How to Pickle Beets

The sweet and colorful beet pairs incredibly well with a tart vinegar brine.

Beets

Photo by: Anna_Pustynnikova / Shutterstock.com

Anna_Pustynnikova / Shutterstock.com

Beets have been hanging around a long time. Literally. They were among the vegetables grown in the Hanging Gardens of Babylon around 800 B.C. The Ancient Greeks used their leaves both as a culinary herb and medicinally to combat fevers and in the treatment of wounds. It wasn’t until around the 3rd century A.D. that the Romans finally regarded the root as edible. Perhaps not coincidentally, they also considered beets to be an aphrodisiac. That last part may not have been altogether wrong. Beets are loaded with boron, which is known to play a role in the production of human sex hormones. Probably coincidentally, beets also happen to be among my favorite vegetables to “quick” pickle.

Containing among the highest sugar content of any vegetable, the sweet and colorful beet pairs incredibly well with a tart vinegar brine. And because whole beets store well in cold conditions, they are a great candidate for winter pickling before the spring crops arrive.

Quick pickling (also called refrigerator pickling) skips the sometimes time-consuming task of water bath canning. Once brined, jars are refrigerated and will be ready to eat in just a few days. This is a handy method for small batch canning when the results will be consumed within a matter of weeks. They rarely last that long around here.

Quick Pickled Beets

3 pounds beets
1 small onion, sliced
1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1  cup white vinegar
1 cup water

  • Cut stems from beets and scrub clean.
  • Wrap beets loosely in aluminum foil and arrange on a baking sheet to roast in a 400 degree oven for 50-60 minutes.
  • Allow beets to cool, then peel (skin should release freely. If not, return to oven for 10 minutes).
  • Cut beets into slices and pack beets with sliced onion into 2 pint jars.
  • Combine cloves, sugar, salt, vinegar and water in a pot and bring to boil.
  • Remove brine from heat and let rest 5 minutes.
  • Pour brine into jars to cover beets.
  • Place lids on jars and allow to cool to room temperature.
  • Refrigerate at least 3 days before serving.
Keep Reading

Next Up

Garden to Table: Beets

With the right preparation, these are the jewels of your kitchen.

Roasted Beet Salad

Try roasted beets in this cold summertime salad.

Best of the Beets: Four Great Beet Recipes

These tasty dishes aim to please whether you're wary of this root vegetable or a longtime beet-lover.

How to Make Dill Pickles

A dill pickle recipe that keeps the dilly punch in the crunch.

Make Beet Hot Sauce

Get to the root of this spicy seasoning with this recipe for a novel twist on hot sauce.

With Borscht the Beet Goes On

Celebrate Valentine's Day with this bright red bowl of delicious.

Perfect Pickled Okra

This tangy recipe stirs up memories of summers at grandma's house.

Refrigerator Pickles

Pickling pickles in the fridge is fast, forgiving and oh so tasty.

How to Pickle Green Beans

Serve up a zesty, crunchy snack in a pinch with these easy instructions.

Yes, You Can Pickle That: Pickled Garlic

Pickling only enhances the flavor of this beloved bulb. 

Follow Us Everywhere

Join the party! Don't miss HGTV in your favorite social media feeds.