Pickled Beets Recipe (With Fall Spices!)

Don’t think you like beets?  You might like pickled beets because they taste like an explosion of fall spices distributed through a sweet and vinegary brine packed with flavour.  GREAT on salads.

Moody photo with a dark background featuring a black plate filled with dark red pickled beets and mason jars filled with beets.

Skip right to the recipe.

You haven’t lived until you’ve eaten a pickled beet.

Unless you’ve kissed someone in front of the Eiffel tower, while cherry blossoms rain out of the sky.  That’d probably win out in the “you haven’t lived until”  contest over the pickled beet thing.

But pickled beets are pretty darn good. I bet they’d taste even better while in Paris. You could clink your fork into the mason jar while wearing a luxurious but casual, all cream, down to the ground dress  designed by your best friend Ralph Lauren, who presented it to you at sunset, on horseback, while vacationing at his ranch. That you’re considering buying.  Once you get back from Paris.

Now that I think of it, pickled beets are kindda shit, compared to all the other great things that could happen in one’s life.

Let’s try this again. Pickled Beets! They’re better than an open wound!

Good. Glad we got that straightened out.

There are a few variations of pickled beetroot and I like the ones with sugar, vinegar and autumn spices. They have a similar taste to my bread and butter pickles. And I mean similar. Not the same. This pickled beet recipe is different but similar. 

This year I tried a new pickled beet canning recipe because … shock of all shocks … I was finding my old recipe a bit too sweet.  I guess my tastes have changed.  Or sugar has become sweeter in recent years.

I assume since you’re here, and you’re still reading, you too have an interest in pickling some of these suckers. Maybe you like them, or maybe you’ve never tried to make them, or maybe you’re going to the Eiffel Tower soon and figure you should bring a jar. Regardless of what the reason is, you’re in the right place.

Because I am right now, at this very moment, going to share my most recent Pickled Beet recipe.


Looking down on a scarred black cutting board covered in chopped beets and one whole beet with the skin on.




  1. Put a large pot of water on the stove.  Bring to a boil.
  2. Cook 10-15 pounds of beets.  I normally roast beets but for this many I find boiling them easier.
  3. Mix brine ingredients together.
  4. Peel and chop beets.
  5. Add beets to brine and simmer 10 minutes.
  6. Pour beets and brine into jars and process.

That’s it.

Cooked beets with the skins removed on a black cutting board.

The easiest way to remove the skins is to cut the tip and root off, then rub the skin off with a paper towel.  The skins should just come right off.  Since this is real life, there will be the odd stubborn one.  Those ones are assheads and you can either throw them at someone or use a knife to get the skin off.  Or throw them at someone.


Chopped dark red beets on a black background with sun shining on them.

You can either quarter or slice your beets.  I like to quarter them.

A ladle made out of bamboo lowering pickled beets into a wide mouth mason jar.

If the quarters are too big, cut the quarters in half.

Bamboo ladle pouring dark red brine into a jar of pickled beets.

Even if you don’t happen to like the taste of pickled beets I almost feel like you should make them based on how pretty they are.

Cleaning the rim of a mason jar filled with newly pickled beets.

Don’t ever forget to wipe the rim of your jar when you’re canning. One little drip will ruin any hopes of getting a proper seal.  Then you’ll cry.

Removing the air bubbles in a mason jar with a plastic stick prior to canning.

If you don’t have one of these little metal sticks, grab one here.  They’re made for picking up the sealers out of the hot water and they’re great.  If you don’t have any of the handy canning stuff, get this whole kit.  You get the magnetic stick, a can grabber, funnel and a bunch of other stuff.



Are Pickled Beets as Good For You As Raw Beets?

Beets are really high in antioxidants (they’re on the top 10 list in fact) But when you pickle them they lose a percentage of their antioxidant qualities.

Plus of course, pickled beets are filled with sugar which isn’t what most people would consider a healthy addition to a vitamin packed vegetable.

So no, pickled beets aren’t as good for you as fresh beets. If you’re looking for the BEST health option, raw or roasted beets are your best choice.


Canned Pickled Beets Recipe

How to make and then can pickled beets to store all winter long.

Pickled Beets

5 from 1 vote
Print Pin Rate
Course: Canning/Preserves
Cuisine: Yummy
Author: The Art of Doing Stuff


  • 10 lbs beets
  • 3 cups water
  • 7 cups vinegar
  • 4 cups sugar
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cloves
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons allspice
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • 3 Tablespoons Kosher or pickling salt


  • Cook and peel beets.
  • Cut into quarters.
  • Mix together remaining ingredients in large pot.
  • Add quartered beets to brine in pot and simmer 10 minutes.
  • Fill hot, sterilized jars to 1/2" from top with beets.
  • Fill with brine to 1/2" from top of jar.
  • Remove any air bubbles in jar.
  • Wipe rim clean.
  • Secure with seal and screw band.
  • Process beets 30 minutes in hot water bath.

How to Use Pickled Beets

Red pickled beets on a plate.

There are a lot of different pickled beet recipes out there and there are a LOT of different ways to process them.  Up until a few years ago I always just jarred them in hot jars, covered them with hot liquid and called it a day.  It’s always worked fine for my family.  But now that I have a blog  I have to be responsible and suggest methods that might not kill my readers.  Because I lose enough readers every month simply by offending them.  I can’t start actually killing them off now.

So I decided to give them a 30 minute water bath for your benefit. Do you need to refrigerate pickled beets?  Not if you process them.  Will eating a pickled beet make you think you’re dying when you poop the next day?  Yes.  Pickled beets will make your poop look like its bleeding.  Will pickled beets turn your urine red?  You’d have to eat a lot of them, but yes. It’s possible.

Kissing in front of the Eiffel tower while it rains cherry blossoms?  Technically also possible.  Thankfully.


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Pickled Beets Recipe (With Fall Spices!)


  1. Cam Pyper says:

    I do believe the writer was channelling a drunken Hemmingway when this article was written, if the latter had been a foodie. Delightful.

  2. Mary W says:

    Almost didn’t read today – assumed it was a pressure can job. But Gee, pickled beets are yum. So I read and am so happy – got to try this. I just finished a quick pickle sandwich of Heilmanns’ mayo on toasted homemade bread with Romano and cracked pepper sprinkles then garden Egyptian spinach stacked high and beautiful neon pink quick red pickles piled on top. It was a thing of beauty but tasted fine, also. It was what I had on hand. I love my tiny backyard garden and my homemade teas and lunches! Especially when I can read your blog while eating.

  3. whitequeen96 says:

    Hmm . . . I can’t seem to get to the newer comments. I just wanted you to know that while there is no way in h*ll I would eat or can pickled beets, I had to read this post because you’re so much fun to follow!

  4. Tim Stone says:

    Hi Karen and Friends,
    after you have boiled the beets, quarter and drain them and put them into a jar, top up the jar almost to the top with …..Cider Apple Vinegar! add 1 dessert spoon of brown sugar granules and a teaspoon of flower honey (any honey will probably do in fact), put the top on the jar and gently turn it up and down half a dozen times “slowly” to mix the contents……leave for at least two weeks in a dark cupboard. Even beats that kiss in front of the Eiffel Tower…(done that without the cherry leaves though). Oh, and my beets are home grown…its dead easy from seed! I use Douwe Egberts coffee jars (when they are empty of course).

  5. Catt-in-Kentucky says:

    I love quick refrigerator pickled thinly sliced onions, carrots, and radishes. I don’t eat much sugar, so this spring I made refrigerator quick pickled onions and radishes (no cooking) using pure liquid Stevia for sweetener which I buy from Whole Foods. I seriously could not tell a taste difference between stevia sweetened and sugar sweetened pickled veggies. They stay edible for about 4 to 5 days in the fridge before they start degrading.
    I have not tried using this method with beets. If the beets are cooked and cubed or sliced and then pickled with the vinegar and added stevia and put in the fridge for a few hours, they would probably taste just fine.
    Julienned pickled beets in salads, tacos even avocado toast (with a fried egg) are delish. Eating them as a condiment might be more appealing to those with “beet aversion” than chowing down on whole pickled beets.

  6. Cherie says:

    Hi Karen I might give this recipe a try. Today I did your recipe for bread and butter pickles and put them in a boiling water bath for 10 mins because, well, because my fridge has no more room. Do you make green tomato chow chow? If not, and it you would like my recipe, just let me brag and tell you that I win friends with them. Everyone needs friends, right? Many years I make a double batch because I have so many people who beg me for a jar every year. Honest! Would I lie about such a thing? Anyway, I’ll send it to you via email if you would like it and you can claim it as your own later. My ego is intact, sort of, so I don’t even need a reference. Besides which, I got the recipe from a friend whose N.S. friend gave it to her about 40 yrs ago. It is one of the few recipes I have never altered at all. Having eaten it in N.S. — where I left my soul in grade seven when we moved back to N.B. after two years in N.S.– I fell in love and have made it every fall for decades.

  7. Lori Leland says:

    Easy to follow and turned out so delicious!

    • Karen says:

      That’s great, thanks so much for leaving a comment and review Lori! (try them in a salad of spring greens and a few nuts or pumpkin seeds by the way … SO good) ~ karen!

  8. Toni says:

    This is only my second year canning anything. I have my beets peeled and ready was looking for a brime that suited me when I came across yours. The ingredients is what I am looking for but Your sence of Humor is what sold me. Looking forward for more of it

  9. Phyllis Kraemer says:

    I remember in one of your posts you noted which ones were your favourites…could you remind me please which ones they were? Thanks so much!!

    • Karen says:

      Which what were my favourite? Which beet variety for growing? ~ karen!

      • Phyllis Kraemer says:

        Aya!! Poor me! Glad u r a mind reader! Beets.. in general!!

      • Karen says:

        :) I like Kestrel beets and Detroit Dark Red. But there are a LOT of beet varieties – I haven’t tried them all yet. ;) ~ karen!

  10. Lynn says:

    I use almost the identical recipe for my beets an yes it’s sooo good .
    Family loves them except for one son in law he never had beets before an it kind of freaked him out (the after affects ) I mean . So he will not eat any beats again.
    I did Candy Cane Beets and Golden Yellow this year as well also gave seeds for Golden beets to sister in law they were a big hit with her as well.
    No Red hands .
    I agree roasted beets have to be second best way to eat beets. ( roast like a baked potato).
    Third way sliced thinly raw on salads .

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