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Pickled Red Onions

Pickled Red Onions Recipe

  • Author: Gigi Mitts
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 4 cups 1x


Here is a delicious recipe for pickled red onions.



  • 2 cups red wine vinegar
  • 4 lbs red onions
  • 2 cups granulated sugar
  • 12 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp cracked black peppercorns
  • 4 tbsp grenadine
  • 1 tsp kosher salt


  1. Peel and slice the onions. Make sure you slice the onions thinly. The thinner you slice them, the better their flavor would be. You can use a mandolin for the job. If you do not have a mandolin, use a sharp knife to make slivers or thin slices of the onions.
  2. In a pot, boil the vinegar, sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, and grenadine.
  3. Pack the onion slices tightly in mason jars.
  4. Pour the hot vinegar mixture over the onions.
  5. Use the back of the spoon to tamp down on the onions and submerge them fully in the brine. Seal the jars while the brine is still hot.
  6. If you want to serve them right away, wait at least one hour for the flavors to emerge.
  7. Refrigerate the onions for up to a month.

Variations: Add 1-2 tbsp dried oregano to the onions for greater flavor. You can also add all-spice, ground coriander, powdered cumin, and/or fresh chopped coriander leaves to the recipe.


Grenadine is sanguine syrup made with a base of sugar and pomegranates. Go to any liquor store, or online and chances are that you will get only one or two brands of this syrup. Look at the label. Chances are that it mentions high fructose corn syrup and red color. Most grenadine brands available today do not contain real pomegranates. 

Pomegranate juice in grenadine imparts a beautiful red color to the pickles. It also prevents oxidation and imparts anti-inflammatory properties to the pickle brine. So ensure that the brand you choose contains Pomegranate juice.

Instead of grenadine, you can also use thawed, frozen, orange juice concentrate. This imparts a sweet and tangy flavor to the onions. Alternatively, add a dash of lemon juice.

Vinegar used in the recipe can also be white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or rice vinegar. 

When using apple cider vinegar, use diluted. Add equal quantity of water to the vinegar and do not heat it. Pour it straight on the onions along with salt and sugar. Red onion pickles made with apple cider vinegar last for about 3 months.