Every year I grow beets and every year I still end up with more than we can eat. I love them roasted on the grill or in the oven, or shredded and made into my beet and carrot slaw. I saute the greens up, similar to how I make quick and easy Swiss chard, and often just toss them raw – both the greens and julienned beets – into salads.
But, whenever they get the best of me and I find my crisper drawer overflowing, I preserve my beets by quick pickling them and sticking them back in the fridge.
This is such an easy way to preserve them without the trouble of canning them. We eat these as an accompaniment to knockwurst and sauerkraut (here’s my homemade sauerkraut recipe) or add some to our side salads. They also look great on an appetizer tray, served alongside other pickled vegetables.
Now, I know a lot of recipes call for all kinds of spices and such, which you’re welcome to add if that’s how you like yours. I just like mine clean and simple; bright and tart, without too much fuss.
This is a small batch recipe, as I’ve learned to just pickle them as they begin to overwhelm me. This recipe barely fills a quart Ball or canning jar, but it’s what works for me.
I grow a combination of Detroit Red and Rainbow beets and they all work great in this recipe. They mostly all end up red by the end of this, so use whatever beets you have on hand.
easy refrigerated pickled beets recipe
- 1 1/2 – 2 lbs. cleaned and peeled beets, diced or sliced
- 1 cup sliced red onion (optional – omit if you hate onions)
- 1/4 cup cider vinegar
- 1/2 cup white vinegar
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
Place beets in a medium saucepan and cover well with water. Bring to a boil, reduce to a simmer and cook beets just until fork-tender, about 15-17 minutes. Drain and spoon into a quart Bell jar or glass dish with tight-fitting lid, layering in the raw onion slices as you go.
While the beets are still cooking, add vinegar, salt, and sugar to another saucepan and bring to a boil. Stir until salt and sugar are dissolved. Pour hot brine over beets and onions and seal with a lid. Let cool at room temperature. If you’re using a canning jar, you’ll likely hear the lid “pop” as the steam escapes and the lid seals tight.
Refrigerate until ready to eat. I’ve kept these for many weeks with no problems, as the combination of salt, vinegar, and refrigeration all help in preserving them.
To me, these are a treat right out of the jar, when I’m looking for something quick to nibble on. Of course, when you’ve finished the beets, you can throw a couple of boiled eggs into the brine and make beautiful pickled beet eggs. Equally delicious in my opinion and also perfect for an appetizer tray.
If you try these, give me a shout and let me know your thoughts. Also, if you have another pickled veggie you enjoy, I’d love to hear about it.