Red Onion & Cucumber Pickling 

 September 7, 2020

Written By Kristina

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If you haven't ever pickled veggies before, you are in for a treat! 

My own pickling journey has just begun, and I am so excited for everything I will experiment with in the future, but for now I am extremely satisfied with a few basics: cucumbers and red onions! I found I went through my large jar of red onions in just a few days. I love them as a side to soft cheese, or as a garnish for a meat dish. They truly make an otherwise mediocre salad or sandwich FANTASTIC. As for the pickles, that whole batch went strait from the jar into my mouth. 

This recipe is very simple, cheap, requires few ingredients, and gives you a store of pickled veggies that will last a while, and will add an extra dimension of flavor to your favorite meals.  

Please enjoy!

What You'll Need

  • 2 large wide-mouthed glass jars with lids 
  • 2  -3 red onions
  • 5 small english cucumbers 
  • 2 cups vinegar (white, rice, apple cider, or a mix)*
  • 2 cups water
  • ⅓ cup cane sugar 
  • 3 tablespoons sea salt

Optional add-ins:

  • 2 teaspoons whole peppercorns 
  • handful of fresh dill 
  • 1 small white or yellow onion
  • 4 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds


To pickle your cucumbers and onions, you truly only need the basics: vinegar, water, sugar, and salt. The add-ins will only produce a more complex and flavorful outcome. Since these ingredients are common household staples, use whatever you have on our list.

As for which type of vinegar to use, it's totally up to you. Use what you have on hand, just make sure it's a light-colored vinegar. You can even make a mix and see what flavors you end up with. It's all going to be delicious.  

Time to Pickle 

1. First prepare your ingredients. You can slice your cucumbers long-ways, in round disks, or go crazy and do a variety of different cuts. Slice your onions thin, as seen in the picture above. If you own a mandolin, now would be the perfect time to use it! If you are using a white onion for extra flavoring, peel and cut this into larger, long chunks. 

2. Get out a medium-sized saucepan, and add the 2 cups of water and 2 cups of vinegar. Heat on medium/high on your stovetop, and add the ⅓ cup sugar and 3 tablespoons salt. If you are using peppercorns or mustard seeds, feel free to add these to your solution now. Stir until everything is well-incorporated.

3. Once sugar and salt are dissolved in your vinegar solution, remove from heat and allow to cool. 

4. Once your solution is near room-temperature, stack your onions in one jar, and your cucumbers in the other. If you are using fresh dill, you can add it to your jars. Also layer the garlic and your chunks of white onion throughout both jars, and add some extra mustard seeds and peppercorns. Once everything is piled in, slowly pour your vinegar solution until all veggies are covered. Leave a ½ inch of space at the top. 

5. Allow your jars to sit on the counter top for an hour (or until your solution is completely cooled) and then tighten those lids on, and put them in the fridge.

The red onions should be ready to eat within a day, maybe even half a day, but the cucumbers may take a bit longer. It really depends, but there is no harm in opening up a jar and testing them out! 

These will stay great in the fridge for up to three weeks, if they last that long! 

Once all the veggies are eaten, you can even use the juice for pickle-back shots, or simply sip it to cure a hangover. When my salt-stores and energy feels low, I take a sip right out of the jar and instantly feel rejuvenated. 

How to use your Pickled Cucumbers & Red Onions

  • try them on your favorite avocado toast
  • stuff them in a sandwich
  • pile them in your burger
  • add them to any Mexican-inspired dish
  • toss them in a salad
  • try them in a buddha bowl, grain bowl, or burrito bowl
  • enjoy them from the jar strait to your mouth

Please let me know how you enjoyed pickling, or if you have any favorite fruits or veggies that you love to preserve! 

Cheers & Be Well,


About the author

Kristina is a world-traveling foodie whose mission is to explore and recreate the most delicious cuisine. While still an avid traveler, Kristina has taken culinary refuge in the great country of the Czech Republic. When she isn't nannying or exploring the beautiful city of Prague, she's sharing her favorite recipes on the web.

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