quick pickled red onions

quick pickled red onions // brooklyn supperSo far in 2010, I have been in a pretty serious food rut. We have been braising and roasting, cooking with broth, and making gratins. While it is really delicious comfort food, after a while I need something fresh. In the past week, though, I have been cooking myself out of the rut, and really enjoying local hoop house kale and spinach, squash, beets, and onions. Mostly, I am just roasting the squash and tossing it with chopped kale, diced onion, pinto beans, preserved lemon (obviously a staple of mine), and a light vinaigrette. For a while cooking just wasn’t bringing me the solace it usually does, but I’ve cooked my way back into the kitchen.

Cooked and pickled, actually. These quick pickled red onions were made to accompany hamburgers, but also make a great, if bracing, snack. They are steeped with apple cider vinegar, and, if you believe everything you read on the internet, apple cider vinegar is some kind of miracle juice.

These pickles have a bit of crunch, but if you’d like a softer pickle you can cut the onions into thinner slices, and steep the onions a bit longer.

quick pickled red onions // brooklyn supperQuick Pickled Red Onions (adapted from Molly Wizenberg‘s recipe here)
makes one quart

2 cups apple cider vinegar
1/2 cup water
1/3 cup honey
1 teaspoon coarse salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 large red onions cut into circles 1/4 – 1/2″ thick

In a large saucepan, combine everything but the onions, and heat. When the brine boils, add all of the onions and remove from heat. Cover the pan and let it sit for 20 minutes. Uncover and bring the pickles to room temperature, and then seal in a quart jar. These will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of weeks.

Let them drain a bit before piling on to your burger.

quick pickled red onions // brooklyn supper


  1. Sanura says

    Great post for preserving onions over a longer period of time. I sometimes do a quick pickling by letting red onions sit in vinegar for at least 20 minutes. Sometimes, I use cucumbers for Asian dishes.

  2. Anonymous says

    Do these come out with a sweet taste to them?
    Im looking for a pickled red onion recipe that i can put on fresh salads…like they serve in restaurants
    but i like them softer…not crispy

  3. elizabeth says

    I would say these have a bit or bite from the vinegar. If you are after something milder, maybe try subbing one third of the vinegar for water, and adding more honey or a few tablespoons of sugar. Also, if you'd like them to be softer, just slice the onions on the thin side and let them cure a little longer.

  4. Anonymous says

    Coming from England I enjoyed this recipe……… I added a table spoon of sugar just gave them a hint of sweetness and sliced them finer. I smoke meats as a hobby and I served them in Brisket and Pulled pork wraps.

    Thanks Graham.

  5. Rose says

    I love snacking on onions..And pickles, so I’ll have to give these a go. I make refrigerator cucumber pickles with apple cider vinegar. Recipe is close, but without the honey.

    • Elizabeth says

      Hi Pike, Quick pickles are not shelf stable, and cannot be left at room temperature. If you want to preserve them, you’ll need to find a recipe for fermented or heat-processed pickles. This recipe must be refrigerated to be safe.


  1. […] Once grilling season is in full swing, pork burgers make a nice change of pace from grilled beef, but without any of the hassle that comes with grilling things like fish and chicken. They also pair well with a wide variety of condiments, so if there’s something special you’ve been itching to try, these will be good place to start, as they taste good with everything from Old Bay mayo to roast garlic and avocado aioli to homemade ketchup to quick pickled red onions. […]

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