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How To Pickle An Onion


I Love Pickled Onions!

Pickled onions have to be one of the easiest homemade pickles to make. Try some of the recipes for pickled onions on this page, they are easy to do, just make up the pickling spices and add to the jar with the onions and vinegar, and, if you get some interesting looking jars then your homemade pickled onions will also make great presents!

When you make up your pickled onions recipe you can choose your own pickling spice mix to vary the flavourings pf the pickled onions, and you can cut down on the sugar, salt and other additives that you will find in shop bought brands of pickled onions.... so, have a go, it really is easy!

These pickled onions will keep for about a year and the quantities I give on this page are enough to make around two 1lb (500g) jars of pickled onions, just divide the ingredients equally between the jars.

Garlic Grenades Pickled Onion

Pickled onions for serious garlic lovers

If you love garlic then you will adore these pickled onions. They are packed with garlic, garlic and even more garlic!

These pickled onions may develop a kind of turquoise hue... its quite normal and is a particular trait of the garlic in the pickle, and when you have finished the onions the pickled garlic is also very tasty!

1 1lb pickling onions

White distilled malt vinegar

1 tsp garlic salt

1 tsp black pepper

10 whole cloves of garlic

10 sliced cloves of garlic

1 tablespoon caster sugar

4 sprigs of oregano

4 sprigs of marjoram

2 slices of lemon

Peel the onions and stack them into jars interspersed with the garlic.

Place the herb sprigs and lemon slices against the sides of the glass and hold them in place with the onions.

Add the sugar and spice and top up with the white vinegar.

Seal the jars and put them into a dark cupboard for at least a month to allow the flavour to develop.

1lb peeled pickling onions

1 tsp cloves

1 tsp cardamom pods

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp mustard seeds

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 stick of cinnamon

1 tsp salt

4 tsp dark brown sugar

Pickling vinegar

Pack the onions into clean jars with the spices, salt and sugar. Top up with the vinegar until the onions are covered and seal the jars tightly.

Store the onions in a dark cupboard for at least a month to allow the flavours to develop.

If You Are Making Pickled Onions Then You Need Some Jars To Store Them In

I like these Leifheit jars, they are really easy to clean, you can just put them in the dishwasher, and their shape and design makes them that little bit nicer than just plain glass jars.

The jars are decorated with fruits and vegetables on the glass so if you did want to give away your pickles as a gift they would make the perfect container.

You can also get replacement lids for them if you need to so all in all they make the perfect containers for your pickles or preserves.


Red Hot Devils

Pickled onions for those who seriously love chillies!


1lb peeled pickling onions

10 West Indian wrinkled chillies (Granny's Bonnets)

10 whole dried red chillies

1 tbs caster sugar

1 tbs sea salt

1 tbs pink peppercorns

Distilled white malt vinegar

Slice the fresh chillies, pack the onions into jars interspersed with both the fresh and dried chillies. Sprinkle in the sugar, salt and peppercorns and top up with the vinegar.

As usual, leave for at least one month to allow the flavour to develop.

Heart Warmers

These pickled onions are not for the faint hearted :-)

These 'Heart Warmer' pickled onions look great when packed into some interesting glass jars.

Fill the jars with the onions, pressing the herbs, chillies, ginger, pepper and garlic against the side of the jar to add more visual interest. Add the salt, mustard seeds and sugar then top up with the vinegar until the onions are covered.

I used red peppers in this recipe, you can use green if you prefer but I find they tend to lose their colour whereas the red stay bright.

Store for at least a month before eating!

1lb peeled pickling onions

6 sprigs fresh rosemary and thyme

8 long red chillies, split lengthways, seeds included

1 tbs red pepper, diced

1 tbs sliced fresh ginger

2 cloves garlic

1 tsp salt

1 tsp mustard seeds

2 tbs demerara sugar

Malt vinegar


Mellow Fellows

Not everybody likes their food too spicy, if you belong to that group then try these mellow pickled onions, they are perfect for a picnic or a ploughmans.


1lb peeled pickling onions

1 tsp green or black peppercorns

1 tsp coriander seeds

1 tsp salt

1 tsp muscovado sugar

Malt vinegar

Simply put everything in a big jar (or divide between two 500g jars), top up with the vinegar, tightly seal and leave for a month or more.

For those wanting an even milder flavour try substituting cider vinegar for the malt vinegar.

Sweet And Spicy

Lovely sweet pickled onions with a spicy warmth but not with the fire of chilli.


1lb peeled pickling onions

1 tsp soy sauce

1 tsp crushed coriander seeds

1 tsp nutmeg

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp crushed cardamom pods

½ tsp mace

1 tsp sultanas or raisins

2 tbs Muscovado sugar

1 tsp crushed black peppercorns

Cider vinegar

Simply stack the onions into jars and spoon in the soy sauce, spices, sultanas, sugar and seasonings. Top up with the vinegar, seal and leave for at least one month.

Even Easier Than Making Up The Recipes Here Is To Get A Ready Prepared Jar Of Pickling Spice!

Sometimes we don't always have all of the ingredients that we need for a particular recipe and, to be honest, if we were to go out and buy them all it would cost much more than buying a ready made jar of pickling spice.

Try adding a couple of teaspoons as the main spice and then adding whatever herbs, spices and sugars that you want to make your own variety of pickled onions.


Oriental Delights

I sometimes make these pickled onions without the sugar if I am being extra healthy!


1lb peeled pickling onions

3 cloves garlic

1 tbs chopped fresh ginger

1 cinnamon stick

3 star anise or 1 tsp Chinese seasoning

1 sliced red chilli

1 tbs caster sugar

1 tsp black peppercorns

1 tbs soy sauce

1 tsp crushed sesame seeds

2 tbs sherry

White wine vinegar

Pile the onions, garlic, ginger, cinnamon, star anise and chilli into jars. Spoon in the sugar, peppercorns, soy sauce, sesame seeds and sherry then top up with the vinegar and leave for a month


Little Sweeties

These are lovely little, port-soaked, pink pickled onions

1lb small peeled pickling onions or silverskin onions

3 tbs port

2 tbs honey

1 tbs caster sugar

1 tsp sea salt

½ tsp ground black pepper

½ tsp grated nutmeg

Red wine vinegar

I like to use attractive jars for these pretty little pickled onions.

Fill the jars with the onions and mix the remaining ingredients in a jug until the sugar dissolves, then, top up the jars with the mixture making sure that all the onions are covered.

Seal the jars tightly and store in a dark cupboard for around 3 weeks.

Your Comments Are Always Welcome - Please let me know that you stopped by this lens

TedWritesStuff on September 22, 2013:

One word..yum!

cocktailsexaminer on August 15, 2011:

Those recipes sound great, especially the one with chiles! I'll have to give it a try.

anonymous on May 02, 2011:

@anonymous: I think the white spots are a wild yeast infection. I have had this in batches of onions where the onions are not covered with hot brine to kill the yeasts.

Soory to be the bearer of bad news

Chris on April 18, 2011:

thanks, I love pickled onions.

anonymous on February 06, 2011:

I make sweet pickle onions which are very popular but for some reason my onions are creating white spots after a week or two. Why is this happening?

pumpnut lm on January 08, 2011:

Interesting Gibson garnishes here.

John Dyhouse from UK on October 29, 2010:

I love pickeld onions and I make a few jars for the family every christmas, but I have obviously been limiting myself to a fairly staid and simple variety. I will be branching out the next time I make some. (This years have just been bottled!)

olgateway on September 29, 2010:

So many great recipes, can't wait to try the chilli ones! They all sound really appetising. Thanks for sharing.

anonymous on September 29, 2010:

Great lens :) I have neer tried making pickled onions - but it does not sound difficult. Maybe I'll try it :)

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on September 28, 2010:

Just got some purple onions. Want to try this. We are involved in a food processing project in Cambodia and will be able to use this recipe once I learn how to do it. I will become a more useful volunteer. Thanks.

charlhrdy on September 27, 2010:

Love it, just pickled my home grown beetroot, will be checking back next year to when I've got the onions to pickle

anonymous on September 26, 2010:

I love taste of the onion, especially it is great adition to food with meat :)

DuchessOBlunt on September 26, 2010:

pickled onions - YUM

This looks easy enough...now to find the time :)

norma-holt on September 24, 2010:

Wonderful recipes and nicely presented. *-*Blessed*-* and featured on Sprinkled with Stardust and also on Pickles and Squidoo LOTD Lenses. Congratulations on the award.

Lee Hansen from Vermont on September 24, 2010:

I've saved and faved this lens for myself, plus I sent this wonderful lens to my daughter who's got far too many jalapeno peppers - now she can make pickled hots!

anonymous on September 24, 2010:

I'm not real big on onions, but these look and sound yummy!

Congratulations on LOTD!

Mart903 on September 23, 2010:

Congratulations on this useful and nice looking Lens of the Day!

Rita-K on September 23, 2010:

Yum! I can't wait to try your recipes! Living in the country has some great advantages...onions are one! Love them! Congratulations on a wonderful lens!

writerkath on September 23, 2010:

What an absolutely delightful lens! I couldn't resist visiting when I saw the title. How to pickle an Onion? Whodathunkit? :) Beautiful! And please accept my congratulations on your well-deserved Lens of the Day!

By the way - I agree w/ the folks at Squidoo... They mentioned your good use of the Amazon module. Lovely! Thank you for showing us how to tastefully blend the different elements of the lens that are available to us.

Again, Congratulations! :)



nukemdomis lm on September 23, 2010:

I agree with emerald125, your lens is very easy to read and scan through. Don't know anything about pickled onions, but now I do.

June Campbell from North Vancouver, BC, Canada on September 23, 2010:

My mother made pickled onions all the time. I have never made any of my own. Maybe now I will.

Chocolatealchemy from London, United Kingdom on September 23, 2010:

Congratulations on LOTD. Such unusual recipes for pickling onions - and your lens is so beautifully arranged; so cleverly creative - thanks.

poutine on September 23, 2010:

Love them too. My mom used to pickle onions in the Fall.

markowe lm on September 23, 2010:

By amazing coincidence, the other day I bought a big sack of pickling onions and have been wondering what recipe to go with. When suddenly, up pops a LotD offering a whole bunch, problem solved! One of these is sure to be what I am looking for.

Only one thing, I see all your recipes call for neat vinegar - most vinegar in my part of the world is veeery sharp to be used neat, I guess it's not the same where you are. For pickling I usually water down by as much as 4:1. Hmm, guess I will have to experiment!

reasonablerobby on September 23, 2010:

Congrats on LOTD I love 'em too! It also reminded of a great UK sitcom series set in a pickle factor called Nearest and Dearest starring the hilarious Hylda Baker as Nellie Pledge

Deborah Swain from Rome, Italy on September 23, 2010:

mmm...those Little Sweeties sound delicious! are you also a fan of pickled eggs?!

justholidays on September 23, 2010:

Congratulations on your LOTD!

Jennifer P Tanabe from Red Hook, NY on September 23, 2010:

Mmmm, used to love those little pickled onions when I lived in Scotland. They're just not so available here in the US. Maybe with the help of these recipes I'll be able to make my own! Great job and congrats on LotD!

undraco on September 23, 2010:

Quite delicious makes me want to cook something tasty (and my eyes water).

archetekt lm on September 23, 2010:

What a delicious lens! I never tried pickling onions myself, but you make it look easy enough 4*ss!!

judithcollins2 on September 23, 2010:

Thanks for this recipe my grandmother use to pickle onions.

Faye Rutledge from Concord VA on September 23, 2010:

Thanks for the pickled onion recipes. Congratulations on LotD!

Bus Stop Toy Shop on September 23, 2010:

I really want to try the Red Hot Devils - they look fantastic!

Robert T Gasperson from South Carolina on September 23, 2010:

Great... Now I'm Hungry. Thanks for the Great Lens. Congrats on your LOTD

GrowWear on September 23, 2010:

Congratulations for your LOTD for How To Pickle And Onion.

John Parr from Montreal on September 23, 2010:

Nice page, and well written. You must have read my lens to make visitors stay longer, because made me read it all, cheers!

Michael Shepherd from Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland on September 23, 2010:

Great lens! I wish I would have found it sooner. I live on a Greek island and pickle a lot of cucumbers. Now I will use your recipes for both onions and cukes.


niceemliy on September 23, 2010:

@verymary: i will have a try, thank you very much.

anonymous on September 23, 2010:

Great recipe... I'll try today!

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

Pickled onions are delicious. Not only in pickles but they find a range of culinary uses in Indian curries and biryanis. Onions are something which a chef cannot do without.

micmun on September 22, 2010:

Love this lens. I've used herbs and spices in oil, but never in pickled onions. Can't wait to try these recipes.

Airinka on September 22, 2010:

i don't like onions but this lens is so informative that it is possible to love these vegetables :)

Rusty Quill on September 22, 2010:

Very interesting, I have never tried pickled onions - not sure if I've seen them around town dressed as a clown or wearing a frown but next time I see them I'll think of this lens - Congrats on LotD! :)

happynutritionist on September 22, 2010:

Delicious ideas, have never thought of pickling onions before...but do love them so will have to try this! I am lensrolling to my lens about the black earth region of Pine Island...where onions are grown in abundance. Congrats on LOTD:-)

DecoratingEvents on September 22, 2010:

Congrats! Well deserved!!

Adriana from New Market on September 22, 2010:

I LOVE onions, but never tried pickled ones. Now you made me curious and I need to try them.

JeffreyTymczak LM on September 22, 2010:

Thank You for the very informative lens! I loved it! I rated it up and joined your fan club, hope to see you in my fan club too! Great Job!!!


Evelyn Saenz from Royalton on September 22, 2010:

I've never tried making pickled onions before but after reading your lens I am inspired to try. Thank you for creating such an interesting lens.

Delia on September 22, 2010:

OOPS for my first comment!!I actually came here to congratulate you on LOTD! great lens...thanks for sharing.

Delia on September 22, 2010:

Hello from a Squidoo Greeter! I have never had a pickled Onion, I must try one of the recipes

caketech on September 22, 2010:

Wow nice selection of recipes! The sweet and spicy sounds really good to me. Thanks for sharing!

Laura Hofman from Naperville, IL on September 22, 2010:

You have inspired me to pickle some onions...great recipes. Yum!

Paula Morgan from Sydney Australia on September 22, 2010:

great lense, easy to read and fantastic recipes too

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

Have not tried pickled onions before...I like a lot of things pickled so these just might be tasty too. Congrats on the LOTD!

dtchosen on September 22, 2010:

Wow!! I will definitely try this.

Linda Jo Martin from Post Falls, Idaho, USA on September 22, 2010:

Honestly, I've never even thought about pickling onions before! I tried cucumbers once. Congratulations on lens of the day!

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

Congrats on your LoTD! Keep up the good work!

Kiwisoutback from Massachusetts on September 22, 2010:

I don't think I've had a pickled onion, but thanks for the tutorial. Congrats on LOTD!

SofiaMann on September 22, 2010:

I did not know these recipes. I'm going to test this because looks delicious. Thank you.

CCGAL on September 22, 2010:

Very nice! My mom used to make pickled onions. I think I'll try that recipe with the hot peppers - my family loves spicy things. Congratulations on your LOTD.

Mayapearl on September 22, 2010:

Yum! Pickled onions and cheese! What a great lens!

poppy mercer from London on September 22, 2010:

Back to say congratulations on achieving lotd

thesuccess2 on September 22, 2010:

Deserved LOTD, we buy ours from a local market

Oosquid on September 22, 2010:

Ahh, six penenth 'o chips and a monster penny onion - what a feast!

You've some fantastic sounding pickling recipes here, you know your onions :0)

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

love your page..love it..

KimGiancaterino on September 22, 2010:

My husband would love to make a batch of these. Thanks for sharing your recipes. Congratulations on LOTD!

tssfacts on September 22, 2010:

Very nice lens. Lots of great recipes. I don't think I have ever eaten a pickled onion before so may just have to try pickling some myself.

LouisaDembul on September 22, 2010:

Very well prepared lens! Congratulations!

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

Congratulations on LOTD. Yes I love pickled onions.

ciubuc on September 22, 2010:

Fantastic pickled onion ideas


stacy mcdaniel on September 22, 2010:

Congratulations on lens of the day. Wonderful Lens! It almost brought a tear to my eye:-)

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

LOL I was so focused on the content, I forgot to leave my "Congratulations on your Lens of the Day" - Kathy

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

I do really like pickled onions, and love all the recipes you have here, I must try a couple of them, yummy lens, thanks! - Kathy

pylemountain1 on September 22, 2010:

Great lens, but I'm not sure I'm ready to try pickled onions. ;-)

PositiveChristi1 on September 22, 2010:

I love pickled onions, but alas I can no longer eat them without discomfort due to a stomach problem.

Great lens though. I might even have to risk trying some of these.

poppy mercer from London on September 22, 2010:

How gorgeous these recipes sound...I LOVE pickles. And a beautifully set out lens.

hexagon on September 22, 2010:

I think I must try the Oriental Delights. Very nice lens.

Bellezza-Decor from Canada on September 22, 2010:

Love the recipe for the Oriental Onions and will try it out this fall! Thanks for sharing.

sinixter on September 22, 2010:

very informative!

modz on September 22, 2010:

I liked your lens! Congratulations on LOTD!

anonymous on September 22, 2010:

Congrats on LOTD! I found this lens because you completed a quest. See what hard work can do for you? I'll have to try the pickled pearl onions. They look tasty!

Obscure_Treasures on August 21, 2010:

Awesome lens, love the great 'pickled onions' ideas,Fantastic selection.

anonymous on July 28, 2010:

MMMMMMM!! Great, cannot wait to taste.

myraggededge on April 22, 2010:

Randomly typed 'pickled onions' into the search and up popped this wonderful lens. Faved, 5*s and sprinkled with spicy Angel dust.

anonymous on August 11, 2009:

what a fantastic lot of pickled onion ideas. your a gem

Mary from Chicago area on July 19, 2009:

I just read that if you "quick pickle" raw onions before using them in a recipe, they're easier on the tummy. Need to try that out! Excellent lens w/great visuals.

bdkz on July 14, 2009:

Super lens!

Robin S from USA on July 14, 2009:

I've never tried a pickled onion! Nice work!

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