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5 from 6 votes

Quick Pickled Red Onions (Easy Refrigerator Pickled Onions)

Pickled red onions are tangy, crunchy, slightly sweet - and incredibly quick and easy to make! They bring a zippy pop of flavor and color to a wide variety of meals: on sandwiches, burgers, salads, bowls, and more.
Prep Time10 mins
Marinating Time45 mins
Course: Condiment, Preserved Food, Seasoning, Side Dish
Keyword: pickled red onions, quick pickled onions, refrigerator pickled onions
Servings: 2 cups


  • Glass storage container with lid (pint jar)
  • Saucepan


  • 1 large red onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1-2 tbsp sweetener of choice (honey, maple syrup, agave, coconut sugar or cane sugar)
  • 1 tsp sea salt
  • optional seasonings: a pinch of black peppercorns, red chili flakes, garlic cloves, fresh or dry dill, mustard seeds, coriander, curry powder or 1/8 tsp allspice


  • Peel and cut the onion into very thin slices. Use a mandolin to achieve super-thin shaved onion slices.
  • Separate the cut onion into individual slices, and then pack them into a glass container.
  • Combine the vinegars, water, salt, sweetener of choice, and any other optional seasonings in a saucepan. Heat over a medium-high heat until it begins to simmer and the salt/sugar dissolves. Remove from heat.
  • While the brine is still warm (but not piping hot), pour it over the onions until the container is completely full.
  • Let the pickled red onions sit out at room temperature for 30 to 60 minutes to marinate. You can enjoy them immediately thereafter, or move to the refrigerator where they’ll continue to develop flavor.
  • Store in the refrigerator, and use within 2 weeks for the best quality and texture.