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Quick & Easy Pickled Red Onions

red onions in pink vinegar in a quart jar with a fork

You know what goes great on burgers, pulled pork, fish tacos, deviled eggs, carnitas, nachos, loaded fries, omelets or any number of salads or sandwiches?  Pickled red onion!  This quick and easy refrigerated version will help you easily have them on hand any time you need them.  I love these pickled onions even more than actual pickles - they are probably one of my very favorite condiments.  They provide the perfect amount of crunch to so many dishes, but to be honest, I will often eat these right out of the jar!

You won't believe how simple they are to make.  Thinly sliced red onions are packed in a jar, sprinkled with pickling spices, and then covered in a warm vinegar, grenadine, sugar and salt mixture that permeates deep in to the onions, giving them a gorgeous pink color and making them a tart, tangy beautifully crunchy addition to all kinds of dishes.  If you are an onion fan, these might be a new favorite.

A couple of tips for this recipe:

  • Pickling spice is available pre-made in most grocery stores in the herbs and spices aisle, (I get mine at Walmart super inexpensively.)  However, if you want to make your own, you can use a combination of any of the following:  whole peppercorns, whole coriander seed, whole mustard seed, whole allspice, crushed red pepper.
  • How many onions you will use depends on the size of the onions.  Just slice enough to fill both the jars.  
  • Slice your onions as thin as you can get them - I did mine with a sharp knife, but a mandolin works brilliantly - just watch your fingers and USE THE GUARD. (I may be talking from experience here.)
  • If you don't have grenadine syrup, you can skip it - but it makes them an even more beautiful shade of pink.  (I watched Bobby Flay use it in his red onions on Food Network and haven't looked back.)
  • To pour the liquid in to the jars I use a canning funnel- it keeps everything in the jar and not all over the counter.  If you don't have a funnel, transfer the liquid in to a measuring pitcher over the sink then use the pitcher to pour it in to the jars!
  • This recipe makes two jars - I keep one and gift one.  If you want to just make one, then just half the recipe.


  • 2-3 medium sized red onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 Tbsp pickling spice
  • 3/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1/4 cup grenadine syrup
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 tsp salt

  1. Slice the red onions thinly, divide between two pint sized mason jars.  
  2. Put 1 Tbsp of the pickling spice in each jar over the onions.
  3. In a small saucepan, combine the two vinegars, water, grenadine syrup, sugar, and salt.  Bring to a simmer and let simmer for just 30 seconds to 1 minute until the salt and sugar are completely dissolved.  
  4. Carefully pour half the liquid in to each jar.
  5. Gently push down the onions in to the liquid using a fork.
  6. Let sit on the counter until they come to room temperature - about 30 minutes.  
  7. You can use immediately then put the lid on the jars and keep in the refrigerator.  (They will keep for 2-3 weeks refrigerated.)
red onions and spices in pink vinegar in a quart jar

pickled red onions in a jar with pink vinegar and spices


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