Wild About Pickled Onions

I’ve never been a huge fan of raw red onions in salads or on burgers. Sure, they might be milder than yellow onions, but they still pack a punch – and give you onion breath.

When I saw a recipe I wanted to make that called for red onions, I wondered if I could use pickled onions instead. Of course, I hadn’t made pickled onions before, but I figured there was no time like the present to give it a try. I did a quick online search and found that David Lebovitz’s recipe was the most popular.

Fifteen minutes later I had my first batch of pickled onions cooling on the stove. A few hours later I tried my first bite. Wow! They were tangy and sweet, with an onion flavor that didn’t linger in my mouth. My wife and I have eaten the pickled onions in dishes twice since I made them, and we both agreed the onions were the best part.

The onions are the best after sitting one day in the fridge. The flavor continues to mellow as they sit longer.

This first pickling attempt was so successful, I’m about to go wild and try pickling a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. Stay tuned for the results of my pickling extravaganza.

The finished product of the recipe below fits perfectly in a 12-ounce glass jar. One large pickled onion can serve about 8 people in topping form (whether that’s tacos or hamburgers). Just double the recipe for a larger crowd.


  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 3 tablespoons sugar
  • Dash of salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 5 allspice berries
  • 5 whole cloves
  • 1 small dried chile pepper
  • 1 large red onion, sliced thinly

Step 1. Slice the onion as thinly as you can. I sliced mine in half first, so I could get rings as this as possible.




Step 2. Combine the vinegar, sugar, salt and spices in a medium pot. Bring the mixture to a boil and stir, dissolving the sugar. Reduce the heat to medium-low.



Step 3. Add the onions and simmer for 30 seconds. Then turn the heat off and let the onions cool completely as soak in the vinegar spice mixture. After a couple hours, remove the whole spices and transfer the onions and pickling liquid to a glass jar.

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