Califonia Bountiful
Side Dish

Perfectly pickled red onions

Although these will last almost indefinitely in an airtight container in your fridge, Timaree Hagenburger says they get gobbled up quickly. "My 7-year-old loves to add them to the top of her black bean burgers and any salad, and will ask for some on the side, just to pop into her mouth!"

Timaree Hagenburger
The Nutrition Professor
Cosumnes River College, Sacramento

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2 cups cider vinegar
2 cups water, room temperature or cold
3 tbsp. coconut sugar or brown sugar
1 tsp. salt
2 bay leaves
1 tsp. whole peppercorns
4 medium red onions, thinly sliced (see tips)


Bring a large pot full of water to a boil. Combine vinegar, water, sugar, salt and bay leaves in a medium-sized bowl and stir until sugar dissolves. Add peppercorns in an empty "tea bag" or stainless steel tea infuser. Place onion slices in a colander in the sink and pour the boiling water over onions (they will wilt a bit). Drain well and transfer onions to the bowl with the marinade.  Cover and allow to marinate at room temperature for 1 hour, and then refrigerate.

The next day, I like to transfer the cooled onions and marinade to canning jars, as they will keep in the refrigerator for several weeks. They are fabulous on salads, hot or cold sandwiches, pizzas, burgers and all by themselves.

Prep Smart, Cook Smart Tips:

  • Don't forget that many of the health-promoting phytonutrients in onions are in the first few layers, so only peel off the papery skin.
  • Because it is ideal to have onion slices that are of uniform thickness, this is the perfect job for a food processor with a slicer blade, if you have one.

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