Pickled Red Onion

The Perfectly seasoned Pickled Red Onion recipe

Have you ever wondered how Pickled Red Onion is made? Well, today is your lucky day. I am not talking about just adding vinegar to the onions. I am talking about choosing the best onions, the best vinegar, and the best seasoning.

How to make Pickled red onion

Pickled Red Onion is simple to make. You may be required to buy ingredients you probably are not familiar with or probably did not even think you could actually add them to your pickled veggies. I am referring to fennel seeds and mustard seeds.

These two ingredients are easier to be found in powdered form. If your local supermarket does not have them because of limited availability in products, you may have to go to another store where they sell a wider range of products, international products, and natural products.  As far as onions, choosing the right onions is necessary to create wonderful dishes.

Pickled Red Onion
Pickled Red Onion

Onions are the backbone to almost all savory dishes, Variety and color may affect the taste of your recipe.  When buying an onion, choose one that is very firm to the touch and very fresh. It is also best to store onions in a cool, dark place.

Now let’s talk about vinegar. I have used a variety of vinegar and I have found that red wine vinegar and sherry vinegar make the best-pickled onions. You may want to alternate or change the recipe if you prefer, but I suggest to give this one a try first. That what I did and I still prefer it then my other versions.

A little bit of history

This recipe for Pickled Red Onion is originally from Food and Wine and its contributor is Chef Shawn McLain. There are many recipes out there and I believe this one fits my needs and maybe yours as well.

Pickled Red Onion
Pickled Red Onion

A mixture of red wine and balsamic vinegar provides a slightly bitter taste that is overpowered by the sweetness of the honey and the savory taste of the bay leaf, fennel, and mustard seeds. I have not forgotten about the spiciness or mild hot flavor that is released by the crushed red peppers.

All these spices create the perfect balance that goes very well with the mild, acidic, spicy and aromatic taste of the red onions. All of these flavors mixed together, sweet, bitter, sour, spicy and salty is the perfect combination for a great condiment recipe.


Pickled Red Onion 2 1

The Perfectly seasoned Pickled Red Onion recipe

Pickled Red Onion, wonderful flavors mixed together, sweet, bitter, sour, spicy and salty is the perfect combination for a great condiment recipe.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Recipe Index
Cuisine American
Servings 1 cup
Calories 1042 kcal


  • 1/2 cup dry red wine
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium red onion thinly sliced
  • Salt


  • In a small saucepan, combine the red wine with the balsamic vinegar, honey, bay leaf, fennel seeds, mustard seeds and crushed red pepper and bring to a boil over moderately high heat. Cover the saucepan and remove from the heat. Let the brine stand for 10 minutes.
  • In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil. Add the red onion slices, season with salt and cook over moderate heat, stirring the onion occasionally, until the slices are softened, about 6 minutes. Scrape the onion into a bowl.
  • Strain the brine over the onion and let cool to room temperature. Cover and refrigerate overnight. Bring to room temperature and serve in the brine.


The pickled onion can be refrigerated for up to 1 week.
Total time reflects overnight pickling
This recipe for Pickled Red Onion is originally from Food and Wine and its contributor is Chef Shawn McLain.


Serving: 1gramsCalories: 1042kcalCarbohydrates: 177gProtein: 4gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 4gSodium: 51mgFiber: 3gSugar: 163g

Please keep in mind that nutritional information is a rough estimate and can vary greatly based on the products used.

Keyword picked, pickled onion, quick salad, red onion, salad
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Nutrition info is automatically generated and provided as a courtesy and as an estimate only.

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One Comment

  1. 5 stars
    I made this recipe and its delish!! I let it pickle for 3 days before using it. Caramelized some and added to my sautéed kale and roasted chickpeas! Delish!

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