Lemon Thyme and Ginger

Small Batch Pickled Red Onions

Small Batch Pickled Red Onions and recipe.

There are times when buying extra condiments for your meal(s) makes a lot of sense. Like ketchup, I have never made ketchup but what I have read, the effort for making homemade ketchup does not equal to the ketchup flavor and many believe store brands taste better. However other items, like pickles, require little effort and taste better and fresher than store-bought pickles. The easiest pickles to make are pickled red onions. It takes about 10 minutes to put the whole thing together and after a few hours of steeping you get red onions with a sweet and slightly spicy pickled onion that is crisp and ready for serving.

Small Batch Pickled Red Onions recipe

Small Batch Picked Red Onions and recipe.

This is a small batch, quick pickled red onion recipe that fills one pint glass jar with room to spare. As much as I want to preserve the season, this recipe is not intended for long term storage in your pantry. No canning required, although it is a good idea to sterilize your jars.

Small Batch Pickled Red Onions and recipe.

Because you won’t have to worry about canning and sealing the jars, making this recipe is so easy, it is a great way to introduce yourself to making homemade pickles. It is worth tying at least once to see how easy it is. Once you start, I am sure you will convert to making pickled red onions whenever you want some. When I make these pickled onions I never feel it is a huge undertaking and gets in the way of me doing other things. I can make them the morning before I need them and after steeping in the brine a few hours they are good to go.

Small Batch Pickled Red Onions and recipe.

Pickled Red Onions

As I have mentioned before, raw onions do not agree with me, so I cook them or macerate them to remove the bitter juices. If you are like me, having the choice of a pickled red onion will give you that great onion flavor without that nasty raw onion after bite. The acid in the pickling liquid steeps into the onions and is a great flavor enhancer. It just brightens any food its combined with. Try pickled red onions on any type of burger instead of raw onions and your burger will taste meatier and your secret sauce will brighten and stand out. All together it makes a crave-worthy sandwich.

I love adding caramelized onions to my turkey or beef burger, yet during the summer I do not want to spend a lot of time watching onions slowly caramelize on the stove. Pickled red onions are a great substitute for the times you do not want to slave over the stove but want a sweetened onion flavor.

Plus, who can resist this incredible vivid pink color?

Small Batch Pickled Red Onions and recipe.

What to Serve with Pickled Red Onions

Serve pickled red onions with just about anything you would add raw onions too.

They are delicious with burgers whether they are beef, turkey, lamb or a veggie/vegan variety.

Add them to either of my tacos recipes, Seared Fish Tacos with Mango Avocado Salsa, or Black Bean Tacos with spicy Winter Squash .

Mix them into a Grilled Chicken Sandwich  from my post on Easy Picnic Foods for the Summer.

Use pickled red onions as a garnish for White Chicken Chili

Add to any tossed green salad, especially ones with goat cheese. and cured black olives.

Pickled red onions are perfect with smoked or cured fish, especially lox and cream cheese on a bagel, or try some with smoked trout.

Small Batch Pickled Red Onions and recipe.

Pickled Red Onions

Learning how to make pickles is easy with this recipe for pickled red onions. It takes but a few minutes to prepare with the remaining time is unattended while the onions steep in its brine. These are slightly sweet tasting with a subtle spicy hint. Homemade pickled red onions are a delicious addition to any type of burger, tacos, smoked fish, and salads.

Keeps in the refrigerator for about one month in a glass jar with a tight fitting lid.

Makes just over 2 ½ cups (670 ml) of pickled red onions. 

Course Condiment
Keyword Pickled Red Onions
Prep Time 7 minutes
Cook Time 3 minutes
Resting time 4 hours
Total Time 10 minutes
Author Ginger


  • 1 red onion about 10 oz / 300 g
  • 2 cups (500 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • 1 TB (10 g) Kosher salt
  • 1 TB (14 g) granulated sugar
  • 1 dried bay leaf
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • 1 tsp black peppercorns
  • 5 cloves
  • ½ tsp mustard seeds


  1. Slice the red onion into thin slices about 3/8 inches thick. Add the red onion slices into a large mixing bowl.
  2. Pour the apple cider vinegar into a 3 quart (non-reactive) sauce pan and turn the heat to high. Add the sugar and salt and the remaining spices and bring to just a boil. Turn off the heat and pour the brining liquid over the onions in the bowl. Allow to cool then carefully add the onion slices and brining liquid into a pint size, sterile, glass mason jar with tight fitting lid. Screw the lid on the jar, then steep the onions for 4 hours before you use them. Keep the pickled onions in the refrigerator. Will keep for one month in the refrigerator. (See link in post for how to sterilize jars).

© 2018, Ginger Smith- Lemon Thyme and Ginger. All rights reserved.

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