Pickled onions

Quite a pickle.

  • 3 hrs cooking
  • Makes 6 cups
  • Print
If you're feeling confident, you can play around with this excellent pickled onion recipe; malt vinegar will give you golden onions, balsamic a deep, delicious brown.
Looking for more pickles and preserves?


Pickled onions
  • 1 kg baby brown onions (small pickling onions)
  • ½ cup (140g) cooking (kosher) salt
  • 2 cups (500ml) boiling water
  • 1 cup (250ml) cold water
  • 2 cloves garlic, bruised
  • 1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns
  • 3 cups (750ml) white wine vinegar
  • 1 cup (250ml) white vinegar
  • 1 cup (220g) caster sugar
  • 6 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 6 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 dried bay leaves


Pickled onions
  • 1
    Place onions in a large heatproof non-metallic bowl, cover with boiling water; stand for 30 minutes, drain. Peel onions, leaving root ends intact; return to bowl.
  • 2
    Combine salt and the boiling water in a large heatproof jug; stir until salt dissolves. Add the cold water; pour over onions. Cover with a large plate or a sealed plastic bag half-filled with water to keep onions submerged; stand overnight.
  • 3
    Place garlic, peppercorns, vinegars, sugar and 2 sprigs of both rosemary and thyme in a 4.5-litre (18-cup) slow cooker. Cook, covered, on high, for 2 hours.
  • 4
    Meanwhile, rinse and drain onions; pat onions dry with paper towel. Pack onions, bay leaves and remaining rosemary and thyme into hot sterilised jars.
  • 5
    Discard rosemary, thyme and garlic from vinegar mixture. Pour enough vinegar mixture into jars to cover onions; seal immediately. Label and date jars when cold.


Discard any excess pickling liquid.

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