These Super Quick Onion Pickles Are The Perfect Condiment

Pickling can transform any vegetable (or meat for that matter) into something new and exciting. The art of pickling has been around for many hundreds of years, as far back as 2030 BC in fact when cucumbers were pickled in the Tigris Valley. The word itself comes from a Dutch word, ‘pekel’ meaning salt or brine, the two most important aspects of creating a good pickle.

Today the definition of a pickle has expanded greatly to include a variety of herbs, spices, oils and other flavourings to make them unique but pickles in their purest form are food items preserved in salt or salt water for longevity and extra flavour.

Pickled onions are one of the most delicious and simple ways to try your hand at pickling as the process helps the vegetable to lose some of its intensity making them slightly sweeter with an acidic tang without losing any of its crunch. They’re ideal for burgers, sandwiches or salads but can be eaten with pretty much anything if you want an extra layer of texture and flavour. 

What sets this recipe apart however is the time needed to ace them. While many pickles depend on a long ageing process, these can be ready to use a mere half hour after they’ve cooled down so if you need a quick fix. This is the solution.


  • 1 medium red onion, very thinly sliced
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup distilled white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar or additional white vinegar
  • 1 ½ tablespoons maple syrup or honey
  • 1 ½ teaspoons fine sea salt
  • ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes (optional, for heat)


  • In a 1-pint mason jar or other heat-resistant vessel, pack the onions. Make sure the jar is placed in the sink, so that any splashes of hot vinegar can be caught.
  • Water, both vinegars, maple syrup, salt, and pepper flakes should be combined in a small saucepan. The mixture should simmer gently over medium heat, then be carefully poured into the jar over the onions.
  • To pop any air bubbles in the jar, use a butter knife or spoon to push the onions down into the vinegar. Upon cooling to room temperature (about 20 to 30 minutes), the pickled onions should be sufficiently pickled.
  • You can store leftover pickled onions in the refrigerator for later use. In the refrigerator, quick-pickled onions keep for up to three weeks, but are best consumed within three days of picking.