Marinated Red Onions MAGIC ELIXIRS (TM)

I love a magic elixir–a special sauce or bit of magic that turns ordinary food into extraordinary. In my circle, I’m a little famous for the bowl of marinated red onions on my kitchen counter (we even call them “Counter Onions”!)…which is amusing, because how could I have known these onions would start a movement? From my Instagram stories you may know that I prize a beautiful entrée salad, and every entrée salad I make includes a bit of this oniony goodness. And there isn’t a simpler recipe.

I marinate my red onions in a high quality olive oil, red wine vinegar, and oregano. I leave them on my counter uncovered in a little ceramic dish to use every day on my eggs, in a hamburger, in a salad, or in a marinated entree. Daily I get reports on other creative ways people enjoy them–and my own children eat them right out of the bowl.

Make enough to use over two days, and if after two – four days you haven’t used them up, use the oil olive oil to make a salad dressing, sauce up the onions and enjoy them, or chop them up and put them in a chicken salad. They stay fresh about two days on the countertop. You might be asking yourself: why not put them in the refrigerator? I don’t, because when the oil solidifies, the magic is gone. After Heroine Chicken these simply delicious dish enhancers are my most talked about recipe, and deserve their own blog post–so let me know how you use yours!  They will perk up just about every savory  dish you make.

Marinated Red Onions



  • 1 small red onion
  • ¾ cup Extra Virgin olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp dried oregano (not ground)
  • 1 Tbsp red wine vinegar
  1. Thinly slice the red onion and place in a low bowl.
  2. In a separate bowl, stir the olive oil, red wine vinegar and dried oregano together to combine well. Pour the mixture over the onions, making sure they are submerged.
  3. Let sit on counter at room temperature to marinate for at least 3 hours (I usually let mine marinate for 12) before using. Keeps for 2-3 days unrefrigerated.


Marinated Onions MAGIC ELIXIRS™ are a Whole30 Game Changer and a counter staple for me and just about anybody that follows me. If I have one dish that’s a bit of a revolution, I would say these marinated red onions are it! I never imagined that such a simple condiment could unilaterally make such a hit with onion lovers and haters alike. I receive dozens of messages a day from people raving about them. Here are some of my favorites…

“nocrumbsleft Marinated Onions are like Hermes Scarves – they are a sign of taste and complexity, while elevating the simple to elegant and the fantastic to unforgettable.”

“They rock my world! Like, I’m obsessed and my husband thinks I’m having an affair with them.”

“Fantastic on salad, roasted vegetables, scrambled eggs, pork chops, steak.” “…..the list goes on!”

“Marinated Onions are an absolute staple in my house…the addiction is real”

“Marinated onions are your life preserver on Whole30…they add tons of flavor”

“My husband can’t cook but he has mastered Marinated Onions”

“You’ve never had a salad until you’ve had a salad with these marinated onions.”

“These onions will ruin you and having them on hand will be as necessary as having salt in your pantry.”

“Don’t be afraid to try them, they don’t taste like raw onions!  They change, like magic into something delicious AND the marinade is great in so many things!”

“My kids eat them straight out of the bowl”

“I can’t remember my life without them, and I don’t want to!”

“I have yet to find a savory food that these don’t go on.

My kids ask “Can you put that on everything?”

“They work on everything. I never let myself run out of them. At work they are a HUGE hit with everyone too.”

“Magic in my mouth!”


Q: It seems so hard to get one of your Marinated Onion bowls – how in the world do I get one? 

A: We are adding bowls every week.  You can message me with your email.  I have a short list of folks that I send an email to every week.  

Q: The onion bowls seem kind of expensive, why are they priced like that? 

A: Each one takes 10 days to make and is hand made by an artisan and each one is numbered and stamped.  

Q: What if I just can’t afford spend that much on an onion bowl? 

A: If it’s not something that is possible for you, I do regular giveaways.  So keep watching the stories and be sure to enter when we do them! 

Q: Why do you call them “counter onions”.

A: We call them “counter onions” because they meant to be served room temp and there is never a time that there isn’t a bowl or two on my counter, ready to go!  

Q: Why don’t you put them in the refrigerator?

A: I don’t put them in the refrigerator because the oil solidifies and when it does, the magic is gone. 

Q: How long are they good for? 

A: They are good for about 3-4 days. We enjoy the onions on everything and use the oil as a salad dressing or marinade.

Q: Do I need to cover these?

A: I don’t cover mine but if you live in a warm, tropical area or there is another reason that you need to, feel free. 

Q: Can I make the whole recipe in one bowl? (Whether I using the onion bowl or not)? Can I put the marinade in and then stir?  

A: It’s best to make the marinade and stir it up in a separate bowl.  Then slice your onions, keeping them intact.  Then gently place them into the bowl and pour the marinade over them.  If you mix it all together in one bowl, you will most likely separate the onions and they may stick out of the oil. 

Q: What do I do if I have onions sticking out of the top?

A: Then you probably have too many onions or they are not flat.  Be sure to follow the amount of onions called for in the recipe – 1 small, 1/2 medium or 1/4 of a large onion.  Be sure to keep them in slices and lay them flat as you put them in the bowl.  And make the marinade in a separate bowl. 

It’s important not to have them sticking up out of the oil, because they will go bad. 

Q: What if I don’t like oregano? 

A: I recommend doing just using 1/2 of the oregano. The marinade softens the taste of it so much so that you can barely taste it.

Q: Can I use fresh oregano? 

A: Since this is going to stay on the counter at room temperature you need to use dried oregano. Even though I love fresh herbs, dried is better here. 

Q: What about using white onions or a different viengar?

A: I love to improvise but I think that this recipe is best as is.  It’s not the same with a white onion, avocado oil or a different vinegar (although I have heard that people love pomegranate vinegar).  If you require a vinegar with no alcohol content, I know that there are some out there and using that as a substitute would be fine.

Q: Will there be an onion smell in my kitchen if I leave them uncovered on the counter? 

A: When you marinate onions and they are under the oil, you will not be able to smell them. (that is why it’s also important to follow the recipe and directions)

Q: Are the onions going to give me bad breath?

A: They should not give you onion breath, because the marinating is a gentle form of cooking so that removes the strong taste and smell. 

Q: What if I have too many marinated onions or leftover marinated onion oil past the day that they are good? 

A: Share with a friend or neighbor.  Or saute the extra onions up – the get crispy and lovely.  If you have leftover oil, marinate some protein like a chicken breast or a pork chop. You can use the oil in a salad dressing. Some people even freeze the oil in small containers and use them as a flavored oil for cooking. 

Q: What if I am a person that does not digest onions well?

A: If you feel like you can, then try them.  Since the marinade gently cooks the onions, they are more easily digestible.  But if onions don’t agree with you, then this dish just may not be for you. – then this dish may not be for you.

195 thoughts on “Marinated Red Onions MAGIC ELIXIRS (TM)

  1. love almost all things pickled, red onions have a nice zing to them too

  2. Love, love, love your marinated onions and this is just the perfect bowl, it’s so lovely!

  3. Those onions are thee best!! Idk how many times I’ve made them in the last 2 months!

    1. Did you use the recommended oil? If not what brand did you use? Thanks in advance if got respond.

      1. There are so many wonderful ones… But you can look on my shop Whole30 page and it gives you some suggestions

  4. Marinated onions are our new kitchen staple! My kids love them!

  5. I made these and quickly realized that I don’t prefer oregano. Do you have an idea of a different spice that I could use instead? Thanks. And I love your IG Stories and recipes!

    1. I made them with fresh thyme last night. I like them!

      1. love it ..I’m a girl that likes fresh herbs but when things are going to stay on the counter for three days dried is actually better for this –

      2. How wonderful… I like fresh but for this – I prefer dried just in terms of keeping good longer on the counter

    1. Thank you so much for the inclusion. Things like this really make a difference to me!

    1. Thank you! We use them on almost everything over here and I’m delighted that others love them as much as i do!

  6. Ars all red onions so strong? Made the marinated red onions today. Maybe my onion was too large. Need some a little less overpowering.

    1. Here’s my thought, your onion wasn’t submerged in the marinade. The proportions are extremely important and if they’re not submerged, then they’re not being marinated, hence the strong onion flavor. My suggestion is to start again and use one thinly sliced small onion, half a medium or quarter of a large onion. Message me on Instagram and i can send you some pix.

      1. Thank you! Will try it

    1. That’s how we get though many of our days too!

    2. Nice

    1. Yay ❤️❤️❤️

  7. No Salt in the marinade? Making them tonight!

    1. No salt in the marinade

  8. I can say that I’ve certainly increased my olive oil purchase since this has become a weekly staple. I have to say that I’ve always used balsamic vinegar because that’s what I had on hand and I just recently used pomegranate vinegar (delish). Also, I like to mix up my herbs, sometimes oregano, herbes de Provence, or thyme…all yummy 😋. Thanks for the inspiration Teri.

    1. have fun!!

  9. Love Teri and all her things! Does anyone know the measurements of the onion bowl she sells?

    1. Hi, it’s Teri! The bowl fits one batch of onions perfectly…and that’s what it’s intended for. Hope that helps!!

  10. Hi Teri,
    Quick question on the marinated onions, i live in the Bahamas and room temp here is kind of warm, we tend not to leave our AC on in the kitchen 24/7 so room temp can be in the mid to high 80’s for us some days. Do you think this will be an issue for the marinated onions and cause them to go bad faster? I have been dying to try them but concerned about leaving them on the counter.
    Thanks for your wonderful blog!

    1. Well I would absolutely make a batch and see what happens… Most people eat him up in a day

    1. ❤️❤️❤️

    2. I’m so delighted to be named in this article…

    3. Yes !!!

  11. Hi Terri, went to make your marinated onions today and realized I have no red wine vinegar! Could you use white wine vinegar or balsamic vinegar in it’s place?

    1. I would suggest getting the red wine vinegar

  12. Do you add salt?

    1. I don’t… Everything I add them to already has salt so it’s just not necessary… But if you want to go ahead

    1. love this ..Thanks for tagging me

    2. love this ..Thanks for tagging me.

  13. Can you reuse the oil? Add another onion with out starting from scratch?

    1. Thanks for asking… No. You can use it for salad dressing or use it as a marinate on any protein

    1. love this

  14. Do you have to leave them in an open bowl or can you use a container with a lid?

    1. I leave the pool open on my calendar. The marinade covers the onions so I don’t have any problem with anything getting in there

      1. Thank you so much!

      2. ❤️❤️❤️

    2. I meant to say counter, I always leave mine on the counter uncovered. The marinade it self covers the onions so I don’t have any problem with anything getting in there

  15. I made them on Monday and they are a game changer in terms of how I will eat in the future. Thank you Teri for the wonderful recipe. I look forward to making the onions with different dried spices in the future. Let’s Go!

    1. Thanks so much for taking the time to send me this message

    1. thanks

  16. Would grapeseed oil work similarly?

    1. This recipe is the best done just exactly as it is… Go to the olive oil

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Location nocrumbsleft/Chicago, IL E-mail Hours I'm happy to provide all my content for free. We do participate in Affiliate advertising programs, including Amazon, to earn a percentage of all products linked through my website.
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