Whole30 Pickled Onions (Sugar Free)

They’re my absolute favorite condiment, something I always keep in the fridge– Whole30 Pickled Onions! This pickled red onion recipe is sugar free, Paleo, Gluten Free, Low Carb, and absolutely delicious! Try them and they’ll become a staple in your refrigerator too!

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Why I love them!

Maybe it’s the tangy, sweet taste, maybe it’s the crunchy texture, or maybe it’s that beautiful pink color, but these pickled onions are a kitchen staple. Made with just a few simple ingredients like raw apple cider vinegar, sea salt, and freshly squeezed lemon juice, the pickled red onions marinate in the fridge until they’re absolutely perfect.

Pickled Red Onions make even the simplest dishes something special, and guess what else? There is NO SUGAR added. Yup, sugar free pickled onions do exist, and they are awesome!

Pickled Onions with Whole30 Breakfast
I eat pickled onions with breakfast almost every single day, because they brighten up so many dishes — more of that below!

“Soaking onions in acid takes the fire out of them without diminishing the brightness they add to a dish.”

Samin Nosrat, chef & author of Salt, Fat, Acid, Heat

Making Pickled Onions Keto, Whole30, and Paleo

A collage of Step by Step instructions, beginning with gathering the ingredients, then cutting the onions, then adding the ingredients to a glass jar.

You’ll find that a lot of recipes for pickled onions call for refined sugar, but truly, you don’t need it at all. All you need is a bit of lemon juice, and that’s enough to take the edge off the sharp vinegar taste. You’ll quickly be on your way to the best Whole30 condiment ever!

Always remember to check your ingredients labels! That’s just me reminding you, because you don’t hear that enough. But really, because most vinegars are Whole30 compliant, you’re usually okay… but you just never know!

When choosing an apple cider vinegar, I recommend using one that’s raw and unfiltered, like Bragg’s. You’ll get the bonus of beneficial bacteria (probiotics), which are great for improving your gut health! As an added bonus, the flavor is rocking!

Pickled Onions on top of Salmon
I like to top my spicy dishes with pickled onion for a bright punch of acid, like I did here on my Whole30 Blackened Salmon recipe.

Pickled Onions FAQ:

Okay, I made pickled onions… now what do I do with them?

Honestly, they’re so versatile and I love them so much that I find endless ways to enjoy them! Pickled Red Onions brighten salads, add lovely acid to sandwiches and wraps, and make my breakfast plates a real dream.

I’ve even been known to eat them right out of the jar with a fork (and so has my three year old!), but I also like them with eggs or on anything spicy.

Here are just some of the healthy recipes that include my Whole30 Pickled Onions:

Can I make them faster?

Yes!! If you’re in a hurry, they can be made quickly! Quick pickled onions are BOMB!

  1. Just gently heat the vinegar and spices in a small sauce pan until it begins to simmer, then carefully pour the mixture into the jar, over the onions.
  2. Cover, then set them on the counter, and they’ll be ready to eat in a snap!

How long do they store in the fridge?

The onions keep in the fridge for about two weeks, but we always eat them much faster than that! ⠀

A mason jar with finished onions is being held in one hand, while the other hand holds a fork to scoop some out.

Pickled Onion Flavor Variations

You’re gonna want to try these (they’re all Whole30 and Paleo compliant)!

  1. Spicy & Sweet Pickled Onions
    Add a few thin slices of habanero or jalapeño and two orange segments.
  2. Zesty Garlic Pickled Onions
    Add 3-4 cloves of garlic
  3. Mediterranean Pickled Onions
    Stir in 1/4 tsp. dried oregano and 1/4 tsp. cumin
  4. Mexican Pickled Onions
    Substitute lime juice instead of lemon juice and a few sprigs of cilantro
  5. Thai Inspired Pickled Onions
    Add a dried Kaffir lime leaf or a pinch of kaffir lime powder and a small piece of peeled ginger

Don’t be afraid to get creative, because this Whole30 pickled red onion recipe holds up great to a variety of flavors and flavor combinations. What flavors would you like to try?

Pin it for later:

The Pinterest graphic featuring a close up shot of the completed pickled onions in a mason jar with the text, "Pickled Onions, Whole30, Paleo, Vegan."

What do you think, will you make these Whole30 pickled onions?
If you do, I’d love to see! Tag me on Instagram @cookathomemom!

Pickled Onions in a glass mason jar with a fork scooping some out.
4.5 from 8 votes

Whole30 Pickled Onions⠀

This pickled onions recipe is whole30 compliant, with no added sugar. Enjoy with eggs or on salads, tacos, sandwiches or wraps! 

Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Keyword Condiments, Low Sugar
Prep Time 5 minutes
Resting Time 12 hours
Total Time 12 hours 5 minutes
Servings 2 cups
Calories 63 kcal


  • 2 small red onions or 1 large
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar preferably raw unfiltered
  • 2 tbsp freshly squeezed lemon juice approx 1/2 lemon
  • 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp peppercorns
  • 1 clove garlic optional


  1. Peel & slice the red onion (I prefer to slice thinly, but feel free to do this to your preference).

  2. Add all ingredients but the onions to a mason jar and stir well. 

  3. Add in the onions, pressing down into the apple cider mixture until they’re submerged.

  4. If you need to, top off with a little extra apple cider vinegar until all the onions are covered. Mix well or cover and shake, then set it in the fridge overnight. 

Recipe Notes

**To Make Quick Pickled Onions: If you need the onions in a hurry, slowly heat the apple cider vinegar before you pour it over the onions. Cover and set on the countertop for one hour.


**Scroll up to see my favorite flavor variations! 

Nutrition Facts
Whole30 Pickled Onions⠀
Amount Per Serving
Calories 63 Calories from Fat 9
% Daily Value*
Fat 1g2%
Saturated Fat 1g6%
Sodium 1752mg76%
Potassium 204mg6%
Carbohydrates 8g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 5g6%
Protein 1g2%
Vitamin C 14mg17%
Calcium 25mg3%
Iron 1mg6%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.