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Easy Pickled Beets

Easy Pickled Beets

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Oh Beet, how I love your bright jeweled color as well as your rich earthy taste.  While most people, push you off to the side of the produce aisle, I toss you into my cart.  As I push you around the store gathering inspiration I keep thinking about this recipe for Easy Pickled Beets.

Easy Pickled Beets

Whenever I get a craving for pickled food I tend to buy them already pickled.  Even though I grew up around a household of canners, I have yet to really give it a try.  Honestly, I am scared of ruining a wonderful batch of produce, to a case of Botulism.  Recently, I have been doing what I like to call, “small batch canning production”.  I have made jam with plums and berries which is delightful on toast.  Now I have made pickled beets.

The inspiration for this week’s recipe came from a salad we recently had at a favorite hangout.  It was made with simple house-cured pickled beets, a little shallot dressing, and watercress.   I immediately came home with a wild idea to make pickled beets so I purchased canning jars and went to work.

This recipe is super simple.  If you are afraid of canning or should I say nervous, this will definitely break the ice and now I have the canning bug.  

I had hoped to use orange or golden yellow beets, but could only find red beets.  I used white wine vinegar instead of cider or red wine, as that is what I had on hand.  As well I kept the sugar content low;  I did not want the beets to be overly sweet.  Besides, beets have a naturally high sugar content, why add more?  Then I tossed in some tarragon as it pairs so well with beets.  I told you it would be simple!  

How did they turn out?  Wonderful, so much so, we have been enjoying them straight from the jar.  They haven’t even made it into a recipe yet.  They are still crisp and not overly astringent, which can happen with vinegar.  They are lightly floral, thank you tarragon.  They are absolutely perfect.  I am sure my great-grandmother, grandmother and Tia would be proud.


Easy Pickled Beets


  • Sterile the jar before placing the beets into it even if you think you will eat quickly.  Better safe than sorry.  I am a freak about bacteria.  You can wash the jar and lids with hot soapy water, place the still wet jar onto a clean baking sheet into a preheated oven (170) and let sit for 15 minutes.  Turn off the oven and let the jar and lids cool until ready to use.  


  • Glass Jar big enough to fit 8 small beets. 

Recipe:  Easy Pickled Beets


8 smallish beets

1 cup white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon sugar

2 sprigs tarragon

How To:

Scrub the beets and remove the greens.

Place the beets into a saucepan covered with cold water. Place on the stove and bring to a low simmer. Simmer the beets until they are fork tender.

It will depend on the size of your beets, but, it should take 45 – 60 minutes.

Remove the beets from the pot and immediately plunge into cold water.

Remove the outer skin using a paring knife.

Pat the beets dry with a paper towel, then cut them in half.

Place into a sterile jar.

In a small saucepan add the vinegar and sugar.

Bring to a boil.

Pour the mixture over the beets.

Tuck in the tarragon.

Seal the jar with a lid.

Let the jar of beets cool on the counter, then refrigerate for two days.


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Kelly Sepich

Wednesday 12th of September 2012

How long do these canned beets last in the pantry?

Denise Woodward

Wednesday 12th of September 2012

Hi Kelly, not sure of the shelve life as I have only done small batches and we usually eat them like crazy. Sean over at Punked Domestic can probably answer that question pretty well - he cans a lot more than I do. Just starting out here.

wanda zuroff

Thursday 6th of September 2012

yes, they would be proud of you as I am


Wednesday 5th of September 2012

I've roasted beets but never pickled beets before - sounds like a great way to enjoy these pretty veggies.