Quick Pickled Red Onions

I credit the queen, Deb Perelman, for creating my pickled red onion obsession. She uses them here and there when a dish needs a punch of sour and brightness. This is my favorite version for tacos or anything Tex-Mex. The little bit of jalapeño gives them the slightest kick, but they can also be omitted if you prefer.

I love having pickled red onions on hand. They elevate any sandwich, eggs or cheese and crackers snack to something that feels elegant. I like to make a batch at the beginning of the week and throw them on anything I can think of.

 Quick Pickled Red Onions

Quick Pickled Red Onions

Yield: 2 cups


  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup cold water
  • 1 Tablespoon kosher salt
  • 1 Tablespoon sugar
  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1/2 – 1 jalapeño, thinly sliced (remove seeds and ribs if desired)


  1. In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, water, salt and sugar until fully dissolved.
  2. Stir onion and jalapeño slices into pickling liquid. Toss to make sure they are coated with the liquid; they will not be fully submerged.
  3. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes and up to 24 hours.
  • Pickles will keep in the fridge for 3-4 days.
  • Optional jalapeño substitutions: thinly sliced fresh ginger, 1 teaspoon whole spices (such as coriander, fennel or peppercorns), 1 teaspoon chili garlic paste.
  • You can replace the vinegar with another acid for a different flavor profile (such as lemon juice, rice vinegar, red wine vinegar or sherry vinegar).
Uses for Pickles:
  • On sandwiches, wraps or tacos
  • With roasted or grilled meat, pulled pork or grilled fish
  • Chopped and stirred into tuna, egg or chicken salad
  • With fried rice, frittatas or scrambled eggs
  • Use the brine as the acid in a vinaigrette

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