Bartaco Pickled Red Onions

Bartaco Pickled Red Onions

Welcome frugal foodies to the Frugal Hausfrau’s site. Today we’re at the corner where frugal meets delicious and we’re diving into these Asian-leaning Bartaco Pickled Red Onions! I made them to accompany the Copycat Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos I posted the other day.

Bartaco Pickled Red Onions

Bartaco Pickled Red Onions

These tangy, vibrant gems are a fantastic addition to sandwiches, salads, tacos, and more. Join me as I share some practical tips and tricks to make these all while saving money at the same time.

About Bartaco Pickled Red Onions:

Super easy to make, Classic Pickled Red Onions are almost a cheat. Put sliced onions in a jar, mix up enough brine to cover, and wait. That’s the hard part, the wait! Several hours is good, but they just keep getting better and better.

These particular Bartaco Pickled Red Onions are no different, but they do lean toward the Asian side of the spectrum by a hair. Just a few additions take them from commonplace, everyday pickled onions to these beauties with a touch of sweet-sour, soy, and stunning color.

Grandma's Refrigerator Pickled Beets

Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets

There’s a Special Twist in this Recipe:

This might take these red onions out of the realm of being a Bartaco copycat, but it’s so good! I just had to add it in as an option.

One thing to know is that while the pickled red onions are at their most beautiful when just made, the bright hot pink color begins to fade as they sit. It’s really a case of exchange. As the onions absorb the brine and its flavors, they give some of their color back to the brine.

A sudden impulse gives these Pickled Red Onions a gorgeous color – a fabulous addition that’s completely optional. I put a good dash of picked beet juice in the brine. See beets are a natural dye and I love pickled beets and often have a jar, either My Grandma’s Pickled Beets or store-bought.  I just thought why not? I plan on repeating the magic.

Copycat Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos

This plate would run you about $18.25 plus tax and tip at the restaurant.

What to Serve Bartaco Pickled Red Onions With:

The pickled red onions are a delightful fusion of Asian and Mexican flavors, and have a beautiful, deep red hue that adds visual appeal to any dish. Their texture is crisp, providing a satisfying crunch with every bite. As you savor the onions, you’ll notice that they strike a delicate balance between tangy and sweet.

You’re not going to be limited to just serving your onions with Bartaco Sesame Ribeye Tacos, or limited to just garnishing any taco! One of the most enticing aspects of Bartaco’s pickled red onions is their versatility.

These have the ability to elevate a wide range of dishes. Whether they’re paired with traditional Mexican tacos, Asian-inspired rice bowls, or sandwiches, these onions add a refreshing and tangy element that’s gonna up your game on all kinds of flavor profiles.

Btw – if you are thinking about those Bartaco tacos? Don’t forget to add the Bartaco Signature Margarita to your dinner plans!

Bartaco Signature Margarita

What goes better with the Bartaco tacos than a Bartaco Margarita?

Making the Red Onions:

Here’s the deal when making red onions or almost any pickle, especially with a small batch of a single jar. (Bigger recipes have more room for error.) See you never want to have too little or way too much brine. And the amount of brine you’ll need is going to vary by how much sliced red onion you have and what kind of jar you’re using.

You are pretty safe with the measurements in the recipe below, but if you’d like to be a little more exact, use the displacement method.

Simply fill a measuring cup with enough water to cover the onions with some excess, say two cups. Pour in water to cover the onions in the jar. You’re gonna want to either:

  • Subtract the amount of liquid left in the measuring cup from the original total of two cups. That’s going to be how much brine you need to make (but do a little extra to allow for evaporation – or human error!
  • The other method is when that water is poured off the red onions, just measure it. That’s a little bit sloppier. Same as above, always make a little extra brine.

With both methods, you can scale the recipe up or down to accommodate how much brine to use. The measurements do not have to be exact.

The beauty of knowing the method of how to measure the brine is that you can use it in this recipe to make more or use it in almost any recipe for pickling or brining.

The other great thing to know is food safety! Always work clean and let the onions come to room temperature before covering them and tossing them in the fridge.


When storing refrigerated pickled red onions like these keep in mind these few key steps. Here’s a frugal hausfrau-style guide to help you store your homemade pickled red onions:

  • Choose the right container: Opt for airtight glass containers or jars with tight-fitting lids. Mason jars or recycled glass jars work well for this purpose. Avoid plastic containers as they can absorb flavors and odors.
  • Cool down the onions: Allow your pickled red onions to cool completely at room temperature before transferring them to the refrigerator. This helps maintain their texture and flavor.
  • Cover with brine: Pour enough of the pickling liquid over the onions to cover them completely. The brine acts as a preservative and enhances the flavor of the onions over time.
  • Label and date: Attach a label to the container with the date of pickling. This allows you to keep track of the storage time and ensures you use the oldest batch first.
  • Use within recommended time: While pickled red onions can last safely for several weeks in the refrigerator, it’s best to use them within 4-6 weeks for optimal taste and texture.
Bartaco Pickled Red Onions

Bartaco Pickled Red Onions – ready for the fridge.

Saving Money on Bartaco Pickled Red Onions:

First of all, pickled red onions can be a savings in themselves! How often do you have a part of a red onion lying around in your fridge? Red onions can be huge and recipes usually call for just a little – pickling them can transform what’s leftover from potential waste to a fabulous little condiment with just a few minutes of time and a few simple ingredients.

  • Buy onions in bulk: Purchase a large bag of onions instead of individual ones if you’ll use them. This is often more cost-effective and allows you to make multiple batches of pickled red onions. Shop for onions and use onions more often when they’re in season: Onions are usually cheaper and more abundant during their peak season, which varies depending on your location. Check your local farmers’ market or grocery store for the best deals. Don’t discount how much of a discount you can get your discount stores like Aldi & Lidl.
  • While I used some specialty ingredients to add a little Asian flair, including rice wine vinegar, white vinegar and apple cider vinegar are often more affordable than specialty vinegar. They work well for pickling red onions and give them a tangy flavor.
  • While you can buy pickling spices, you’ll notice here I just used a few spices from my cabinet, which is not only cheaper than buying a jar of pickling spices but gives a nice “custom” flavor.
  • Shop for Asian items like Mirin or rice vinegar before the Lunar New Year when they are often discounted, unadvertised. Save more by shopping at an Asian Market.
Bartaco Pickled Red Onions

Bartaco Pickled Red Onions


Rough Draft Bartaco Pickled Red Onions

  • Author: mollie kirby
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes + rest time
  • Yield: 1 1/2 cups 1x
  • Category: Condiments
  • Method: Pickling


  • 1/2 large red onion, finely sliced
  • 2/3 cup rice wine vinegar
  • 1/3 cup Mirin
  • 1/3 cup water
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/3 cup pickled beet juice (optional)
  • 1 star anise
  • 3 whole cloves


Place the sliced red onion in a very clean jar.

In a small pot, heat the remaining ingredients. Bring to a boil, stir to dissolve the sugar and salt then remove from heat. Remove the Star Anise and discard.

Pour the hot mixture over the red onion, adding more vinegar if needed to completely cover the onions. Cover, shake, open the lid, and set on the counter for an hour or two or until the mixture is at room temperature. Once cool, cover and refrigerate.

Note: If not using beet juice, simply eyeball an additional 1/3 cup of Rice Wine vinegar mixed with Mirin. (Use about twice as much of the vinegar as mirin.)

Keywords: Asian, Bartaco, Condiments, pickled beets, pickled red onion, Red onion, rice vinegar, soy sauce, Vinegar

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A surprising Asian flair in these gorgeous Bartaco Pickled Red Onions makes these ideal for any of copycat Bartaco dishes! Addictive, too! #PickledRedOnions #Bartaco #BartacoPickledRedOnions #BartacoCopycat

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