If you’ve ever wondered how to make pickled red onions, this quick pickled red onion recipe is for you! It takes only 5 minutes of hands-on time and makes the perfect condiment to pile on your sandwiches, add to your favorite salads, or to elevate nearly any meal. It's the condiment you didn't know you needed!
Pickled red onions are one of my favorite additions to salads, hummus, or chicken shawarma. They are so easy to make, and add a pop of color and tangy brightness to any dish. This recipe is a favorite from The Mediterranean Dish Cookbook.
Slice a red onion and dunk it into a bath of vinegar, sumac, salt, and fresh herbs for 30 minutes to an hour. The result? Onion slices that taste mellow, slightly tangy, and perfectly crisp. The color is beautiful too!
And the possibilities are endless for this bright, jewel-toned condiment. Tuck slices of pickled red onion into your sandwiches like this Kofta-Seasoned Ground Beef Pita, add them to a salad, or serve them alongside grilled chicken.
If you have any pickled onions left, store them in the fridge with their pickling liquid in a tightly closed jar for up to a week. The onions will lose some of their crunch as they sit in the fridge, but they are still delicious!
Table of Contents
Ingredients for Pickled Red Onions
You’ve gotta love a recipe with only six ingredients. Easy, quick and guaranteed to add a pop of bold, bright flavor to your recipes. Let’s just say red pickled onions are the condiment you didn’t know you needed.
- Red wine vinegar: Red wine vinegar is the perfect pairing for pickled red onions because it amps up that gorgeous pink hue and that sharp flavor.
- Red Onion: Really, you could us any onion in this recipe, but when red onions are pickled they become the most beautiful bright pink color. You know we love color in the Mediterranean. Joyful food!
- Sumac: We sell sumac in the shop because it’s not always the easiest spice to find in grocery stores, but it’s used frequently in Mediterranean recipes, especially those from North Africa and the Middle east. Sumac is a berry that is ground into a fine powder. And I love how the tangy, smokey, slightly sour spice adds to this quick pickled onion recipe.
- Kosher Salt: The primary role of salt in this recipe is to balance the vinegar and enhance the flavors of the other ingredients.
- Fresh Herbs: I use fresh parsley and mint in this quick pickle recipe. If you’re going to set these onions out as part of a mezze, then chop a little extra and sprinkle it on top of the pickled onions just before serving.
How to Make Pickled Red Onions
This recipe takes minutes to put together. I typically prefer to slice my onion into thinish slices, but you can also cut the onion in wedges or rings. As the onions sit in the liquid they will soften.
- In a medium bowl, combine the onion slices with vinegar, sumac, salt, parsley, and mint.
- Use your hands to toss everything together, massaging gently.
- Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Use immediately or store in the fridge in a tightly covered jar for up to 1 week.
Ways to Use Pickled Red Onions
Pickled red onions are a great condiment over burgers or pizza or to tuck into into beef shawarma or Kofta sandwiches or as another component to layered hummus. You can also add pickled onions as part of your mezze alongside pickled turnips or quick pickled cucumbers.
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This tangy, smokey, slightly sour spice is just what you need to give your pickled onions some extra zing.
Pickled Red Onion Recipe
- 1 large red onion, halved and thinly sliced
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 3 tablespoons sumac
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh mint
- Combine the ingredients: In a medium bowl, combine the onion slices with vinegar, sumac, salt, parsley, and mint.
- Toss everything together: Use your hands to toss everything together, massaging gently.
- Let it sit: Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- Serve: Use immediately or store in the fridge in a tightly covered jar for up to 1 week.
- Switch it up: If you don’t have a red onion on hand use a white or yellow one.
- Vinegar: I prefer red wine vinegar for this recipe, but you can use white wine vinegar as well. The flavor might be a little sharper and the color won’t be as bright, but the pickled onion will still taste amazing
- Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams and spices.
Suzy love your recipe’s will definitely try this recipe
Hope you enjoy it!
I've made pickled red onion before, and it's an amazing addition to sandwiches, salads, or a topping. I've never tried making it with sumac or parsley, and these are both add so much! I've made it and love the flavor, but I expect that after it's mellowed a bit, it will be even better.
Also, I think pickled red onions will last a lot longer than a week. The vinegar is a preservative, and I've found that mine lasted at least a month.
I recommend using a mandoline to make uniformly thin onion slices. So quick and easy, but avoid slicing your fingers as well.
Oh my. Out of sumac. What is best substitute for this recipe? Thanks. Miriam
Yes! I love these pickled onions. The first time I tried them, I made them from Suzy's book, which is a must have for anyone who loves to eat this way. The Mediterranean Dish cookbook is filled with amazing recipes that are easy and delicious. I digress...I've been making these onions and using them on sandwiches and salads for a while. They really do add some great flavor and texture.
You're so sweet, Cindy! Thank you for the kind words!
This is an excellent version of this recipe. I usually double this amount and in one half I add a sliced Jalapeno to add some heat when I use them in non heated recipe's, salads, sandwiches...etc.
Ooo! YUM! Thanks for sharing, David!