These quick pickled shallots add a pop of color and a burst of briny flavor to everything from sandwiches to tacos. Plus, this small-batch recipe can help you prevent food waste!
Why I Love This Recipe
Have you ever made pickled onions at home? If you have, you can probably remember making a huge jar of pretty pink pickled onions only to have half of them go to waste. (Womp, womp…)
These easy pickled shallots are a perfect small-batch alternative to pickled onions. Since shallots are so small, you can cut up the correct amount to accompany recipes like tacos, sandwiches, and salads without making way more than you need.
If you’ve never tried pickled shallots or pickled onions, you’re in for a treat. They’re sweet and salty, tangy, and bright pink! They’re the ideal condiment to give your recipes a little bit of color and zing.
If you need any more convincing, I’ve always hated two foods — onions and pickled things, but I’m obsessed with these.
Nutrition Fun Facts
You might be wondering, are pickled shallots good for you?
Shallots are a good source of antioxidants that fight cellular damage in our bodies. They also contain a variety of powerful plant compounds called organosulfurs with numerous heart health benefits.
Making your own pickled vegetables at home allows you to control the amount of salt and sugar you add to your pickling liquid. Pickled shallots can also be a light and flavorful condiment alternative.
Keep in mind, you’d need to eat a lot of pickled shallots to get a significant amount of nutrients from them, but hey, these are pretty darn amazing so I think you could do it.
After washing and peeling the shallots, cut them in half lengthwise, then slice as thinly as you can with a knife. These guys are little, so you don’t necessarily need to use a mandoline (unless you really want to — knock yourself out).
Make pickling liquid
Pickling liquid is super easy to make! You’ll find differing recommendations, but I think the following proportions are easiest to remember: equal parts vinegar + water, equal parts salt + sugar.
Combine your vinegar, water, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan, then bring the mixture to a simmer. Remove from the heat right away — you don’t need a vigorous boil!
Combine and wait
First, add your sliced pickled shallots to a small mason jar and stick in a few sprigs of thyme. (The thyme is optional but so pretty!) Then, pour your hot pickling liquid into a large measuring cup and carefully pour the mixture into the jar until the shallots are submerged.
Refrigerate for at least four hours and voilà, you have quick pickled shallots! I know that sounds like a long time to wait for this recipe to refrigerate, but this will ensure you have the brightest pink color and most tangy flavor. (Pssst… but I won’t tell on you if you can’t wait that long and want to try them sooner.)
Frequently Asked Questions
2-3 weeks in the fridge — just like larger pickled onions! If the shallots smell “off” or start to get too floppy or slimy, toss them.
Onions and shallots are both members of the allium family, but shallots grow in smaller bunches and pack less of a flavor punch. Since shallots are smaller, they’re helpful for small-batch recipes like this one. You’ll be able to cut and use exactly the amount you need without cutting a whole onion (and potentially wasting half of it).
- Different vinegars to try – You can make pickled shallots with sherry vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or even white vinegar. I chose red wine vinegar to enhance as much of the magenta color of the shallots as possible.
- Add flavor – To infuse more flavor, add hardy herbs like rosemary, thyme, dill, or tarragon. You can also add minced garlic or crushed red pepper for an extra kick!
- Make a large batch – Easy peasy. Double the recipe and add it to a larger mason jar.
Quick Pickled Shallots in Red Wine Vinegar
- small mason jar
- small saucepan
- measuring cup
- 2.5 oz shallots about 2 medium
- ⅓ cup water
- ⅓ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ tsp salt
- ¾ tsp sugar
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme optional
- Wash and peel shallots. Slice in half lengthwise, then slice as thinly as possible with a knife. (You can also use a mandoline for this if you prefer)
- Prepare your pickling liquid by combining the water, red wine vinegar, salt, and sugar in a small saucepan. Bring to a simmer, stirring occasionally, then remove from heat.
- Fill a small mason jar with the sliced shallots and two sprigs of thyme. Pour the pickling liquid from the saucepan into a medium measuring cup. Carefully pour the pickling liquid over the shallots and thyme until they are submerged. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours.
- Please note that nutrition facts are an estimate and can vary widely based on amounts and specific types used.
- Pickled onions can be kept refrigerated for 2-3 weeks.