Quick Pickled Onions (+ How to Pickle Any Vegetable) + An Anniversary

By Jessica Hylton - - Updated

These Quick Pickled Onions recipe takes only 10 minutes! It completely transforms the onions, and adds a divine pop of flavour to any recipe. Use them in sandwiches, tacos, burgers and any recipe you like!

A jar of quick pickled onions with half an onion in the background.

Before we get into these Quick Pickled Onions, can we talk about that pink? It’s stunning. It actually makes me want to put these on everything. If the colour doesn’t convince you, the taste absolutely will. If you’re like me, you love that extra touch that takes a recipe to the next level, be that homemade hot sauce, caramelised onions or something else with a divine hidden flavour. These pickled onions are definitely for you.

Bonus? You can use this pickling liquid for ANY vegetable you want to pickle. In 10 minutes.

A small spoon scooping out some pickled onions from a glass jar.

When taking the pictures of these Quick Pickled Onions, it occurred to me that I would end up posting them and the recipe on my 1 year anniversary of blogging full time (surprise! If well, you didn’t know). I started to wonder whether I should instead do a cake (yum for carrot cake), brownies (been there, done that a million times), maybe even something that I knew would have a viral potential?

The thing is, these Quick Pickled Onions are a perfect representation of this anniversary. They represent doing what I love, because I love it, with all my favourite things in one – the colour pink, green on my nails, and limes. That, sometimes the most simple things on this journey have brought me so much joy. Also, that I go through a bag of limes in a heartbeat.

I’m starting to think, after putting it in almost every recipe I’ve published in 2017, I may be a wee bit obsessed. Maybe.

Top down shot of ingredients for quick pickled onions on a wooden board.

This has been such a fantastic year. I can truthfully say that there hasn’t been another year in my life where I have learnt so much, and that’s coming from someone who did 5 years non-stop of law to become an attorney-at-law. I have learnt endless amounts of information about photography, styling, videography, journalism, Netflix (duh), and so much more.

I’ve learned and studied about different species of vegetables. Realised that fennel (seeing it for the first time) looks nothing like I thought it would. Grown about 12 different plants (several of which, well, let’s just say some are finally thriving!). Watched so many documentaries on cooking in a sitting that I didn’t leave the kitchen for three days straight. Made a recipe on the whim, so unassuming, that I never, ever thought it would be my number 1 recipe ever. P.S., it’s my Chickpea Curry.

Overhead shot of quick pickled onions in a glass jar.

I have also learnt so much about the world. I have realised that the world is indeed, not black and white, but grey. Things that once made sense, do not anymore. Things that I once could never figure out, are so plain and simple to explain. Life has almost done a 180, especially, thank God, with my health. I have never been a healthier version of myself.

I have learnt so much about myself. I gave a speech – my first Jessica in the Kitchen speech! – the other day where I said that I have never felt more myself in my entire life, and it’s the truth. I feel as if I finally know who Jessica is right now. I’ve learnt the power of negative thoughts, and that since I will be spending the rest of my life with myself, I need to learn to stop them as best as I can. I’ve learnt that I not only love meditation, yoga, and most of all prayer, but that I absolutely need them in my life. I’ve become a more outspoken person on issues that affect me.

I try to do more hobbies. To read, paint, colour and cook for no reason whatsoever and not for a blog post. I’ve had ups and downs, mainly ups, and I’ve learned to enjoy the journey and the process. In fact, I’ve learned most importantly that I crave knowledge. I try to learn something new daily, to watch a TED talk I’ve never seen, to read a new article, to immerse myself into a new documentary. It has been such an incredible process.

I am also so grateful to have SUCH a fantastic support system from my amazing husband, my incredibly supportive mom and dad and my small but inspiring group of friends. I seriously couldn’t have done any of this without them, especially my husband and mom and dad who have been through every single step. If you ever decide to make such a decision, get a true support group. Do not surround yourself with people who are unsupportive, ridiculing and down right uninterested. Be around people who build you up, want to see you grow, and are progressing in their own lives.

Raw onions on a striped cloth.

I could go on, for about 300 more pages, but something tells me you may be here just for the recipe. In short, after a year, I can definitely see myself doing this for well, forever. Thank you for reading my mini life bio. Now, to the recipe.

Oh my, these Quick Pickled Onions. I asked the Mr. to buy some red onions when he went to the supermarket, except I totally forgot that I had just bought some the last time I went. Oops. That meant way too many onions for even us to eat in recipes. I caramelised three of them (yes, we had TONS & yes I’m obsessed with caramelised onions) and decided after staring at the gorgeous purple colour, I immediately thought of the pickled radishes I made a while back. This recipe is the perfect base recipe for pickling any vegetable, so I knew it would work perfectly with these onions.

Not only was I right, I was RIGHT. These quick pickled onions are such a dream. They are packed with a sweet tang, leave the onions with a tender crunch, and taste absolutely amazing on everything. I actually whipped up black bean burgers after trying one JUST so that I could experience their true power. I guarantee you’ll fall in love with them, and find endless uses. Think burgers, sandwiches, tacos, vegetable hot dogs, salads, loaded nachos…anything and everything.

Side shot of quick pickled onions in a glass jar.

 Instagram Jessica in the KitchenIf you try these Quick Pickled Onions please let me know in the comment section below, or tag me on instagram with the hashtag #jessicainthekitchen! For more exclusive recipes follow me on Instagram AND on Snapchat: jessinkitchen.



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These Quick Pickled Onions recipe takes only 10 minutes! It completely transforms the onions, and adds a divine pop of flavour to any recipe. Use them in sandwiches, tacos, burgers and any recipe you like! via https://jessicainthekitchen.com

Pickled onions in a glass jar.


These Quick Pickled Onions recipe takes only 10 minutes! It completely transforms the onions, and adds a divine pop of flavour to any recipe. Use them in sandwiches, tacos, burgers and any recipe you like!
by: Jessica in the Kitchen
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 10 servings
Course Jams, Sauces, Dips & Spreads
Cuisine American


  • 2 regular sized red onions
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 2 teaspoons sea salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut/cane/brown sugar
  • lime slices



  • In a pot, add the vinegar, water, sea salt, sugar and peppercorns. If using any other additional seasonings, add them now too. Stir together. Bring to a boil for 2 minutes.
  • Add in the onions, and allow to boil for 1 minute with the onions.
  • Remove from heat, let cool for 1 minute, then pour into a mason jar large enough to hold everything but that allowed the onions to be completely covered in the vinegar mixture. Add in the lime slices and swirl together to mix everything together.
  • Allow the mixture to cool completely to room temperature. You can serve immediately once cooled, but if you let it sit and continue to pickle, the flavours meld incredibly. I tried mine three days later and they were perfect. A week is even better. They will last several weeks in your fridge in a mason jar that has the cover tightly screwed on.
  • Enjoy!
This recipe is vegan and gluten free.
I use these Mason Jars.
You can use a wide variety of seasonings in this recipe. You could add mustard seeds, fennel seeds, more sugar, jalapeños, anything. It’s really up to you.
You can use the basic recipe and replace it with your vegetable of choice to pickle any vegetable you want. If pickling peppers, PLEASE use gloves and try not to inhale the fumes of the boiling peppers.


Calories: 18kcal | Carbohydrates: 3g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 471mg | Potassium: 50mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 2g | Vitamin C: 2mg | Calcium: 7mg | Iron: 1mg
by Jessica

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Recipe Rating


  1. We love pickled red onions and find them so good on burgers. I need to make another batch too.

  2. I love pickled onions! They are super easy, keep well, taste great and go well with a variety of foods.

  3. Virginia says:

    Hi…you mentioned peppercorns in the instructions but they are not in the ingredients list. How many do you usr? Thanks

    • Jessica says:

      Hi Virginia,

      I just added them in! I use about a tablespoon. Thanks for pointing that out!

  4. mamta balani says:

    Pickles are always included in my meals. I make onion pickle but another way Will try your recipe too.

  5. Billy says:

    I am so in love with pickled onions. Its crazy how much pickling them can transform the flavor from a sort of spicy bite to a sweet and tangy crunch. I love having them on sandwiches or even just as a garnish with a meat dish. This is a great recipe and the pictures are fantastic. Thank you for sharing Jessica!

    • Jessica says:

      So happy to hear Billy and so glad you liked my recipe!!

  6. stickman says:

    Onions mixed with lemon and pepper, I first know how to mix this mixture. It really works as you say. Then I will try right now as these are quite common ingredients. Thank you!

  7. Luz says:

    Hi, i have noticed you used the red cabbage and red onions in your recipe, can i also use the other kinds and still be good as in your recipe.

  8. Amy says:

    5 stars
    My family loves pickled vegetables with fish, on tacos, for a quick snack, anytime really. I have tried a lot of recipes but never one with lime. We just signed up for a CSA and received turnips, radishes, and red onions. This was the perfect recipe for all three. Thank you for your wonderful recipe.

  9. Petra V. says:

    5 stars
    I have made this with regular onions and some reaaaally old limes (leftovers from a party) and yet, it turned out amazing. Really easy and makes the onions so yummy. Cheap and easy way to spice up a lot of dishes, I recommend this recipe and will use it again.
    NOTES: I added a teaspoon of peppercorns as the comments suggested and it turned out great.

    • Gavin | Jessica in the Kitchen says:

      Awesome so happy that you enjoyed it Petra! Thank you for this great review.

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