Pickled Cocktail Onions

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These pickled cocktail onions make a great snack or addition to any meal. Pearl onions are pickled in a sweet and salty brine to delivers a kick of flavor that explodes in every bite-sized onion.

Closeup shot of jarful of pickled cocktail onions.

I love pickled onions. Red onions, sweet onions, white onions - you name it. If they're pickled, they're delicious. My favorite kind of pickled onions is cocktail onions. They're easy to pickle, and their natural sweetness makes the perfect pairing to the tanginess of the pickling brine.

Why You'll Love This Recipe

  • It's a sweet and tangy side dish or appetizer that everyone loves.
  • It only uses a handful of simple ingredients.
  • It's an easy recipe that's ready in just a few minutes.

Top Tip

Be sure to shake your jar a couple of times a day while the onions pickle to ensure that all the ingredients remain mixed.

Closeup overhead shot of bowlful of pickled pearl onions.


You'll only need a handful of simple ingredients to make this recipe, and many of them are probably in your kitchen right now. Anything you don't have can be found at any grocery store.

All the ingredients for the recipe are listed here, but you'll find the exact amounts in the recipe card at the end of the post.

  • Pearl onions
  • Coriander seeds
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Apple cider vinegar
  • Sugar
  • Coarse salt
  • OPTIONAL: ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
Overhead shot of individual pickled pearl onion ingredients in bowls on table.


Making these pickled pearl onions is just about as easy as it gets. It only takes a few minutes of prep. Then, you simply have to wait 3 days for the onions to fully pickle. That's all there is to i!

1: Place pearl onions and coriander seeds in a large sealable jar.

Closeup shot of jarful of pearl onions and coriander seeds.

2: Boil the remaining pickling ingredients.

Closeup shot of apple cider vinegar being poured into pot.

3: Pour hot mixture over onions. 

Hot pickling juice being poured into jarful of pearl onions.

4: Seal the jar and allow onions to pickle for 3 days, shaking a couple of times each day.

Jarful of pickled pearl onions.

Substitutions and Variations

  • For Southwestern flair, try mixing sliced jalapenos with the onions.
  • Slice and pickle sweet onions in place of pearl onions.
  • You can use this brine mixture to pickle large garlic cloves, as well.


  • Measuring cups and spoons
  • Large mason jar
  • Saucepan
Closeup shot of bowlful of pickled pearl onions next to jarful of pickled pearl onions.


Store for up to a month in the refrigerator in a jar with a tight-fitting lid.

What to Serve with Pickled Pearl Onions

Pair these onions with your favorite beef, chicken, or pork recipes. You can also use them as an appetizer ingredients or simply snack on them!


  • Boil your pickling mixture for a full 5 minutes before pouring it over the pearl onions.
  • Place your lid on your jar immediately after pouring in the hot liquid so it seals.
  • Give your jar a good shake about twice a day during the 3-day pickling window.
Closeup shot of two pickled pearl onions on skewer.


Are pearl onions the same as onions?

Pearl onions are, in fact, onions. They are just very small

How are pearl onions used?

Pearl onions are commonly used for pickling or added to cocktails. In addition, their sweet flavor makes them excellent additions to casseroles, soups, stews, and other savory dishes.

Do pearl onions taste the same as regular onions?

Pearl onions have a much milder and sweeter flavor than large bulb onions, even sweet onions.

Do you peel pearl onions before pickling them?

Yes. Cut a very small portion of the top of the onion off, then peal off the outer skin.

More Pickled Recipes

Yield: 1 large jar

Pickled Cocktail Onions

Pickled Cocktail Onions

Pickled cocktail onions are an easy snack filled with sweet and tangy flavors. It's an easy recipe that pairs well with almost anything.

Cook Time 10 minutes
Additional Time 3 days
Total Time 3 days 10 minutes


  • 18 oz pearl onions
  • 1 tsp coriander seeds
  • ½ cup water
  • ¼ cup white vinegar
  • ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
  • 3 tbsp sugar
  • 1 tbsp coarse salt
  • OPTIONAL: ¼ tsp red pepper flakes


  1. Place pearl onions and coriander seeds in a large sealable jar.
  2. Put remaining ingredients in a large saucepan over medium heat.  Stir often and bring to a low boil for 5 minutes.
  3. Pour hot mixture over onions.  Seal the jar and allow onions to pickle for 3 days, shaking a couple times each day.

Nutrition Information



Serving Size


Amount Per Serving Calories 13Total Fat 0gSaturated Fat 0gTrans Fat 0gUnsaturated Fat 0gCholesterol 0mgSodium 219mgCarbohydrates 3gFiber 0gSugar 2gProtein 0g

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