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We know… the pickling process can seem intimidating. Did you know that you don’t need any special ingredients or tools to pickle to your heart’s content? All you need is a saucepan, a glass jar, and some simple pantry staples to make these quick pickled red onions.
Pickled red onions add a fun crunch and brightness (both in color and flavor) to so many dishes and it never gets old bragging that you made your own pickles.
Like any good recipe, these onions are totally customizable. We used plain old white vinegar but feel free to try apple cider or red wine vinegar. In fact, most vinegars, aside from balsamic, are suitable here.
Additionally, we use maple syrup as our sweetener of choice but regular sugar, honey, or agave would all work just fine too. Just ensure that whatever you are using has enough time to dissolve into the vinegar/water base.
The customization doesn’t stop there!
Add whichever flavor enhancers speak to you. We like things hot so we always add a few dried red chili peppers and garlic. Fresh aromatics like oregano and bay leaves can totally elevate these pickled red onions too.
Why red onions? The color, much like the flavor, adds so much to many savory dishes, especially Mexican dishes. If you don’t typically go for onions, you’ll be surprised what hanging out in vinegar, salt, and maple syrup can do to a veggie. Marinating in this liquid dials down the harsh bite of a raw red onion and brings out a balanced sweet, tangy, flavor explosion thing that we think you’ll really love.
You can munch on these for up to two weeks in the refrigerator. However, the longer they sit, the less crisp they will be.
Unlike store bought pickles, these do not have any preservatives to keep them for months (like a typical jar of pickles) and should be enjoyed in the 2 weeks after you make them.
Because this is an easy recipe, you can whip up a new batch every couple of weeks if these become a staple in your house.
Anything you like! Pickled red onions go beautifully on Mexican dishes like tacos but would also be a nice addition to salads or burgers.
These have a bright acidity and slight sweetness from the onions natural flavor and maple syrup that make them a nice pair for spicy or sharp flavors.
Yup! You can use red or white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and rice vinegar!
We don’t recommend using balsamic but most of the translucent vinegars should work just fine.
White vinegar probably has the least “extra” flavor when compared to vinegars like rice and apple cider that take on some of the flavor of the fermented apple and rice.
Using other vinegars as well as playing around with other additives like herbs and hot peppers is a fun way to make these pickled red onions your own.
Thin slices are the name of the game here. A large slice will take longer to marinate as there is more for the liquid to penetrate.
If you want to eat these pickled red onions sooner rather than later, we recommend staying thin.
Additionally, this will allow you to drape a delicate amount over top of your meals rather than large chunks. You do not need any fancy kitchen gear like a mandoline to get thin slices. Use a sharp large knife and go slow.
You’ve got this!
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