Keeping a jar of pickled onions in the fridge means instant flavor! Add these flavorful veggies to sandwiches, top a salad, or chop them into potato salad. It will take you just minutes to make them.
Try this easy recipe for refrigerator dilly beans, too!
I love having little “extras” to serve with a meal, and these refrigerator pickled onions are easy to put into the rotation. It’ll take just 15 minutes to make them, though you’ll have to be patient — they need to sit in the brine for 48 hours before they’re ready to eat.
Making pickled onions
Since this recipe is a refrigerator pickle, not a canned product, you can use any upcycled jar you have on hand. No need to use up your precious canning jars! The recipe calls for a quart sized jar, but you can divide the ingredients between two pint sized jars as well.
Slice the red onions thinly, and pack them into a jar along with garlic cloves, a hot pepper, and fresh thyme.
Heat the brine ingredients to a simmer, pour that over the onions in the jar, and refrigerate for 48 hours. It couldn’t be easier!
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As the sliced onions sit in the brine, the liquid takes on a brilliant pink color.
Onions — Sweet red onions are the best choice here, both for their flavor and the resulting deep pink hue that the onions get after sitting for a day or two. You won’t break anything if you try it with yellow onions, though!
Hot pepper — Add a little kick to the mix with a hot pepper or two. I used a jalapeno pepper, but any kind will work. Obviously, the heat will vary depending on the variety you use.
Fresh thyme — Add a few sprigs of fresh thyme for extra flavor. You can substitute a half teaspoon of dried thyme.
Seasonings — A bit of salt and sugar round out the brine.
- 4 cups red onion, sliced (about 3 medium)
- 1 jalapeno pepper
- 4 cloves garlic
- 1-2 sprigs of fresh thyme
- 1 cup white vinegar
- 1 cup water
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- Heat brine ingredients in a small saucepan. Bring to a low simmer and stir until salt and sugar is dissolved.
- While the brine is heating, slice red onion thinly, cutting each onion in half and then into thin slices. Cut pepper in half.
- Fill a quart sized jar with the onions, pepper, garlic, and thyme, pressing lightly to compact the ingredients a bit.
- Pour hot brine over the onions in the jar, filling it to within a quarter inch of the jar rim. Cover and refrigerate for 48 hours before using.
- Store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Feel free to use apple cider vinegar instead of white vinegar if you prefer.