Pickled Vidalia Onions

Pickled onions, with their tangy and crisp texture, are incredibly versatile and can enhance a wide range of dishes. The balance of acidity and sweetness in pickled onions adds depth to recipes, elevating the overall dining experience.

Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions– vinegar, sugar, salt, onions, and water are the only ingredients needed for a delicious and crunchy refrigerator pickle. This treat is sure to be enjoyed all year long.

Quick pickled onions in a mason jar with text overlay.

A sweet pickled onion that only takes minutes to prepare. A perfect balance of sweetness and tanginess brings these onions to life. Pickled Vidalia Onions are stored in your refrigerator and are fabulous served with burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches, and grilled meats.

During the spring, I usually buy 50 pounds of Vidalia Onions as part of a fundraiser. This not only helps the kids at school but also helps me with my love of onions. I cook a lot with onions and freeze onions to use later for soups, stews, and such. Vidalia onions are only in season for just a short time, so you better grab yours while they last.

I made these onions today, and they seriously took about 15 minutes from start to finish. They are hanging out in my refrigerator now, waiting for me to enjoy them later.

Why This Recipe Is Great

Pickling onions is a simple and rewarding way to enhance the flavors and preserve them for longer shelf life. They add depth to your dishes with a unique flavor and texture. Here are a few reasons to consider why you should pickle onions.

Flavor: Quick pickled sweet onions add a delightful flavor to your dishes. The combination of ingredients is simple, yet they work together to complement a wide range of foods.

Texture: These onions provide a crisp and crunchy texture and turn raw onions into a delightful addition to your meals.

Versatility: Pickled onions are versatile and can be used in a number of ways. They are fantastic as a topping for burgers or hotdogs or stirred into salads. They also make a quick and tasty snack.

Ingredients Needed for Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions

Only 5 simple ingredients are needed to create a flavorful and crunchy batch of quick pickled Vidalia onions perfect for added flavor and depth. These ingredients are found in most grocery stores. For a complete list of ingredient amounts, see the recipe card below.

  • Vidalia Onions – Vidalia onions are known for their sweet and mild taste, making them ideal for pickling. Vidalia onions have a short season; therefore, this onion recipe will also work nicely with white onions, any sweet onions, or red/purple onions.
  • Apple Cider Vinegar – Apple cider vinegar adds a tangy flavor to the pickling liquid. It helps to preserve the onions and balance out the sweetness.
  • Water – Water is used to dilute and soften the vinegar to make the pickling brine.
  • Salt- Salt is a crucial ingredient in pickling and helps preserve the onions, enhance the flavor, and provide a crisp texture. Salt acts as a natural preservative. I use regular table salt, but sea salt would work as well.
  • Sugar – Sugar adds sweetness and balance to the acidity of the vinegar.

How Long Do Pickled Onions Last?

When properly stored, pickled onions will usually last at least 3-4 weeks in the refrigerator. Keep in a jar with a tightly fitted lid.

To ensure the longest shelf life:

  • Use clean jars and utensils when preparing the pickling ingredients and packing the onions into the jar.
  • Ensure the onions are fully submerged in the pickling brine.
  • Keep the jar tightly sealed.
  • Store in the refrigerator.
Quick pickled onions in canning jars and on a barbecue sandwich with text overlay.

What Do You Do With Pickled Onions?

Pickled onions are good with so many foods. They go great with just about anything cooked on the grill. Try them on hot dogs, hamburgers, bbq sandwiches, or as a side dish with vegetables. The sweet, salty, and tangy taste will be delicious with just about anything and everything.

Pickled onions are very versatile and can be used in many ways to add flavor and texture to your dishes. Here are a few creative ways to use pickled Vidalia Onions:

These are just a few ideas to get you started, but the possibilities are endless. Experiment and get creative with how you incorporate pickled onions into your favorite dishes.

How to Make Sweet and Tangy Pickled Onions

I started with 2 medium onions. Vidalia onions are not small onions, so these filled up my quart jar tightly. If Vidalia onions are not in season, yellow or red onions will also work nicely.
I used canning jars for my pickles because I had them on hand, and they also had a tight-fitting lid and ring. I was not canning the onions, so there was no need to sterilize the jars.
Slice the onions and fill the jar to the top. Pack the sliced onions as tightly as possible into the jar.
Boil the pickling ingredients and pour over the top of the onions. Tightly seal the jar. Allow the onions to cool slightly before placing them into the refrigerator. Then chill for several hours or overnight before serving.

Following these instructions will yield a batch of quick-pickled onions that are perfect for adding a kick of zest to your favorite foods.

I used canning jars (mason jar).

Slice Onions Thinly: Slice the onions thinly, separate the rings, and add them to the quart mason jar/ jars. Pack them tightly, pressing down as you fill the jar.

Prepare Pickling Liquid: In a medium saucepan, over medium-high heat, combine the rest of the ingredients, bring to a simmer, and heat until salt and sugar have dissolved.

Pour Hot Liquid Over Onions: Carefully pour the hot pickling liquid over the onions in the jar. Use a wooden spoon to press the onions down into the jar, allowing the liquid to settle and cover the onions completely.

Seal and Chill: Add a tight-fitting lid, allow the jar to cool completely to room temperature, and then transfer to the refrigerator.

Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions in a jar with text overlay.
Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions

Which Onions Are Best for Pickled Onions

In my opinion, Vidalia Onions are the best. Why do you ask? The main reason is that they are plentiful where I live during the spring and summer months. Vidalia onions are grown in Vidalia, Georgia, and can only be grown in Georgia. They are only available during the months of April through August. So, I always try to stock up during these months to have enough to last through the winter.

Vidalia onions are known for their sweetness and crispness, and no other onion compares to this one.
Now, of course, if you can’t find any Vidalia onions in your local grocery store, this recipe will certainly work with red onions. Red onions come in as my second favorite onion and will be deliciously pickled as well. Red onions will turn the juice in the jar a light pinkish color and will make a pretty presentation.
For more information on Vidalia Onions, be sure to check out this link about Vidalia Onions.

Recipe Tips

These tips will help to ensure you are successful in making a batch of pickled onions ready for the refrigerator in minutes. This is a very easy pickle recipe that will not disappoint.

  • Select fresh onions and slice thinly.
  • Use high-quality apple cider vinegar. You can also use white vinegar.
  • Heat the pickling liquid.
  • Pack onions tightly.
  • Chill for the best results and flavor.

If you enjoy pickled foods, be sure to try my Spicy Pickled Eggs. They are easy to make and are the perfect snack.

Other Add-Ins

These are just a few suggestions for making pickled onion, and the add-ins are endless. Feel free to experiment with other spices to achieve the taste you are looking for.

  • Add a touch of chili flakes to the jar for some heat.
  • Add some mustard seeds to the vinegar mixture while heating.
  • Add some garlic cloves.
Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions in a mason jar with text overlay.
Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions

What Is The Best Way To Keep Vidalia Onions?

Store Vidalia Onions in a cool and dry area. Most people like to store them in the bottom of their pantry. It’s also best if you can store them in a single layer, not touching. But personally, I like to keep my onions in the refrigerator. I have a large bottom drawer that holds about 30 pounds of onions. I typically use the onions stored in my pantry first, and then I move to the ones in my refrigerator.
Usually, these onions will last about 9 months in my refrigerator. I have stored them this way for years and generally use my last onion in January.  

Recipe FAQs

How Long Do Pickled Onions Need To Sit Before Eating?

Pickled onions can be enjoyed a few hours after chilling them, but for best results, it’s best to let them sit overnight before serving. This allows the flavors to meld and develop.

Can I Reuse The Pickling Liquid For More Pickled Onions?

It is not recommended to reuse the pickling brine for a fresh batch of onions. It is best to prepare a fresh batch of pickling liquid, for it may have absorbed flavors from the previous batch and not be of great quality.

Do Pickled Onions Need to Be Refrigerated?

Yes. Pickled onions should be stored in the refrigerator for their highest quality.

Main Dishes

Grilled Buffalo Chicken Tenders 

Southern Fried Salmon Patties

BBQ Ribs

Side Dishes

Corn Salad

Zucchini Fries

Southern Fried Yellow Squash

Fried Green Tomatoes

More Onion Dishes

Sweet Vidalia Onion Dip

How To Freeze Onions

Southern Squash and Onions

Skillet Fried Potatoes and Onions

Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions
Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions
Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions

Quick Pickled Vidalia Onions

Gina Abernathy
A sweet, crisp and delicious treat enjoyed as a side dish, or a topping to hamburgers, hot dogs, and so much more.
5 from 12 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Appetizer, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 10 servings


  • 2 Vidalia Onions thinly sliced
  • 1 1/2 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 3/4 cup water
  • 2 teaspoons Salt
  • 2 Tablespoons sugar


  • Slice onions thinly. Separate rings and add to a quart jar. The jar may be packed tightly. Continue to press and pack the onions into the jar.
  • In a small saucepan, add vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. Bring to a simmer and heat until salt and sugar have dissolved.
  • Pour the hot liquid over the onions to cover completely. Tap the jar gently to remove any air bubbles and add more liquid to the jar if needed. Place a tight-fitting lid on the jar. Let cool slightly. Place into the refrigerator to chill for several hours or overnight before serving.
  • Store in the refrigerator. They will last 3-4 weeks unless they disappear before then.


Yellow or Red Onions will also work for this recipe. The red onion will turn your liquid pink. 
Great with burgers, fish, grilled foods, on top of hot dogs, pulled pork sandwiches, or as a side dish.
Keyword Pickled Vidalia Onions


  1. 5 stars
    I havent tried pickled onions and these ingredients are so easy to find and I have them all in my pantry. I will try this out!

  2. 5 stars
    One of my favorite restaurants has pickled onions on the side and I can never get enough! Now I can make my own and have them on hand at all times. Thanks for sharing!

  3. 5 stars
    I love the little kick that these onions add to just about any dish. Never overwhelming it compliments so well.

  4. 5 stars
    Wow! This sounds interesting. I’m not going to find Valdalia onions here in the UK but I’m going to give this a try with red onions which I can get really easily. I love pickles with burgers and with a really strong cheddar. Thank you for sharing this.

    1. Hi Sandi. The sugar is used to balance the tartness of the vinegar. Should these onions be refrigerated? Yes. You are not canning these onions using sterilized jars and lids. This is a refrigerator pickled onion recipe. Thanks for the questions and enjoy!

  5. 5 stars
    yum! I love pickled onions so much. This is a great recipe. Also, I am amazed that you can store your onions in the fridge for 9 months! amazing! I can buy more now!

  6. 5 stars
    I loved the combination of flavors! I used them on burgers and had a few extra in my salad the next day for lunch This recipe is a definite make again!

  7. 5 stars
    I’ve never tried pickling onions before, but this recipe seems easy enough to follow. Can I add dill and garlic? I bet it adds a great depth of flavor to the tangy onions. I can’t wait to try this recipe out!

  8. 5 stars
    Thanks for this recipe. I bought 2 HUGE vedalia onions and sliced up one onion, used some on 4 burgers and the rest filled up a quart jar. I may try the other one with half cucumbers and onion. I guess they will be good refrigerated a couple weeks too?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recipe Rating