Spiced Pickled Onions Recipe

Spiced pickled shallots

  • makes 4 x 500g jars
  • Easy

Make our spiced pickled shallots for an easy Christmas snack, or put in a pretty jar for a thoughtful homemade Christmas gift


If you like a very crunchy shallot, feel free to break these open after 10 days of pickling, but 3-4 weeks pickling will give you a more traditional texture. To sterilise jars, wash in hot soapy water then rinse and dry on a tray in a 160C/fan 140C/gas 3 oven until completely dry.



  • shallots 1kg, choose the smallest ones you can find
  • fine sea salt 100g
  • malt vinegar 400ml
  • cider vinegar 400ml
  • caster sugar 100g
  • yellow mustard seeds 1 tbsp
  • mixed peppercorns 1 tbsp
  • dried chilli flakes 2 tsp
  • bay leaves 4
  • thyme sprigs 8


  • Step 1

    Peel the shallots. To do this, trim the base and peel from there, taking the first layer away as well. If you have trouble then pour boiling water over them, leave to cool, then drain and peel, trimming the ends. Put the shallots in a bowl, sprinkle with the salt and leave overnight, giving them a stir a couple of times to make sure they’re well coated in the salt.

  • Step 2

    The next day, rinse the shallots and leave to dry. Put the vinegars, sugar, mustard seeds, peppercorns and chilli flakes into a pan. Stir over a low heat until the sugar has dissolved, then bring to the boil and remove from the heat.

  • Step 3

    Pack a layer of shallots into sterilised jars (see notes below) with a bay leaf and 2 sprigs of thyme in each, then pour over some of the warm vinegar with the spices. Repeat in layers until the jars are full. Seal and leave for a minimum of 10 days before eating.