A bowl of pickled onions sitting on a table

My Favorite Raw Pickled Red Onion Recipe

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I fell in love with onions on a trip abroad many years ago. Everywhere we went they had cheese and onion sandwiches. Sounds gross, I know. But we got so many of them we fell in love with them.  Fast forward to my pregnancy years later and I could no longer eat onions. Not red or white. This went on for years. It didn’t matter if you cooked them or they were raw. I would always get sick to my stomach.  Now many years later I still can’t eat them raw. I can however eat raw pickled onions.

This recipe is such a quick and simple raw version of Quick Pickled Red Onions. It requires almost no ingredients and can be made the night before. It is gut friendly because of the apple cider vinegar and raw honey. It makes the onions easier to digest. I’m going to include instructions for the raw version as well as a faster blanched version to save time.

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Recommendations and Adjustments

When I make this I use raw honey as the sweetener. It just ups the nutritional factor. It changes the flavor in a way I really like as well.  It’s also another food that is alive. Which is so very important to our bodies. I tried to balance the vinegar with the sweetness. You could adjust this anywhere from 1 TBS to 2 TBS depending on how sweet you like your pickles. 

Finally I recommend using kosher salt. Kosher salt is best in this recipe as it dissolves rapidly without applying tons of heat. Other salts will work but may be gritty. Try to find a finely ground one so that it will dissolve easier.  If you are unsure on which Type of Salt to use be sure to read my post all about salts HERE.

Once you slice the onion thinly put it in your favorite canning jar.  I prefer a wide mouth jar for this application.  Add all the other ingredients to a separate pot and turn the stove on for one minute. Just long enough to warm them but not cook them. Stir everything well to dissolve. If you have a little salt at the bottom it’s fine. Add this liquid to your onions. Lid up and stash in the fridge 1-3 days for best results.  

Vegan Option

To make this vegan replace the honey with organic cane sugar or maple syrup.  It will alter the flavor of the final product depending on which you use.  Sugar will be more neutral than the maple syrup.

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Raw or Quick

If the raw factor doesn’t matter to you or you just need these done fast for a gathering, follow the above recipe. Instead of leaving them on the stove for a minute, turn the heat on medium and bring all the ingredients to a simmer. Then pour over the onions while still hot. Leave 15 minutes and then you are done.  I’ve made this recipe both ways and it works just fine.

This recipe will keep in the fridge for a month or more.  I can’t keep it in the house longer than that.  It gets eaten to fast.  You can also reuse the brine several times before it loses quality.  Just get more onions and repeat.  Super easy.

This recipe is raw, paleo, dairy free, vegetarian and can easily be made vegan.  Put it on anything and everything.  It’s good on tacos, in burritos, hamburgers, poutine, egg dishes, Pozole, soups and stews.  Let me know what you use it on.  If you make any mods that are amazing,  I’d love to know.

Large bowl of bright red pickled onions

Raw Pickled Red Onion Recipe (3 Ingredients)

Self Made Modern
This is an easy to make Pickled Red Onion Recipe. It has only three ingredients and can easily be made vegan. These pickled onions are great on everything from hotdogs to tacos.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 minute
Overnight Rest 1 day
Total Time 1 day 11 minutes
Course Side Dish



  • Cut onion into thin slices. Approximately 2” lengths work well.
  • In a small pot mix the ACV, H2O, salt and honey together.
  • Put on the stove and turn on medium heat for one minute. Stir while you do it to dissolve salt and honey. You only want this to be warm enough to dissolve everything. You don’t want it to cook. If there is a little salt in the pan it is fine.
  • Put the onions in a glass jar. Fill with liquid. If there is not enough liquid you can add a little water to cover the onions completely. If your onion was very large you may need to make a little more solution.
  • Store in the fridge overnight. They are good to use the next day but will taste best after 3 days.


TO MAKE THIS SUPER FAST-Heat the solution to a simmer and pour over onions. They will be ready in 15 minutes, but the recipe will not be raw.
TO MAKE THIS VEGAN-Simply replace the honey with Organic Cane Sugar.
Keyword ACV, apple cider vinegar, onion, pickle, quick pickle, raw, raw honey, recipe

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