Pickled Red Onions

I feel onions are under appreciated.

Sure.  I consider them a necessity. They are in my shopping cart almost weekly and we use them in 80-90% of our savoury dishes.

But rarely are onions the star of a dish. They play a supporting role, balancing and blending the other flavours, adding depth.  Without them our sauces would be flat, our soups boring.

Then I made this and I’ve never felt the same about onions again.

I think I said “Oh My God those are good.”  My husband came into the kitchen and asked “What is that?”

And then he said “Oh My God those are good.”

This spicy pickle is perfect for BBQ season….. add it to your burgers, doggies or anything else that goes in a bun.  These onions add a special touch to falafel or other veggie filled wrap. I like them on these vegetarian sloppy joes.  Or on top of my giant salads like this Detox salad.  And just to make me even happier about these onions, they turn the prettiest pink colour ever! Really, what could be better?

The red chilies don’t add as much heat as you would expect, but you could use just one if you are afraid to get things too hot.  Feel free to change up the spices based on what you have on hand. I added the black mustard seeds and cumin seeds just because I have them and never seem to use them.

In honour of all Fathers out there today… go make your Dad something to go with the new BBQ set you bought him.  You still have time. These will be ready before lunch and that assumes you still have to run to the store for a few thin

Yields 1-1

Quick Pickled Red Onions

a must for summer BBQ burgers everywhere - quick red onions pickled with spices and a bit of heat.

15 minPrep Time

15 minTotal Time

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  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1-1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 4 tablespoons white sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 small dried red chili peppers
  • 12 whole cloves
  • 5-6 whole all spice berries
  • 1/4 teaspoon of each of the following spices: whole cumin seeds, black peppercorns, black mustard seeds, fennel seeds


  1. In a medium stainless steel pot, add vinegar, sugar, salt and all the spices and bring to a boil over medium high heat. Add onions and bring back to a simmer, simmer for about 30 seconds. Using a pair of tongs, be sure to toss them in the vinegar so all the onions get doused. Don't worry if the onions seem a little raw a this point. They will soften as they sit in the hot vinegar. Remove from the heat and allow to cool completely.
  2. That's it. Store in a glass jar with enough juice to cover for several weeks, refrigerated. I promise they will not last that long.
Recipe Type: Condiment