Quick Pickled Onions


North America

I really wanted some pickled red onions for my Baleadas from Honduras but did not have a lot of time.  The answer was this quick pickle.  Super easy to make, tangy and crispy with a hint of chilli bite.  These onions are perfect to use in any tacos, nachos, salads, burgers, the list goes on.  Ready in 30 minutes and completely delicious.


Slice the Onions Thin
To get the maximum pickling in a short time you need to slice the onions as thin as possible.  I used the spicing blade on my food processer at a 2 mm setting to cut the onions paper thin.

Use good vinegar
The quality of your vinegar will affect the taste.  More interesting the vinegar, the more interesting the taste.  I used a good organic apple cider vinegar for this but you could use anything you like.

Use Natural Sweeteners
The use of a sweetener will balance your vinegar and it is pretty important.  I used honey in this but other choices could be maple syrup, coconut sugar or for a more Central\South American bent; argave or yacon syrup.

Pickling Spices
I have not bothered to use any pickling spice (other than a hint of chilli) in this as it was intention to use it straight away.  I find the pickle does not have time to benefit from the spices in this timeframe.  If you intend to keep this longer it might be worth chucking in some peppercorn, coriander and cumin seeds (or your favorite pickling seeds).

Quick Pickled Onions

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Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 5 mins
Cooling time 30 mins
Total Time 40 mins
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Hispanic
Servings 2 cups


  • 1 medium red onion
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp chilli flakes (optional for a little heat)


  • Combine all ingredients except for the the onion into a small saucepan. Gently heat to a gentle simmer
  • Thinly slice the red onion (I like to use the slicer on the food processor to get super thin). Add the sliced onion to a 400 ml jar.
  • Pour the contents of the saucepan into the jar. Press the onion down with a spoon until it is entirely covered by the pickling liquid. Cover and let cool for 30 minutes. It will then be ready for serving.


The pickles will keep in the fridge for 2-3 weeks.  
Note: I have not used any pickling spices.  I find that the spices don't add much to a quick pickle like this, they are more effective with a longer pickling process.
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!