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Quick pickled red onions in a jar with a fork.
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Quick Pickled Red Onions

These easy quick pickled red onions are the ultimate secret weapon, instantly elevating dishes ranging from Pork Carnitas, to burgers, to grain bowls, to salads and much more (see below!). They have the most incredible flavor from a few secret ingredients, including cinnamon, peppercorns and allspice berries (if you can’t find allspice berries you can omit them, but I do suggest giving them a try). You can eat the pickled onions after they sit, or you can refrigerate them for up to 3 weeks—they get even more flavorful with time.
Prep Time10 mins
Resting Time30 mins
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: easy pickled onions recipe, pickled red onions recipe, Quick pickled red onions
Servings: 2 cups


  • 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons sugar
  • 1 ½ teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
  • 5 allspice berries


  • Rinse the onion slices well under hot water. Shake them dry and put them in a heatproof bowl.
  • In a small saucepan, bring the apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon stick, peppercorns and allspice berries to a rolling boil over medium heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onion slices and toss (the liquid won’t initially cover the onions, but that’s ok as the onions will shrink down). Let sit at room temperature, stirring occasionally, for 30 minutes, or refrigerate them for up to 2-3 weeks.


Do Ahead: The pickled onions can be refrigerated for up to 3 weeks.