These pickled beets require no canning or need to fuss around with sanitizing jars. Despite the simplified process, they turn out perfectly crunchy & tangy!
When you don’t have the time or resources to spend a day canning beets, this quick and simplified recipe is the answer to your prayers. By skipping the need to sanitize, pressurize, and seal a ton of jars and lids, you can get a quick reserve of the good stuff with minimal prep and just 24 hours of marinating. While these beets don’t stay preserved for as long as canned varieties, they are perfect as a quick snack, salad topper, or appetizer to have on hand for a couple of weeks. Consider this your pickled beet cheat code!
How to Bake Your Beets Before Pickling
Cooking beets in the oven versus a boiling water bath is the easiest way to prepare them for pickling. Here’s how:
- Trim off the green leaves and stems and rinse the beets under cold water. Next, wrap each beet individually in foil.
- Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and pop them on the oven rack. Roast them in the oven at 400°F for 40-60 minutes.
- Check how tender the beets are by poking them with a fork. They should be a bit firm, but not hard.
- Finally, peel the skins off the beets while they’re still warm and it comes off easily.
Preparing Quick Pickled Beets
To kick off the process, allow the baked beets to first cool at room temperature.
- Slice the Beets: Next, slice the cool beets into evenly-sized pieces.
- Prepare the Jar: Assemble the beets and fresh herbs into the bottom of a sealable jar.
- Assemble the Hot Brine: Whisk the hot water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and peppercorns in a measuring cup or small bowl until the sugar and salt are completely dissolved.
- Submerge the Beets: Then, pour the vinegar mixture over the beets until they are completely covered and there’s just a bit of headspace left at the top of the jar.
- Marinate the Beets: Seal the jar and place it in the refrigerator for 24 hours. Pop it open and enjoy irresistibly tangy beets!
Hot Tip: You can easily use this recipe for any of your favorite pickled vegetables! Swap out the beets with mushrooms, red onions, carrots, or any other crunchy veggie you love.
3 Tips for the Best Quick Pickled Beets
Aside from giving the beets at least 24 hours to marinate and develop their flavors, here are a couple of tips to help you get the best result.
- Choose the freshest beets possible. When shopping for beets, opt for ones that are medium or small in size (if using smaller beets use 6 beets instead of 3), as larger beets tend to be tougher in texture and blander You also want to look for deep red skin, minimal blemishes, and bright green leaves – all indicators the beets are packed with flavor!
- Slice the beets into small pieces. Instead of slicing big chunks of beets, slice the beets into smaller pieces. This will help them absorb the marinade more efficiently.
- Remove the skin. Nix the skin for a smoother, more evenly-textured pickled beet.
Different Ways to Season the Pickling Marinade
Once you get the technique down, get creative with the marinade and add in your favorite spices and ingredients. Check out the ideas below for inspiration:
- Spices: Allspice (adds a nice spicy sweetness), a cinnamon stick, bay leaves, whole cloves, mustard seed, red pepper flakes
- Herbs: Parsley, dill, basil, oregano
- Veggies: Garlic cloves, red onion slices
Ideas for Serving Quick Pickled Beets
There are so many different ways you can leverage this pickled beets recipe. Use them as a topper on your favorite salad tossed with beet salad dressing. If you’re planning out an appetizer spread, serve a bowl of beets on your charcuterie board or whip up some Danish pickled beets and pate smørrebrød (mini sandwiches).
Keeping Pickled Beets Fresh in Storage
The key to keeping your beets fresh for as long as possible is storing them in an airtight jar. You can use a clamp jar like this one or a standard screw-top like this one. No matter which you use, make sure to seal it in between uses so that the beets don’t soak up any lingering smells in the fridge. When stored properly, they should keep for anywhere between 2-3 weeks.
What are the benefits of eating pickled beets?
Beets are full of vitamins and nutrients and are widely considered a superfood. When pickled, they also tout probiotics that aid in healthy digestion.
Can you use any vinegar for pickling?
White vinegar or apple cider vinegar are best for pickling.
How long should pickled beets sit?
You should allow the beets to marinate for at least 24 hours in the fridge before you snack on them. You can bump this to 48 hours if you want them to be more full-flavored.
Should you remove the beet skin?
For the best texture, it’s recommended that you remove the skin. However, if you want the extra fiber it’s totally safe to keep it on.
Other Pickled and Marinated Veggies
- Pickled Cabbage and Beets – Pickled cabbage and beets slaw
- Pickled Vegetable Salad (aka Giardiniera) – Pickled carrots, peppers, and cauliflower
- Quick Marinated Tomatoes – Juicy, tangy tomatoes
- Pickled Mushrooms (So Easy) – Pickled mushrooms for snacking or appetizer trays
- 3 medium beets boiled
- 1/2 bunch fresh dill or other herbs
- 2 cups hot water
- 6 tbsp white vinegar
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1 tbsp salt
- 1 tbsp whole peppercorns
- Slice the beets into evenly sized pieces.
- Place the beets and fresh herbs in a large, sealable jar. Next, place all the marinade ingredients in a measuring cup or bowl and stir until the salt and sugar dissolve.
- Pour the marinade over the sliced beets, making sure the beets are completely submerged in the marinade. Allow beets to pickle for at least 24 hours in the fridge (they should stay fresh for up to 2 weeks).
- Enjoy in salads, soups, and on appetizer boards!
These are super easy and good but I will use less salt next time I make them, or maybe increase the sugar a bit. They’re really salty!
Hi Lynn- thanks for the feedback! The size of the beets/amount of beets can also be a factor here. If they are on the smaller size, you might want to add a couple of extra beets. But please do adjust the salt to taste in the future. Thank you for giving my recipe a try. 😀
The recipe says boiled beets but you say to roast them? Also the recipe says 20 mins total time to make but it seems like it's over an hour whether you roast or boil, correct?
Hi Coco- correct, it's 20 minutes of prep because step 1 of the recipe starts with already pre-cooked beets. You can boil them if you want, but I prefer to roast them and mention (higher up in the post) to roast them in the oven at 400°F for 40-60 minutes. Hope this helps! 🙂
Do I have to add sugar?
Hi Lori- I do recommend adding the sugar because it'll help balance the acidity from the vinegar. Enjoy! 🙂
I need to refine my earlier question. I apologize. What is the best low cost organic vinegar to use? Thanks in advance too!
Hi Elaine - I would use any cheap organic white vinegar you can get your hands on. The grocery store will typically have its own brand that is super affordable. You can't go wrong! 🙂
What is your recommendation for best vinegar?
Hi Lacey - Any white vinegar you can get your hands on will do the trick! Thanks for the note and let me know how it all turns out.
Beets work well as a liver cleanser
Thank you for your feedback!
Thank you, Natalya. Gave me a good tip the beets could be pickled as well.
Enjoy the recipe!
Hello:). Would you leave any of the skin upon the beet pieces?
Hey Jen, I remove the skin, it's just a preference. Enjoy it!
Trying thyme and apple cider vinegar. I need to get some dill growing in the garden. Thanks so much for the easy, clear recipe!
Andrea, thank you for a nice comment! Enjoy it 🙂
Loved your recommendation for roasting the beets in the oven! You retain more nutrients and flavor this way. Brilliant!
Hey Wendi, thank you! Glad you found the tip useful!