Life is more fun with pink food. And meals are always better with toppings!
I almost always have these quick pickled red onions in the fridge to throw on top of anything in need of that uniquely sweet-and-tart flavor.
The concept of pickling can sound intimidating, but these take literally 5 minutes to prep and stay good in a sealed jar for several weeks.
Quick pickling uses vinegar and salt to transform the texture and taste of a vegetable in just over an hour. You can pickle virtually anything, but quick pickled red onion is my favorite because it’s quick, easy, and packs tons of flavor into a tiny bite. Sugar is optional, but in this case it adds a nice sweetness and balance to the vinegar.
Start with gathering your ingredients.
You can use any kind of vinegar and sweetener to do a quick pickle, but I like apple cider vinegar and maple syrup for their flavor. They mellow out the sharpness of the onion and give it a candy-like tartness.
You want to slice the onions super thin – 1/8 to 1/4 inch thick. You can do it by hand or take the fast track and use a mandolin slicer like I did above.
Toss the onion slices in a bowl and add the syrup, vinegar, and salt. Use your hands to mix it all together.
Some people mix the vinegar, salt, and syrup together first so that everything is dissolved and evenly mixed, but I’ve found that to be an unnecessary step. I’m all about time saving – it’s all going to get shaken up in a jar anyway!
Any clean glass jar will do.
Pour any leftover liquid from the bowl into the jar and seal with a lid. Let it sit for an hour and a half at room temp to pickle. Give the jar a shake a couple of times during the pickling so that the liquid get dispersed.
You’ll notice the onions start to turn from purple and white to bright magenta!
They will also get softer as they pickle, so I transferred mine to a smaller jar. That way there is less air space in the jar so the onions will stay fresher, longer.
Store the jar in the fridge. The quick pickled red onions are best in the first 1-2 weeks while they still have some crispness, but they’ll stay good for several weeks.
Some people will add water to the vinegar mixture, which can help preserve the red onions longer if they stay submerged under the liquid in the jar during storage. But again, I have found that to be unnecessary. My red onions will stay crisp and delicious without being waterlogged for a few weeks. Plus, they get eaten quickly, so long term storage has never been an issue!
Try them as taco toppers, a veggie burger condiment, or even straight out of the jar like candy.Print
It only takes 5 minutes to prep these hot pink beauties, and they’ll stay good in the fridge for 2 weeks! Use them as toppings and flavor boosters on all kinds of dishes.
- 1 red onion
- 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 tsp salt
- Thinly slice the red onion. I use a mandolin set at 1/8″ thickness.
- Add the sliced onion to a bowl and use your fingers to separate the rings a bit.
- Pour the vinegar, syrup, and salt into the bowl and toss to mix.
- Transfer the onions and liquid to a jar (for easy storage later). Cover or seal with a lid and let sit for about an hour and a half at room temp. The red onion will begin to turn bright pink. Give the jar a shake a couple of times while you wait.
- Store the jar in the fridge. It will keep for several weeks, but is best in the first 1-2 weeks.