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Pickled Red Onions Canning Recipe

Pickled red onions can be enjoyed in so many ways. They add a vibrant pop of color and bite of acidity to any meal. Learn how to preserve pickled onions into shelf stable jars with this easy canning recipe.
Prep Time40 mins
Cook Time20 mins
Total Time1 hr
Course: Pantry
Cuisine: American
Keyword: pickled red onions
Servings: 12 servings
Calories: 45kcal
Author: Grow a Good Life


  • 3 pounds red onions
  • 3 tablespoons pickling spices
  • 4 cups vinegar at least 5% acidity
  • 1 clove garlic crushed
  • 12 sprigs of fresh thyme optional


Prepare the canning equipment:

  • Wash the jars and lids well in warm, soapy water and rinse thoroughly. Check the rims for nicks and cracks.
  • Place the jar rack into water bath canner, set jars in the canner, and fill the jars and canner with enough water to cover jars. Bring the canner to a boil over high heat, and then boil jars for 10 minutes to sterilize.
  • Warm your lids in a small pot of water over low heat. Keep jars and lids warm. Warming the lids may not be necessary for new style canning lids. Check the instructions on the box.

Prepare the onions:

  • Peel the onions and remove the root and stem ends. Cut the onions into 1/4-inch slices. Break apart to separate the segments. Set aside.

Heat the pickling brine:

  • Add the 3 tablespoons of pickling spice to a spice bag or coffee filter and tie with kitchen string.
  • Add the vinegar, crushed garlic, and the pickling spice bag to a medium sauce pan. Bring the pan to a boil over medium-high heat, and then reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Remove the garlic and spice bag and keep the vinegar warm until you are ready to use.

Can the pickled onions:

  • Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Remove the warm jars from canner using the jar lifter. Drain the water back into the canner and line up the jars on the towel.
  • Using tongs, fill the jars with the onions. Add two sprigs of thyme to each jar.
  • Ladle hot pickling liquid over the onions leaving a 1/4-inch headspace.
  • Run the bubble popper through the jars to release air bubbles. Wipe the rim of the jars with a clean damp towel to remove any residue.
  • Use the magnetic lid lifter to lift lids out of the warm water, center lid on the jar, and screw on band until it is fingertip tight.
  • Use the jar lifter to place the jars back into water bath canner leaving space in between them. Once jars are all in canner, adjust the water level so it is 1-inch over the tops of the jars. If adding water, use the hot water from your small pot.
  • Cover the canning pot and bring it to a rolling boil over medium-high heat. Once the pot boils, process half-pints for 10 minutes at attitude of 1,000 feet or less. (Adjustments must be made for altitudes greater than 1,000 ft. - see note)
  • When processing time is complete, turn off the heat and let the canner to cool for 5-minutes.
  • Spread a kitchen towel on the counter. Use a jar lifter to lift jars carefully from canner and place on the towel. Allow the jars to cool in place for 12 hours. You should hear the satisfactory "ping" of the jar lids sealing as the jars cool.
  • After 12 hours, check to be sure jar lids have sealed by pushing on the center of the lid. The lid should not pop up. If the lid failed to seal, refrigerate the jar.
  • Remove the screw on bands and rinse the jars. Label, date, and store in a cool, dark location. Let the pickles stand for about a week before opening for the flavors to develop.
  • Use home canned jars within 12-18 months. Makes about 6 half-pint jars of picked red onions. Refrigerate the jar after opening.



Serving: 0.5cup | Calories: 45kcal | Carbohydrates: 10.6g | Protein: 1.3g | Fat: 0.1g | Sodium: 5mg | Potassium: 166mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 4.8g | Calcium: 26mg