Making pickled red onions is easy and quick! A delicious addition to sandwiches, burgers and more, these quick pickled onions only require 4 ingredients (all of which are pantry ingredients) and take only a couple of minutes to throw together.

Photograph of Quick Pickled Onions in a white bowl | Zestful Kitchen

How do you store pickled red onions?

The best way to store pickled red onions is in a glass container, fitted with a lid, in the refrigerator. Glass Ball jars are a great option.

How long do pickled red onions last?

Stored in the refrigerator, homemade pickled red onions can last up to 2 months. Although they are best within the first month.

How do you make pickled red onions?

There are three basic components to making pickled red onion.

  1. red onion (are you surprised?)
    • slice onions in thin rings
  2. vinegar
    • I prefer using white distilled vinegar because it gets the job done and is a nice blank slate, allowing you to add whatever flavorings you’d like. You can also use red or white wine vinegar, champagne vinegar, or rice vinegar.
  3. Sweetness
    • In general,  I prefer to use natural sweeteners when I cook such as honey and maple syrup. For pickled onions I often use honey but you can use agave, raw cane sugar, white or brown sugar, brown rice syrup, and more.
  4. Flavorings (optional)
    • Although not necessary, you can add a variety of flavorings to your pickles red onions. Crushed garlic, dried bay leaves, black peppercorns, pepper flakes, citrus zest, and whole cloves or cinnamon sticks are common additions.

How do you serve pickled red onions?

Photograph of turkey burger with pickled red onions, sauce, and lettuce

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Pickled Onions | Zestful Kitchen

Quick Pickled Red Onions

  • Author: Lauren Grant of Zestful Kitchen
  • Cook Time: 5 minutes
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 1 cup 1x


Pickled red onions are quick and easy to make and are a delicious addition to sandwiches and burgers!


  • 1 red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • ¾ cup white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1½ teaspoons kosher salt


Place onions in a medium bowl.

Combine vinegar, honey, and salt in a small saucepan over medium heat. Bring to a boil, remove from heat, and pour over onions.

Let sit at least 30 minutes before using (the longer they sit the better), or transfer to a glass jar with a tight fitting lid and refrigerate for up to 2 months


Equipment you’ll need:

  • Saucepan
  • Mandoline (optional, although it makes easy work of thinly slicing onions)

Ingredients you’ll need:

  • Red onions
  • Vinegar
  • Honey
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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine,,, and more.

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