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Refrigerator Pickled Beets

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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!

plate of pickled beets next to a jar of beets

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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.

I love making quick and easy refrigerator pickles in the summer, like traditional bread and butter pickles or less common lime pickled radish. Pickles are an excellent way to use summer produce.

Red beets for making pickled beets

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.

bowl of sliced, roasted beets

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.

Ingredients for brine for quick pickled beets

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.

Jar of refrigerator pickled beets

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.

Tasty summer salad made with pickled beets

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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.
Pickled beets on a small plate next to a pickle jar

Find more Easy Pickle Recipes

Yield: 8

Pickled Beets

Pickled Beets

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.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes


  • 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


  1. Combine the vinegar and water in a small saucepan. 
  2. Add the onion, peppercorns, cloves, sugar, cinnamon stick and salt.
  3. Bring the brine to a boil and boil for 5 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile take the cooked beets and slice them into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  5. Pack the beets in a Mason jar and pour the hot brine over the beets, removing the cinnamon stick.
  6. Let the jar cool on the counter for an hour or so, and then refrigerate.
  7. The beets are ready to eat after 1 day and will keep in the refrigerator for up to a month.


This recipe is not appropriate for canning or long term storage.

Nutrition facts are estimates.

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Nutrition Information:



Amount Per Serving: Calories: 32Sodium: 101mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 1gSugar: 5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Refrigerated pickled beets - an easy summer pickle in a mason jar
By on August 5th, 2018

11 thoughts on “Refrigerator Pickled Beets”

  1. I made your recipe and they were delicious! So I decided to use the brine for making canned pickled beets. It was only after I had a canner full timing on the stove that I saw your note about the recipe not being suitable for canning or long term storage! Can you tell me why ?

    • Because she did not include canning instructions. Which is as you know necessary when you can. “The sealing of the lids” so bacteria doesn’t get in.

  2. Truly fantastic recipe. I adore pickled beets, but never wanted to make them because I’m not crazy about canning. This recipe is fast, easy, not too sweet & delicious! Thanks so much, Anne G.

  3. I have made these and they are so good I made some for friends and my sister! I loved beets but hate canning. These are so quick and easy. Instead of regular sugar I used monkfruit sugar and I left out the onion. Delicious! This recipe is a keeper.

  4. I made 3 beets ( first time) just to see.. Amazing! I did erythritol AnD stevia .. Turned out So good.I will probably increase the brine to match the beet.. As it will go on…

    • I’m wondering the same thing. Since she hasn’t replied to you yet, my thought is the cinnamon and cloves probably add an earthy depth of flavor that compliments the beets. I’m going to check out the ingredients in my pickling spice mix and may use the spice mix AND a cinnamon stick just as an experiment.

      • Don’t you love the sites where the person puts out a recipe and never, ever responds to the comments or questions? Sheeesh 🙁

  5. I have canned beets and I see no reason you couldn’t can the beets in this recipe. Make sure the jars and lids are boiled in water to kill any bacteria. Put you beets in the hot jars, pour the brine over the beets, fill up to about 1/2 inch below top of the lid. Wipe jar lid off so there will be a good seal, boil 30 minutes in your canner. Take them out and wait for the magic pop of the seal. I hope this helps even though it isn’t my recipe for those who want to can them.

  6. When I pickle beets I make my brine and add the raw beets to the brine and cook both together. When beets are done I put the pot in a sink of cold water to cool them down. I use to can them but realized putting the beets and brine in freezer bags and freezing has the same flavour and texture


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