Practical Kitchen : Quick Pickled Onions

Practical Kitchen : Quick Pickled Onions

Practical Kitchen is an article series where I explore all the things I make on a regular basis to keep myself fed when life gets crazy. I hope these articles help you eat better, less stressful weeknight meals.

Easiest Quick Pickled Onions

Pickled red onions are a staple in my kitchen. They breathe life back into any meal prep situation and pack instant flavor. Any time I post about making pickled onions on Instagram I get questions.

"What do I do with them?" 

"How long does it take?" 

"Is it difficult?" 

Answers? I eat them on everything. It takes about 15 minutes. It is the easiest, most impressive thing to can do to take your boring ass dinner to Flavortown. 

I first had pickled onions on a hummus plate from The Camp House. I thought they were fantastic, and I had to add some to my refrigerator at once. Honestly, I went to the store to buy some - only to find they weren't available there. After doing some research, I've gathered they aren't sold in stores like pickles because they don't have the same, long-term shelf life as your standard jar of pickles. Also, they're so easy to make on your own you there is really no point in mass producing them are jarring them up. 

I developed my method for quick pickling onions by reading a few different articles. First, I read a fantastic article from The Kitchn. It really breaks down the entire quick pickling process and gives you good options for adding flavor to your pickled onions. Next, I referenced Bon Appetit's recipe for quick pickled onions. Then I made my first batch. I did the whole sugar and salt thing. I ran the water over my onions. They were great. I kept them for about 3 weeks. Eating them regularly on rice bowls and adding them to lox bagels. All was well in pickled onion paradise. 

When I went to make my second batch I was in a rush and I couldn't remember exactly what I had done. So - I cut up some onions, threw them in a jar with some whole black peppercorns, then filled the remainder of the jar with white wine vinegar. The result was fantastic, just as good as before, and I realized all the other steps weren't necessary. I confirmed that theory by checking out a Serious Eats article, where the brining process has also been totally eliminated. 

Easiest Quick Pickled Onions

So, here's my method for quick pickled onions: 

What you need: 


  • A jar with a tight sealing lid

  • A sharp knife 

*Need some jars? These and these are great.


  • 1 red onion 

  • Whole black peppercorns

  • White wine vinegar 

Easiest Quick Pickled Onions


  1. Begin by thinly slicing the red onion into rounds or strips. I prefer strips because they are more pleasant for topping dishes like rice bowls or adding to sandwiches.  

  2. Put the onion strips into a jar with a handful of whole black peppercorns. No, I don't measure anything. It really isn't necessary and we're trying to keep this simple AF. 

  3. Fill the jar with white wine vinegar until all the onions are submerged in liquid. Cap with the lid and gently shake a bit to move the peppercorns around and incorporate. 

  4. Let sit for at least 15 minutes before eating. Store in the refrigerator for around 3 weeks or until the onions begin to lose their color (or until you eat them all). 

Easiest Quick Pickled Onions

That's it! People also tend to ask me how I eat them, so here's a short list of things I put them on: 

  • Avocado Toast

  • Rice Bowls 

  • Omelets

  • Sandwiches

  • Tacos 

Easiest Quick Pickled Onions
Easiest Quick Pickled Onions

Until we eat again -


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