Easiest 5-Minute Pickled Onions

It’s hard to think of a dish that isn’t improved by a scattering of pretty bright pink pickled onions.

I love how they bring colour, crunch and a big burst of sharp flavour.

If you think you’re not the type of person who pickles, these are the best place to start. It doesn’t get much easier than chopping an onion and soaking it in vinegar and salt. Trust me they are well worth the literal 5 minutes of your time.

And as an added bonus, onions are great for feeding your gut microbes – so you’re doing your health a favour at the same time as your taste buds.

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Easiest 5-Minute Pickled Onions

Total Time 5 minutes


  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup red wine vinegar approximately
  • pinch salt


  • Chop onion in half lengthwise. Trim ends and remove papery skin.
  • Slice each half into thin 1/2 moons. I like them as thin as I can get them with my knife, but no need to stress about it.
  • Place onion slices in a glass jar. Cover with red wine vinegar (you may need more or less depending on the size of your jar and onion.
  • Sprinkle with a generous pinch of fine salt.
  • Eat straight away but they're better if you can wait 10 minutes or longer.
  • Will keep in the fridge for a month or more.

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Ideas to Use Your Onions

with steakJapanese Steaks with Ginger Miso Mustard or Minute Steaks with Peppercorn Sauce or Minute Steaks with Smashed Olives & Goats Cheese.

with eggs – try them with these Turkish Poached Eggs

on saladsCrispy Iceberg Salad with Almond Crust or Reliable Cabbage Salad or Best Ever Broccoli Salad.

with chickenLemon & Za’atar Chicken or Chilli Chicken with Tahini Sauce.

with burgers – like Burgers with Mint & Almond Salsa or Spinach & Feta Burgers or Quick Cheese Burgers with Chipotle Mayo.

with kebabs – lovely on these sausage shaped Kofta Kebabs. Also fantastic for an extra hit of oniony goodness on these Meat Diamonds or this Supermoist Meat Loaf.

with avo – sprinkle on this Avocado Butter served on toast or these Little Almond Breads.

as a soup topper – like this Turkish Cauliflower & Yoghurt Soup.

with cheese – I love serving them with hard or soft cheeses.

Variations & Substitutions

different onions – feel free to use brown, white or yellow onions – they just won’t be as pretty!

different vinegar – apple cider vinegar or any wine vinegar will work – the colour just won’t be as vibrant.

Low FODMAP – sorry! Can’t help with this one 🙂

different vegetables – any vegetables can be pickled with this quick method – some will take longer to taste good so be prepared to wait.

Waste Avoidance Strategy

red onion – will keep in the pantry for months. Best if in a dark corner in a brown paper bag.

red wine vinegar / salt – can be kept in the pantry.

Problem Solving Guide

bland –  more salt!

too sharp –  that’s part of the appeal. Leaving for a few hours to macerate in the vinegar will mellow the flavour.

Prepare Ahead

Absolutely! Just prepare as per the recipe. Leftovers will keep in the fridge for months. Don’t freeze.

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