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Pickled Red Onions

2 hr + 5 min


10 ingredients or less

Pickles adds such a wonderful crunch and tang to nearly any dish. These pickled red onions can be added to burgers, wraps, or sandwiches, on nourish bowl, salads, or curries.


(2 Tbsp per serving)


2 hr + 5 min


5 min


2 hr

Free from

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Treenut symbol

tree nut

Sesame symbol


Gluten symbol



  • 2
    medium red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (240 mL)
    boiling water
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
    white vinegar
  • ¼ cup (60 mL)
  • 2 tsp (10 mL)
  • 1 tsp (6 g)
    coarse sea salt


  1. Add the sliced onions to a large heat-proof jar*.
  2. Next, pour in the water, vinegars, agave, and salt. Seal the jar tightly and give it a few gentle shakes. Let cool to room temperature, then transfer to the fridge.
  3. It's best to leave the onions to pickle overnight, but they're still very tasty after just 1 - 2 hours. Enjoy on your favourite sandwiches, salads, or nourish bowls!


  • * If using 2 medium onions, a 32 oz (1 litre) mason jar should be the correct size. If using more or fewer onions, scale the size of the jar up or down accordingly.


  • Keep the sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 - 3 weeks.

Let us know what you think

Nutrition info

We believe that focusing on numbers can harm our relationship with food. Instead, our philosophy is to Nourish the Cells & the Soul. If you require specific nutrition information due to a medical condition, please consult with a dietitian or physician. The nutritional information provided is composed with the utmost care. However, we cannot guarantee the correctness of the displayed values, see also our disclaimer.

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Discussion & Rating

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aparna - April 16, 2024, 5:07 a.m.

Hi ,
How long can these be stored in the fridge for ?
Can we use brown sugar instead of agave?

PUL Team - April 16, 2024, 11:20 p.m.

Hi Aparna, the pickled red onions will keep well in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 - 3 weeks. In case you haven't seen yet and it helps in the future, the storage instructions on the app are in the directions tab and the last slide of the "Make" step-by-step instructions 😊

As for using brown sugar, you bet, although it will give a slightly different flavour. The agave can be substituted with regular granulated sugar or another syrup if desired. We hope you enjoy the recipe if you're able to give it a try!

Sandra Hendrickx - April 11, 2024, 3:28 p.m.

Yummm! Refreshing, vibrant, crunchy. And a perfect match with many dishes. Mmmm. Delicious!

PUL Team - April 11, 2024, 6:42 p.m.

Love adding pickles onions to elevate dishes 🙌 thanks, Sandra!

Nouna - April 9, 2024, 9:12 a.m.

This recipe is my go to ! So simple and love some pickled red onions on any toast or salad 🤩

Hope W. - April 8, 2024, 9:20 p.m.

I have been eyeing this for so long!!! I’m not big on onions so I hesitated. I finally did it and man am I so ecstatic that I did. I’ve been adding these to sandwiches, salads, side dishes… the meal ideas are endless and I don’t think I’ll never not have these in my fridge. Thank you pickup Limes for such a simple and delicious recipe!

PUL Team - April 9, 2024, 12:16 a.m.

Aww welcome to the world of pickled onions, Hope, aren't they fantastic?! Enjoy adding them to your culinary adventures 😃

Laura Defalco - April 7, 2024, 4:31 a.m.


Aileen - April 7, 2024, 1:25 a.m.

So delicious and simple.

question - March 31, 2024, 1:51 p.m.

Is this supposed to be heated? Maybe the non onion ingredients boiled?

PUL Team - April 1, 2024, 6:29 p.m.

Hey friend, no, this recipe doesn't require heating. Simply combine the sliced onions with boiling water and other ingredients, let it cool, then refrigerate overnight. The hot water makes it easier to dissolve the salt and the heat proof jar is to prevent the vessel from cracking or shattering when the boiling water is added 😊

meike - March 14, 2024, 12:43 p.m.

simple and delicious!

Kata Szilvia Papp - March 5, 2024, 1:25 p.m.

Hello PUL Team! I have a question: in Hungary we have different types of white vingegar (for e.g. 10 and 20 % as well) which one should I use for this recipe? Thank you in advance 😊

PUL Team - March 5, 2024, 5:05 p.m.

Hey Kata, we'd recommend vinegar with a standard acidity level, typically around 5%. Higher acidity vinegar like 10 or 20% may be too strong and overpower the flavours. If thats all you have available, add a bit less vinegar and use more water to dilute. Hope you enjoy the pickled red onions if you give the recipe a try 😃

Susan Hodel - Feb. 18, 2024, 2:18 p.m.

Very easy to make and super delicious :-)

Mickie Couchman - Feb. 12, 2024, 3:42 p.m.

This is a regular visitor to our meal table!

Deborah - Feb. 9, 2024, 9:43 p.m.

So good! We enjoy it everyday on Thai, Indian and other food.

kim - Jan. 31, 2024, 5:41 p.m.

Turned out great 👌

Anna - Jan. 7, 2024, 6:18 a.m.

Just made 1/2 of the recipe and had a quick question--when I halved it, the liquid doesn't cover all of the onions (I'm using a 16 oz mason jar). Is that okay, or should I make another 1/2 of the pickling ingredients and add it to the onions? :) I thought my onion was a medium size, but apparently it is a big boi haha! Thank you so much for the recipe! Excited to eat it soon!

PUL Team - Jan. 9, 2024, 6:55 a.m.

Hey there, Anna, if the liquid doesn't fully cover the onions, you can try gently pressing them down to see if they can be arranged under the liquid. If that doesn't work, we'd indeed recommend making another half batch of the liquid to help infuse the onion better 🤗

Aileen - April 7, 2024, 1:24 a.m.

Hi, Anna, the exact same thing happened to me! I halved the recipe, but I also had a large onion. 🧅

Molly W - Jan. 4, 2024, 9:06 p.m.

So easy and simple! Sliced the onions in my food processor whilst the kettle boiled so took about 5 minutes to make!! Great recipe :)

A Southern Imperfect Vegan - Dec. 6, 2023, 8:34 a.m.

Quick and easy, love the swap feature.

Maha - Oct. 13, 2023, 6:40 p.m.


leni - Sept. 18, 2023, 3:49 p.m.

super easy

Ariel - Sept. 7, 2023, 4:34 p.m.

Do you have to keep it in the fridge for storage once made? Or can it be left on the counter?

PUL Team - Sept. 8, 2023, 1:17 a.m.

Hey Ariel, we recommend to keep the pickled onions in a sealed jar in the fridge for up to 2 - 3 weeks 🙂

Ariel - Sept. 8, 2023, 10:44 p.m.

Awesome! Thank you so much! 😁

Mike D - Aug. 12, 2023, 4:59 p.m.

these are so good, I put them on my Corn Flakes in the morning.

NG - Aug. 6, 2023, 11:15 p.m.


Linda Fe - Aug. 6, 2023, 3:07 p.m.

Love making this simple and tasty condiment over the years! It is the perfect add for salads, bowls, noodle dishes, and sandwiches!

Alejandra - July 29, 2023, 3:21 p.m.

I love this recipe so much. I’ve made it on repeat for the last couple of months. I love adding the onions on all my salads. Everyone who’s tried them have loved them too.

PUL Team - July 30, 2023, 7:35 p.m.

Yay so happy to hear, Alejandra, salads are a lovely idea!

Holly - July 25, 2023, 1:03 a.m.

This has been a go to recipe for over a year now.

Shada Sinclair - July 23, 2023, 11:10 p.m.

So easy, so delicious. Nice addition to my favorite sandwiches!

Charlotte - July 23, 2023, 11:08 p.m.

Super simple recipe can’t wait to try it with tomorrows breakfast!

Marcia - July 7, 2023, 5:44 p.m.

I am thrilled with this App. I followed your videos for years on YouTube. I’m a vegan, your recipes are delicious and easy to follow. This App makes it soooo much easier.
Congratulations! Sharing it with all my friends, I cannot believe how affordable eating healthy will be. Thank you! Thank you!

PUL Team - July 8, 2023, 8:51 p.m.

Oh, Marcia, you're the best! Thank YOU so much for the kind words and support. None of it would be possible without our community 🥹💛

Tina - July 6, 2023, 8:05 p.m.

Made it a few days ago now I am left with the liquid since we ate all the onions. Can I boil the liquid again and poor it over new onion-slices to reuse the liquid?

PUL Team - July 8, 2023, 7:14 p.m.

Hey Tina, we'd recommend using fresh brine each time for optimal food safety and flavour. The onions will absorb the vinegar and salt from the brine so if reused, the juice won't be as effective.

To use up the brine, you could consider adding it to sauces or in recipes in place of lemon or pickle juice such as potato salad, salad dressing, hummus, or borscht 😊

Tina - July 8, 2023, 7:41 p.m.

Alright thank you for your tips :)

Nivetha R S - June 25, 2023, 6:50 p.m.

Blossom - June 25, 2023, 6:23 p.m.

This is so quick and easy. Love it

Katelyn Garcia - May 18, 2023, 9:43 p.m.

Absolutely delicious! Once the seal is broken, was wondering how long it will stay fresh in the fridge? Thanks for your content!!

PUL Team - May 18, 2023, 11:26 p.m.

Hey Katelyn, the pickled onions stay fresh in the fridge for up to 2-3 weeks. Just be sure to close the lid after each use 🙂

Katelyn Garcia - May 18, 2023, 11:53 p.m.

That’s super helpful! Thank you so much ❤️ You are an inspiration🥰

Sally T - April 29, 2023, 6:59 p.m.

These are so easy to make, go with so many things and look beautiful! The onions I used were quite strong so I was a little worried about how they might turn out but they are great - the perfect balance of sweetness and sourness

PUL Team - May 1, 2023, 1:21 a.m.

So lovey to hear, Sally, thanks so much 🤗

Kristi - March 28, 2023, 2:44 a.m.

These are amazing and so simple to make! They add that little bit of extra that your dish needs. We’ve made of few batches to share with family and friends.

PUL Team - March 28, 2023, 7:19 a.m.

Aw so kind of you to share it, Kristi - thank you!

Lerin - March 8, 2023, 12:02 a.m.

Safe to say I'm now a proper addict. These are so good and pair well with practically everything!

PUL Team - March 8, 2023, 6:25 p.m.

Welcome to the club, Lerin 😜

Chloe - Feb. 20, 2023, 12:12 a.m.

Super easy, relatively hands-off, and delicious! Perfect for a Sunday night :)

vivi - Feb. 12, 2023, 12:14 p.m.

super easy to make and always a tasty highlight
on every plate. Thank you :)

Aarti - Feb. 10, 2023, 1:39 p.m.

Simple, easy, and seems totally worth it. gonna give it a shot.
Also, i really loved the website UI, especially where one can tick off the ingredients.
thanks! and lots of love! <3

PUL Team - Feb. 10, 2023, 10:03 p.m.

We hope you enjoy it, Aarti, and are so happy to hear the positive feedback on the website! It means so much 🙂

Sonia - Feb. 9, 2023, 10:58 p.m.

This recipe yields perfectly sweet and tangy red onions that I can't stop putting on EVERYTHING!

Aleena - Feb. 6, 2023, 8:45 a.m.

Tastes delicious!!!!!!! Make it all the time now and it's become a staple in my fridge! Thank you for the recipe Pick Up Limes!

Angie M. - Jan. 20, 2023, 2:21 p.m.

So if I understand correctly, we put the hot jar directly in the fridge after pouring the water and the ingredients without waiting for it to cool down? Does the boiling water get the time it needs to "ferment" the onions if it goes in the fridge so shortly after?

PUL Team - Jan. 21, 2023, 12:43 a.m.

Hi Angie, thanks for pointing that out! Ideally, we'd want to let it cool to room temp before refrigerating. We've just added it to the directions 🤓 thanks so much!

Sabrina - Jan. 19, 2023, 10:32 a.m.

I've already commented, but now that I've tried it I wanted to leave a rating as well! Great recipe, wonderfully balanced and super quick and easy, works for all kinds of veggies. A great thing to just have in your fridge ready to go to add to quick meals!

PUL Team - Jan. 20, 2023, 5:01 a.m.

Woohoo! So thrilled the recipe was enjoyed, Sabrina, it means so much 😃

Sabrina - Feb. 20, 2023, 12:11 p.m.

Quick question: I can no longer be without a jar of pickled red onions in the fridge these days haha, I make this recipe quite often, so I was just wondering if you had any suggestions for what to do with the pickling liquid once you've used up all the onions? I feel kinda bad just throwing it out. Sometimes I add it into sauces or dishes for a nice vinegar-y touch, but I was wondering if there are any other cool uses I'm not aware of!

PUL Team - Feb. 21, 2023, 10:47 p.m.

Hey Sabrina, awe we're so glad the recipe is being enjoyed! Adding it to sauces sounds like a lovely idea. Some other ideas include using the brine in recipes in place of lemon or pickle juice such as potato salad, salad dressing, hummus, or borscht 🙂

Sabrina - Jan. 17, 2023, 8:29 a.m.

Hi there! I'd like to try these out, would it be possible to add in some bell peppers to the same jar and pickle it all together?
Love, love, love your blog and Youtube channel so much!! I read or watch some PUL every day and I feel it truly improves the quality of my life!

PUL Team - Jan. 18, 2023, 2:26 a.m.

Hey Sabrina, awe you're too kind - thank you for helping make our community so special 😊 To be honest I haven't ever tried pickling bell peppers, so I'm not sure how it'll turn out, but I imagine it'll work just fine 🤓 Do let us know how it goes if you give it a try!

Sabrina - Jan. 19, 2023, 10:31 a.m.

It worked out great! I pickled some cucumbers too and it was so lovely to just have them ready to go to add onto my lunch the next day - I definitely think this is something I'm going to be doing very regularly from now on!

Mandi - Jan. 7, 2023, 7:12 p.m.

Why did it take me so long to try these?! They are soooo good and add a punch of flavor to everything I've tried them with. Super simple and delicious.

PUL Team - Jan. 7, 2023, 9:27 p.m.

Right?! I could eat them with anything :P So glad you enjoyed them, Mandi!

Martunia - Jan. 5, 2023, 2:34 p.m.

The color is gorgeous! And they don't go bad even after 2 months in the fridge. I tested it 😉

Liam W - Jan. 1, 2023, 10:56 p.m.

Makes every meal so much more delicious. Now I miss it when we run out 😂

Elisha - Dec. 28, 2022, 2:20 p.m.

Can i use sugar in place of agave?

PUL Team - Dec. 30, 2022, 5:48 a.m.

Hey Elisha, yes you can! In case you're interested and haven't already seen it, clicking the green arrow beside ingredient names will show sample alternatives. We hope you enjoy the recipe if you give it a try 😃

Abdo - Dec. 27, 2022, 11:07 p.m.

I really like you

Ioan - Dec. 27, 2022, 4:57 p.m.

Actually obsessed with these pickled onions!

PUL Team - Dec. 30, 2022, 5:47 a.m.

Aw enjoy them, Ioan!

Ursela - July 23, 2022, 5:57 p.m.

Really enjoying this recipe! Didn’t think I would. I tried it this week but had to swap out agave for cane sugar and apple cider vinegar for balsamic vinegar, however, it was better than I thought. I thoroughly enjoy all your recipes and videos. I’ve got a whole binder full of your recipes that I’ve collected for years, lol. I’ll say that your website is SUPER helpful and I like that you can tap to cross off ingredients because I hate when I miss an ingredient when I read too fast or add stuff out of order. Keep up the fantastic job and I’ll keep following on this journey of good health.

PUL Team - July 24, 2022, 7 p.m.

We appreciate the kind words and glowing feedback so much, Ursela! Thank you for helping make the PUL community so incredible 💛

Niki - June 9, 2022, 8:09 p.m.

Making this on repeat! It livens up everything! And makes a great little gift too...
Your YouTube videos are sooo inspiring...many thanks for all the details and easy links back and forth from YouTube to website.
Your recipes have helped me so much.
Thank you :))

PUL Team - June 10, 2022, 9:06 p.m.

Oh, Niki, thank YOU for sharing your kindness and for helping make our PUL community so special 💛

April - March 29, 2022, 7:46 a.m.

This is a very tasty and simple recipe. Other recipes I have found call for much larger quantities of vinegar, sugar and salt and it seems like such an unnecessary waste to me! Because of this I hadn’t found a recipe for pickled onions that I felt compelled to make more than once, until now! This will be my go to from now on! Thanks!

PUL Team - March 29, 2022, 8:50 p.m.

Aw we're so happy to hear, April, it means so much!

Pamela - Feb. 12, 2022, 5:44 p.m.

I read this recipe and said What? Just a gift that keeps on giving!!!! Thank you so much!!! A check off my list of new ingredients to try!!!

PUL Team - Feb. 14, 2022, 3:06 a.m.

We hope you enjoy it, Pamela!

Clem - Feb. 6, 2022, 2:49 p.m.

Hi, thank you for this recipe! Is it possible to use cooled down boiled water (~60C) instead of 100C boiling water? I've had my jars breaking before when using boiling water :/
Thank you!

PUL Team - Feb. 6, 2022, 9:35 p.m.

Hey Clem! The hot water helps to blanch the onions. We suspect that slightly cooled boiling water will work fine, although wouldn't recommend allowing it to cool too much, such as below 50°C (122°F) if possible. Some jars are heat-proof as well which may help in case you're interested. We hope this helps for now 😃

Clem - Feb. 7, 2022, 11:42 a.m.

Thanks for the reply! I ended up mixing everything in a clean saucepan, and transferring to the jar a few minutes later, when the water had cooled down a little bit. I hope this works as well :) Looking forward to taste them tonight!

Monica - Jan. 31, 2022, 6:53 p.m.

Thank you Sadia for the great recipes. I got inspired to eat vegan food!!
Can we use the same recipe for Pickled cabbage and beetroots.

PUL Team - Jan. 31, 2022, 8:10 p.m.

Aw thanks for the kind words, Monica! Yes, you can use other vegetables instead of onion if desired. We've tried cabbage, carrots, and cucumber with success 😃

Ashwini - Jan. 6, 2022, 11:54 p.m.

Hi Sadia,

Thanks for all the recipes, so much love for creating this wealth of information, it has really helped me improve my relation with food by enjoying what I cook and even just cooking.

Can I reuse any leftover pickled juice (without onions) after a month for another batch or do you advise throwing it away?

PUL Team - Jan. 7, 2022, 5:27 a.m.

Hi Ashwini, thanks for taking the time to share the very kind words! It means so much. We'd recommend using fresh brine each time for optimal food safety and flavour. The onions will absorb the vinegar and salt from the brine so if reused, the juice won't be as effective. We hope this helps for now✨

Najia - Jan. 4, 2022, 1:37 a.m.

You are awesome, i really enjoy watching your videos. Lots of love , “watandar”😁

PUL Team - Jan. 4, 2022, 5:01 p.m.

Awe thank you, Najia!

Mutant_Lola - Dec. 24, 2021, 12:31 p.m.

Easy recipe and very useful for a single household, because its difficult to finish up the onions (for me at least). The pickled onions is a nice topping ready at hand. Thank you

PUL Team - Dec. 25, 2021, 5:41 p.m.

So happy to hear, Mutant_Lola, thank you for the review!

vt - Dec. 23, 2021, 10:20 p.m.

can agave be substituted for something else?

PUL Team - Dec. 24, 2021, 5:21 a.m.

Hi vt, a lovely question 🙂 The agave can be substituted with sugar or another syrup if desired. We hope you enjoy the recipe if you're able to give it a try!

I.B. - Dec. 23, 2021, 8:58 p.m.

I've learned that white vinegar was not healthy at all. Is it ok to use just apple vinegar? Thanks for your racepies, they always give me a piece of inspiration :)

PUL Team - Dec. 24, 2021, 5:15 a.m.

Hi there, I.B, thanks for the question. We personally enjoy the flavour that the combination of vinegar creates. Feel free to use all apple cider vinegar if desired though. The end result may be a tad sweeter but should still be delicious 🙂