Bread-and-Butter Pickled Onions

Photo: Hector Sanchez; Styling: Buffy Hargett

Dialing back the sugar in the versatile brine lets the natural sweetness of the onions and vegetables shine in these quick and easy refrigerator pickles.

Yield: Makes 3 pt.
Recipe from Southern Living

More From Southern Living

Recipe Time

Hands On: 20 Minutes
Total: 10 Hours, 10 Minutes


  • 1 pound sweet onions, halved and cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 1 pound Kirby cucumbers, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices
  • 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 fresh red chile pepper, halved, seeded, and thinly sliced
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • 2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground turmeric


  1. 1. Toss together first 5 ingredients in a large bowl. Cover and let stand 1 hour. Transfer to a colander; drain 20 minutes. Pack into 3 (1-pt.) jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top.
  2. 2. Bring vinegar and next 3 ingredients to a boil in a small saucepan over medium-high heat; boil, stirring constantly, 1 minute or until sugar dissolves. Let stand 5 minutes.
  3. 3. Pour vinegar mixture over onion mixture in jars, filling to 1/2 inch from top. Cool completely (about 20 minutes). Cover with lids, and chill 8 hours before serving. Store in refrigerator up to 2 weeks.
  4. Try These Twists:
  5. Bread-and-Butter Pickled Onions with Green Tomatoes: Prepare recipe as directed, substituting green tomatoes, cut into 1/2-inch pieces, for cucumbers.
  6. Bread-and-Butter Pickled Onions with Radishes: Prepare recipe as directed, substituting radishes, cut into 1/4-inch slices, for cucumbers; white vinegar for cider vinegar; and celery seeds for turmeric. Add 2 fresh tarragon sprigs to each jar just before covering.
  7. Bread-and-Butter Pickled Onions with Carrots: Prepare recipe as directed, substituting carrots, cut into 1/4-inch-thick slices, for cucumbers; a serrano pepper for red chile pepper; and cumin seeds for mustard seeds.
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