Easy Red Pickled Onion Recipe

Easy Red Pickled Onion Recipe

By Published On: November 16th, 2020Categories: Blog, Recipes

Have you ever tried pickling onions? I started doing this recently and I.Am.In.Love. I’m also that person who craved anything vinegar-y during my pregnancies, but that’s besides the point. There’s something about the sweet and sour mixture – it brings foods up another level. Oh, and that other thing is that it’s SO easy to make them!

Before we get to the recipe – I want to break down the difference between pickled and fermented foods. Because they are both *good* in their own way, but they really are very different:

Are pickled onions the same as fermented?

In a word, no. Pickling can often be used (or confused) with fermented, but pickled foods are made quickly in vinegar, a sweetener, salt and spices vs fermented foods sit for some time and ferment, thus forming beneficial bacteria that is said to be good for the gut.

Basically pickling involves soaking foods in an acidic liquid and in fermented foods the sour flavor is a result of a chemical reaction between a food’s sugars and naturally present bacteria – there is no acid needed.

How are fermented foods beneficial?

Fermented foods are rich in probiotic bacteria. By consuming fermented foods, you are adding beneficial bacteria to your intestinal flora which can increase the health of your gut microbiome and digestive system.

Fermented foods for most people help to boost healthy gut bacteria which ultimately can help with gut health, improved immune system, and weight maintenance. Plus they can be delicious!”, says Dr. Carlos Jorge, M.D

How to use red pickled onions:

Though you may or may not catch me trying to sneak these straight from the jar, these really are a tasty condiment. I like adding them as a topping to grain bowls, putting them on top of salads, fajitas, tacos and burgers – meat or vegetarian. Honestly, once you have them you just seem to find new ways to use them!


Easy Pickled Red Onions

Easy Red Pickled Onions

A quick and easy recipe to make red pickled onions
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Cooling time 30 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4


  • 1 medium medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp salt


  • Slice onions thin with a mandolin slicer or knife. 
  • Pack the onions into a mason jar. Place the jar in the sink.
  • In a small saucepan, mix water, apple cider vinegar, maple syrup and salt. Bring the mixture to a gentle simmer over medium heat. Stir and remove from heat. 
  • Pour mixture into the jar over onions. Press onions down into liquid with a spoon. 
  • Let cool to room temperature before serving – about 30 minutes. I personally like them cold, so feel free to cover and refrigerate after they are room temp.


These pickled onions are best when eaten a few days after making them, but will keep for 2 weeks in the refrigerator.


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About the Author: Kiran Dodeja Smith

Kiran Dodeja Smith
Kiran Dodeja Smith is a health coach, blogger, and marketing expert who has been interested in health & fitness since the age of 16. After moving to Charlotte in 2000, she worked with a regional bridal publication before creating her own local print magazine, Little Ones, which she successfully ran for 8 years. She is a lifelong learner who keeps a pulse on the latest health and lifestyle trends and has over 13 years-worth of experience teaching group exercise classes.

This is for general informational purposes only and does not constitute any practice of medicine or professional health care services of any type. The use of information on this blog is at the user’s own risk. The content of this blog is not intended to be a substitute for professional medical advice, for diagnosis, or for treatment. Please seek the care of your health care professionals for any questions or concerns.