Bobby Flay’s Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are a cinch to make and can perk up just about anything from burgers to potato salads.

They have a strong, tangy flavor that can bring boring or bland food to life.

Bobby Flay recommends using red onions but with 6 pounds of sweet Vidalia onions on my hands I’d have to be crazy not to use them.

Turns out they were perfect for the job!

Thinly sliced onions are sauteed until soft then simmered in red wine vinegar, sugar, black peppercorns and thyme. They are left to steep in the vinegar solution for at least 2 hours or overnight.

After which, you can jar them to have on hand for burgers, hot dogs, sandwiches and salads. They are wonderful to eat alongside fried foods too.

A little goes a long way because they are super vinegary. For a milder pickle cut down the vinegar by a cup or by as much as half and replace with water.

Bobby Flay's Pickled Onions

Pickled Onions

Rating: 51

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 25 minutes

Total Time: 40 minutes

Yield: 1 (16 ounce) jar

Pickled Onions

Pickled onions are a cinch to make and can perk up just about anything from burgers to potato salads.


2 large red or vidalia onions, peeled and thinly sliced
1-2 tablespoons olive oil
3 cups red wine vinegar
1/4 cup olive oil
2 tablespoons sugar
6 whole black peppercorns
4 sprigs fresh thyme
Garnish: 2 tablespoons fresh thyme, finely chopped


  1. In a large skillet saute onions over low heat in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until soft. Place the In a large noncorrosive pan combine vinegar, 1/4 cup of olive oil, sugar, peppercorns and thyme, bring to a boil. Add the onions to the hot liquid and simmer for 5 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from heat and let the onions steep for at least 2 hours or overnight (if storing overnight, place in a bowl and cover.) When ready to serve, drain from the liquid and top with thyme. If you think you'll have some leftover, save the liquid and store in a glass jar tightly covered in refrigerator.


Adapted from Bobby Flay


Pickled Onions

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  1. says

    Quick pickling recipes are on my radar these days and this is one I’d like to make too.  These would be awesome with pork.

  2. Sweet artichoke says

    Your pickled onions look perfect: tasty and tangy, a great companion for summer barbecues :-)

  3. Melissa says

    Can’t I just skip the onions and have Bobby Flay instead?  LOL!  I love Bobby Flay and I love onions, awesome recipe.

  4. says

    I use his recipe for pickled red onion all of the time. A main difference between the Vidalias and the red onions is the color. In Bobby’s recipe that I use the onions are not cooked at all and the onions remain crisp with a gorgeous fuchsia hue. And most definitely they are delicious and add a special element to a lot of recipes.

  5. lisaiscooking says

    I love the color! They look great with the thyme sprigs. And, six pounds of vidalias? How lucky!

  6. Lea Ann (highlandsranchfoodie) says

    Pickled onions are divine!  It took me about 4 recipe combinations before I fot my version just right.  The owner of a local spice shop gave me the hint to add whole allspice berries.  That was the ticket.

  7. Sidewalkshoes says

    I don’t like raw onions, and I’ve always wanted to try pickling them.  Since I love everything pickled!

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