Pickled Beets

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Pickled beets are easy to make with freshly cooked beets and a brine made with sugar, pickling salt, and vinegar. This recipe is one of my "must-do" yearly canning recipes when I have a bumper crop of fresh beets. 

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Prep Time:
10 mins
Cook Time:
25 mins
Additional Time:
15 mins
Total Time:
50 mins
Servings:
60
Yield:
10 (1-pint) jars

Pickled beets make a great addition to so many meals — like sandwiches, salads, and burgers — but they're also delicious enjoyed by themselves. This recipe is great for when you have loads of fresh beets lying around that need to be used. It yields 10 jars of pickled beets (so that you will always have some of these beauties on hand).

Of course, you can use the servings toggle to scale this recipe down (or up) depending on your pickling needs. But these jars will last for 12 months — and pickled beets make great food gifts!

How to Pickle Beets

You'll find the full step-by-step recipe and instructions below, but here's a brief overview of how to make pickled beets:

Cook the Beets

Boil beets until tender, about 15 minutes. Reserve two cups of beet water, drain the rest, then peel the beets.

Sterilize the Jars

Sterilize wide-mouth canning jars and lids by immersing in boiling water for at least 10 minutes. Fill each jar with beets and several whole cloves.

Make the Brine

Boil sugar, beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt. Then, pour the hot brine over the beets and seal the jars.

Learn more:What Is Pickling Salt and What's a Good Substitute?

Process the Jars

Place a trivet at the bottom of a stockpot and fill the pot halfway with water. Bring the water to a boil, and add the jars. Pour in more boiling water until the jars are completely covered (the water should be at least 1 inch above the top of the jars). Bring the water in the stockpot to a boil, cover, and process for 10 minutes.

Learn more: How to Can: A Beginner's Guide to Canning and Preserving

Pickled vs. Marinated

Pickled foods can be marinated, but not all marinated foods are pickled. Marinating means flavoring a food with acid. While pickling means preserving a food with salt or with acid.

To be considered pickled, the food needs to be preserved in the brine or marinade and not just flavored by the brine or marinade.

What Vinegar Should You Use for Pickled Beets?

This recipe calls for white vinegar, but you can also use cider vinegar or rice wine vinegar to make pickled beets.

How to Use Pickled Beets

Pickled beets are versatile, so you'll always want to have a jar on hand. If you need some inspiration, try one of these recipes where you can (and should) use your pickled beets:

Spinach and Goat Cheese Salad with Beetroot Vinaigrette
Goddess Beet Salad
Roasted Beets and Sauteed Beet Greens
Tuna Melt with Egg

And make sure to save the pickled beet juice so you can whip up a batch of pickled eggs!

How to Store Pickled Beets

Because these pickled beets are processed, they are shelf-stable and do not need to be stored in the refrigerator when sealed. Store canned pickled beets in a cool, dry place for up to 12 months.

Once opened, pickled beets will last about three to four days in the refrigerator.

Allrecipes Community Tips and Praise

"This is a great recipe, except the amount of cloves, I put about 6 cloves per pint jar and it turned out perfect! Just like my Great Aunt made. This is the first time I have made Pickled Beets," says Linda Henderson.

"I tried this recipe for the first time last fall after receiving a bunch of beets from my uncle's garden. I was really nervous, since I'd never done any canning before, but it seemed easy enough. I was thrilled when the result was a pickled beet that tasted just like my mom's! I planted beets myself this year and am canning my third batch. This recipe is a keeper," raves GameDayGourmet.

"Made some last week, cracked one open this morning to try! Great simple recipe, and I had no issues with the processing time, everything sealed perfectly, and as it's all hot and sterilized it should be perfect! This will be my go-to for kitchen gifts from now on," according to Heaven-Leigh Labelle.

Editorial contributions by Bailey Fink

Ingredients

  • 10 pounds fresh small beets, stems removed

  • 2 cups white sugar

  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt

  • 1 quart white vinegar

  • ¼ cup whole cloves, or as needed

Directions

  1. Place beets in a large stockpot with water to cover. Bring to a boil, and cook until tender, about 15 minutes.

  2. Meanwhile, inspect 10 pint-sized jars for cracks and rings for rust, discarding any defective ones. Immerse in simmering water until beets are ready. Wash new, unused lids and rings in warm soapy water.

  3. Drain beets, reserving 2 cups of beet water. When beets are cool enough to handle, peel and discard skins.

  4. Fill each sterilized jar with beets. Evenly divide cloves among the jars.

  5. Combine sugar, 2 cups of beet water, vinegar, and pickling salt in a large saucepan; bring to a rapid boil.

  6. Pour the hot brine over the beets in the jars, and seal the lids.

  7. Place a rack in the bottom of a large stockpot and fill halfway with water. Bring to a boil over high heat, then carefully lower the jars into the pot using a holder. Leave a 2-inch space between the jars. Pour in more boiling water if necessary until the water level is at least 1 inch above the tops of the jars. Bring the water to a full boil, cover the pot, and process for 10 minutes.

    close up image of a beet on a fork and beets in jars
    DOTDASH MEREDITH FOOD STUDIOS

Tips

If using large beets, cut them into quarters before boiling.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)

60 Calories
0g Fat
14g Carbs
1g Protein
Nutrition Facts
Servings Per Recipe 60
Calories 60
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 0g 0%
Sodium 176mg 8%
Total Carbohydrate 14g 5%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Total Sugars 12g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 4mg 19%
Calcium 15mg 1%
Iron 1mg 3%
Potassium 246mg 5%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

** Nutrient information is not available for all ingredients. Amount is based on available nutrient data.

(-) Information is not currently available for this nutrient. If you are following a medically restrictive diet, please consult your doctor or registered dietitian before preparing this recipe for personal consumption.

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