Pickled Beets!

by Sarah on October 24, 2011

The last time I visited the farmer’s market it was the end of the day and I ended up purchasing large quantities of random vegetables and fruits for pickling, canning, jams and/or preserves.  You know I’m going to tell you the truth, Readers.  Some of those fruits and vegetables didn’t make it.  I plum ran out of time and energy and they went south before they reached the jar. That happens much more frequently than I like and I always feel so incredibly guilty that I let such nice food (and money) go to waste.

I just get so excited at the farmer’s market sometimes!

Thankfully beets last a while and they made it into the jars.

At one of my parent’s open house parties a lady brought over this giant jar filled with home-pickled beets with hard boiled eggs inside.  She cut them into a salad and I thought it was a novel idea.  That’s what gave me the notion to pickle some beets myself.  Sans eggs.

I always equated beets and pickled beets with those gross canned shoestring beets.   When I worked at a pizza parlor as a teenager, I had to set up and dismantle the salad bar all the time.  Those damn beets always made their way into every single one of the other crocks, tainting the other ingredient with their insidious purple color and gross canned beet smell.   Let me just say I wasn’t a fan.

Long story short, I succumbed to the trendy roasted beet several years ago and then at my parent’s shindig, caved to the beet pressure and tried these pickled-beets-and-eggs.  Guess what?  They were good.

These are just about as easy as going to the store and buying a can of those gross shoestring things.  You might as well just make them.  Cook in a solution of sugar and vinegar with a bouquet garni until tender.  Put in a jar and process in a water bath.  That’s it.

Make ‘em!  They’re great on salads, on crostini with goat cheese or just as a snack.

Pickled Beets (From the Ball Complete Book of Home Preserving)


  • 3 Tbsp pickling spice
  • 2 1/2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup granulated sugar
  • 10 cups prepared beets


  • Prepare beets by boiling whole (2" stem and root intact) until tender, about 20-40 minutes, depending on size of beets. Peel and cut into uniform pieces.
  • Prepare canner, jars and lids.
  • Make bouquet garni with pickling spice, a piece of cheesecloth and string.
  • In stainless steel pan, combine vinegar, water, sugar and bouquet garni and boil to dissolve sugar.
  • Reduce heat and boil gently for 15 minutes, until spices begin to infuse the liquid. Discard bouquet garni.
  • Add beets and return to a boil.
  • With a slotted spoon, fill jars with beets, leaving 1/2" headspace.
  • Ladle hot pickling liquid into jar to cover beets, leaving 1/2" headspace.
  • Remove air bubbles and adjust headspace by adding more liquid if necessary.
  • Wipe rim.
  • Place lids on jars, then screw on bands.
  • Place jars in canner, making sure they are covered with water.
  • Bring to a boil and process for 30 minutes.
  • Remove lid and let stand for 5 more minutes.
  • Remove from canner, cool and store.



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