This homemade pickled beet recipe is ready to eat in hours and is a delicious way to add a sweet taste of summer to your salads. These quick refrigerator pickled beets will brighten up your table!
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When it comes to beets I have not always been a big fan! I don’t think I ever voluntarily ate beets until about five years ago, when I started getting organic vegetables in a CSA share. One thing about CSAs is that you can’t pick what you get, so whatever is harvested is what you end up with. And what I started ending up with was lots and lots of beets. So I started using them in recipes and I discovered what I didn’t like was overly sweet candied beets, and that beets can be delicious! This recipe for pickled beets is my favorite way to use them.
How do you prepare the Beets?
Before you can pickled the beets they need to be cooked. There are a number of different ways of cooking them. In the past I have always roasted them by wrapped them unpeeled in aluminum foil. Then I baked them in the oven at 300 for about half an hour. When they are pierced easily by a knife they are ready. This time I used my Instant Pot to steam the beets. I placed them unpeeled on a rack with a cup of water and cooked them under pressure for 12 minutes. This is a little faster and enabled me to avoid heating up the kitchen by running the oven, always a plus in the hot weather. Either way after they have cooled the skin peels right off and they can be sliced into rounds.
How do you make Pickled Beets?
Once the beets are cooked the process of making refrigerator pickled beets is quick and easy, taking only a few minutes. The beets need to be peeled, sliced and packed into a Mason jar. I like to add a little bit of sweet onion, like a Vidalia onion, to the sliced beets. Then the brine is made by boiling vinegar and water with a little bit of sugar and spices until the sugar dissolves. The brine is poured over the beets in the Mason jar and the pickles will be ready to eat in as little as a day. Like all quick pickles this recipe is not suitable for canning and these need to be stored in the refrigerator, where they will keep for up to a month.
Some recipes for pickled beets include a lot more sugar than my recipe. But beets have one of the highest sugar contents of all vegetables, so they really don’t need a lot of added sugar. I find these pickled beets are sweet without being overwhelmingly sugary. Using cloves and cinnamon in the brine enhances the sweet flavor without overwhelming it.
What can you use Pickled Beets for?
These easy refrigerator pickled beets can be used in many different ways. They are delicious in place of cucumber pickles as a pickle on a sandwich or burger or as a side dish for roasted chicken. I also like to eat them on a sandwich, especially one with a strong tasting cheese like Gorgonzola or Roquefort. My favorite way to serve them though is on a salad. I love to add them to my summer salads for a sweet taste among the all the other vegetables.
- 1/2 c white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 1/4 c sweet onion sliced
- 4 peppercorns
- 3 cloves
- 2 Tablespoons sugar
- 1 cinnamon stick
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- 2 cups beets cooked and sliced
- Combine the red wine vinegar and water in a small saucepan.
- Add the onion, peppercorns, cloves, sugar, cinnamon stick and salt.
- Bring the brine to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
- Meanwhile take the cooked beets and slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices.
- Pack the beets in a Mason jar and pour the hot brine over the beets, removing the cinnamon stick.
- Let the jar cool on the counter for an hour or so, and then refrigerate.
- The beets are ready to eat after 1 day and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.
Tips for Pickled Beet Recipe
- If it is winter or you don’t have any fresh beets you can actually make pickled beets from canned beets. In this case you don’t have to steam or roast the beets, you just pack them into a Mason jar and make the brine.
- Red onions or shallots also make nice additions to the jar of pickled beets.