These quick pickled beets are a nice addition to salads and sandwiches. Pickle them when ever you have extra beets. These are easy to make and can be stored in the fridge for a few weeks to use as needed.
I love beets, but family not so much. I usually make a stir fry with a dash of salt and crushed pepper. The natural sweetness of the beets complements the heat of the chilies and to me t it tastes lovely. Unfortunately the family does not share the same enthusiasm. To be fair they will eat stir fried beet greens without any complaint, but the roots are an entirely different matter.
Pickled beets get a better reception at the dinner table though. May be because it has less of the earthy flavors.
I am not a fan of the store bought ones – especially if comes in a can. The bottled ones are ridiculously priced . No I am not talking about the ones containing HFCS and cooked to death. If those are your favorites, don’t bother making these – just go ahead and get a bottle.
These are all the ingredients you need to pickle the beets. Salt, pepper, sugar , vinegar and water. Optionally you can add other spices – mustard, all spice berries, cinnamon , bay leaf , cloves and tarragon all seem to good flavors to complement the beets . I prefer to keep it plain and usually do not add any extra spices.
Typically the store bought versions have too much sugar for my taste. Often the sweetness seems over shadows the beet flavors. I do add a little sugar. You can omit it all together, but a touch of sugar goes well with the tartness of the vinegar.
These pickled beets are quick and easy to make – and stays fresh in the fridge for a few weeks. For longer storage though you have to follow the canning procedures.
I have sliced these into thick rounds , as these were meant to go on top of a burger patty. Cut them into strips or into any of the shapes you like, just make sure that the pieces fit into the containers.
Cooking the beets
You can roast or boil these beets . I boil them whole in the pressure cooker. Just wash them really well and trim the tops and leave them whole. If you have an IP use the rack the with about 1 C water and pressure cook on manual for about 15 minutes. For medium to large beets or 10 minutes for smaller variety .
If you are roasting them , trim the ends and lightly coat the beets with oil . Wrap them in foil and roast for about 1 hour at 400F, until the beets are fork tender.
Once the beets have cooled the skin will easily rub off. Sli ce the skinned beets into shapes you like. Place thin in the jars and pour the pickling juices over ! refrigerate and use as needed.
Preserving for longer time
Have sterilized canning jars waiting ready and waiting for the beets. Make sure that the cutting surfaces , knife and everything around is very clean. Place the sliced beets into the jars filling to about ¼ to ½ inch from the top. Pour the pickling juices, just enough to cover the beets. Place the canning lids on the jars and process for 30 minutes in a water bath. Store in a dark cool place. These taste better as they age and will keep good up to a year.
If you are looking into canning in bulk find are more instructions here.
Here is how to make quick pickled beets .
- 2 lbs Beets trimmed and washed
- 1/2 C Apple Cider Vinegar
- 1 C Water
- 2 Tbsp Raw Sugar
- Salt To Taste
- 1 Tbsp Black Pepper Fresh ground
Cook the beets.
- Wash and dry the beets. Trim the tops.Lightly coat the beets with oil Place them in an oven safe pan and cover with foil. Bake at 400°F (200°C) for about 60 minutes or until fork tender.
Or Place a steamer rack or elevated stand in the pressure cooker / instant pot . Add 1 C water in the cooker and place the cleaned beets on the steamer rack. Pressure cook at high for 15 minutes for large beets and 10 for small beets. Let the pressure release naturally.
Make pickling juice
- Bring the water to a rolling boil and turn off the heat. Add the sugar and stir to dissolve. Let cool, mix in the vinegar and adjust salt and pepper to taste.
Put it all together
- Once the beets are cooled, gently rub the skin off.Slice the beets into desired shapes.Transfer the beets to the containers. Pour the pickling liquid over the beets, just enough to submerge it . Cover and refrigerate.Let it sit overnight before using.
- Use within 3 weeks.
- If needed add more boiled water to submerge the beets.
- Adjust the sugar to your taste. These are lightly sweet.
- Whole cloves and bay leaves are good spices to add to these beets . Introduce a couple of cloves or one bay leaf per 8oz jar.
Left over pickle juice?
The extra pickling juices are perfect for pickling onions. Check out my pickled red onions recipe here . If you have only white onions add a slice of beet to the pickle and the onions will turn a lovely shade of red. The pickle juices left over in the bottles can be used to pickle onions as well. Just do not reuse them more than once.
The left over juices from the beet pickles are good for making pickled beets and eggs as well. Warm the juices and add the shelled boiled eggs to it .