Recipe: Pickled onions, beetroot & red cabbage with free printable gift tags

I make no apology here, but I am going to mention the big C word. Yes, in September. But I like to be organised and now is the time to be getting those pickles sorted ready for Christmas!

Christmas is not Christmas without homemade pickled onions in my house.

My Grandad used to make us all some every year. But now he's no longer here, I've carried on the tradition.

You cannot beat the crunch and perfect spiced from a homemade pickle.

And if you pop them into some pretty jars with one of our printable labels, they make the perfect, cheap gift, made with love.


Pickling onions/ shallots
Spiced vinegar (you can spice your own or use ready spiced)

I dropped on super lucky at my local greengrocers grabbing this 5kg bag (half already used in this picture) of pickling onions for £4.50 and the 5 litre bottle of spice pickling vinegar for £3.50. Big supermarkets will be more expensive, so its worth looking at your local fruit & veg shop too.

I also managed to get some pretty kilner style jars from B & M saying 'Happiness is homemade' for £5 for 3.

2.5kg of onions with 1/4 bottle of the vinegar filled the 3 large jars which works out at £2.70 per jar.

You can of course use recycled jars rather than buying, making it much cheaper.

1. Peel enough onions to fill your jar. Easiest way to gage this is to fill the jar with the peeled onions and bear in mind the onions shrink down a little on the next step so peel a good handful extra to what currently fills your jar.
In hindsight, I would have used goggles on this stage. The eye burn was immense!

2. Pop on layer of peeled onions into a large bowl and cover with salt. Layer another load of onions and cover with salt. Repeat until all of your onions are in the bowl and covered with salt. Cover with cling film and leave over night or 24 hours.

3. Wash the salt off the onions thoroughly and dry really well. Easiest way I found was to layer the washed onions on a clean towel and then put another towel on top for 10 minutes.

4. Sterilise your jar using boiling water. Leave in boiling water for 5-10 minutes.

5. Pack your jar full of your onions and cover with the spiced vinegar.

To add an extra twist to the traditional pickled onion, you can add:
Whole dried chilli
Dried chilli flakes
Bay leaves

I like hot things so I added a 2 tsps of dried chilli flakes and 2 bay leaves to one of mine.

For these ones I used smaller kilner jars which were a little more expensive at £2.50 each from Morrisons.

Store in a pantry or cupboard. Your onions will be ready after one month, but much better left for 2-3. Once opened, store in the fridge.

Basically follow the steps above. Slice the cabbage thinly, layer in a bowl with salt, wash, dry and pop into your sterilised jar with vinegar and any extras. 

Simmering a bit of sugar into your vinegar works well with red cabbage to bring out the sweetness. Dissolve the sugar and leave to cool before pouring to your jar.

Store in a pantry or cupboard. Your red cabbage will be ready after just one week.


Wrap your washed, fresh beetroot in foil, skin on and bake in the oven at 200C for about an hour. 

This small kilner jar took 6 medium sized  beetroot to fill. You can also use small fresh beetroot and put it in whole.

Once cooked and cooled enough to handle, remove from the foil and gently scrape away the skin.

Slice and put in your sterilised jar and cover with spiced vinegar.

Store in a pantry or cupboard. Your beetroot will be ready after just one week.


Once you've filled your jars with what your want, you can add the date pickled to one of our printable labels, available HERE

Perfect as a special gift for someone you love.

Linked up to:
Tasty Tuesdays on


  1. This is the first year for us making our own pickled onions - we have go 5 yes 5 x 5kg nets!!! Wish us luck x

  2. I LOVE any form of pickles but have never pickled my own before - I'm inspired! Reminds me of my granddad as he did it a lot #tastytuesday

  3. I absolutely love pickled anything but have been nervous about doing it myself because of the faff of sterilising the jars. Thank you so much for posting this.

  4. I'm gonna try the cabbage as we get through loads of jars

  5. Love pickled everything! Thanks for linking up to #tastytuesdays

  6. I really love pickled onions but the idea of peeling loads of tiny onions has put me off before. These look so delicious though I am very tempted!

  7. awwww love the printable tags

  8. this could be just the right gift for my mom since she is quite enthusiastic about such things. thank you for posting the steop to steop guide through it

  9. Many of the most notable benefits of vegetable juice include its ability to improve nutrient uptake, protect the heart, increase hydration, prevent hair loss, detoxify the body.Thanks for Sharing!
    creamy fish soup chowder


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...
view sourceprint? 01 09 10