Pickled Red Onions are so easy to make, you’ll want to keep them around all the time! All you need are sliced red onions, vinegar, and a little salt and sugar. These pickled red onions can enhance the most mundane of dishes, like sandwiches or a simple green salad.

I am in love with these pickled red onions. They are so easy to make, they keep for weeks in the refrigerator, and they lend a subtle, tangy flavor to whatever you want to add them to.

I’ve put them in salads, on sandwiches, love them on hamburgers, and even just add them as a little side note to roasted vegetables.

A jar of pickled red onions on a wooden cutting board.

And pickled red onions are pretty! The vinegar takes on a red hue from the onions, and the onions lighten and brighten to become a reddish-pink color.

My favorite new combination is to add pickled onions or these pickled serrano peppers to my BBQ Pork Pizza with Roasted Corn, Jalapeno, and Smoked Mozzarella.

More great pickled vegetable options are pickled beets, or these pickled green tomatoes, both of which are great on salads or charcuterie boards.

Other serving suggestions

What you need for pickled red onions

How to make pickled red onions

You will love how easy this recipe is! All you need to do is slice up some red onions nice and thin. Then bring vinegar, sugar, and salt to a boil and pour over the onions.

THAT IS IT! Seriously!

Pin this now to save it for later

Storing pickled onions

Once the onions come to room temperature, store them in the refrigerator, where they will keep for 2-3 weeks—if they stick around that long. In my house, they’re gone in about a week!


You can experiment with the vinegar. I usually use apple cider vinegar, but I’ve also used red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, and sherry vinegar, and all are good. Balsamic vinegar would work too. Basically, whatever you have on hand will be just fine.

You can also add various spices if you want to tweak the flavor profile a bit: peppercorns, whole allspice or cloves, star anise–any of these would add a slightly different taste to the onions.

Join Southern Food and Fun Community group
and Southern Potluck group!

And please follow us on social media:

Want to save this recipe?
Enter your email below and we’ll send the recipe straight to your inbox!
4.56 from 9 votes

Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions may be the easiest and best condiment ever, with just sliced red onions, vinegar, and a little salt and sugar.
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 5 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 6 servings
Save This Recipe


  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • ½ cup water
  • 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt


  • Bring vinegar, water, sugar, and salt to a boil until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from heat and pour over onions in a bowl.
  • Allow onions to cool to room temperature, then place in a jar with the vinegar mix. Cover and chill. Keep refrigerated.


Serving: 6servings, Calories: 26kcal, Carbohydrates: 5g, Sodium: 582mg, Sugar: 4g
Course: Sides
Cuisine: American
Calories: 26
Keyword: how to pickle onions, pickled red onions, red onions
Love this recipe?Mention @southernfoodandfun or tag #southernfoodandfun!

Update Notes: This post was originally published December 4, 2017, and on April 1, 2021, was updated with one or more of the following: step-by-step photos, video, updated recipe, new tips.

Lucy standing behind a counter with a cheese board and glass of wine.

About the author

Hi, I’m Lucy! I’m a home cook, writer, food and wine fanatic, and recipe developer. I’ve created and tested hundreds of recipes so that I can bring you the best tried and true favorites.

Follow Lucy on social media:

You May Also Like:

Sign up with your email address to receive a 5-day series of Southern Cooking Secrets, followed by weekly emails with recipes and tips. We won't send you spam. Unsubscribe at any time.
4.56 from 9 votes (9 ratings without comment)

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating