These quick pickled red onions are made without cooking. Quick pickling onions reduces the bite that raw red onions have, while increasing the sweetness. They are perfect used to top salads, tacos, loaded nachos, avocado toast and anything else that you fancy!
See how I make these quick pickled onions using just a few simple ingredients, without needing to cook them! Hint: I use a little hot water instead! They only take around 5 minutes of hands on prep time and can be kept in the fridge for around 2-3 weeks. This quick pickled red onions recipe is also refined sugar free, using just a little pure maple syrup for sweetening.
What's to Love About Quick-Pickled Red Onions
There is so much to love about this healthy pickle recipe! This flavorful condiment are an excellent way to add a little something extra to a dish!
- no cook recipe - this recipe requires zero cooking and just a small amount of prep work.
- basic ingredients - you likely have most of these ingredients on hand and if not, they are easily found at the local grocery store.
- easy recipe - make this quick pickled onions recipe with little to no cooking experience necessary.
- allergy friendly - this recipe is completely gluten free, dairy free, vegan and refined sugar free.
Ingredients Notes & Substitutions
You need just 6 ingredients to make this quick pickled red onion recipe. Read on to see a list of the ingredients needed as well as any possible substitutions and notes. See the recipe card at the bottom of this post for the full list of ingredients.
- large red onion - you can use two small red onions or a large red onion, just make sure the sliced onions can be submerged in the pickling liquid. You can also use any other types of onions like white onions or brown onions. I personally love how pretty the red onions look when they're pickled!
- apple cider vinegar - apple cider vinegar definitely is the best vinegar to use for this recipe, however other types that you can use are white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or regular white vinegar (cooking vinegar, not cleaning vinegar!). I wouldn't recommend using rice vinegar or balsamic vinegar.
- pure maple syrup - you can use another liquid sweetener like honey or agave if desired.
- boiling water - boiling or warm water is perfect.
- mustard seeds - you can experiment with different spices in this recipe. You can try using star anise, black peppercorns or red pepper flakes.
- whole cloves - just like with the mustard seeds, you can experiment with different flavors in this recipe. Jalapeño peppers are an option if you would like some spice!
How to Make Quick Pickled Red Onions (No Cook)
This recipe is perfect to add to your meal prep session for a delicious flavor boost to dishes throughout the week. Read on for detailed instructions for how to make this recipe. You will need a jar that is no smaller than 750mL (around 25 ounces).
First, remove one end from the onion and peel the skin off. Using a mandolin, cut the onion into thin slices. You can just use a sharp knife if you don't have a mandolin, I just love how a mandolin gives you uniform slices.
Next, make the pickling mixture by adding the maple syrup, mustard seeds, cloves, hot water and apple cider vinegar to a clean glass jar. Stir to combine.
Add the red onion slices to the jar, pushing the slices down so that the liquid covers the onion slices. Place the lid on and place into the fridge. I like to leave them in the pickling liquid for at least a few hours before using - they get better the longer they sit in the pickling liquid.
How to Use Red Pickled Onions
These delicious onions can be used in a variety of dishes. Personally, I love this versatile condiment on just about everything, but here are some of my favorite ways to use them.
- to top salads.
- on hot dogs.
- mixed through potato salad.
- on top of tacos, nachos, loaded fries and burrito bowls - my creamy vegan chipotle sauce would pair perfectly with these dishes as well!
- on breakfast sandwiches - think bacon, a fried egg, avocado, baby spinach, cheese and quick pickled red onions, yum!
- on toast with goat's cheese or hummus or on avo toast with feta and dukkah.
You can use this method to make other quick pickle recipes! Other vegetables you can try using are:
Store in the fridge in the sealed glass jar or a glass airtight container for around two to three weeks. I prefer to use a glass container as the vinegar is acidic and can leach chemicals out of plastic, which is not ideal for your health!
- Mandolin or sharp knife and chopping board
- Glass jar 750mL or larger
- Measuring Cups and Spoons
- 1 red onion skin removed, thinly sliced
- 1 cup boiling water
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
- ¼ teaspoon whole cloves
- Add the maple syrup, hot water, mustard seeds and cloves to a glass measuring jug and stir to combine.
- Add the thinly sliced red onions to a jar. Pour the liquid into the jar to cover the onions.
- Place the lid on and cool to room temperature on the counter. Once they reach room temperature, transfer to the fridge. The onions are ready for use after one hour but taste better the longer they are left to pickle.