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How Long Do Pickled Red Onions Last? (Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe)

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Pickling is a great way to preserve food, and pickled red onions are a delicious and colorful addition to many dishes. Whether you are looking to add a pop of flavor and color to salads, sandwiches, tacos, or pizza, pickled red onions offer a unique taste that is both sweet and sour. 

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Pickled red onions are easy to make at home, but you may wonder how long they last. I will discuss how long pickled red onions last and their best storage methods, give you a recipe for a quick, easy pickled red onion, and give tips for preserving their freshness. 

So let's begin!

sliced pickled red onions in a white bowl.

How Long Do Pickled Red Onions Last?

Pickled red onions are a tasty addition to many dishes and have a relatively long shelf life. Quick-pickled onions can last up to two weeks in the refrigerator before they start to lose their crispness. Once opened, they can last for several weeks if stored in an airtight container. 

If you want to maximize their shelf life, you can store them in a cool, dark place for up to 6 months. Do keep in mind that after this period, the onions will become softer but are still safe to consume. As for their quality, pickled onions will usually remain at their best during the first week after pickling. 

However, you can get creative and use different kinds of vinegar or onions to change the flavor and extend the shelf life of your pickles.

What Do You Eat with Pickled Red Onions?

Pickled red onions can be used to add a zesty, acidic flavor to many different dishes. For tacos, they make a great topping for ground pork or bean tacos when served with whole-grain corn tortillas. 

Mayo-based salads such as egg salads and potato salads can be spiced up with chopped pickled red onions or used as a topping for deviled eggs. 

They are also great for green salads, adding an extra kick of flavor. For an Indian meal, pickled onions make a great accompaniment.

Naan sandwiches with chicken tikka or beef stir fry are also improved upon with a heaping of pickled onions. 

Finally, pickled red onions can help elevate an ordinary grilled cheese sandwich, providing some extra flavor and making it even more delicious.

Can You Reuse Pickle Juice For Red Onions?

You can easily reuse the brine once, but more than that, and it won't have much flavor left. To be on the safe side, it is recommended not to reuse it more than once, although some say you can safely reuse it up to 2 or 3 times. 

If you choose to reuse the brine, ensure that the liquid is sour/salty/sweet enough and that you give it a quick boil before adding your vegetables and red onions back into the pickle jar. 

Finally, make sure to add an extra splash of vinegar for good measure. Reusing pickle juice for red onions is generally safe as long as you follow these steps.

Close up of sliced picked onions on a white bowl.

Storage Tips For Red Pickled Onions

Storage plays an important role in preserving the freshness and flavor of pickled red onions. Keeping them in a cool, dry place is best. If stored properly, pickled red onions can last for up to 6 months in an airtight container in the refrigerator. 

To maximize their shelf life, make sure they are not exposed to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures. Also, using different kinds of vinegar and onions can also help extend their shelf life. 

Refrigerating Red Pickled Onions

Refrigeration is the best way to get the longest shelf life out of pickled red onions. Pickled red onions can last up to a year when stored in the refrigerator, making them a great option if you store them for longer periods. 

When storing in the refrigerator, be sure to keep them in an airtight container and away from any heat sources. Keeping them cool and dry will help to preserve their flavor and texture for longer. 

To avoid cross-contamination, it is important to use a fresh jar for each batch of pickled red onions.

Close up of red picked onions in a white container.

Using Different Kinds of Vinegar

When making pickled red onions, you can get creative and use different types of vinegar. This will give the onions a unique flavor, and you can experiment to find the combination that you like best. White wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, and balsamic vinegar are all popular choices. 

Be sure to taste the mixture before adding it to the onions, as the flavor can become more intense over time. If the mixture is too acidic for your preference, dilute it with a bit of water before adding it to the onions.

picked red onion in a bowl and above text: easy and quick pickled onions recipe

Using Different Onions

Pickled red onions are a great way to add flavor and texture to your favorite dishes. But did you know that you don’t have to stick to just red onions? You can use different types of onions, such as white, yellow, or even sweet onions. Each type of onion offers a unique flavor and can provide a different texture. 

White onions tend to be milder and sweeter than the others, while yellow onions will provide more of a pungent and tangy flavor. 

Sweet onions are slightly more mild than yellow and can give your pickles a pleasant sweetness. 

Whichever type you choose, ensure that your pickles last for as long as possible by storing them in a cool, dark place and refrigerating them once they are opened. With the proper storage methods, your pickles should last up to three weeks in the refrigerator with the best quality.

Shelf Life of Pickled Red Onions

The shelf life of pickled red onions depends on how they are prepared and stored. Generally, they will last at least a year unopened in a cool, dry place. Once opened, they will last for three to four weeks in the refrigerator. 

Keeping pickled onions in a cool, dark place will prolong their shelf life, and quick pickles of red onions can stay for two to four weeks in the fridge. Homemade pickles of red onions can stay for two to three weeks in the fridge of the best quality. Therefore, pickled red onions can last up to one year with proper storage and preparation.

Defining Quality

When it comes to defining the quality of pickled red onions, the taste is a primary factor. Properly pickled onions should be sweet, slightly tangy, and crunchy. If the onions are too soft or too sour, it can indicate that they have been pickled for too long or not long enough. 

Also, the color of the onions can provide clues as to whether they are fresh or not. The onions are likely still in good condition if they have a vibrant red hue. However, if the color has faded to a pale pink or yellow, it’s best to discard them as they may have gone bad. 

By following these guidelines and storing them in a cool place in an airtight container, you can ensure that your pickled red onions remain of the freshest quality for up to 4 weeks.

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Using Pickled Red Onions

Pickled red onions are incredibly versatile. Not only can they be used in salads and sandwiches, but also to top tacos, burgers, and more! They are a great way to add a pop of color and a subtle but zesty flavor to many dishes. Pickled red onions can also be used to make a quick pickled onion relish or as a topping for macaroni and cheese. 

The possibilities are endless! For best results, use the onions within 3 weeks of storage in the refrigerator for the best quality and flavor.

Pickled red onions can last for up to 6 months when stored properly in the refrigerator. However, use them within two to four weeks of preparation for the best results and quality. 

To maximize their shelf life and keep them tasting great, make sure to store them in airtight containers and use a combination of different vinegars and onions. 

Lastly, pickled red onions make a great addition to a variety of meals, from salads to sandwiches and tacos.

What are the ingredients to make quick pickled onions?

To make this quick pickled onions recipe, you are going to need the following ingredients:

  • Red onions
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Honey or maple syrup
  • Salt
  • Cumin
  • Chili flakes and pepper

How to make pickled onions

Now that you have gathered your ingredients, it is time to make pickled onions. All you have to do is follow the steps below:

  • Thinly slice your onions and place them in a bowl.
  • In a saucepan over medium heat, bring the water, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, honey, and spices to a gentle simmer.
  • Pour the hot mixture over the onions, pressing down the onions so they are covered by vinegar.
  • Cover the bowl and let pickle at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

Your quick pickled onions are ready to serve!

Photo of pickled red onions in a white dish.

Quick Pickled Onions Recipe

Now that you know everything you need to know about how to make pickled onions, it is time to print the recipe.

To print the recipe, click the print button below. Want to save this recipe for later? You must use the share button to Pin it for later, Mix it, or add it to your Yummly account.

sliced pickled red onions in a white bowl.

Quick Pickled Red Onions Recipe

Yield: 2 Servings
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes

Pickled Onions are amazing on any traditional Mexican dish, and that includes tacos. Learn how to create quick pickled red onions today.


  • 2 Red onions
  • ¾ Cup water
  • ⅓ cup white vinegar
  • ½ Cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ Cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 Tsp salt
  • 1 Tsp cumin
  • Chili flakes and pepper to taste


  1. Thinly slice the red onions and transfer to a bowl.
  2. In a small saucepan over medium heat bring the water, vinegar, apple cider vinegar, honey and spices to a gentle simmer.
  3. Pour the hot mixture over the slices.
  4. Cover and let them pickle at room temperature for 30 minutes to 1 hour.

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Nutrition Information:
Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 225Total Fat: 1gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 2341mgCarbohydrates: 53gFiber: 2gSugar: 46gProtein: 2g

These nutritional calculations might not be accurate. Please speak with a licensed nutritionist to assist you.

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