Quick Pickled Beets Recipe
Find out how to make quick refrigerator pickled beets with this easy recipe! Pickled beets have good for you nutrition and are packed with flavor.
We are all familiar with pickles. I even shared a recipe for Quick Refrigerator Dill Pickles a few years ago, and if you haven’t tried those yet, head there first. Lately our family has been loving other pickled veggies though.
I’ve been discovering more and more pickled vegetables like pickled green beans, cauliflower, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and yes, beets. One of my favorite store bought brands, Pacific Pickle Works, is right here in my town of Santa Barbara. Pickled beets are a family favorite, so I had to try them first. What should we pickle next? This quick pickled beet recipe is meant to be stored in the refrigerator, rather than traditionally canned and preserved in a shelf-stable way.
How to Make Picked Beets
We’ve already done several tasty beet recipes, from Beet Burgers to Beet Salad, and even a Beet Smoothie. When our garden was thriving we had multiple colors of beets growing and were roasting a bunch weekly. Pickling beets requires just a few simple steps. Let’s take a look!
Step 1: Prepare the Beets
Beets often come in bunches of 2 large or 3 medium beets. The most common color is deep purple-red, but there are other varieties such as golden, and those would work for this recipe too.
Cut off the beet greens, but save for later – they are great sauteed with a little olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper. We used to feed the beet greens to our chickens too. Wash the beets but leave the skin on.
Step 2: Cook the Beets
There are several ways to cook beets. For maximum sweetness and flavor, roasting beets is my preference. More recently though, I’ve started pressure cooking whole beets in the Instant Pot. It saves so much time and the beets taste great. Pressure cook whole medium sized beets for 15-20 minutes in a steamer basket with 1 cup of water in the liner. Carefully quick release the steam. More detailed information can be found in our Beet Salad post. Find the best plant based Instant Pot recipes here!
Step 3: Peel and Cut Beets
Cut off the bottom of the root and the 1/2″ off the top. Once beets are fork tender, the skins will slip right off. I find this easiest to do under cool running water as it can be messy.
If your beets are small, you can leave them whole. For medium to large beets, cut into sixths or smaller wedges.
Step 4: Make Pickling Liquid
This is where all the great flavor that will infuse into the beets comes from. Simmer apple cider vinegar with water, spices, and a little sugar. If you’re not sure what to do with the rest of the apple cider vinegar bottle, try Apple Cider Vinegar Salad Dressing or Apple Cider Vinegar Drink.
Step 5: Pour Liquid Over Beets
Add the beets to a quart-sized canning jar. A bunch of 3 medium sized beets yielded just the right amount for this size. If your beets don’t all fit, fit in what you can and enjoy the rest fresh. Add garlic slices and dill and pour the pickling liquid to cover by about 1/2″. You may not need all of the liquid. If spices remain in the saucepan, just spoon them into the jar.
Seal and store your quick pickled beets in the refrigerator – they should be good for a month or two!
Canning Pickled Beets
Some people, especially those with a large crop of beets coming out of the garden, may prefer to can the beets so they are shelf stable. When canning it’s very important to use specific amounts of acid for food safety reasons. Low acid foods must be pressure canned while high acid foods can be canned in a water bath. The recipe in the card below is for quick refrigerator pickled beets, not traditionally canned beets. I use the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving for canning which you can find via my Amazon Affiliate link here. In this book, the liquid is made with 2 1/2 cups white vinegar, 1 cup water, and 1 cup sugar.
Pickled Beet Variations
You can play around with spices here. For sweet spiced picked beets use 1 cinnamon stick and 5 whole cloves instead of the other spices, garlic, and dill. For spicy pickled beets, add more red pepper flakes.
How to Use Pickled Beets
- 1 bunch beets (3 medium sized = 3 cups cooked beet quarters)
- 1 ½ cups vinegar
- 1 ½ cups water
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ teaspoon sea salt
- ½ teaspoon whole peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon mustard seed
- pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 cloves garlic, sliced
- 1 small bunch fresh dill
- Cut the greens off 1-inch from the top of the beetroot and save for another use. Wash the beets.
- Cook beets following the directions below in the notes section. Allow beets to cool enough to handle. Slip the skins off under cool running water. Cut into wedges.
- Meanwhile, make the pickling liquid. Add the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, peppercorns, mustard seeds and red pepper flakes into a small saucepan set over medium heat. Bring to a simmer and stir to dissolve the sugar. Continue to simmer for 5 minutes to bring out the flavors.
- Place the beet wedges, garlic, and dill into a quart sized canning jar, leaving at least 1/2" to the top of the jar. Pour the pickling liquid over the beets into the jar, leaving 1/2" headspace. You may not need all of the liquid. If spices remain in the saucepan, just spoon them into the jars.
How to Cook Beets:
- To cook the beets in your Instant Pot, add one cup of water to the pot and place beets on the steamer basket. Cook on manual mode for 15-20 minutes depending on their size, then quick pressure release. Carefully remove the lid and make sure they are fork-tender.
- To boil beets, place into a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil and cook until tender, 20-40 minutes depending on size.
- To roast in foil, or a Dutch oven, follow the linked instructions.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 35 Total Fat: 0g Saturated Fat: 0g Trans Fat: 0g Unsaturated Fat: 0g Cholesterol: 0mg Carbohydrates: 6g Net Carbohydrates: 0g Fiber: 1g Sugar Alcohols: 0g Protein: 1g