How to pickle onions into overnight refrigerator pickled red onions! The best on sandwiches, burgers, BBQ, tacos, salads, and more! This easy pickled onion recipe will show you how to make homemade pickled onions in no time.
(For your shopping convenience, this post contains affiliate links.)
If you’ve never made Pickled Red Onions before, you’ll be wondering why you didn’t start soon! Or maybe that was just me?! Learn How to Pickle Onions and more importantly check out my ideas and uses of what to do with pickled onions once you have them. Be sure to also check out my Spicy Pickle Recipe and Overnight Homemade Pickles Recipe if you’re into all things pickled right now. Or again, maybe that’s just me?!
What are Pickled Onions?
If you’ve never had a pickled onion, you may be wondering what the heck I’m talking about. I LOVE pickled onions and put them on all sorts of things. I had them years ago, and have been addicted ever since.
Pickled onions can be made with any kind of onion, any shape (whole, sliced, chopped, etc.), and in wide variety of spices and vinegars.
You’ll generally see “pickled onions” as sliced onions (usually red onions) that have been “pickled” in vinegar, sugar, and spices for a period of time. You can pickle the onions for a few minutes or hours, overnight, or can them for long periods of time.
The taste can vary quite a bit depending on the type of pickled onions. However, sliced red pickled onions are generally a bit sweet and sour, and crispy. Don’t worry, they usually don’t taste like pickles, unless of course, you use pickle pickling type spices.
I’m not a canner, although I wish I was, so not sure of the exact way to can these or other onions safely. I store mine in the fridge.
Uses for Pickled Onions:
Like I said, I put pickled onions on all sorts of things. I like to keep a big mason jar of the onions in my fridge. My kids have grown to like them so much they’ll make a batch too!
Here are some of our favorite uses for homemade refrigerator pickled onions:
- Salads – great on lettuce salads
- Gyros – love it on chicken or traditional gyros with feta and tzatziki
- Sandwiches – any kind of sandwich will do
- Burgers & Hot Dogs – my kids love putting them on burgers
- BBQ – the best on pulled pork sandwiches
- Tacos – delicious on fish and shrimp tacos and other Mexican dishes
- Pasta Salad – chop the onions up and add to your favorite pasta salads
- Omelettes – Ok maybe I’m a little crazy but I love chopped pickled onions in my eggs
- Appetizers & Dips – add some chopped pickled onion to your favorite dips and on top of snacks and appetizers
Tell me about some of your favorite ways to use pickled onions in the comments below. Would love to hear!
How to Pickle Onions:
Now that I hopefully have you hungry, let’s talk about how to pickle onions! I always wondered how to make pickled onions, and now I’ve been making them for a long time and addicted.
To get started, I like to use a quart size mason jar. You can use any type of container, although I’d suggest not using plastic. Mason jars and glass containers work great!
The recipe makes enough for one quart jar, but you can easily multiple it and make a big batch if you want. Or if you want less, cut it down.
First thing I do, is peel, quarter, and thinly slice red onions. For each quart jar, you’ll need about 3 cups of thinly sliced red onions, but really no need to measure. It may be a bit more or less. Just fill up your mason jar to the top with onions without overly stuffing the jar.
Next, in a small pan, whisk together the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and black pepper. Bring the mixture to a boil. Then carefully, pour the hot liquid over the onions. Cool slightly, then put the lid on, and refrigerate overnight. As they sit in the fridge the onions will slowly start to turn pink.
The next day, you’ll have these pretty pink pickled onions ready to go! I leave my onions in the jar and just take out what I need when I need them. The onions will last a long time in the fridge!
You can easily adapt this pickled onion recipe with your favorite vinegars and/or spices. I’d suggest making the pickled onions plain like this to start, see what you think, then experiment with different vinegars or spices.
What do you think? Ready to make these quick and easy homemade pickled red onions?
Hope you loved learning how to pickle onions and this pickled red onion recipe!
Pickled Red Onions
- Place quartered and sliced red onion into a quart mason jar or other container (glass preferred).
- Whisk together the water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a small saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil.
- Pour hot liquid over onions in jar until liquid reaches just below the top of the jar. Discard any leftover liquid if there is any. Cool onions slightly, then cover and refrigerate overnight.