Pickled Red Onions Recipe

We use these quick pickled red onions to top a wide variety of Mexican foods. They add punch to vegan dishes and help cut through the richness of meaty ones. You really can't go wrong.


Pickled red onions make a great, slightly unexpected host or hostess gift. They keep well in the fridge for up to a month.

There’s alchemy in the combination of onions and vinegar. No question. These pickled red onions have been in my repertoire for a couple of years, and I can’t count the number of times that someone has asked for the recipe.

I sometimes bring a jar of them as a hostess gift to ensure we get the best possible treatment when we travel. There’s nothing wrong with endearing yourself to the host, and this is a spectacular — and spectacularly easy — way to do it.

When I struck on the idea of a daily vegan posting during November, these onions made me feel like I could, and should, do it. Posting them has been on my to-do list for a good four or five months now, but they’re such an old, comfortable standby in our family that I knew they’d always be there when I finally got to them.

The same goes for the black bean tacos that we usually serve them with. I’ll post that recipe in the next few days. Don’t wait to make these onions, though. They’ll be just right after 24 hours and will keep in the fridge for up to a month.

Pickled Red Onions

This bright, gently perfumed condiment brings a lot of character to a wide variety of dishes. It's a great technique to add character to vegan (or wildly carnivorous!) meals.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 20 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Serves Serves 12


  • 2 medium red onions
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt
  • 1/2 cup fresh oregano, thyme, rosemary, or cilantro sprigs, or a combination


  1. Peel the onions and halve from tip to root. Very thinly slice each half from tip to root.
  2. In a quart-size mason jar or medium bowl with a lid, combine the lime juice, red wine vinegar, white vinegar, sugar, and salt. Stir (or put a lid on the jar and shake gently) to completely dissolve sugar and salt.
  3. Add the sliced onions and the herbs to the jar or bowl. Stir and press a bit to submerge all the onions and herbs in the liquid. Top off with an extra splash of vinegar if necessary.
  4. Pickle these babies in the fridge for 24 hours or simply on the counter at room temperature for an hour or two before serving as a condiment for tacos, sandwiches, salads — you name it. They keep very well in the fridge for up to a month.


Adapted long ago from Bobby Flay via Serious Eats.

Nutrition Information



Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 24 Total Fat:: 0g Carbohydrates:: 5.3g Fiber:: 0.5g Protein:: 0.4g