How to Make Pickled Onions With a Food Processor
Pickled onions can add sweet tang, a tender crunch and eye-catching color to a wide variety of dishes. See the guide below to learn how to make homemade pickled onions with a KitchenAid® food processor. Discover recipes to pair them with and learn how to store them properly so you can pull them out whenever inspiration strikes.
QUICK PICKLED ONIONS RECIPE
Pickling onions is a quick and simple process that you can do using only a handful of pantry staples. Read the six-step pickled onions recipe below to learn how to prepare your food processor, cut the onion and make the pickling mixture; creating a dynamic addition to any dish.
Large red onion
3 parts vinegar (apple cider, white, rice or red wine)
1 part water
¼ to ½ parts granulated sugar (or alternative sweetener)
STEP 1. PREPARE FOOD PROCESSOR
Prepare your food processor by assembling the work bowl, base, drive adapter and slicing blade. First, secure the work bowl to the food processor base. Some models may require you to twist the bowl into place, but others drop into place for quick assembly like select models from Kitchenaid brand. Next, lower the drive adapter onto the drive pin in the center of the work bowl, then place the slicing/shredding disc over the drive adapter. Some food processors come with both thick and thin slicing blades—or an adjustable setting—so be sure to face the thinnest blade upward.
STEP 2. PEEL AND CUT ONION
Place the onion on a cutting board, then peel away the onion's skin by hand and discard it as you go. If you’re struggling to get a firm hold on the skin, try slicing the onion in half from stem to root to get a better grip from the exposed edges. Once it’s peeled, slice off the roots and stem of the onion, then rinse it under lukewarm water and slice it into quarters using a sharp knife.
KEEP TEARS AT BAY
Chopping onions releases an irritant that can cause your eyes to sting and water, making it tricky to stay focused on the task at hand. Try chilling onions for 15 minutes in the freezer before chopping, or cutting onions near a small fan or range hood to reduce your chances of tearing up.
STEP 3. PROCESS ONION
Thinly sliced onions will pickle quicker than more thickly sliced pieces, so double-check that your food processor is prepped with the thinnest slicing blade or setting if available. Next, set your food processor to high speed and place a quartered piece of onion into the feed tube. Apply even pressure using the food pusher that came with your food processor to help move the onion through the blade and into the work bowl. Place sliced onions into a mason jar and set them aside.
STEP 4. COMBINE AND SIMMER MIXTURE
Combine 3 parts vinegar and ¼ to ½ parts sweetener with 1 part water and salt in a small saucepan, then heat the mixture over medium-high heat until it starts to simmer. The type of vinegar and sweetener you choose is a matter of personal preference. Pickling with apple cider vinegar will produce a sweeter pickled flavor, but rice, white or red wine vinegar will also do the trick. For sweeteners, consider using granulated sugar, honey, agave, or even maple syrup.
STEP 5. COMBINE INGREDIENTS
Remove the mixture from the stovetop and carefully pour it into the mason jar over the sliced onions. Screw the lid on tightly and give the jar a brief shake to coat the onions in the mixture. Allow the onions to marinate in the mixture for at least 30 minutes before using them in a recipe. If the onions aren’t fully submerged in the vinegar mixture, you may need to press them down using the back of the spoon before marinating.
STEP 6. USE OR STORE
Serve onions immediately or store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to three weeks.
WHAT TO MAKE WITH PICKLED ONIONS?
Pickled onions are versatile and can enhance an array of flavorful entrees and sides.
Combine the sweet crunch of pickled onions with savory carne asada tacos with flour tortillas or sprinkle them on top of a vegan Hawaiian poke bowl with teriyaki sauce for a complex flavor pairing. Use pickled onions to create a vibrant filling for a toasted vegetable pita, or kick start your day with a piece of avocado toast with pickled vegetables.
HOW DO YOU STORE PICKLED ONIONS?
You can store pickled onions for up to three weeks in the refrigerator or opt for long-term storage by properly canning the onions and storing them in a cool, dark environment for up to 18 months. Be sure to follow canning guidelines carefully. For more immediate use, store pickled onions in an airtight container in the refrigerator and keep the onions submerged in the pickling mixture to avoid drying.
HOW LONG DO PICKLED ONIONS LAST?
Thanks to the acidity of vinegar and salt, pickled onions can be stored in the refrigerator for up to three weeks. They may start to lose some of their crunch around week two, so be sure to top your favorite dishes with them sooner than later. You can keep pickled onions at their peak freshness by storing them in an airtight container and ensuring that the onions are fully submerged in the pickling liquid at all times.
SHOP KITCHENAID® FOOD PROCESSORS
KitchenAid® food processors can help you make quick work of food prep so you can spend more time experimenting with new flavors and textures. Fine-tune the thickness of your favorite toppings when you use the externally adjustable ExactSlice™ disc available on select models. Plus, whip up large batches with confidence as the UltraTight™ Seal on some models lets you fill the work bowl to capacity without worrying about leaks.
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