Pickled onions are delicious served alongside fried fish, barbecue, grilled steaks, on a Classic Southern vegetable plate or chopped and stirred into slaws and salads. You only need one large, thinly sliced onion to make this recipe. Divide the slices between 2 (16-oz.) canning jars, or you can use 1 large (32-oz.) jar. The Master Pickle Brine can be used for just about all your pickling needs. Quick and easy to make with just four simple ingredients, you can use this brine to pickle your favorite seasonal fruits and vegetables, preserving the tastes of summer for all year long. Mix the rice vinegar, apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt, and one cup of water in a medium saucepan, then add the bay leaves and caraway seeds. Heat the mixture until it boils, and let it boil until all the sugar has dissolved. Remove the pan from the heat and let the brine cool for about 10 minutes, then carefully pour it into the canning jars (Make sure each jar gets a bay leaf.) Seal the lid tightly, the refrigerate. Since you are not storing these pickles on the shelf for several months, you don't need to use the traditional method of processing pickles in a water bath. Let the onion pickles chill for at least 2 days, this gives the brine and flavors time to work into and "pickle" the onion. You can store the pickles in the refrigerator for up to 2 months.  

Southern Living


Credit: Antonis Achilleos; Prop Styling: Kay E. Clarke; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall

Recipe Summary test

10 mins
48 hrs
20 mins
2 (16-oz.) Mason jars


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Divide 1 thinly sliced large red onion between 2 (16-oz.) Mason jars.

  • Combine ingredients of Master Pickle Brine, add bay leaves and caraway seeds to brine mixture. Bring to a boil over high, stirring until sugar dissolves.

  • Remove from heat; cool 10 minutes. Pour over red onions. Cover with a tight-fitting lid; chill 2 days. Store, covered, in refrigerator up to 2 months.