Easy Pickled Red Onion is a fantastic condiment for a variety of dishes, from Mexican to Asian cuisine and everything in between! Quickly zapped in the microwave, you can store this garnish in a refrigerated container for several weeks.
I had my first experience with pickled red onion relish in a local Peruvian restaurant: it was served on a plate next to the most GORGEOUS arroz con pollo. But honestly, the dish—though beautiful—struck me as bland and unremarkable in the flavor department…until I added a bit of pickled red onion to my next bite. TRANSFORMATION! The pickled red onion’s acidity and brightness somehow brought out the subtle flavoring and provided a textural counterpoint for the dish.
I resolved to recreate a pickled red onion condiment at home, to keep in the fridge and pull out as a relish for steak, burgers, Asian dishes, Mexican dishes, Caribbean dishes—in fact, I sometimes eat it over rice.
Making Easy Pickled Red Onion
As the name suggests, Easy Pickled Red Onion is incredibly simple to make. All you do is slice a red onion into thin rings or half rings, put them into a microwaveable container, add a bit of vinegar and sugar, lid the container and shake, and then zap it for 30 seconds to a minute. In the image below, I’ve added the ingredients to my favorite twist-top Ziploc container (you can buy these at no extra cost through my affiliate link and support Flipped-Out Food—WIN!):
I’ve been using my easy pickled red onion relish for several years now, and I’ve had numerous comments about how yummy it is on its own. I included it with a couple of other recipes, like my Crockpot Banh Mi Sandwiches and One-Pan Arroz con Pollo. I finally decided to give Easy Pickled Red Onion its very own recipe. It was feeling left out.
I often substitute granulated Splenda for the sugar to cut down the carbs and calories. I haven’t tried honey or agave nectar, but I suspect that these would both work splendidly (just keep in mind that it may not be a 1:1 substitution).
One note: I don’t add salt to my easy pickled red onion. I find that the bright acidity brings out the salt in whatever dish you pair it with—and after all, getting less sodium in your diet is a good thing.
That’s it! I love having a jar full of Easy Pickled Red Onion in my fridge. I just ate some of it with Thai Green Curry the other night—also YUM.
I hope you love my Easy Pickled Red Onion recipe!
I’m linking my recipe for easy pickled red onions with:
- #CookBlogShare, a great food blogger recipe-share at Everyday Healthy Recipes.
- #RecipeOfTheWeek hosted by A Mummy Too.
- #BrillBlogPosts (coming soon!), a link party with a variety of lifestyle reads hosted by Honest Mum.
Easy Pickled Red Onion
- 1 medium red onion - thinly sliced into rings and half-rings
- 3/4 cup rice vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar - (or substitute granulated Splenda; see Recipe Note #1)
- Simply mix all ingredients in a microwaveable container with a tight-fitting lid. Close and shake to combine. Loosen the lid and microwave on high for 30 seconds. Carefully remove the container from the microwave to avoid steam burns. Tighten the lid and refrigerate, shaking the container occasionally. The onions will keep up to 2 weeks in the refrigerator.
- You can substitute honey or agave nectar as well: add in very small amounts until the mix is flavored to your liking.