Quickly and easily make your own pickled onions at home! They’re a must-have ingredient to keep in the fridge to add gourmet flavours to sandwiches, salads, and wraps.

PREP TIME: 8 min | COOK TIME: 5 min


  • 1.5 cups sliced red onion
  • 1 clove garlic
  • 3 tbsp white sugar
  • 1.5 tbsp salt
  • ½ tsp peppercorns
  • 1 cup white vinegar


Thinly slice the red onion into slices. Peel the garlic. Place the onion and garlic in a large glass or ceramic bowl.

Add the sugar, salt, and peppercorns to a small sauce pot. Add the vinegar and stir until the sugar and salt are dissolved. Place a lid on the pot and bring the mixture up to a boil over medium-high heat.

When it reaches a boil, pour the vinegar over the sliced onion and garlic.* Press the onion down so all the pieces are submerged, then let the mixture cool to room temperature. I sometimes place a piece of plastic wrap over the onions to help push and hold them below the surface of the brine (see step by step photos below).

Once cool, use the onions immediately or transfer the onions and all the brine to a covered non-reactive container (glass, ceramic, or plastic) for storage in the refrigerator. The onions can be stored in the refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.

Written by Thilivhali Mugwena for Food&Home

Featured image: Thomas Martinsen via Unsplash