Quick Pickled Red Onions | Easy Recipe

This quick pickled red onion recipe takes less than an hour to make and is the perfect no-fuss condiment for everything from tacos to salads.

Tangy, crunchy, and just a little sweet, quick pickled red onion is one of my favorite ways to liven up a meal. It has a vibrant pink color that looks awesome in sandwiches, tacos, or even stirred through potato salad or chickpea “tuna” salad

Although my quick pickled onion recipe is inspired by a classic Mexican dish, it’s definitely not a traditional recipe. If you’re looking for an authentic guide on how to make pickled onions the Mexican way, then I recommend this recipe for Mexican Pickled Onions or this Mexican Pickled Onions Easy Recipe.

Ingredients Quick Pickled Red Onion 

Red Onions: This recipe calls for red onions for a couple of reasons. First, they are a little sweeter and milder than white onions, making them perfect for pickling. Second, they turn pink when soaked in the citrus juice, which adds a burst of color to whatever you add them to. 

Lime Juice + Orange Juice: I’ve opted for citrus juice rather than vinegar for my quick pickled onions. It’s a lovely fresh alternative, and means that even those who can’t stand vinegar can enjoy the recipe!

Jalapeno Pepper: This is optional but highly recommended! Jalapeno pepper adds warmth to the quick pickled red onion, cutting through the tartness of the citrus juice. Feel free to use as much or as little as you like, depending on your spice tolerance. 

Salt + Pepper: Make sure you season well to get the most out of your quick pickled onions. 

How to Make Pickled Onion (Quick!)

Pot filled with quick pickled red onions and jalapeño peppers
  1. Begin by slicing the red onion and jalapeno as thin as possible.
  2. Tip the sliced onion and pepper into a bowl and cover with boiling water. Allow them to sit for around 10 minutes. 
  3. Drain the water, then add the salt, pepper, orange, and lime juice to the bowl. Stir until everything is well combined. 
  4. Leave the onions to stand for around 30 minutes, until they have turned a vibrant pink color. 
  5. Transfer your quick pickled red onion to a mason jar or airtight container, then place into the fridge to cool. 

Pickled Onion Recipe Swaps

Not a fan of spice? Feel free to reduce the amount of jalapeno or to cut it from the recipe completely. 

Need more spice? Add more heat by swapping out the jalapeño for one small habanero pepper.

If you prefer, you can swap the orange juice for extra lime. Just use four limes instead of two! 

What Goes With Pickled Red Onion?

In my opinion, you can eat this quick pickled onion recipe with almost anything! A few of my favorites include: 

  • Added to tacos and burritos
  • Condiment for sandwiches
  • Topping for nachos
  • Mixed through green salads
  • Stirred into creamy potato salad
  • Added to chickpea “tuna” salad

Storing Quick Pickled Onion

Store your onions in a mason jar or airtight container, and keep refrigerated. Eat within three days. 

clock clock iconcutlery cutlery iconflag flag iconfolder folder iconinstagram instagram iconpinterest pinterest iconfacebook facebook iconprint print iconsquares squares iconheart heart iconheart solid heart solid icon
Small pot filled with quick pickled red onions with jalapeño peppers

Quick Pickled Red Onions | Easy Recipe

  • Author: Rachel Steenland
  • Total Time: 35-45 minutes


This quick pickled red onion recipe is tangy, crisp, and super easy to make! Bright pink and ready in around 45 minutes for tacos and salads! 


  • 2 red onions, peeled + thinly sliced
  • Boiling water
  • 1 jalapeno pepper, thinly sliced
  • Juice of 2 limes
  • Juice of 1 orange
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper


  1. Place thinly sliced red onions and jalapeño pepper into a small pot, then pour over boiling water until covered. Set aside for 10 minutes.
  2. Strain the onions to remove the water, then place the onion and jalapeño pepper slices back into the pot. Add the orange and lime juice, salt and pepper, then stir to combine. Set aside for 20 to 30 minutes to pickle and turn pink.
  3. Transfer to a mason jar or airtight container and place into the fridge to cool before serving.
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 10 minutes + 20-30 minutes pickling

Keywords: quick pickle, quick pickled red onion, quick pickled onion recipe, how to make pickled

This post contains affiliate links, which means I’ll make a small commission if you purchase using these links. The price you pay as a consumer does not change.

Rachel Steenland

Rachel Steenland

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe rating 5 Stars 4 Stars 3 Stars 2 Stars 1 Star

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.


Subscribe to my newsletter

Recent Recipes

related posts
close up shot of a ball of sunflower seed cheese topped with lemon zest and fresh thyme, surrounded by crackers and cheese knife.

Sunflower Seed Cheese

This Sunflower Seed Cheese is a delicious vegan alternative to traditional cheese! It is made from simple ingredients. And, the result is a creamy, spreadable