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This recipe for homemade pickled onions offers a simple yet delightful way to add a tangy and flavorful twist to your salads. By combining the crispness of fresh onions with vinegar and the aromatic notes of thyme and garlic, these pickled onions create a versatile condiment that can elevate a salad but also a variety of other dishes. The jar of pickled onions finds its home in the refrigerator, where the magic truly happens. Over time, the onions absorb the vibrant flavors of the vinegar, becoming increasingly tender and packed with tangy goodness.
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 portions to top a salad


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Glass jar with a tight-fitting lid
  • Saucepan


  • 1 large onion
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup white wine vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • 1 sprig thyme
  • 1 clove garlic - minced
Ingredient Notes
  • The best onions to pickle are fresh red onions that you can probably find at the farmer’s market. Otherwise try with red onions.
  • I love to use Onions from Tropea or cipolle di Tropea in Italian, which are a specific variety of red onions that are grown in the region of Tropea in Calabria, Italy. They are renowned for their distinctive shape, mild and sweet flavor, and vibrant red-purple color.
  • But feel free to experiment with different onion varieties, to get your personal result.


  • Peel and slice a large onion into very fine slices. Place the onion slices in a clean glass jar with a tight-fitting lid.
  • In a saucepan, combine water, white wine vinegar, salt, and sugar. Stir the mixture over medium heat until the salt and sugar have completely dissolved.
  • Once the water-vinegar mixture comes to a boil, remove it from the heat.
  • Carefully pour the hot water-vinegar mixture over the sliced onions in the jar. Make sure the onions are fully submerged. Add the sprig of thyme and minced garlic to the jar as well.
 Seal the jar tightly with its lid to create an airtight seal. Shake the jar gently to distribute the ingredients.
  • Let the jar cool to room temperature, then transfer it to the refrigerator. The pickled onions will need some time to develop their flavors and soften.
  • For best results, allow the onions to pickle in the refrigerator for at least 24 hours before consuming. The longer they sit, the more tender and flavorful they will become.
  • Once pickled, the onions can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks. Enjoy them as a tangy topping for burgers, sandwiches, and salads, or alongside various dishes as a flavorful condiment.


  • Feel free to adjust the amount of salt, sugar, or vinegar to suit your personal taste preferences. Additionally, you can experiment with other herbs and spices, such as peppercorns or bay leaves, to add different flavors to your pickled onions.
  • The pickling liquid can be reused 2-3 times.
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