Pickled shallots are a great addition to salads, sandwiches, tacos, grain bowls and more! Their bright, tangy flavor is perfect for livening up a dish. The quick pickle method means they’re ready to use in just 30 minutes!
Condiments can totally make a recipe and I find pickled things to often be that teeny tiny addition to a dish that puts it over the top.
The zippy tangy flavor any pickled vegetable brings to whatever it’s added to just makes all the flavors come together.
It’s kind of like adding a squeeze of fresh lemon juice to a soup or stew right at the end of cooking. It’s essential in brightening up the ingredients and counterbalancing the savory flavors.
Pickled shallots do exactly that to anything you pair them with.
I’m a sucker for anything pickled. I live for sour things (seriously, I used to drink vinegar from the bottom of the salad bowl and suck on lemons as a kid) so this comes as no surprise.
It’s a staple in my fridge for taking any boring lunch salad or sandwich to the next level.
Just wait until you see how simple they are to make!
HOW TO MAKE PICKLED SHALLOTS
We’re utilizing a quick pickle recipe for these shallots which means they’re ready to eat in just 30 minutes!
- Thinly sliced shallots
- Boiling water
- Apple cider vinegar
- Peppercorns (optional)
Thinly slice the shallots however you want. This can be in full circles, half circles, long thin slices or even diced.
Place them in a glass jar or bowl along with the peppercorns if using. You can also throw in any other spices or aromatics you like here.
Whisk together the boiling water, apple cider vinegar, salt and sugar in a separate bowl or jar until the sugar and salt dissolve completely.
Pour the brine mixture over the shallots. Gently swirl them around to submerge the shallots in the liquid. They will shrink a bit as they pickle so don’t worry if they’re not totally submerged.
Set aside and let cool to room temperature for 25 minutes.
The shallots will be sufficiently pickled at this point for use but you can also cover them and set in the refrigerator to chill if you prefer to eat them cold.
Quick pickle recipes like this are sort of like making jam without canning. It will certainly keep for a few weeks but they’re not shelf stable.
That said, these can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 2-3 weeks. Don’t worry, there’s no way they’ll even last that long with all the delicious uses for them!
OTHER SPICES TO USE
When I’m in a rush, I simply toss in some peppercorns for a little bite to the pickled shallots.
But if you have time and really want to flavor the brine, you can add a bay leaf or two, peeled garlic cloves, coriander seeds, fennel seeds, etc.
Want to make them spicy? Check out these spicy garlic dill pickles for some ideas.
- Use any type of container as long as it’s glass and sealable. Double or triple the recipe and make a batch in a mason jar to get 2 or 3 weeks of use.
- If you don’t have apple cider vinegar, you may use white vinegar, red wine vinegar or rice vinegar.
- Don’t have shallots? Use this same recipe for pickling red onion or yellow onion for the same effect.
- Firm shallots with a tight paper skin are best for pickling. Old wrinkly shallots shouldn’t be used.
- Shallots are not the same as pickling onions. Pickling onions are baby onions whereas shallots are a different variety of allium altogether. They’re mellower and sweeter in flavor than onions. If you’re someone who doesn’t enjoy raw onions (like me), you may want to give raw shallots a try as they’re much less pungent.
BEST WAYS TO USE PICKLED SHALLOTS
If your dish is in need of some tangy flavor with a crunchy bite, pickled shallots are the perfect addition.
The most quintessential use for them is probably as a taco topping. Lamb tacos for example are greatly improved by their zippiness. Nachos and loaded tater tots are a close runner up for the best use.
Salads are also a great use for anything pickled. This pickled blueberry panzanella salad is a great example of that.
Using pickled vegetables in sandwiches not only enhances the flavor but also the texture. Try adding pickled onions or shallots to a boring deli meat sandwich and your taste buds will immediately thank you.
With the popularity of charcuterie boards lately, try adding some pickled items to your next spread. They’re delicious paired with cheeses and cured meats.
As you can see, the uses are endless and you’ll be pickling all the things in no time once you realize how easy it is!
MORE PICKLED RECIPES TO TRY
Fermented vegetables are traditionally “pickled” using a lacto-fermentation method but the end result is the same as quick pickling when it comes to taste. If you love tangy flavors, you’ll love these veggies!
One of my favorite summer recipes is this chilled mango melon soup which is topped with pickled cucumber. It’s an incredibly refreshing dish.
You can even pickle mushrooms and these pickled shiitake crostini are the epitome of both umami and sour flavors combining in the perfect bite.
- 3 large shallots, thinly sliced
- 1 teaspoon peppercorns
- 1/2 cup boiling water
- 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- Place shallots and peppercorns in a glass jar or bowl.
- Whisk boiling water, vinegar and sugar together in a separate bowl or glass measuring cup until sugar is dissolved.
- Pour the brine mixture into the shallots and give them a mix until they're mostly submerged.
- Let the mixture rest at room temperature.
- The pickled shallots can be used after sitting for 25 minutes or transferred to the refrigerator to chill. Keep covered in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.
Gina Matsoukas is an AP syndicated writer. She is the founder, photographer and recipe developer of Running to the Kitchen — a food website focused on providing healthy, wholesome recipes using fresh and seasonal ingredients. Her work has been featured in numerous media outlets both digital and print, including MSN, Huffington post, Buzzfeed, Women’s Health and Food Network.