Quick Pickled Shallots, an easy refrigerator pickled sliced shallots recipe that is quickly pickled in an apple cider vinegar brine. Great on top of salads and sandwiches!

sliced shallots in a jar with pickling brine on a white countertop

Love shallots? Try pickling them! This simple quick refrigerator pickled shallots recipe takes only 2 hours for the perfect pickled shallots to use as toppings for burgers, salads, and tacos. Easy and tasty!

👉 Ready to learn how to quick pickle shallots in the refrigerator? Let’s do it!

shallots, garlic, and bowls of water, vinegar, salt, and sugar for pickling
Ingredients: shallots, water, vinegar, sugar, and salt

How to make (step-by-step photos)

1️⃣ Step One: Prep shallots

The first step is to wash and prep the shallots for pickling. Simply cut the stems from the shallots and then remove the outer peel layer.

Then cut each shallot into thin slices so you have very thin strips that will easily soak up the pickling brine.

sliced shallots for pickling on a cutting board with a knife and garlic
Slice shallots before pickling

2️⃣ Step Two: Prepare the pickling jar

Next it’s time to prepare the jar that you will pickle the shallot slices in. Choose a large, wide jar so that you can leave 1/2 inch of space after you fill the jar with the brine.

Add the shallot slices, bay leaf, mustard seeds, garlic cloves, and red pepper flakes (optional, but we highly recommend).

sliced shallots in a jar on a white countertop
Prepare shallot pickling jar

3️⃣ Step Three: Prepare and add the brine

You can't make pickled shallots without brine! This salted and sugared vinegar water is what adds the “pickled” flavor to vegetables and fruit.

Our go-to refrigerator pickling brine formula is usually:

  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup vinegar (distilled vinegar, white wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are our favorites)
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar

We increase or decrease the amount of brine depending on the amount of vegetables we’re pickling, but this is the foundational recipe we use that always produces great tasting pickled vegetables.

a small sauce pan with salt and sugar inside on a white table with a measuring glass of water and a bottle of apple cider vinegar
Add salt, sugar, vinegar, and water to pan

To make the brine:

  1. Add water, a vinegar of your choice (see our tips for vinegar below), salt, and sugar to a medium saucepan and bring to a boil.
  2. Pour the hot brine into the pickling jar and completely cover the shallot slices, then close the lid tightly and allow it to cool down on the counter until it reaches room temperature.

💡 Want more tips for making pickling brine? Check out my full recipe, tips, and advice for making a refrigerator pickling brine here.

a small sauce pan filled with water and apple cider vinegar brine on a stovetop with a wooden spoon
Boil the brine, the pour over vegetables

👉 Which vinegar should you use for pickling shallots? We like a sweeter vinegar for pickling shallots to bring out their natural sweetness, so we opt for apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar. You can also choose a milder vinegar like simple white vinegar as well.

bottles of red wine, white wine, distilled, rice, apple cider, and balsamic vinegars on a wooden table
Test out different vinegars to find your favorite brine recipe

4️⃣ Step Four: Refrigerate to quickly pickle the shallots

Once the jar is cool, put the jar into the refrigerator and allow the shallots to pickle in the vinegar brine for at least 2 hours before serving.

sliced shallots in pickling brine in a jar on a white table
Refrigerate for a minimum of 2 hours

👉 How long to quick pickle shallots

If you want to serve quickly, let the shallots pickle for at least 2 hours. For best results, we recommend letting them soak up the brine for at least 24-48 hours.

The refrigerator pickled shallots are good up to one month in the refrigerator as long as they are submerged in the vinegar water.

❓ Questions and quick tips

What jar should I use for pickling shallots?

Choose a jar that's wide and tall enough to store the shallot slices. There should be about 1/2 – 1 inch (1-2 cm) of space between the slices and the lid so that they can completely submerge in the brine liquid.

How long before you can eat pickled shallots?

You can eat pickled shallots after they have been in the refrigerator for at least 2 hours. However, we suggest waiting for 24-48 hours for the best results. If your shallots were sliced very thin, then less time will be needed for the best flavor.

How long do pickled shallots last?

As long as shallots are completely covered with brine, they will last for up to one month in the refrigerator. If any piece of the shallots are sticking out of the water, there is potential for bacterial growth, so make sure to use a tall jar and to completely submerge them in the brine.

How do I know if my pickled shallots have gone bad?

Quick pickling vegetables and fruit does not come with the same food safety hazards as traditional pickling and canning. However, to make sure your shallots stay safe while stored in the refrigerator, make sure to completely cover them in the liquid brine and to feel them before eating. If they're slimy, throw them out.

💡 Ideas for serving

Here are a few recipes and ideas to get you started:

  • On a pickable platter. Use pickled shallots as a pickable snack on a large platter or board with assorted seasonal fruits, vegetables, nuts, seeds, crackers, and other pickled veggies.
  • As a condiment or topping. Grab a few pickled shallots and enjoy on top of a burger, sandwich, or tacos for a twist on traditional pickles.
sliced shallots in a pickling jar on a white table

🧅 More quick pickling recipes

Looking for more pickled vegetable recipes? We’ve got you covered:

Quick Pickled Shallots

Quick Pickled Shallots, an easy refrigerator pickled sliced shallots recipe that is quickly pickled in an apple cider vinegar brine. Great on top of salads and sandwiches!
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  • 4 large shallots
  • 1 single bay leaf
  • 2 whole garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, white or brown


  • Prep the shallots: Cut the stems off the shallots, then remove the outer layer. Cut into thin slices and set aside.
  • Prepare the pickling jar: Add sliced shallots to a large jar and add the dried bay leaf, mustard seeds, garlic, and red pepper flakes.
  • Prepare and add the brine: In a medium saucepan bring the water, vinegar, salt and sugar to a boil. Once boiling, pour into the jar until the liquid completely submerges the shallots. Close the lid on the jar tightly.
  • Pickling instructions: Let the jar cool on the counter until it reaches room temperature. Once cooled, put the jar into the refrigerator and let the shallots pickle for at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results serve after at least 24 hours. Quick pickled shallots are good up to one month in the refrigerator.


  • Vinegar: White vinegar, white wine vinegar, and apple cider vinegar are the best vinegar choices for this recipe.
  • Recommended jar: Choose a large and wide jar with about 1/2 – 1 inch space (2-3 cm) below the lid.
  • Other recommended tools: small saucepan, cutting board, knife set
  • Prep ahead and storage: Refrigerator pickled shallots should be made at least 2 hours before serving, but for best results make at least 24-48 hours ahead. Keep the jar refrigerated and it can be enjoyed for up to one month. Do not freeze.
  • Nutrition notes: Nutrition information is calculated with all brine ingredients (including full amount of sugar, salt, etc.), however the shallots don’t absorb all of the liquid so the actual nutrition information is less than listed here.

Nutrition Information

Serving: 1serving, Calories: 19kcal, Carbohydrates: 3g, Protein: 0.5g, Fat: 0.4g, Saturated Fat: 0.03g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 0.2g, Sodium: 588mg, Potassium: 40mg, Fiber: 0.5g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin A: 55IU, Vitamin C: 1mg, Calcium: 10mg, Iron: 0.3mg