ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

How To Pickle An Onion

Updated on October 10, 2014

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

Sterilise your pickling jars...

wash your jars in warm soapy water and put them into an oven, preheated to 100 degrees, then switch off the oven and allow the jars to dry. Let the jars cool slightly before bottling the onions.

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

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • tedwritesstuff24 profile image

      TedWritesStuff 4 years ago

      One word..yum!

    • profile image

      cocktailsexaminer 6 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      @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

    • Jaydoo profile image

      Chris 7 years ago

      thanks, I love pickled onions.

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      pumpnut lm 7 years ago

      Interesting Gibson garnishes here.

    • John Dyhouse profile image

      John Dyhouse 7 years ago from UK

      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!)

    • profile image

      olgateway 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

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

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      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.

    • profile image

      charlhrdy 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      DuchessOBlunt 7 years ago

      pickled onions - YUM

      This looks easy to find the time :)

    • norma-holt profile image

      norma-holt 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Lee Hansen 7 years ago from Vermont

      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!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

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

      Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      Mart903 7 years ago

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

    • Rita-K profile image

      Rita-K 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      writerkath 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      nukemdomis lm 7 years ago

      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.

    • junecampbell profile image

      June Campbell 7 years ago from North Vancouver, BC, Canada

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

    • Chocolatealchemy profile image

      Chocolatealchemy 7 years ago from London, United Kingdom

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

    • profile image

      poutine 7 years ago

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

    • markowe lm profile image

      markowe lm 7 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      reasonablerobby 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Deborah Swain 7 years ago from Rome, Italy

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

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 7 years ago

      Congratulations on your LOTD!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 7 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      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 profile image

      undraco 7 years ago

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

    • archetekt lm profile image

      archetekt lm 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      judithcollins2 7 years ago

      Thanks for this recipe my grandmother use to pickle onions.

    • Faye Rutledge profile image

      Faye Rutledge 7 years ago from Concord VA

      Thanks for the pickled onion recipes. Congratulations on LotD!

    • Bus Stop Toy Shop profile image

      Bus Stop Toy Shop 7 years ago

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

    • rgasperson lm profile image

      Robert T Gasperson 7 years ago from South Carolina

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

    • profile image

      GrowWear 7 years ago

      Congratulations for your LOTD for How To Pickle And Onion.

    • cineteq profile image

      John Parr 7 years ago from Montreal

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

    • Travel Shepherd profile image

      Michael Shepherd 7 years ago from Ennis, Co. Clare, Ireland

      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.


    • profile image

      niceemliy 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Great recipe... I'll try today!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      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.

    • profile image

      micmun 7 years ago

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

    • Airinka profile image

      Airinka 7 years ago

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

    • Rusty Quill profile image

      Rusty Quill 7 years ago

      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! :)

    • profile image

      happynutritionist 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      DecoratingEvents 7 years ago

      Congrats! Well deserved!!

    • Adriana Daniela profile image

      Adriana 7 years ago from New Market

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

    • JeffreyTymczak LM profile image

      JeffreyTymczak LM 7 years ago

      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!!!


    • evelynsaenz1 profile image

      Evelyn Saenz 7 years ago from Royalton

      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-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

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

    • delia-delia profile image

      Delia 7 years ago

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

    • caketech profile image

      caketech 7 years ago

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

    • LauraHofman profile image

      Laura Hofman 7 years ago from Naperville, IL

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

    • PaulaMorgan profile image

      Paula Morgan 7 years ago from Sydney Australia

      great lense, easy to read and fantastic recipes too

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      dtchosen 7 years ago

      Wow!! I will definitely try this.

    • Linda BookLady profile image

      Linda Jo Martin 7 years ago from Post Falls, Idaho, USA

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congrats on your LoTD! Keep up the good work!

    • Kiwisoutback profile image

      Kiwisoutback 7 years ago from Massachusetts

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

    • profile image

      SofiaMann 7 years ago

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

    • CCGAL profile image

      CCGAL 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      Mayapearl 7 years ago

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

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

      Back to say congratulations on achieving lotd

    • thesuccess2 profile image

      thesuccess2 7 years ago

      Deserved LOTD, we buy ours from a local market

    • profile image

      Oosquid 7 years ago

      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)

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      love your it..

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      tssfacts 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      LouisaDembul 7 years ago

      Very well prepared lens! Congratulations!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Congratulations on LOTD. Yes I love pickled onions.

    • profile image

      ciubuc 7 years ago

      Fantastic pickled onion ideas


    • stacy mcdaniel profile image

      stacy mcdaniel 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      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 profile image

      pylemountain1 7 years ago

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

    • PositiveChristi1 profile image

      PositiveChristi1 7 years ago

      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.

    • greenspirit profile image

      poppy mercer 7 years ago from London

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

    • profile image

      hexagon 7 years ago

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

    • Bellezza-Decor profile image

      Bellezza-Decor 7 years ago from Canada

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

    • profile image

      sinixter 7 years ago

      very informative!

    • modz profile image

      modz 7 years ago

      I liked your lens! Congratulations on LOTD!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      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!

    • profile image

      Obscure_Treasures 7 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      MMMMMMM!! Great, cannot wait to taste.

    • profile image

      myraggededge 8 years ago

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

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

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

    • verymary profile image

      Mary 8 years ago from Chicago area

      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.

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 8 years ago from Pittsburgh

      I like onions but can honestly say I never had pickled onions! They sound delicious. Five stars.

    • ClassyGals profile image

      Cynthia Davis 8 years ago from Pittsburgh

      I like onions but can honestly say I never had pickled onions! They sound delicious. Five stars.

    • profile image

      bdkz 8 years ago

      Super lens!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 8 years ago from USA

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