let them soak in the fridge over night. They keep in the fridge 1-2 weeks if they even last that long 😉
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- 1 Red Onion, sliced
- 3-4 Lemon Slices
- 2-3 Garlic Cloves, chopped
- 1 tablespoon Sugar or Honey
- pinch Salt and Pepper
- ½ cup Rice Vinegar, enough to fill your mason jar size
- 1 cup Warm Water
- In a wide mouth mason jar, place your sliced and separated red onion and fill almost to the top. About ⅔.
- Add your sliced lemon and fit throughout the jar.
- Add garlic, sugar (or honey), and salt and pepper, plus any other additives that you'd like (jalapenos, dill, basil, parsley... etc). We like it just plain with lemon and garlic most of the time!
- Fill mason jar with the rice vinegar and water.
- Place the lid on and shake until sugar or honey has dissolved (a couple minutes).
- Let it sit for about 10-15 minutes for a quick pickled onion fix or over night for more flavor.
- Keep in the fridge.