Love beetroot? Skip the canned beetroot available at supermarkets and make your own homemade Pickled Beetroot instead. You'll love it even more!
Why make your own?
Making your own homemade beetroot pickles is so satisfying and easy with this recipe.
It's great on salads, sandwiches or served as a bright addition on grazing plates. And for many people, a slice of beetroot is simply a MUST on a hamburger.
Homemade Pickled Beetroot is so, so much tastier than the canned variety. You'll want to eat more and more. Which is a good thing, since beetroot – also known as beets or garden beets – is a nutritious root vegetable that's high in many vitamins and minerals, and a good source of folate, manganese, and copper.
How to choose the best beetroots
Great beetroot pickles start with great beetroots.
To find the best beets, look for:
- Medium-sized or smaller beetroots that have a round or slightly oval shape (these are generally sweeter and larger or elongated beetroots may be tough or fibrous).
- Firm beetroots (older beetroots may be soft).
- Smooth-skinned beetroots that are free from blemishes.
- Fresh greens attached (these should be fresh, crisp, and vibrant rather than wilted or yellowed).
- Red beetroots should have a deep, intense red-purple colour while golden beetroots should be bright and vibrant. Avoid beetroots with faded or dull colours, as this can indicate poor quality.
When pickling beetroot, you'll also need:
- white vinegar
- black peppercorns
- whole cloves
- ground allspice.
All ingredient quantities can be found in the recipe card at the end of this post.
How to make pickled beetroot
Start by washing the beetroots.
If they still have stems attached, trim off, leaving a few centimetres attached to the beetroot. Use a soft brush to remove any dirt from the skin.
You'll also need to have a sterilised jar ready – find out the options for sterilising a jar here if you're unfamiliar with the process.
TIP: The easiest way to sterilise a jar is to place the jar, lid and any rubber seal in the dishwasher on the hottest cycle and then allow it to air dry on a clean paper towel.
Place into a saucepan and cover beetroots with water.
Boil for about 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork.
The boiling time will depend on the size. Smaller beetroots might take closer to 20 minutes and large beetroots might take about 40 minutes or more.
Let beetroots cool to a warm temperature and then rub off the skins with your hands.
Slice beetroot, or cut into chunks if preferred.
TIP: Wear rubber kitchen gloves if you want to avoid stained hands. (I don't bother – it only lasts a day!)
Place beetroot slices or chunks into a sterilised jar.
Next, combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil.
Simmer for 10 minutes.
Pour through a sieve and into the beetroot jar.
TIP: Make sure the liquid fills the jar completely to better preserve the beetroot.
Seal jar immediately.
You now have a whole jar of pickled beetroot slices or chunks. Lucky you!
Once the sterilised jar is sealed, store in the fridge for up to a couple of weeks.
There is the option of making canned beetroot to store on the shelf of your pantry, however you'll need to rely on your own knowledge of canning and preserving or read more about how to can and preserve vegetables.
This recipe is wonderful as it is. But it's also extremely versatile. If you want to experiment, here are some ideas:
- Sugar: use brown sugar for a more caramel flavour
- Vinegar: try white wine, apple cider or malt vinegar for a sweeter and more complex flavour
- Spices: mustard seeds, coriander seeds, chilli flakes, bay leaves, cinnamon, thyme will all complement beetroot flavours and can be added or substituted for other spices.
Want more pickles?
If you love pickles, you might also like these recipes:
- large sterilised jar
- large saucepan
- 700 grams beetroot (about 3 medium beetroots) (see above post for how to choose the best beetroots for pickling)
- 1 cup white vinegar (250 ml)
- 1 cup water (250 ml)
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ cup white sugar
- ½ teaspoon black peppercorns
- ½ teaspoon whole cloves
- ½ teaspoon ground allspice
- Start by washing the beetroots. If they still have stems attached, trim off, leaving a few centimetres attached to the beetroot.
- Place into a saucepan and cover beetroots with water.
- Boil for about 30 minutes or until tender when pierced with a fork. Smaller beetroots might take about 20 minutes and large beetroots might take about 40 minutes or more.
- Let beetroots cool to a warm temperature and then rub off the skins with your hands.
- Slice beetroot (or cut into chunks if preferred).
- Place beetroot into a sterilised jar.
- Combine remaining ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Simmer for 10 minutes.
- Pour through a sieve and into the beetroot jar.
- Seal jar and store in fridge.