How to Make Cava Pickled Onions: A Delicious and Easy Recipe

Hello, Good News! If you are looking for a way to spice up your salads, sandwiches, burgers, or tacos, then you might want to try making cava pickled onions. These tangy and crunchy onions are infused with the flavor and fizz of cava, a Spanish sparkling wine. They are easy to make and can last for weeks in the fridge.

In this article, we will show you how to make cava pickled onions with a simple recipe that only requires a few ingredients. We will also share some tips on how to use them in different dishes, as well as answer some common questions you might have about this tasty condiment. Let’s get started!

What is Cava and Why Use It for Pickling?

Cava is a type of sparkling wine that is produced in Spain, mainly in the Catalonia region. It is made from a blend of white grapes, such as Macabeo, Parellada, and Xarel-lo. Cava can be dry or sweet, depending on the amount of sugar added during the fermentation process. Cava is usually served chilled as an aperitif or with desserts.

Cava can also be used for pickling, as it adds a subtle sweetness and acidity to the brine. The bubbles in cava help to penetrate the onion slices and make them more tender and crisp. Cava also enhances the natural flavor and color of the onions, giving them a pinkish hue and a fruity aroma.

How to Choose Cava for Pickling

When choosing cava for pickling, you don’t need to buy the most expensive bottle. Any dry or semi-dry cava will do, as long as it is not too sweet or too flat. You can also use other types of sparkling wine, such as champagne, prosecco, or lambrusco, as long as they have a similar taste and carbonation level.

You will need about one cup of cava for one large red onion. You can adjust the amount according to the size of your jar and the number of onions you want to pickle. You can also mix cava with other liquids, such as vinegar, water, or juice, to create different flavors and textures.

How to Store Cava for Pickling

If you have leftover cava after opening the bottle, you can store it in the fridge for up to three days. You can use a wine stopper or a plastic wrap to seal the bottle and prevent the cava from losing its fizz. You can also freeze cava in ice cube trays and use it later for pickling or cooking.

If you want to keep cava for longer than three days, you can transfer it to a glass jar with a tight lid and store it in a cool and dark place. This way, you can preserve the cava for up to six months. However, keep in mind that the cava will lose some of its carbonation and flavor over time.

How to Make Cava Pickled Onions: A Step-by-Step Guide

Making cava pickled onions is very easy and only takes about 30 minutes of active time. Here are the steps you need to follow:

Step 1: Gather Your Ingredients

To make cava pickled onions, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 large red onion
  • 1 cup of cava (dry or semi-dry)
  • 1/4 cup of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons of sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • A few peppercorns, cloves, bay leaves, or other spices (optional)

Step 2: Slice Your Onion

Peel your onion and cut off both ends. Then slice it thinly into rings or half-moons. You can use a mandoline or a sharp knife for this task. Try to make the slices as even as possible, so they pickle evenly.

Step 3: Make Your Brine

In a small saucepan over medium-high heat, combine the cava, vinegar, sugar, salt, and spices (if using). Stir until the sugar and salt dissolve. Then bring the mixture to a boil and remove from heat. Let it cool slightly before using.

Step 4: Pack Your Jar

Pack your onion slices into a clean glass jar with a lid. You can use any size or shape of jar, as long as it can hold all the onions and brine. You can also use multiple jars if you have a lot of onions. Press the onions down slightly to fit them in the jar.

Step 5: Pour Your Brine

Pour the brine over the onions, making sure to cover them completely. You might have some leftover brine, which you can discard or save for another batch. Close the lid tightly and shake the jar gently to distribute the brine.

Step 6: Refrigerate Your Onions

Place the jar in the fridge and let it sit overnight, or preferably for a week. The longer you let the onions pickle, the more flavorful and crunchy they will become. You can also taste them along the way and adjust the seasoning if needed.

Step 7: Enjoy Your Onions

Your cava pickled onions are ready to enjoy! You can eat them as a snack, add them to salads, sandwiches, burgers, tacos, or any other dish that needs a pop of color and flavor. You can also use the brine as a dressing or a marinade for meats and vegetables.

Cava Pickled Onions Nutrition Facts

Cava pickled onions are low in calories, fat, and sodium, but high in antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They can help boost your immune system, lower your blood pressure, and improve your digestion. Here is a table that shows the nutrition facts for one serving (1/4 cup) of cava pickled onions:

|Nutrient|Amount|% Daily Value|
|Calories|35 kcal|2%|
|Fat|0 g|0%|
|Saturated Fat|0 g|0%|
|Cholesterol|0 mg|0%|
|Sodium|147 mg|6%|
|Carbohydrates|8 g|3%|
|Fiber|1 g|4%|
|Sugar|6 g|-|
|Protein|0 g|0%|
|Vitamin A|0 IU|0%|
|Vitamin C|4 mg|7%|
|Calcium|13 mg|1%|
|Iron|0 mg|1%|

FAQs About Cava Pickled Onions

How long do cava pickled onions last?

Cava pickled onions can last for up to a month in the fridge, as long as they are kept in an airtight jar and submerged in brine. However, they might lose some of their crunchiness and flavor over time. You can tell if they are still good by checking their smell, color, and texture. If they smell bad, look moldy, or feel slimy, then you should discard them.

Can I reuse the brine for another batch of onions?

Yes, you can reuse the brine for another batch of onions, as long as it is still clear and fresh. You can also add more cava, vinegar, sugar, salt, or spices to adjust the taste and acidity. However, you should not reuse the brine more than once or twice, as it might lose its effectiveness and become contaminated.

Can I use other types of onions for this recipe?

Yes, you can use other types of onions for this recipe, such as white, yellow, or shallots. However, red onions are preferred because they have a milder flavor and a more vibrant color. You can also mix different types of onions for more variety and contrast.

Can I use other types of vinegar for this recipe?

Yes, you can use other types of vinegar for this recipe, such as white wine vinegar, red wine vinegar, balsamic vinegar, or rice vinegar. However, apple cider vinegar is recommended because it has a mild and fruity flavor that complements the cava well. You can also experiment with different ratios of vinegar and cava to find your preferred balance.

Can I add other ingredients to this recipe?

Yes, you can add other ingredients to this recipe to make it more interesting and flavorful. For example, you can add garlic cloves, ginger slices, chili peppers, mustard seeds, dill sprigs, or lemon zest to the brine. You can also add carrots, cucumbers, radishes, or cauliflower florets to the jar along with the onions.

What are some dishes that go well with cava pickled onions?

Cava pickled onions are very versatile and can go well with many dishes. Here are some examples:

  • Salads: You can add cava pickled onions to any green salad or grain salad for a crunchy and tangy and sour twist. You can also use the brine as a dressing for your salad.
  • Sandwiches: You can use cava pickled onions as a topping for your sandwiches, such as ham and cheese, turkey and avocado, or veggie and hummus. They will add some crunch and flavor to your sandwich, as well as cut through the richness of the cheese or meat.
  • Burgers: You can put cava pickled onions on your burgers, whether they are beef, chicken, or veggie. They will make your burgers more juicy and tasty, as well as contrast with the melted cheese and the soft bun.
  • Tacos: You can sprinkle cava pickled onions on your tacos, whether they are filled with fish, pork, or beans. They will give your tacos a zesty and refreshing kick, as well as balance the spiciness of the salsa or the creaminess of the sour cream.


Cava pickled onions are a delicious and easy recipe that you can make at home with just a few ingredients. They are low in calories, high in antioxidants, and versatile in use. You can enjoy them as a snack or add them to various dishes to enhance their flavor and appearance.

We hope you enjoyed this article and learned how to make cava pickled onions. If you did, please share it with your friends and family who might also love this recipe. And don’t forget to check out our other articles for more tips and tricks on how to make amazing food with cava.