Balsamic pickled onions with chilli and thyme

What’s better than a ploughman’s platter with a side of lip-smacking pickled onions? A platter with homemade pickled onions!
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Snacks and Sides
Servings 2 medium jars
Dairy Free, Gluten Free


  • 10-12 baby onions
  • ½ cup rock salt
  • 1 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • ½ cup sugar
  • 1 red chilli
  • 2-3 sprigs fresh thyme


  • Peel the onions and cut the larger ones in half.
  • Sprinkle salt over the onions, cover and leave overnight.
  • Pour balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and add the water.
  • Stir in the sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is almost simmering.
  • Rinse the onions and drain well.
  • Slice and deseed the chilli.
  • Arrange the onions, thyme and chilli slices in jars.
  • Cover onions with hot pickling liquid and seal with lid. When cool, refrigerate for at least 3-4 days (ideally 1 week) before eating. Onions will keep for up to 1 month in fridge.
  • Serve the onions with cheese and crackers, sliced in sandwiches or as part of a tasty ploughman’s platter.

Top tip

  • If you want extra-long-keeping onions, place them in sterilised jars, fill to the rim with near-boiling liquid and top with a sterilised seal (refrigerate once opened).


This easy peasy recipe makes it a breeze to create this savoury side from scratch. They’re deliciously spiked with chilli and thyme to add some extra flavour oomph.
I love pickled onions with hard, crumbly cheese, in-between bites of sandwiches or sliced up with a good old sausage in white bread. They’re pretty much the perfect accessory to any summer meal!
These will keep for a month in the fridge, or try placing in sterlised jars for extra-long-keeping onions.
Plus, these little flavour bombs are also gluten and dairy-free.
This recipe is from the August/September issue of NADIA magazine.
Photography by: Todd Eyre.