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Pickled Onions

An easy recipe for making your own pickled onions, perfect with cheese, cold meats etc.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time10 mins
Total Time20 mins
Course: pickles
Author: Karon Grieve


  • 500 g/1lb 2oz pickling onions or small shallots
  • 1/4 cup salt
  • 300 ml/1/2 pint malt vinegar
  • 1/2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 dried chilli
  • 1/2 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/2 tsp coriander seeds
  • 1/2 tsp allspice berries
  • 1/2 tsp black peppercorns
  • 1 bay leaf


  • Peel the onions by topping and tailing them with a sharp knife and submerging in boiling water for 5 minutes, the skins will come off easier with less tears
  • Put them in a bowl with the salt and enough water to cover. Weight them down with a small plate so they are completely submerged and set aside in this 'brine' for 24 hours
  • Heat the vinegar and all other ingredients to a simmer for 10 minutes
  • Remove from heat and leave over night to infuse
  • Drain and dry the onions and pack into a sterilised jar.
  • Pour over the vinegar and spices
  • Pop on a lid and leave in a cupboard for 4 weeks to mature before using