Small Batch Canned Pickled Red Onions
Cuisine: American
Author: Rachel Hanawalt
Prep time: 20 mins
Cook time: 15 mins
Total time: 35 mins
This quick and easy canning recipe is a perfect way to add some zing to everything from salads to sandwiches!
  • 2 large red onions, thinly sliced
  • 1 C apple cider vinegar
  • ⅔ C organic cane sugar
  • 1 Tbsp pickling salt
  • 8 peppercorns
  • 8 allspice berries
  • 4 thyme sprigs
  1. Before beginning a canning project, it's important make sure that you have a clean work space and that you have everything set up and ready to go. Place your jars in your dishwasher on the high heat setting, without soap, in order to sterilize them. If you don't have a dishwasher, you can sterilize them by placing them in a large pot of boiling water for 5 minutes.
  2. Fill a large pot ¾ of the way full with water and begin to bring to a boil over high heat. This will be your hot water bath for canning your onions.
  3. Cut onions into ¼ inch slices.
  4. Dissolve the vinegar, sugar and salt in a saucepan and bring to a simmer.
  5. Add the onions to the saucepan and simmer on low for 5 minutes uncovered. In the last minute, add the thyme.
  6. Sterilize a pair of tongs by dipping the ends in boiling water for a minute. Use them to pack the onions and one sprig of thyme each into two 12 oz sterilized canning jars. Add 4 peppercorns and 4 allspice berries into each jar.
  7. Using a ladle, fill the space around the onions with the pickling juice, leaving ½ inch of head space.
  8. Place your canning lids and rings into a small saucepan with water and bring the water up to scalding temperature (just before boiling) in order to sterilize them. Don't boil, as this may damage your seals. Dip a clean paper towel in the boiling water of your large pot and use it to wipe the rims of your jars. Using a canning lid magnet, grab the lids and place them on your jars. Screw the rings onto your jars until you first meet resistance and then unscrew them a millimeter or two. This is important for creating a seal.
  9. Process for 10 minutes submerged in a boiling water bath. After removing the jars from the water, allow them to sit undisturbed for 24 hours before handling. Store in a cool, dry, dark place for up to 1 year with the rings removed. Once opened, store in the refrigerator for up to a month.
If you decide not to can this recipe, the onions have a refrigerator shelf life of 2 weeks if not processed in a hot water bath canner. Allow them to pickle for at least 1 hour before using.
Double or triple the recipe as desired to can larger batches.
Recipe by Simple Seasonal at