Pickled Onions
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Pickled Onions<div class="yasr-vv-stars-title-container"><div class='yasr-stars-title yasr-rater-stars'
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In our house it’s mandatory that there is always a jar of beautifully pickled onions in the fridge. They are such a versatile addition to a meal; from livening up a salad with nice acidic hit, or adding a beautiful contrasting flavor and texture to roast lamb, to one of those absolute ‘must have’ condiments for home made tacos. Simple to make, mind-blowingly tasty and something that will store for 3 weeks in the fridge – we encourage everyone to whip up a batch and start experimenting with adding these beautiful things to your meals!

The first truly memorable Pickled Onions we ate was at legendary restaurant in Melbourne, Australia called Cumulus Inc. The onions themselves were pretty low key as they were paired as part of the restaurants signature Lamb Shoulder recipe. The Lamb Shoulder is out of this world delicious and one of the reasons is the pairing with these brilliant Pickled Onions. The acidity of the Onions cut through the fattiness of the Lamb so well and make for a perfect combination

The natural acids within the Lemons will cook the Onions

This is one of those amazing recipes where all you need to do is let nature do all the work for you. Lemons are naturally highly acidic, and that acid is what actually ‘cooks’ the Onions, which make Pickled Onions. They won’t be cooked like say, our delicious Caramelized Onions are. However, the acid will cook them to a point that a lot of the moisture in the Onions will be drawn out

What this does is leaves the more natural flavors of the Onions intact, which are sweeter than you would expect. The flavors of the Lemon in-turn absorb into the Onions. So, you’re left with a beautifully tasting, slightly sweet, slightly sour Pickled Onions

Pickled Onions Top Down

What dishes pair well with Pickled Onions

It’s a good idea to always have a batch of Pickled Onions made and ready to go in the refrigerator. They will keep for a couple of days and since you only really need Onions, Lemon Juice, and Salt to make them, why not always have a batch handy?

Pickled Onions are an amazing ingredient to pair with so many dishes. We love having them as a side dish alongside Mexican food. The crunchy texture and sharp acidic bite that they add to a dish is great in Mexican food. It cuts through the richness of the sauces and meats and adds a fantastic texture to the dish. Try adding a side of these amazing Pickled Onions to some of these recipes:

Vinegar can be used as the acid alternative to Red Onions

Both Vinegar and Lemon have the same qualities that they bring to cook. That is, they bring acid. Acid is a critical component of cooking as it helps to contrast with heavy flavors, typically sweetness, to create a more balanced dish

Balance is so important when it comes to cooking because it allows each ingredient to shine. If you have a dish that is completely overloaded with one type of flavor profile, then that is all you will taste. Adding acid to dishes brings out the best flavor. Much in the same way that Salt does too

Vinegar is a more than suitable alternative to Lemons when making Pickled Onions. Both are very commonly used in cooking, and both will yield very similar results. You can adjust the flavor profile of the Pickled Onions with Vinegar too by changing the type of Vinegar you use. Red Wine Vinegar will differ to White Vinegar, which will differ to Apple Cider vinegar for example. Why not try some different combinations and see which work best for your tastes

For us, it’s all about Lemon Juice. We’ll put Lemons on anything, so naturally our favorite way to Pickle Onions is with a couple of beautiful, ripe, Lemons

Recipe Details


2 – 4 people

Prep time

10 minutes

Cooking time

4 hours minimum

Total time

4 hours+

Pickled Onions


  • 1 Red Onions Peeled and thinly sliced
  • Juice from 2 Lemon
  • 2 tsp. Salt


  1. Place all ingredients into a sealable container. Plastic storage containers work well, but any container with a lid is fine. Mix the Salt and Lemon Juice thoroughly the onions so they are all coated
  2. Seal and store in the refrigerator and that’s it! Give the container a good shake every once and a while to re-coat the onions. After 4 hours they will start to pickle, becoming a darker reddish color. At this point they are good to eat. The longer you store them the more pickled and darker the onions will become

That’s it! These things are so simple to make and so delicious so enjoy! Also the good news is you can refrigerate them for a good couple of days and they’ll still be good. What we’ve found is the flavor intensifies during this time.

The dish is a great side for some roast meat. Check out our Beef and Lamb pages for some inspiration

Happy Cooking!

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