Pickled red onions are the perfect addition to any dish. I love their tangy but at the same time sweet flavor. They add a crunchy texture that can uplift a simple salad, sandwich, burger, and many more.
Pickled vegetables are very typical in Middle Eastern and Mediterranean cuisines. In the past, it was the perfect way to preserve vegetables for a longer time and now they have become a big part of the culinary tradition of those countries. This is a quick pickled recipe.
What are the health benefits of red onions?
Onions are packed with nutrients. They are particularly high in vitamin C (which helps with collagen production, iron absorption, repair of the tissues, and a healthy immune system), and rich in B vitamins (B6, good for nerve function, and B9, good for the metabolism). They are also a very good source of potassium. Onions are loaded with more than 25 different varieties of antioxidants.
Red onions also contain anthocyanins: a powerful plant pigment that (studies have shown) may protect against heart attack, and certain types of cancer. They also help us to control blood sugar and reduce heart disease.
Another benefit of consuming onions in any form (pickled, roasted, raw, etc.) is their antibacterial properties.
Ingredients of pickled onions
Onions: Red onions are the perfect variety to pickle if you want to achieve a vibrant pink color. But yellow and white onions are also good options. Try to use firm onions.
Vinegar: I use a combination of white wine vinegar and apple cider vinegar, but any vinegar type will do the job.
Sweetener: I use honey to add some sweetness and balance to the pickled onions. Maple syrup can also be used, in case of allergies or when following a vegan diet.
Spices: Mustard seeds, coriander seeds, garlic, chili peppers, ginger, cloves, allspice, or other types of pepper are great additions to the pickled onions. They add extra flavor to them.
Herbs: You can also add herbs to the brine. Rosemary, thyme, oregano, and bay leaves are good options.
Tips & tricks
Slice the onions into rings, half-moons, or slices (slice vertically from root to stem). The slices can be as thin (e.g. ½ cm, ¼ inch) or thick (e.g. 1.3 cm, ½ inch) as you like. I prefer cutting it into thin slices. The thinner they are, the faster they will pickle.
Store the pickled onions in a heatproof glass jar. You can also use ceramic. Don't use plastic or metal because metal reacts with vinegar, and plastic absorbs the smell.
Even though pickled onions last in the fridge for several weeks, they are at their best only the first week.
Always use a dry, clean utensil to serve the pickled onions from the jar, to avoid contamination which can spoil them.
If you have a mandoline slicer, it is a great way to slice the onions at the same thickness. Otherwise, use a sharp knife.
How to serve the pickled onions
The possibilities to serve pickled onions are endless. There are so many ways to use them:
- Stuff them in sandwiches, burgers, tacos, wraps, and paninis.
- Add them to salads, soups, and lunch bowls.
- Serve them with grilled meat like souvlaki, gyros, steak, kebab, and more.
- Top over hummus, pizza, and falafel.
How to store the pickled onions
Store the pickled onions in a sterile glass jar. After they cool down completely, place them in the fridge, for up to 3 weeks.
Looking for a great onion match?
Pickled Red Onions
- 2 large red onions thinly sliced
- ¾ cup/180 ml water
- ½ cup/120 ml apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup/60 ml wine vinegar red or white
- 2 tablespoon honey
- ½ tablespoon sea salt
- 1 dry red pepperoncini (optional)
- 2 cloves garlic (optional)
- 1 teaspoon mixed spices of choice (optional)
- 2 sprigs herbs of choice (optional)
- Place the onions, herbs, and spices (if used) into a heat-resistant sterile glass jar.
- Combine water, vinegar, honey, and sea salt into a small sauce pan and place it over medium heat.
- Bring the mixture to a light boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for ~ 5 minutes.
- Pour the mixture into the jar and using a clean, dry spoon, press the onions down so that the liquid covers them completely.
- Let the mixture cool completely at room temperature.
- Serve or close the lid and refrigerate.
- Enjoy 🙂
Servings: 1 (53g) | Calories: 31kcal | Carbohydrates: 7g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 0.08g | Saturated Fat: 0.021g | Trans Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 351mg | Potassium: 73mg | Fiber: 0.7g | Sugar: 5.02g | Vitamin A: 158IU | Vitamin C: 8.9mg | Calcium: 11mg | Iron: 0.22mg | Manganese: 0.086mg