Pickled Red Onions


Onions are one of our favorite crops to grow in the garden. Here in zone 8b, we plant onions in the fall and overwinter them for a spring harvest. We usually plant mostly yellow, sweet onions with at least one row of red onions. But that is about to change!

Red onions are notorious for bolting early once temperatures start to warm in spring. When the plants "bolt," or go to seed, this usually results in onions that don't store as well. However, this year we found a great way to preserve our red onions so we can have them all year long!

These pickled onions make a great topping for tacos, burgers, hot dogs, and more. We learned quickly that a jar of these doesn't last very long because they're so good! As a result, we plan on planting many more red onions this year so we can pickle plenty. 


  • 3-4 Large Red Onions
  • 1 Cup Water
  • 1 1/3 Cup White Vinegar
  • 1/2 Cup Sugar
  • 1 Tablespoon Pickling Salt, Plus 1 Teaspoon
  • 1 Teaspoon Celery Salt
  • 1/2 Teaspoon Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Teaspoon Black Peppercorns
  • 2 Pint Mason Jars with Lids and Bands


1) Use a mandolin to thinly slice the whole red onions. Cut the slices in half so that they're easier to pack into the jars later.

2) Add water, white vinegar, sugar, and 1 tablespoon of pickling salt to a pot and bring to a boil.

3) Once boiling, add the onions and simmer for 4-5 minutes or until the onions are tender.

4) Mix the celery salt, red pepper flakes, black peppercorns, and 1 teaspoon of pickling salt in a small bowl, then divide evenly among the two jars.

5) Pack the tender onions into the jars and pour the brine mixture over the top. Use a wooden stick to remove the bubbles and further pack the onions into the jars.

6) Place lids and bands on the jars and submerge them in a boiling hot water bath for 10 minutes.

7) Remove the jars from the hot water bath and place them on a towel to cool overnight.

8) The pickled onion jars do not need to be refrigerated unless they've been opened, although you'll quickly find that storage is not an issue because you'll want to eat them on everything!

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