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+ servings
Three jars of pickled red onions on a board with black peppercorns scattered on counter.

Quick Garlic Pepper Pickled Onions

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 2 minutes
Total Time: 7 minutes
Servings: 20 servings
Author: Tracy Halasz


  • 1 ½ cups white vinegar
  • 2 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 large red onion, sliced thin
  • 2-4 cloves garlic (whole)*
  • 1 tsp peppercorn
  • pinch red pepper flakes (optional)


  • Add the vinegar, sugar, and salt into a medium sauce pan - stir while bringing it to a boil. Remove from heat. While it is cooling, prepare the onions.
  • Peel and slice red onion into thin ½ moons (I cut them in half again but consider what you will use them for and cut accordingly). Place them in a clean jar or two (you can push them down gently to fill the jar). Add the garlic cloves, black peppercorns, and a pinch of red pepper flakes if you want to bring a little heat to your pickled onions (this is optional).  
  • Pour the brine over the onions in the jar. Let cool, add the lid, and put in the fridge.
    These pickled onions can stay in the fridge for up to 6 months (but they won't last that long).
    I peel but keep the garlic cloves whole. The size of the cloves and how garlicky you like your pickles will determine how many cloves you add.  I take my garlic out after the first day.
    Add peppercorns to taste. Depending how peppery you want the onions, add more or less whole peppercorns.