Small-Batch Pickled Beets

BY : PUBLISHED : May 4th, 2013 UPDATED: November 14th, 2021

These Small-Batch Pickled Beets are a delightful way to add a sweet and tangy flavor to your salads, sandwiches, or side dishes. An easy refrigerator wine-colored pickle that looks great in jars but would look absolutely gorgeous on your plates. Transform these earthy beets into delicious and tender slices of utter bliss with just 5 ingredients.

Small bowl of pickled beets next to a full quart mason jar.

A modest beet harvest from my small garden inspired this easy refrigerator pickle recipe. The whole batch fits nicely into a quart-size jar! Preserving these ruby gems doesn’t require any special equipment or canning tools necessary.  Once you’ve made your own pickled beets at home, you’ll never go back to store-bought jars anymore!

Why pickled beets?

Part of the impressive nutritional profile of this humble root vegetable is the number of plant compounds they contain which are medicinal in nature. Would you believe that this veggie holds almost all the vitamins and minerals that our body needs? It is low in calories and fat content too. Quite the superfood! And the best thing- they are super easy to add to our daily diet.

Making these homemade small-batch pickled beets are easier than you think. No need to follow laborious canning techniques and no preservatives are required too. All you need is to keep them in a tightly sealed jar, refrigerate overnight and enjoy them as yummy snacks or add to your fave dishes.

Top view of an open mason jar of pickled beets.

Ingredients You’ll Need

The amount of ingredients used in this recipe fits a quart jar. You can easily double or triple the recipe’s ingredients if you have more beets to preserve.

  1. Beets – We are using dark ruby red variety for this recipe. I love how stunning they look and instantly make any dish it is added to stand out! However, feel free to use another color of beets. Though I will not recommend mixing them up in the jar.
  2. Apple cider vinegar – It has a fruity, mellow flavor that pairs well with spices too. You can use regular white vinegar if that is what you have.
  3. Water – Used in our brine solution along with vinegar and sugar.
  4. Granulated sugar – Beets have a very high sugar content and are naturally sweet. So, depending on your preference, you can either omit, lessen or add more sugar.
  5. Cloves of Garlic – cuts through all the tanginess and sweetness with its sharp bite.

Small Batch Pickled Beets Ingredients  on a marble counter.

How to make the Small-Batch Pickled Beets?

 Prepare the beets.

Beets can be intimidating to cook and peel because of their tough skin. Not to mention the stubborn stain from its vibrant juices. Following the steps below for an easier and less messy way to prepare them.

  1. Bring a large pot of cold water and beets to a boil over medium heat.
  2. Once boiling, simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until they pierce easily with a fork.
  3. Remove the beets from the heat and pour the beets into a colander to drain.
  4. Peel the beets and slice them into ¼ inch rounds.
  5. Place them in a quart-size mason jar or glass with a lid.

Two beets next to a pot of water. Knife and two beets on a cutting board. Beets with peels sliced off next to a knife. A hand holding a quart mason jar filled with sliced beets.

Create the brine mixture.

  1. On the same pot or pan, combine vinegar, water, sugar, and cloves.
  2. Bring the mixture to boil over medium heat.
  3. When sugar is fully dissolved, remove it from the heat and pour the mixture into the glass of cooked beets.
  4. Let it cool down at room temperature and refrigerate.

Pickled beet ingredients on a white marble. Garlic in a stockpot. Sliced beets stack in a jar. A hand holding a quart mason jar with sliced beets and their pickling liquid.

How long before you can enjoy them?

For best results, refrigerate the pickled beets overnight at the least. They will taste best as they mature, and the flavors have developed in 2 to 3 days.

How long can I store the pickled beets?

As these beets did not go through a process of preservation and canning, I recommend finishing the jar in just a week. Keep them refrigerated at all times and always use a clean spoon when scooping portions out of the jar.

Can I make beet pickles with canned pickles?

If you don’t have any fresh beets, you can definitely make beet pickles with canned beets. Because the beets do not need to be boiled or roasted, the recipe will be easier to prepare. Simply place them in a jar with the brine and seal it.

Close up of pickled beets in a small stoneware bowl.

Tips when making Small-Batch Pickled Beets

  1. Use plastic gloves and an apron when handling the beets. The juice stains cannot easily be washed from your skin or clothes especially once they have dried out.
  2. Beets come in different types and colors.  I would suggest not mix them together in a jar as the red beet juice will affect the color of the other beets.
  3. Make sure that all the beets are covered in the brine solution when transferred to a jar. This will keep it as safe from bacteria build-up as possible.
  4. You can experiment with different flavor profiles by adding other ingredients. For example, add some sliced onions and/or red pepper flakes to give it a bit of heat!

Try these recipes if you have more beets than you know what to do with!

  • Spicy Tempeh & Beet Salad – The combination of the beet flavor and spicy seasoning tastes great.  It’s delicious, refreshing, and customizable.
  • Will You Be(et) My Valentine? Smoothie – No need to wait for the love month to enjoy a romantic glass of this Beet Smoothie! Beets blended with bananas and strawberries are the best!
  • Beet Energy Balls – These snack bites are great for quick energy on the go and with the added serving of veggies – you can’t beet it!
  • Heart-Beet Smoothie Bowl– Smoothie bowls are a great way to switch up your regular smoothie and turn it into a fancy and more “chewable” breakfast. This Beet Smoothie Bowl is bright pink and full of goodness to start your day right!

A hand holding a small bowl of pickled beets.

Small-Batch Pickled Beets

Small-Batch Pickled Beets

These Small-Batch Pickled Beets are a delightful way to add a sweet and tangy flavor to your salads, sandwiches, or side dishes. An easy refrigerator wine-colored pickle that looks great in jars but would look absolutely gorgeous on your plates. Transform these earthy beets into delicious and tender slices of utter bliss with just 5 ingredients.
5 from 1 vote
Cook Time 30 mins
Total Time 30 mins
Course Side, Snack
Cuisine American
Servings 6 servings
Calories 85 kcal
METHOD Stovetop
DIET Vegan


  • 1 pound beets, trimmed
  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 10 whole cloves


  • Place beets in large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover.
  • Over medium-high heat, bring to a boil. Reduce to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes or until beets are fork-tender.
  • Strain beets in colander and rinse with cold water until cool enough to handle.
  • Peel beets. Slice into 1/4' rounds. Place beets into a quart-size mason jar or bowl.
  • In large saucepan, (Just use the same one! No need to wash in between.) combine vinegar, water, sugar and cloves.
  • Heat over medium until mixture starts to boil.
  • Remove from heat and pour vinegar mixture over beets.
  • Let beets sit until they are room temperature and refrigerate overnight. Enjoy!
  • Pickled beets should keep in the fridge for about a week.


Calories: 85kcalCarbohydrates: 19gProtein: 1gFat: 1gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 63mgPotassium: 278mgFiber: 2gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 25IUVitamin C: 4mgCalcium: 18mgIron: 1mg
Keyword beets, pickled, pickled beets, quick pickle, refrigerator
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedonaBudget! 🙂

About Honor

Loves baking, gardening and preparing delicious, compassionate meals for her vegan family of four.

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