Easy Pickled Red Onions
Updated: May 9
These quick and crunchy pickled red onions with fresh lime are the tangy zesty bite your dishes have been looking for! Paleo and Whole30 friendly, and with only a few ingredients, you can have a jar whipped up in less than 5-minutes. I love that these are customizable and are deliciously crunchy, I have a serious pet peeve against soggy and mushy pickled things! My mouth is watering just thinking about that crisp bite of acid these tasty pickled onions bring to every dish!
Pickled things are one of the easiest things to make and give you all the control over the flavor! I love to make my own homemade pickles, pickled jalapeños, and pickled onions to go with everything from scrambled eggs, sandwiches, salads, bowls, soups, and on my charcuterie boards. Everything just tastes better when it's homemade.
Why Onions are So Good For You!
Pickled onions are so much more than that zippy tangy bite, let's dive into this!
Onions belong to the Allium family of flowering plants that includes other aromatics like garlic, chives, leeks, ramps and shallots. Full of nutrients, powerful plant compounds, fiber and more, it's no wonder onions have been used to not only enhance and flavor foods, but for medicinal purposes dating back centuries.
Vitamin B6 (pyridoxine): There are many benefits from a diet rich in vitamin B6. It plays a role in our immune health, metabolism, and brain health. Vitamin B6 is essential in creating neurotransmitters like dopamine and serotonin, which play a role in emotional health and sleep .
Vitamin B9 (folate): This vitamin is essential in the production of your genetic material (DNA and RNA), supports metabolism, and works with other B vitamins in regulating homocysteine .
Vitamin C: A powerful antioxidant that reduces oxidative stress, improves the absorption of non-heme iron, supports the immune system, and healthy bones .
Potassium: Plays a role in your body's hydration and cellular fluid balance, with sodium being the counter balance.
Calcium: The most abundant mineral in the body and is essential in maintaining health teeth and bones as well as heart, muscle and nerve function .
Magnesium: A mineral that is essential in healthy metabolism, nervous system regulation, detoxification, and blood sugar regulation.
Phytochemicals (Antioxidants): Onions are loaded with phytochemicals, which are organic compounds found in produce and are beneficial for health. The richer the color of the fruit or vegetable (which is why I love Red Onions,) the more phytonutrients it contains. Here are a few of the ones found in onions:
Quercetin: A flavonoid that neutralizes free radicals, reduces inflammation, fights cancer, and supports vessel and heart health.
Anthocyanins: Found in Red onions, this powerful antioxidant has been shown to have anti-cancer, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, and anti-obesity properties .
Onionin A: A sulfur containing compound found in foods in the Allium genus that has been shown to have anti-cancer properties.
Onions are full of insoluble and soluble fiber that supports the digestive system as well as overall health.
Insoluble fiber: bulking fiber that keeps things moving along through the digestive system promoting healthy detoxification and waste removal.
Soluble fiber: absorbs water and gels in the digestive tract slowing the absorption of carbohydrates therefor supporting blood sugar regulation and feeds the beneficial bacteria in the microbiome.
So grab some beautiful red onions and let's get cooking!
Easy Pickled Red Onions Ingredients
Makes approximately one 16oz jar
1 sanitized 16oz mason jar with lid
1 Large Red Onion, sliced into 1/4” slices
1 Lime, sliced and juiced
1/2 cup Distilled White Vinegar
1/4 tsp Fine Sea Salt
1/8 tsp Ground Black pepper*
1/4 tsp Crushed Red Pepper*
* Omit these if you are on AIP
How to Make Easy Pickled Red Onions
1. Add about 1/4 of a cup of the vinegar to your clean jar.
2. Add the salt and choice of spices.
3. Rinse and dry your lime then slice out a few slices and set those aside for now. Taking the ends of the lime, squeeze out as much juice as you can and add it to the vinegar mixture in the jar.
4. Slice the onion anyway you like it, some people like long thin slices and do the half moon, some like shorter and thicker slices...anyway you like it, just make sure it's 1/4" thick or less.
5. Add the onions to the jar and gently press them down.
6. Fill the jar with more vinegar until all the onions are submerged.
7. Top off the onions with the lime slices and seal, giving it a good shake.
8. Set on the counter for at least an hour before eating. I like to set mine upside down for the first hour or so to make sure the top onions get nice and pickled before flipping it right side up.
9. Store in the refrigerator up to 3-weeks!
Watch the Video HERE!
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Q: Do I need to boil the vinegar before making these?
A: No, these are a quick pickle using room temperature vinegar to keep the onions more crunchy as the hot vinegar will slightly cook the onions.
Q: Can I use different vinegars to pickle onions?
A: I distilled white vinegar is the most popular and the one I use in most of my pickling recipes, but try other ones if you like. You will probably notice a change in flavor and possibly color when using other vinegars.
Q: How long should I wait before moving the pickled onions to the refrigerator?
A: You can refrigerate them as soon as you're done making them if you aren't planning on eating them right away. I typically leave them out for just a few hours and then move them over.
What to Serve Pickled Onions With
Hearty 3-Bean and Beef Chili: Rich and hearty chili tastes so much better with a crunchy bite of acid in these pickled onions, honestly, a perfect match in every bite!
Authentic Street Tacos (Tacos la Calle): Tender, succulent, seasoned beef blanketed in a warm heirloom corn tortilla..the perfect taco with paired with these delicious pickled onions!
Classic Charcuterie Board: What better accoutrement to rich and creamy cheeses and cured and aged meats than a zesty pickled onion, even better when it's homemade!
I hope you enjoy this as much as my family does. - Amy