Pickled Red Onions – No Sugar

Can you think of a condiment that says, “preserve the fall” and “class up your winter meals”—all at once!  How about pickled red onions?  Perfect on pizza, sandwiches and more. What condiment says, “preserve fall” and “classy dinners”—all at once!  How about pickled red onions.  Perfect on pizza, sandwiches and more.

Making Pickled Red Onions has been on my list for ages.  I’ve eaten them out and they can take a salad or other dish from plain to elegant, even glamorous, in a snap!  And even my husband enjoys them!

The final push came when I decided to make steak fajita nachos (pictured above, stay tuned for that delicious recipe!).  Did you know there are a ton of nacho recipes that use pickled onions?  Whoda’ thought! 

What condiment says, “preserve fall” and “classy dinners”—all at once!  How about pickled red onions.  Perfect on pizza, sandwiches and more.

Pickled Red Onion LIne Up

Of course, pickled onions are incredible in all kinds of dishes.  Pizza, salad, flatbread, sandwiches.  It’s just the kind of thing I can do now to make the holiday season easier and better.  Not to mention preserve some of our local bounty.

I cut my onions quickly and easily using a mandolin (carefully). And I loved how they turned a beautiful pink after simmering in vinegar!

Picked Onions on Flatbread

Picked Onions on Flatbread

The recipe is super simple, and I was kicking myself for not making it earlier. It’s even sugar-free, something that can be hard to find in pickle recipes.  I took it from Ball without guilt, knowing they may get a few jar sales out of it. 


Look at that color!

Pickled Red Onions
Yields 30
What condiment says, “preserve fall” and “classy holidays”—all at once! How about pickled red onions. Perfect on pizza, sandwiches, salad, flatbread and more.
Write a review
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
40 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
22 min
Total Time
40 min
25 calories
5 g
0 g
0 g
1 g
0 g
78 g
3 g
2 g
0 g
0 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 25
Calories from Fat 0
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g
Saturated Fat 0g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 0g
Monounsaturated Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 3mg
Total Carbohydrates 5g
Dietary Fiber 1g
Sugars 2g
Protein 1g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. • 3 pounds red onion
  2. • 4 cups white vinegar
  3. • 3 tbsp minced garlic
  1. Wash and preheat jars in water on stove. Wash lids and bands with warm soapy water. Set aside.
  2. Peel onions and slice 1/8 - 1/4 inch thick. Separate slices into rings. Bring vinegar and garlic to a boil in a large pot. Reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Add onion rings to vinegar mixture. The pot may be very full. Cover and simmer for about 7 minutes. Stir occasionally.
  3. Pack hot onion mixture into half pint or smaller hot jars tightly. Be sure onions are covered in hot pickling liquid. Leave ¼ inch headspace. Remove any air bubbles, wipe the rim, apply the lid and band, and process in a boiling water bath for 10 minutes, adjusting time for altitude, as needed (see note).
  1. This make about 7 half pints.
  2. This presupposes you know how to can—there is a lot of instruction online if you’d like to learn.
  3. If you don’t want to can these, you can still enjoy. Just make a smaller amount and store in the refrigerator.
  4. For altitude adjustment, see https://www.freshpreserving.com/altitude-adjusting.html
Art of Natural Living https://artofnaturalliving.com/

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14 thoughts on “Pickled Red Onions – No Sugar

  1. Juliana

    That’s it? I will definitely try this recipe…I love pickled onions especially the red ones…so pretty and adds a nice kick to sandwiches and salads…thanks for the recipe Inger.
    Enjoy the rest of your week!

  2. David Scott Allen

    The color is absolutely amazing. Now, my question… as I will have to skip the garlic, do I need to replace it with anything else? Or just let it go as is?… my sense is that I could make it without the garlic or anything else.

    1. Inger Post author

      You should be able to just skip the garlic David–or possibly add some salt. I couldn’t really detect the garlic in the final product anyway (though I didn’t aged the first jar very long). Have fun!

  3. Audrey

    Oh I love that these are not sweet! There are so many things I can think of these would be amazing on. Hoping we get a lot of red onions from the CSA this year.

    1. Inger Post author

      We just aren’t sweet pickle people Audrey, so even my sliced pickles are straight dills, not sweet pickles.

  4. Hezzi-D

    I can think of so many different ways you could use these pickled red onions at the holidays. On salads, on sandwiches the day after a holiday, or on a relish tray!

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