Pickled Red Onions – Oh Sweet Basil

I don’t know why I haven’t posted this recipe sooner, but I can’t stop making and eating these pickled red onions…bring on all the tacos!

Pickled red onions are tangy and sweet, and they add a little extra crunch to whatever you put them on. I’m obsessed with them! I absolutely love them on tacos and pretty much all Mexican recipes. They are also phenomenal on sandwiches or burgers or in a salad. Essentially, I just keep them on hand all the time now.

They have a long shelf life and just get better with age. All you need is 6 simple ingredients!

a photo of a quart size mason jar a little over half full of thinly sliced red onions sitting in water. They are bright pink .


Here are the 6 simple ingredients you will need to make pickled onions:

  • Red Onion – thinly sliced, you could use any type of onion you want if you aren’t a red fan
  • Apple Cider Vinegar and Red Wine Vinegar – I love the combination of these two vinegars, they are sweet and a little more mild
  • Sugar – balances the tartness and acidity of the vinegars
  • Kosher Salt – adds flavor and enhances all the flavors
  • Water – using warm water helps dissolve the sugar and salt

The measurement for all the ingredients can be found in the recipe card down below. The recipe can be saved or printed there as well.

Variations for Pickled Onions

I’m all about not changing things up if it’s delicious, but this recipe is super flexible and can be easily adjusted to fit your desires. Here are a few ideas:

  • Spicy – add slices of jalapeno or a dash or red pepper flakes
  • Garlicky – add a clove or two of fresh garlic that has been thinly sliced
  • Peppery – add whole peppercorns
  • Herby – add a sprig of fresh thyme or rosemary or whatever herb(s) you love

You can also use other types of onions or vinegar. Play around with this recipe and find variation is your favorite!

a photo of a quart size mason jar that is about half full of bright pink thinly sliced red onions brining in a clear liquid with a sprig of cilantro sitting next to the jar.


What to Put Pickled Red Onions on

The short answer is…just about everything! I am love these on tacos, sandwiches, in salads and bowls. Here are a few of our favorite recipes that go great with pickled red onions:

See, like I said…they go with almost everything! I can’t wait for you to try them!

How to Thinly Cut an Onion

The easiest way to uniformly cut onions very thinly is to use a mandolin. If you don’t have a mandolin, then use a sharp knife. Cut the tip (the pointy end, not the end with the little brown strings hanging off it), then place the onion down on the cutting board on that new flat side. Cut the onion in half through the root end (the end with the brown strings, i.e. roots). Peel back the papery skin back and then use a sharp knife to thinly slice the onion.

How Long Do Picked Red Onions Keep?

Pickled onions keep very well and actually get more flavorful the longer they sit. They should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks.


I love the bright pink color of the pickled red onions and the vinegary and zippy burst of flavor they add to any dish. There aren’t many recipes out there that require no cooking and no pans. This recipe is so quick and easy! It’s taco time over here!


More Condiment Recipes to Try:

a photo of a quart size mason jar a little over half full of thinly sliced red onions sitting in water. They are bright pink .

Prep Time: 5 minutes

Resting Time: 1 hour

Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Servings: 1 batch

  • 1/2 Cup Apple Cider Vinegar plus 2 Tablespoons
  • 2 Tablespoons Red Wine Vinegar
  • 1 Tablespoon Sugar
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon Kosher Salt
  • 3/4 Cup Warm Water
  • 1 Red Onion thinly sliced
  • Whisk the first 5 ingredients in a small bowl until the sugar and salt completely dissolve.

  • Place onion in a large jar and pour the vinegar mixture over the top.

  • Let sit at room temperature for 1 hour then cover with a lid and transfer to the fridge for up to 2 weeks.

Nutrition Facts

Pickled Red Onions

Amount Per Serving (1 batch)

Calories 121
Calories from Fat 9

% Daily Value*

Fat 1g2%

Saturated Fat 1g6%

Polyunsaturated Fat 1g

Monounsaturated Fat 1g

Sodium 3510mg153%

Potassium 261mg7%

Carbohydrates 23g8%

Fiber 2g8%

Sugar 17g19%

Protein 1g2%

Vitamin A 2IU0%

Vitamin C 8mg10%

Calcium 43mg4%

Iron 1mg6%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.


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