The best condiment to put on top of everything, from eggs and chilis to tacos and salads. You’ll love the flavor boost you get from these so-simple Quick Pickled Onions. Easily make a batch today and always keep a jar on hand! 

Prep: 10 minsTotal: 1 hour, 10 mins
Servings: Makes 1½ cups 1x


  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cup hot water
  • ½ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar* (optional)
  • 1¼ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1012 whole peppercorns (optional)


  1. Slice onions as thin as possible using a knife or mandolin slicer; set aside. 
  2. In a large bowl, combine the hot water, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns. Stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
  3. Add the sliced onions to the bowl of liquid and stir gently. Press down on the onions so that they’re submerged in the liquid. 
  4. Cover bowl with a clean towel or lid. Set aside the onions to rest on the counter at room temperature for 1 hour before serving or transferring the bowl to the fridge for longer storage. The Quick Pickled Onions will keep in the fridge in a tightly covered container for up to 3 weeks. If desired, transfer the onions and liquid to jars or smaller containers for easier storage. 


This is a refrigerator-type pickle and not intended for canning. The acidity in this recipe is too low for canning, so store the Quick Pickled Onions in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.

*Omit sugar for a Whole30 or Paleo version. Doing so will make for slightly more acidic flavor, but they will still taste delicious as an addition to meals of all kinds. 

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: 2 tablespoons
  • Calories: 6
  • Fat: 0 g
  • Sodium: 85 mg
  • Carbohydrate: 1 g
  • (Sugar: 1 g)
  • Protein: 0 g


© The Real Food Dietitians