Stupid Easy 5 Ingredient Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions in a mason jar.

Pickled red onions are a staple in my house. They are sweet and tangy and go with just about everything besides cereal. I have served them with brisket, pulled pork, ribs, chicken, burgers, sausages and they even go great with salads.

My youngest son eats them up them like candy. Just put a heaping pile of them on his plate and they are gone before I can blink. And the best part about them is that they are seriously easy. It only takes about 5 minutes to gather all 5 ingredients, slice the red onion and put it together.

Pickled red onions being piled onto a pulled pork sandwich.

Equipment/Ingredient Recommendations

  • 32 ounce mason jars – There’s nothing like a glass mason jar. They are so handy from pickling things to sourdough starters. But they are a bit fragile.
  • Deli containers – So if you don’t want something breakable use these plastic deli containers. Equally as versatile but not nearly as delicate.
Top down view of red onions in the pickling liquid.

Pro Tips For Your Pickled Red Onions

Get the most out of your efforts with these quick tips.

  • Make Ahead Of Time – You could eat these within an hour making but the taste and texture develop when made ahead of time. 8 hours minimum is what I usually wait.
  • Store Airtight – If you keep a lid on these you will get at least two weeks from them in the fridge.
  • Feel Free To Experiment – This recipe is super basic so feel free to add all kinds of flavor enhancements like jalapeños if you like them spicy. Or a few black peppercorns to give them a slightly peppery bite.

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Top down view of red onions in the pickling liquid.
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Stupid Easy Pickled Red Onion

5 household ingredients. You can't mess this one up.
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pickled red onions, red onions
Servings: 10
Cost: $2


  • 1 whole red onion sliced thinly
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon kosher salt
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar


  • In a small pot over medium heat combine the water, red wine vinegar, sugar and salt. Bring to a boil then remove from heat. Let cool slightly before pouring over the red onion.
  • While the pickling liquid is cooling, slice the red onions how you prefer and place into a non-reactive glass/plastic container.
  • After the pickling liquid has cooled, pour over the red onions. Let cool to room temperature before storing in refrigerator.
  • The pickled red onions will be ready to eat in about an hour but these are best when prepared a day in advance. Store airtight in the fridge for up to two weeks.