Balsamic pickled onions with chilli and thyme

Serves: Makes 2 medium jars
Prep: 10 minutes
Cooks In: 5 minutes

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! 

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.


Print Recipe

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


  1. Peel the onions and cut the larger ones in half.

  2. Sprinkle salt over the onions, cover and leave overnight.

  3. Pour balsamic vinegar into a saucepan and add the water.

  4. Stir in the sugar and heat until the sugar has dissolved and the liquid is almost simmering.

  5. Rinse the onions and drain well.

  6. Slice and deseed the chilli.

  7. Arrange the onions, thyme and chilli slices in jars.

  8. 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.

  9. 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).