I often prefer to use pickled red onions because they have a nice flavor and taste. These can be used in a variety of recipes. In this article, there is complete information to prepare perfect pickled red onions.  I am sure you will like them in dishes. you can preserve them for future use. First, have a look at the history of pickled onions.

pickled red onions

History of Pickled Red Onions:

Pickled red onions exhibit a long history comprising centuries. Since ancient times pickling is practiced to preserve food items. Pickled red onions have been used in common dishes by ancient Romans. It is known that Egyptians also consumed pickled red onions in dishes.

When talking about the United Kingdom, since 1800, these have been used as a compliment to many dishes. It is said that sailors used pickled red onions for the prevention of scurvy. It is due to the high content of vitamin C in red onions.

special pickled red onions

However, the use of spices and vinegar to pickle red onions has got a tradition in India. It is a common practice to preserve vegetables and fruits in India. When the British ruled over India for about 100 years, they brought this pickling tradition to their area.

Pickled red onions are prepared by slicing onions and then they are soaked in vinegar. In the vinegar, sugar, flavor, and spices are already added. Vinegar is added for the preservation purpose while spices and sugar add flavor to pickled red onions. Pigments present in the skin of onion absorb in the vinegar and give the pickle red color.

Nowadays pickled red onions are considered a famous condiment in different parts of the world. In Mexico, tacos and other street foods are served with pickled red onions. In British cuisine sandwiches, cheese, and meats are complemented with this pickle.

Pickled red onions recipe:

To add texture and enhance flavor to many dishes, pickled red onions are commonly used. These can also be used to add toppings on sandwiches, salads, tacos, or burgers. This pickle can also be used in soup and stews for garnishing purposes. When pickle is made of red onions, they become tangy and get a slightly sweet flavor. In this form, they can be used in combination with dishes of a wide range. 

Ingredients for pickled red onions:

  • 1 large sized red onion
  • One sup of white vinegar
  • One-fourth cup of apple cider vinegar
  • One-fourth cup of granulated sugar
  • One and half teaspoon kosher salt
  • One bay leaf
  • One teaspoon of black peppercorns

Vinegar for pickled red onions:

We add vinegar to make pickled red onions for a variety of seasons.

vinegar for pickled red onions


Vinegar is added to the pickle to give it an acidic and tangy flavor and acts as a compliment to the sweet taste of onions.


As vinegar is acidic in nature, it plays its role in the preservation of onions. Vinegar does this by inhibiting microorganisms and bacterial growth.


The acidic strength of vinegar makes the onions soft and gives them a tender appearance.


The acidic nature of the vinegar maintains the red or bright pink color of onions. In the presence of vinegar color of onions remains bright and does not fade.

Vinegar is a very essential component in making pickled red onions due to all its qualities.

Using sugar and salt in pickled red onions:

To increase the appearance, texture, and taste of pickled red onions, salt, and sugar are added in it.

Addition of sugar balances the sharpness, savor, and acidity of the vinegar. This helps to make the taste less sour and enhances its mellowness. Sugar also caramelizes the red onions and it gives them a caramel-like beautiful color.

salt in pickled red onions

Salt is required to release moisture from inions and to increase the taste of onions. When water remains in onions, they become easily deteriorated after some time. While the removal of water from onions preserves their texture and prevents them from becoming too mushy and soft. Salt is also added to balance the sweet taste of sugar and the acidic nature of vinegar. It results in an overall delicious and well-rounded flavor.

The overall combination of salt and sugar plays a very important role in the taste and preservation of pickled red onions.

Steps to make pickled red onions:

1.   First, take the red onion and peel it off. Make the middle-sized slices of onion and put them in a clean jar made of glass.

2.   Take a small saucepan and add it white vinegar, sugar, apple cider juice, kosher salt, bay leaf, and black peppercorns.

3.   Mix all the ingredients well and boil them till salt and sugar are dissolved well. 

4.   Then pour the hot prepared mixture over onion slices in jar. During this make sure that onions are completely waterlogged with the liquid mixture.

5.   Let the mixture rest until it cools to room temperature. After cooling of the mixture, use a lid to cover the jar tightly. 

6.   Put the pickle in the refrigerator for 30 minutes or you can put it for several weeks but make sure no moisture gets into the pickle.

7.   Now it's time to serve the pickled red onions as a condiment with a variety of dishes.

Note: You can also add different flavoring agents according to your choice in the mixture. You can add herbs, mint, garlic, and spice to your choice.


Pickled Red Onions - Recipes by Love and Lemons

Quick Pickled Red Onions - Gimme Some Oven