Sumac Onions (Turkish Onion Salad)

Marinated red onions with sumac in a white bowl and a spoon in it.

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5 from 1 review

This tangy Turkish Sumac Onion Salad is a quick and easy side dish that pairs perfectly with kebabs, BBQs (mangal), and more. Thinly sliced onions are marinated with sumac, lemon, and olive oil, creating a zesty and crunchy salad. Ready in just 5 minutes, this vibrant salad adds a burst of flavor to any meal.


Units Scale
  • 2 large onions (red or white)
  • 2-3 teaspoons sumac (please read the note)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pul biber (red pepper flakes), optional
  • 1/4 cup parsley, chopped
  • Half lemon, juiced
  • 2 teaspoons pomegranate molasses
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil


  1. Peel and slice the onions thinly. Put them in a bowl.
  2. Sprinkle sumac, salt and red pepper flakes over onions. Gently massage them with your hand.
  3. Add in parsley, lemon juice, pomegranate molasses and olive oil. Stir to combine.
  4. Serve as a condiment alongside chicken or meat dishes, as a garnish in sandwiches or wraps.


  1. If the onions you use are too bitter, sprinkle a little salt over the thin slices and soak them in cold water for 1-2 minutes. Gently squeeze them and drain. This step will remove the bitterness.
  2. The amount of sumac is a personal preference. You can start with adding 2 teaspoons and then increase if you want.
  3. Pul biber (red pepper flakes) is not a staple ingredient in this recipe, but in the south of Turkey, it is often used alongside sumac and we love it.
  4. It is the same for pomegranate molasses. Not a staple ingredient, but it is always used in the South of Turkey. And we highly recommend it in this sumac onion salad. With its sour and sweet taste, your salad will get even tastier.