Red onions are one of my favorite things to pickle. The acidity of the vinegar brine removes the harshness of the onion and brings out a natural sweetness that is delicious on salads, on tacos, and paired with different meats and cheeses. Pickled red onions can add a lot of color and a burst of flavor to a meal.
Quick Pickling Red Onions
You can make your very own pickled red onions at home without much effort. All you need is a red onion, water, vinegar, and salt plus any other spices or vegetables you want. I recommend allowing the onions to brine for at least 24 hours, but with more time, the onions will be able to absorb more flavor from other ingredients (garlic, hot peppers, etc.)
Pickled Red Onions with Habanero & Garlic
- 1 large red onion (sliced)
- 1-2 habanero peppers (sliced, seeds and all)
- 4 cloves of garlic (crushed)
- 12 whole peppercorns
- 3 tsp kosher salt
- 1 c white vinegar
- 2 c water
- Add water, vinegar, salt, and peppercorns to a pot and bring it to a boil.
- Pour the hot liquid over the onion, garlic, and habanero. Make sure the veggies are submerged in the liquid.
- Let the mix cool to room temperature, then store it in your fridge in an air-tight container.
- Let the onions soak for at least 24 hours before serving. The garlic flavor and heat from the habaneros will continue to transfer to the onions the longer everything sits in the brine together.
Make it Your Own
If you want to make a simple pickled red onion, follow the recipe using only the onion, water, vinegar, and salt.
But this is also a great recipe to experiment with different flavors. You could pickle pieces of ginger along with the onion, substitute apple cider vinegar, add bay leaves to your brine, etc. Get creative and figure out what you like!