How to Make Pickled Red Onions

Posted by on Dec 4, 2009 in Food Pairings, How to ... | No Comments

Series of photos of onion pickling process

Pickled veggies are a natural pairing with cocktails. Something about the briny, sweet, sour zing complements many happy hour dishes, so we set out to make our own. Pickled red onions are one of our favorites. We often garnish a chunk of smoked salmon with the onions and drizzle with crème fraîche or pile them onto a grilled burgers, sausages, or sandwiches.

Pickled Red Onion Recipe

1 lb red onions (about 2 medium or 1 large), thinly sliced into 1/8″-14/” wheels
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
1/2 cup sugar
1 lemon, peel sliced into 1″ strips leaving white pith

1 tsp. anise seed
4 cloves
4 juniper berries
1 tbs. black peppercorns
Dash red pepper flakes


  1. Blanch sliced onions in a saucepan of boiling water for 2 minutes. Drain in colander and set aside.
  2. In a separate saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, lemon peel and spices. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to a simmer for 5 minutes.
  3. Add the onions to the vinegar mixture and simmer for 2 more minutes.
  4. Drop one lemon peel into the bottom of each jar (or a couple slices into one large jar).  Transfer onions to jar(s) and fill to the top with the vinegar mixture. Keeps several weeks refrigerated.

Makes 1 1/2 pints.

Want more pickling ideas?