Pickled onions are a beer food staple, and they’re pretty good on their own as well, so when we caught this recipe over at Girl + Beer, we had to give it a go. We’ve pretty much used the same recipe as Girl + Beer, except we used Guinness as the stout instead of Coopers Stout. We took some other liberties as well.

Sure, pickled onions aren’t for everyone. But for those people, they should get into it! Pretty much everything tastes better pickled.

This recipe is pretty quick. It takes some time to chop the onions and for them to chill, but other than that, it’s all pretty simple.

Stout Pickled Onions


  • 20 pickling onions
  • 660 mL of stout (we used Guinness)
  • 1 1/2 cups apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons salt, sugar, black mustard seeds, coriander seeds
  • 1 table spoon fennel seeds
  • fresh red chili (optional)

Method:Skin and take the ends off the onions. This is the part that may lead to tears! Feel free to halve everything if you don’t want to do that many onions.Meanwhile, boil the stout and the vinegar.Put the sugar and salt in the the boiling liquid and let it dissolve.Finally, remove the pot from the heat and then throw in the onions and the spices (including the chili, cut in half).

Let the onions sit in the solution until they soften up. Make sure they’re good and cooked; turn the heat back on for a moment if you have to, but try not to bring the pot back up to a boil.

When the onions are nice and cooked, put the onions in a jar along with the chili and pour the liquid over the top. Make sure to get all the spices in there as well, even if you can’t fit all the liquid in!

Let everything cool down naturally. Once the jar is cool, place it in the refrigerator.

The should be ready to eat in about a week, but may take longer if you didn’t cook the onions enough. If you made sure the jar was nice and clean, these should last quite a while.

A note on staying clean

We used the same sanitiser we usually use for home brew to clean the jar. As this is a preserved food product it’s important that the jar is extremely clean.

Since the liquid got boiled, that should be completely clean, and the overall solution, full of vinegar, spices, and onions, any nasties should be killed off anyway. However, it’s better to be safe than sorry and make sure the jar is clean too.

If you don’t have home brew sanitiser or something similar hanging around, a good antibacterial soap should do the job.

Beer Pairings

These onions turn out pretty tangy, and cooking them gets a little pungent!

Cooking Beer: These are stout pickled onions. Drink some stout!

Eating Beer: As mentioned, the onions are pretty tangy and full of flavour, go will something that can go up against it but isn’t too precious as the taste will get interrupted. Try this with a bitter.