Thursday, June 17, 2021
Home Healthy food Recipe Quick Pickled Red Onions - Cozy Peach Kitchen

Quick Pickled Red Onions – Cozy Peach Kitchen

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Learn how to make bright, tangy and flavorful quick pickled onions in just 10 minutes with this step by step guide! You’ll want to put these on everything.

Quart sized jar of pickled onions in pink juice in front of a pink background

Recipe features

  • Bright, tangy and milder than raw red onions
  • Requires just 10 minutes of active time and ready in 2 hours
  • Lasts for 2 weeks in the fridge
  • Easy to customize and get creative with the flavors
  • Great as toppings on grain bowls, tacos, burritos and in sandwiches

Ingredients

Labeled ingredients used to make pickled onions

There are SO many ways to quick pickle onions. This base recipe lends itself to many possibilities. You can get as creative as you want with add-ins or keep it as simple as you like.

  • Red onion: One medium onion is all you need to make a quart sized jar of pickled onions. This method does work with white or yellow onions as well.
  • Vinegar: I use a mix of distilled white vinegar and apple cider vinegar. The cider vinegar lends a slightly sweet and fruity flavor. Vinegar is necessary for the pickling process.
  • Water: I use spring water for the purest flavor but tap water works just fine.
  • Salt: Coarse salt like kosher salt or sea salt have different volumes, so I use table salt for most consistent results.
  • Sugar: White sugar enhances the onion flavor and helps cut through the acidity. It doesn’t actually make the brine very sweet. You can use maple syrup or honey instead.

Step by step instructions

Always start with clean, freshly washed jars, lids and rings. And hands!

Diagram of steps 1 through 4 to make pickled onions

Step one: Start by slicing a medium red onion in half and removing the core. Slice it as thinly as you can. A mandoline would work well here if you have one but you should be able to slice them very thinly with just a knife.

Use your hands to separate the slices apart before adding them to a quart sized mason jar or any kind of closeable container.

Step two: Add all of the brine ingredients to a measuring cup. Whisk together until the salt and sugar are dissolved. This should take about 30 seconds.

Pro tip: Taste as you go so that you can adjust the salt, sugar and vinegars to preference.

Step three: Cover the onions in the brine. Place a lid on it and transfer to the fridge.

Step four: Let the onions sit in the brine for at least 2 hours before enjoying. You can eat them after an hour but they will be more flavorful the longer they sit. A full day is the ideal amount of time to wait but I can never wait that long!

Gold fork lifting slices of pickled red onion out of a glass jar

Recipe FAQ and expert tips

  • Stove top option: You can add the brine ingredients to a small sauce pot and dissolve the salt and sugar that way instead of whisking together. Place over medium heat and stir occasionally, until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour the warm liquid over the onions and let cool to room temp before closing and transferring to the fridge.
  • Vinegars: Try white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar in place of cider vinegar for different flavors. Red wine vinegar will change the color of the onions.
  • Sweetness: Adjust sweetness up to ¼ cup sugar or maple syrup. After that it will start getting too syrupy.
  • Spices and seasonings: Add a pinch of ground cloves and orange zest for warming flavors. Other ideas: 3-4 crushed garlic cloves, fresh dill, 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (spicy!), 1-2 teaspoons whole black pepper or mustard seeds.
  • Other veggies: Try this method with sliced radishes, cabbage or jalapeños for a similar result (but it won’t be pink!).
  • “Oops! I don’t have enough liquid to cover the onions”: If the onions aren’t quite covered you can just add a splash of water. If they need a lot more liquid, add equal parts vinegar and water until they are fully covered. Leave at least ½ inch space at the top of the jar.
How long do these keep?

I find that they are best in the fridge for up to 2 weeks. After that they start to soften and lose their texture.

Can I keep pickled onions on the counter?

This recipe is not written to be stored at room temperature, so you will need to keep the onions in the fridge to ensure food safety.

Can I pickle these (not quick pickle)?

Don’t pickle/preserve these for long term because this recipe is NOT tested for that. Instead, check out pickling recipes from reliable sources like National Center for Home Food Preservation.

Two glass jars filled with sliced onions in pink brine on a wood table

Looking for more recipes?

Did you make this recipe? You can leave a star rating ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ in the recipe card or a review down in the comment section. I always appreciate your feedback! You can also follow along on my YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and Pinterest or sign up for my newsletter!

Quart sized jar of pickled onions in pink juice in front of a pink background

Print Recipe

Quick Pickled Red Onions

All you need is 5 ingredients and an onion to make these tangy pickled onions! These are perfect on bowls, tacos and in burritos.

Prep Time10 mins

Refrigeration Time2 hrs

Total Time2 hrs 10 mins

Servings: 16 servings

Author: Cassidy Reeser, RDN, LDN

Instructions

  • Slice one red onion into very thin strips using a sharp knife or mandolin. Break apart the slices with clean hands. Add to a clean quart sized jar.

  • Make the brine in a medium liquid measuring cup. Whisk together the water, vinegars, salt and sugar until the salt and sugar are fully dissolved. This should take about 30 seconds to a minute of vigourous whisking.

  • Pour the brine over the onions. Add an extra splash of water or vinegar as needed to have one inch of liquid above the onions.

  • Refrigerate for at least 2 hours. The liquid will turn bright pink and the onions should be more tender. Enjoy on tacos, grain bowls and in sandwiches. For best quality, keep refrigerated for 2 weeks.

Notes

  1. Salt: I use table salt but kosher salt and sea salt do work.
  2. Can I pickle these? No! This recipe does not work for pickling/long term preserving, just quick pickling.
  3. Spices and seasonings: Add a pinch of ground cloves and orange zest for warming flavors. Other ideas: 3-4 crushed garlic cloves, fresh dill, 1-2 teaspoons crushed red pepper flakes (spicy!), 1-2 teaspoons whole black pepper.
  4. Vinegars: Try white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar or rice wine vinegar in place of cider vinegar for different flavors. 
  5. Sweetness: Adjust sweetness up to ¼ cup sugar or maple syrup. After that it will start getting too syrupy.

Youtube thumbnail
Check out my full YouTube video for step-by-step instructions.

Calories: 9kcalCarbohydrates: 1gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gSodium: 147mgPotassium: 16mgFiber: 1gSugar: 1gVitamin A: 1IUVitamin C: 1mgCalcium: 3mgIron: 1mg



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