Classic Pickled Beets

Classic Pickled Beets

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 35 mins
Cook: 45 mins
Total: 80 mins
Servings: 16 to 24 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
71 Calories
0g Fat
16g Carbs
1g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 16 to 24
Amount per serving
Calories 71
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 0g 0%
Saturated Fat 0g 0%
Cholesterol 0mg 0%
Sodium 158mg 7%
Total Carbohydrate 16g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 8%
Protein 1g
Calcium 22mg 2%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Pickled beets along with bread-and-butter pickles are a favorite condiment for many people. This basic pickled beets recipe is perfectly spiced with cinnamon sticks, allspice, and optional cloves. And the recipe is easily doubled to make a larger batch.

For step-by-step help with the canning process, make sure you consult preparing jars for canning and boiling water processing.

Ingredients

  • 4 pounds beets (unpeeled)
  • 1 cinnamon stick (broken into pieces)
  • 2 teaspoons whole allspice berries
  • Optional: 1/2 teaspoon whole cloves
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar (or use all granulated sugar)
  • 1 teaspoon pickling salt
  • 2 cups cider vinegar
  • 1 cup water

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Classic Pickled Beets ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Have four or more pint jars sterilized and in simmering water in the canner. And have the sterilized lids ready in barely simmering water. 

    jars in the canner

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. Trim the beets, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of their tops on and rootlets intact.

    beets with the tops cut off

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Put in a large saucepan, cover with water, and bring to a boil over high heat.

    beets in a pot

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Boil just until tender, about 15 to 20 minutes, depending on size.

    beets cooking in a pot with water

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Drain in a colander, rinse under cold water and slip the beets out of their skins.

    slip the beets out of their skins

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Cut the beets into small chunks.

    Cut the beets into small chunks

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  8. Put cinnamon, allspice, and optional cloves in a spice bag and tie tightly.

    Put cinnamon, allspice, and optional cloves in a spice bag

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  9. In a large enamel or stainless-steel pan, combine the sugars, salt, vinegar, and water. Add the spice bag.

    combine the sugars, salt, vinegar, and water in a pan

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  10. Bring to a boil, stirring, until sugar is dissolved. Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer for 10 minutes.

    sugar mixture in pan with the spice bag

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  11. Meanwhile, pack the beets into the prepared hot sterilized pint jars.

    pack the beets into the prepared hot sterilized pint jars

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  12. Using a damp clean cloth or paper towel, wipe the jar rims and threads.

    wipe the jar rims and threads

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  13. Remove the spice bag from the vinegar and sugar mixture; discard the spices.

    Remove the spice bag from the vinegar and sugar mixture

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  14. Using a canning funnel (wide or narrow, depending on your jars), pour the hot liquid over the beets, leaving 1/2 inch of headspace.

    Using a canning funnel, pour the hot liquid over the beets

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  15. Place the two-piece lids on the jars. Tighten gently; do not over-tighten.

    Place the two-piece lids on the jars

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  16. Put the filled jars in the canner. The water should be about 1 inch above the jars.

    Put the filled jars in the canner

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  17. Add extra hot or boiling water, if necessary.

    cannes in the canner

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  18. Process in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes or more, depending on your altitude. 

    cans in the canner, with the lid on

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  19. Remove from the canner and set the jars on a clean dish towel on a counter. Let the jars come to room temperature. Re-tighten the screw-on bands and store in a cool, dry place for up to one year.

    Classic Pickled Beets

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Processing Times by Altitude

  • 0 to 1,000 feet: 30 minutes
  • 1,001 to 3,000 feet: 35 minutes
  • 3,001 to 6,000 feet: 40 minutes
  • Above 6,000 feet: 45 minutes

More for the Beet Lover

If pickled beets aren't your favorite, but you still love this garnet-colored vegetable, try them boiled and glazed as your new favorite side dish with roasted meat. And if you love bacon, this roasted beet salad can't be beat.

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