top of page
  • Writer's pictureElaine

Sweet and Sour Pickled Red Onions

Perfect for adding tang to hummus wraps, salads, charcuterie, grilled sandwiches and just snacking fingers to mouth ooo la la straight out of the jar standing at midnight with the fridge door open. Maybe that's too much information.

This versatile pickle is easy to make, but, of course, slicing the onions requires patience with a sharp knife and good protection for your eyes.

The red onions lose their color a bit after processing but they are a crucial choice for flavor. Accept no white or yellow substitutes. Choose unblemished, firm, fresh red onions. Yes, it really does make a difference.

This recipe is for a small batch, 3 pint jars. That's great if it's just you.

But, unless you live that kind of quiet life or just enjoy schlepping all your canning gear out and cleaning your kitchen and stove repeatedly.... a small batch seems to make zero sense. Therefore.....I multiply this recipe by 6 with 18 lbs of red onions. I simmer the sliced onions in 3 batches and water bath in 3 separate batches, yielding 18 quarts. The recipe is quite precise and there is no reduction in quality when increasing the recipe this way. So there are pints to enjoy and pints to share!

And though red onions are a year round available vegetable, a larger batch gives you the option of jarring these up when you have access to particularly excellent seasonal and local onions.

So, power up to X6 for 18 pints, otherwise this is for 3 pints.


2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar plus water

3/4 cup granulated sugar

2 Tablespoons pickling salt

3 lbs red onions, thinly sliced

2 teaspoons mustard seed

1 teaspoon celery seed

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Prepare a boiling water bath and three pint jars, sterilize by washing and drying in dishwasher or boiling on stove.

Combined vinegar, 1 1/2 cups of water, sugar, and salt in a pot over high heat, and bring the brine to a boil. Add the sliced onions to the brine and stir to combine. Reduce heat to medium and simmer briefly to soften the onions.

Meanwhile, combined the remaining spices in a small bowl and stir to blend. Add the spice blend to sterilized jars distributing evenly. Using tongs, evenly divide the onions between the jars and pour hot brine into each jar, leaving a 1/2 inch headspace. Gently tap the jars on a towel lined countertop to loosen any bubbles before using wooden chopsticks to dislodge any remaining bubbles. Check the headspace again and add more brine if necessary. Wipe the rims, apply the lids and rings, and process in boiling water bath for 10 minutes.

Let these pickles cure for at least 48 hours before eating.

Adapted from Food in Jars by Marissa McClellan

75 views0 comments


Post: Blog2_Post
bottom of page