Sweet + Sour Pickled Onion Recipe

We get asked about pickled red onions ALL THE TIME. And you know what? We love ‘em! It’s just not something we’ll be adding to our line up anytime soon.

So we wanted to start the new year off with a delicious and easy beginner Sweet + Sour Pickled Onion recipe (adapted from Food in Jars) you can do at home, even if you don’t have a canner! With a hint of heat, a touch of sweet and plenty of vinegar sour, you’re going to keep these stocked in your pantry or fridge.

If you’re new to the world of pickled red onions, you might be wondering what you do with them. Let us tell you, the options are endless. But here’s a few to get your taste buds going:

  • on top of your eggs with avocado and toast

  • on top of a southwestern or bacon burger

  • on top of any taco

  • top a salad for extra zest

  • chop them up and add to your guac

  • add to a pulled pork sandwich

  • roasted with green beans or brussels sprout

Have we convinced you to pick up a new hobby and get to canning yet? Let’s do it!

Sweet and Sour Pickled Red Onions

Adapted from Food In Jars

This recipe is for 1 jar and can be multiplied.

Ingredients

  • 1 medium to small red onion thinly sliced

    For brine:

  • 1/2 Cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1/4 cup plus 2 TB water

  • 2 Tb sugar

  • 1/2 Tb pickling salt

    For each jar:

  • 1 bay leaf

  • 1 tsp whole black pepper

  • 1 tsp yellow mustard seeds

  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds

  • 1/4 tsp red pepper flakes

Instructions for canning (see below for Quick Fridge Pickle Recipe):

  1. Fill your canner about 3/4 full of water and place it on the back of your stove. Allow it to come to a boil.

  2. Wash your jars, lids and rings in hot soapy water by hand. Place lids and rings on a dish towel on your counter or table.

  3. Mix all brine ingredients listed above into a non-reactive sauce pan and bring to a boil.

  4. While waiting, add spices into each jar. Then take a canning funnel and tightly pack the onions into the jar.

  5. Once brine comes to a boil take it off the stove and stir for a minute. 

  6. Place the canning funnel on your first jar and ladle in brine leaving a 1 inch headspace. (1 inch headspace is the last line of the thread at the neck of the jar). Fill all jars this way.

  7. With a damp cloth or paper towel wipe the rim of each jar.

  8. Add lids and rings to each jar, closing each finger tight. You don't have to crank it down hard, just snug.

  9. Once your hot water bath canner is at a full rolling boil, using canning tongs add jars to the canning rack then submerge canning rack into the pot.

  10. Check and make sure there is at least 2 inches of water over the tops of the jars and that the water is at a full rolling boil. 

  11. Put lid on and process jars for 10 minutes.

  12. When your timer is up remove lid and using jar lifter take jars out of the canner and place them onto the dish towel to cool overnight. 

  13. Next day check to make sure that the lids are sealed. Date jars and store in a cool dry place. If you have any lids that don't seal place in fridge for immediate use.

Quick Fridge Pickle Recipe:

  1. Wash your jars, lids and rings in hot soapy water by hand. Place lids and rings on a dish towel on your counter or table.

  2. Mix all brine ingredients listed above into a non-reactive sauce pan and bring to a boil.

  3. While waiting, add spices into each jar. Then take a canning funnel and tightly pack the onions into the jar.

  4. Once brine comes to a boil take it off the stove and stir for a minute. 

  5. Place the canning funnel on your first jar and ladle in brine leaving a 1/2 inch headspace.

  6. With a damp cloth or paper towel wipe the rim of each jar.

  7. Add lids and rings to each jar, closing each finger tight. You don't have to crank it down hard, just snug.

  8. Allow to cool over night on the counter. 

  9. Refrigerate next day. They can be eaten next day, but allow to cure for 2-4 weeks for maximum spice diffusion. 


If you've had a chance to use our preserves in a dish or want to share a canning recipe with us use hashtag #theurbancanningco and find us on Instagram @theurbancanningco. To see a list of our markets and events head over to our Market's + Events page or Shop Online! Cheers!