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. Sabina says:

    I dislike beets, can’t get past the “dirt” taste. I’m still here though because your blog is the highlight of my day :)

  2. Jody says:

    Since I have excess beets right now, including white beets, I need to give this a go. The only thing that will be missing with the white beets is the red poop. But…. will I have white poop???

  3. Renee Ryz says:

    Can that base recipe be used to pickle other things? Like carrots or mushrooms, or the dreaded brussel sprout? Also, I have a couple of Ball canning books that are way over 15 years old. I always double the processing time when I make my apple butter & sauce. Actually I am too afraid to try tomatoes just for that reason.

  4. Mary W says:

    My daughter hates beets because they taste like dirt and I’m wondering (after reading all the comments about dirt) if beets aren’t a little like wine – she loves the earthy wines and I hate them, prefer the sweeter. I love beets anyway at all, especially the greens. We’ve been to several wine tastings and always the same results – she is a tannin person, I’m a untannin person.
    Got to try the pickles since I’m going to try the sprouts but my favorite way to eat beets is roasted and sliced, over lettuce with goat cheese, candied pecans, and fresh pears or strawberries. Beets and goat cheese is heavenly.

  5. Sheila Turchyn says:

    Oh boy…another recipe that brings me back to my childhood and the smell of beets (amongst other things!) getting pickled! Our home was full of those wonderful aromas of fall foods getting ready for winter. A delight for all the senses. Thank you! I guess I’m pickling beets this weekend!

  6. Lynn says:

    All the ‘asshead beets’ would have to go in the trash in my house. Anything that behaves in an ‘asshead’ manner is in danger of destruction. I usually give a warning but if the poor behavior continues, into the trash it goes–no matter what it is. I draw the line, however, at throwing out the hubby & the dogs–they are in a special class–and I love them more than air! But the electric can opener that wouldn’t open cans–to the dump!

  7. TrackB says:

    I love, love, love pickled beets. I hide them from my family even though they would rather have an open wound than eat a beet. Better safe than sorry when it comes to beets!

  8. Jane Doe says:

    Ok, for those of us who don’t have any of the canning stuff, and really don’t want to go down that road. Because the last time we did– well– we’re still making mayo and pumpkin pies from scratch– Can this recipe be cut down and you just, you know, end up with a batch or two for dinner?

  9. Jenny says:

    Alas, I cannot get behind pickled beets (or beets in any form. Blech). My mom makes them all the time and I have had coworkers ask me for her pickled beets “because they’re so good” because I am an ungrateful child and give away the pickled beets that she gives me. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

  10. Bunguin says:

    Dwight Schrute would be proud.

  11. Andrea says:

    I would end up with beat juice all down the front of my beautiful cream Ralph Lauren outfit

  12. Kelly says:

    It doesn’t really take that many beets to turn your pee red. The first time it happened, I panicked and was debating whether to call my doc or go directly to the ER when it dawned on me that I had eaten beets the night before.

    For me, a typical serving will give my pee a pinkish tinge, and two servings make it magenta.

  13. Kim Kelley says:

    Does the car ad at the beginning of your video pay your rent? :-)
    Inquiring minds and all….

    • Karen says:

      Hey Kim. The ads run through a network. Sometimes they’re long ads, sometimes they’re short ads. So what you see might not be what I or someone else sees. Just kind of the luck (or unluck) of the draw. And if it was long, then yes, I imagine it is paying my rent, lol. ~ karen!

  14. Charlene says:

    Although no fan of the InstantPot for many things it does a great job of cooking beets!

  15. Lush says:

    Hi Karen
    Would have loved to have watched the video but it went straight to an ad & stayed there. :(
    Your latest video section also just stayed on ads – du fuq happening here?
    Might be cause I am in Blighty & not Canada but thought I would let you know.
    I. LOVE. BEETS! so thanks for the recipe.
    Lush x

    • Karen says:

      Hey Lush. No it shouldn’t have anything to do with you not being in Canada. Different ads just happen to run. The odd time it’s a long ad. If you were to reload the page and watch it again chances are you wouldn’t have an ad, or it would just be a short 10 or 15 second one. ~ karen!

  16. L says:

    Just a curious query. Is there a purpose for the ID tape on your jars other than just that, ID? I’ve just never seen anything like that in all my canning years. Thanks.

  17. Sandra D says:

    Coop and SuperStore had beets on for less than $4 for 10 pounds last week, but I still have a half dozen left from 2015. Here’s my recipe (pretty similar). I don’t process mine, either. I think the vinegar keeps ’em.

    Mom’s Pickled Beets (that’s MY mom, BTW)

    Boil 3-4 pds of small beets until tender. Cool and peel.

    Mix together:

    2 c sugar
    2 c water
    2 c vinegar
    1 tsp allspice
    1 tsp cloves
    1 T cinnamon

    Pour over prepared beets and simmer 15 minutes. Pack in jars and seal. Makes 2 quarts.

    Did 2 batches at a time (2 pots) – almost 5 pds each from a 10 pd bag.

    Did 1.5 times the sauce for the first batch – had some left over so just made the recipe as is, for the second batch..

    Got almost 13 pints, with 3 cups of juice left.

    • Karen says:

      Ha! What’s funny is that’s the recipe I used to use but the last time I made it, it tasted SO sweet to me that I changed it up. :) ~ karen!

  18. Stephanie says:

    Beets.taste.like.dirt. No matter what you do to them or if they are regular or golden or whatever. DIRT

  19. Angie says:

    How long after canning do you recommend waiting to eat them? Made some today and I’m dying to try them!!

  20. karin says:

    hooooly cow …. I did it !

    I, Karin, born of Magdalena Renate and Klaus-Peter have made pickled beets… thanks to you… you done it again: inspired the poop outta me.

    your post is just so freaking accessible, it took the fear of canning right outta me. I had 2 ginormous beets hanging around, I figured I give it a whirl and see what’s up. once cooked and peeled I made the mistake of leaving them out of my sight for a moment. the husband came along and snatched a goodish portion of them to snack on. can’t blame him really, beets are delicious in any form.

    so I ended up with only one big jar of em, but that’s aright, I’m so freaking proud of myself and thankful to you.

    I’m really glad you pointed out that they can be eaten right away too cause I can only fend off the husband for so long. I was guarding my jar all night, bonking him on the nose with a wooden spoon whenever he so much as ventured in my direction.

    Oh, hah, and you know what else I was making while I was waiting for them beets to cook?

    I made gnocchi as per your valued instructions. Happened to have 2 lbs of mashed tatters and figured, give that a whirl too. Sadly, they were *harumph* boxed *mumble* ones *cough* so the one to one ratio didn’t quite work, but hey, they came out good, drowned in butter and garlic, how could they have not.


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