If you have never made pickled red onions at home before, it’s high time we fixed that. This is one of those foods that for many years, it never occurred to me to make. Over time I came to realize how thoroughly I enjoyed pickled onions any time they were part of a dish I had at a restaurant and then I knew it was time to try making a homemade version.

As it turns out, these are unbelievably simple to make and take less than 30 minutes from start to finish. That’s a very good thing because they have become a true fridge staple in my household. I incorporate them into all sorts of meals and sometimes Caroline just eats them straight from the jar. They are a powerhouse item that can add a punch of flavor and bright color to any dish. Tacos and salads are my favorite uses but they are also great on sandwiches, egg scrambles or omelettes, and more. I hope you enjoy having them on hand as much as we do!

  • Prep 10-15 minutes
  • Cook 5 minutes
  • Yield approx. 1 quart


  • 1 jalapeño pepper, thinly sliced
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced (about 4 cups)
  • 1 cup (230 grams) distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tsp. kosher salt
  • 1 cup (237 grams) water
  • 1 cup (198 grams) sugar


  • 01

    Combine the sliced jalapeño and red onion in a medium bowl. In a small saucepan, combine the vinegar, salt, water and sugar. Heat over medium-high, whisking until the sugar is dissolved. Bring the mixture to a boil, then pour over the onions mixture in the bowl. Use a medium plate and/or smaller bowl on top to keep the onions submerged in the pickling mixture. Let sit until the onions have softened and cooled slightly, about 25 minutes. Transfer to an airtight container such as a jar and refrigerate. Onions will keep indefinitely in a sealed container in the refrigerator.