Perfect Pickled Onions

Fresh, cold, and crisp pickled onions. So easy to make, you should always have these on hand to jazz up sandwiches, salads, charcuterie boards, tacos, and more. The leftover pickling liquid can be used to make dressings or marinades. They add a bright, tangy bite when served alongside rich foods.


    • 3 medium red onions
    • 2 cloves garlic, or to taste
    • 1 medium jalapeno pepper, sliced, or to taste
    • 2 bay leaves
    • ½ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes, or to taste
    • 3 cups apple cider vinegar
    • 1 ½ cups water
    • ⅓ cup white sugar
    • 4 teaspoons kosher salt
    • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns


  1. Cut onions into very thin slices; place in two 1-quart glass jars or one large bowl, packing them tightly together. Add garlic cloves, jalapeno slices, bay leaves, and pepper flakes.
  2. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring often until sugar and salt dissolve. Remove from the heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  3. Pour warm liquid over the onions and press down if necessary to submerge. Cover and refrigerate, 8 hours to overnight. Serve immediately or store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.