Table of Contents
  1. Why I love this pickled beets recipe.
  2. Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.
  3. Here’s how to can pickled beets.
  4. These pro tips will make this pickled beets recipe a success.
  5. Frequently asked questions about how to can pickled beets.
  6. You'll love these other canning recipes.
  7. Watch how to can pickled beets.
  8. Have I convinced you to make this recipe?
  9. How to Can Pickled Beets Recipe

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One of the quickest and simplest canning recipes, these Pickled Beets are a surprisingly delicious treat. They take minimal prep for canning but can be enjoyed year-round on salads or snack boards.

Kaleb Wyse standing in front of light gray background with black t-shirt.

Why I love this pickled beets recipe.

This canning season has started slower than other years here at The Farm. Cooler temperatures and a decent amount of rain (hallelujah!) have extended the season and caused crops to ripen later than usual. This is just fine with me, as there is always plenty to do! But it’s high time to get a jump start on canning some pickled beets.

For me, the first thing of the season to get canned is dark red beets. While many people turn their noses to these vegetables, they are becoming quite an en-vogue trend in the food world. Praised for their nutritious qualities, they are simply outstanding pickled. Gourmet jars at farmers’ markets and fine grocers are delicious, but they can be pricey—yikes! So why not pickle your own? Very easy and simply perfect, these are great on any relish tray or added to your favorite salad!

Personally, I like to eat them straight from the jar, but is that even kosher?!

Hand holding fork with red colored slice of pickled beet above jar filled with liquid.

Food safety tip: This recipe may not be approved by the USDA. To prevent the risk of botulism, always check with the USDA Canning Guide.

Everything you’ll need to make this recipe.

  • Beets
  • Onion
  • White distilled vinegar
  • Sugar
White marble surface with ingredients needed for pickled beets including raw beets, water, onion, sugar, salt, and vinegar.

Here’s how to can pickled beets.

  1. Cook the beets. Using a potato brush, scrub the beets under water to remove any residue and dirt. Place the beets in a large kettle and fully submerge in water. Bring to a boil. Check each beet while cooking and remove it when done. Smaller beets can take 10 to 15 minutes to cook, while larger ones may take up to 25 minutes.
  1. Prepare the beets. Let the beets cool. using a knife, remove the outer layer of the vegetable. Remove any stem and root that is still attached. Slice the beets into thin disks, about ¼-inch to ½-inch in width.
  1. Prepare the brine. In a separate kettle, add two cups of water, the white distilled vinegar, sugar, and kosher salt. Place over medium heat and bring to a full boil.
  1. Sterilize and assemble the jars. Submerge the washed canning jars in boiling water for 10 minutes, then remove. Follow package instructions for cleaning the lids. Add a layer of fresh-cut onion to the bottom of each jar. Gently pack the beets into the jar until nearly full. If desired, add additional onions over the top, leaving ½-inch of headspace at the top. Pour the boiling brine over top, filling until ½-inch of headspace remains.
  1. Seal the jars. Wipe off the mouth of the jar using a paper towel with boiled water. Add the lids to tighten until just snug. Add all the jars to the boiling water bath. Ensure the water line is above the lids of the jars by about 1 inch. If not, add water to completely cover them. Once the water has returned to a boil, let the jars process in the bath for the correct processing time (see chart below for times and elevation). Remove from the bath with a jar lifter and let cool.

Each altitude can require a different processing time. I’m located between 0 and 1,000 feet above sea level. If you are at a different elevation, make sure to check the USDA Canning Guide for your processing time:

Elevation0 to 1,000 ft1,001 to 3,000 ft3,001 to 6,000 ft6,000 ft +
Time30 minutes35 minutes40 minutes45 minutes

These pro tips will make this pickled beets recipe a success.

  • To prepare the beets, scrub them, wash them well to remove any soil, trim the stem to 1 inch in length, and leave the roots intact.
  • To determine whether a beet is fully cooked, poke it with a knife. It should be able to be easily inserted with a little resistance in the center.
  • Sterilize the jars before canning and adding the beets. This is important for both new and used jars, as it prevents contamination and spoilage.
  • Don’t overtighten the jars. Otherwise, the lid could buckle, preventing a proper seal.
Jar filled with beets with lid and ring on top with more jars all around.

Frequently asked questions about how to can pickled beets.

What type of beet works best for this?

Any beet works for this recipe, but a deep red beet will give you the most traditional look for this recipe. I use a…

What type of onion works best?

A white or yellow onion will do best in the jars. A red onion does not have as much structure and will not hold up as well.

What happens if a jar does not seal?

Unfortunately, you cannot store this jar. Not all is lost, however. Simply place it in the refrigerator and enjoy it over time.

How long should these be pickled before enjoying?

The beets will taste great after just one week of sitting in the brine.

How long can these pickled beets last in a jar before being consumed?

The sealed jars can sit in a cool, dark environment for at least a year.

Do the pickled beets need to be refrigerated after opening?

Yes, after opening a sealed jar, place the opened jar in the refrigerator. Make sure to use a lid and a ring on the jar while in the refrigerator to keep it contained and fresh as long as possible.

Can the sugar be reduced in this recipe?

The recipe allows you to use a range of sugar, depending on your preferred level of sweetness. As little as 2 tbsp of sugar (or honey) can be used, all the way up to 2 cups. The great thing about this recipe is that it is customizable to your preferred tastes.

White surface filed three jars of pickled beets in red liquid with slices of onions.

Watch how to can pickled beets.

More canning recipes

Have I convinced you to make this recipe?

I hope you make this recipe and put some food on your table. Leave a comment and share a star rating so you can let others know how much you love this recipe. This helps show others that this is a recipe they, too, can make, enjoy, and love!

Cans of pickled beets with onions in red liquid sitting on marble surface with lids and rings.

How to Can Pickled Beets

4.46 from 96 votes
Pickled beets have a deep, earthy flavor that are so delicious during the summer. But when they’re canned, they’re great to enjoy year-round!
Prep Time 1 hour
Cook Time 1 hour
Processing Time 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Servings 6 pint jars

Equipment

  • 6-7 sterilized pint-size canning jars
  • lids and rings

Ingredients

For the brine

  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity)
  • 2 tbsp sugar (or honey) all the way up to 2 cups, depending on the sweetness desired
  • 1 tsp salt

For the beets

  • 3 ½ lbs dark red beets (or any preferred variety)
  • 1-2 large yellow or white onions (depending on preference, the amount of onion can be optional)

Instructions
 

  • Start by washing beets. If using homegrown, make sure to leave the root on and cut the leaves to within an inch of the beet.
    3 ½ lbs dark red beets (or any preferred variety)
  • Place in a large kettle and cover with water. Bring to a boil and let cook until tender. They’re ready when a knife is easily inserted with just slight resistance. Since beets vary in size, they may take varying times to cook. Remove them individually as needed.
  • When cooked, drain (remove from water), let cool, and remove skins using a knife and gloves to prevent staining.
  • Combine all the brine ingredients and let simmer on the stove.
    2 cups water, 2 cups white vinegar (5% acidity), 2 tbsp sugar (or honey), 1 tsp salt
  • Also start a large kettle filled with water on high heat, fitted with a rack in the bottom. This will be used for a water bath.
  • Using sterilized jars, slice onion to taste and place in each jar. Then fill with sliced beets. These can be sliced directly into the jars. If this is difficult, slice on a cutting board and pack jars.
    1-2 large yellow or white onions (depending on preference, the amount of onion can be optional)
  • Top sliced beets with additional onion, leaving about a half-inch of headspace in the jar.
  • Bring brine to a hard boil and fill each jar with the brine, leaving a half-inch of headspace.
  • Clean the top of the jars with hot water to remove any debris and drips.
  • Following the manufacturer’s directions, place lids and rings on jars, being careful not to over tighten (this can cause lids to buckle).
  • Place prepared jars in boiling water bath, making sure water covers jars by at least one inch. Bring back to a boil and process for 30 minutes.
  • Remove jars from kettle using a jar lifter and let cool completely before touching. Soon the lids should seal with a ping – music to a canner’s ears!

Notes

Food safety tip: This recipe may not be approved by the USDA. To prevent the risk of botulism, always check with the USDA Canning Guide.
To prepare the beets, scrub them, wash them well to remove any soil, trim the stem to 1 inch in length, and leave the roots intact.
To determine whether a beet is fully cooked, poke it with a knife. It should be able to be easily inserted with a little resistance in the center.
Sterilize the jars before canning and adding the beets. This is important for both new and used jars, as it prevents contamination and spoilage.
Don’t overtighten the jars. Otherwise, the lid could buckle, preventing a proper seal.

Nutrition

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 128kcal
Course Preserving
Cuisine American
Difficulty Intermediate
Method Canning

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Kaleb

I’m Kaleb! I'm not a chef, professional baker, landscaper, or designer, but I like to play each on Knollgate Farm. Come join me on my journey and let's learn together!

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4.46 from 96 votes (66 ratings without comment)

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91 Comments

  1. I did it!! I canned/pickled asparagus and the sound of cans popping was so exciting. I figured why not try the cauliflower??!! Thanks for your inspiration!!

  2. I watch Kaleb U Tube Video about pickle beets. Was amazed by this young man. he is so happy with life. I made these august 2017 open them Jan 2018 . THEY WHERE AMAZING GOOD first time I ever canned beets. one lesson I learn **wear gloves** tHIS is going in my canning book I will never try another beet recipe I believe if you find something that tastes really good stick with that….Thank you Kaleb for This.

  3. Hi there
    When canning beets the recipe says 2 cups of sugar do I have to put 2 cups in or can I put half cup..
    Thanks
    Faith

  4. I use my electric instant pressure cooker to cook my beets much faster. I also usepickling spices in a cheese cloth ball. Maybe I’ll try onions.

  5. 5 stars
    I just bought 10 lbs of beets at the farmer’s market this morning. I think I left enough stem when I trimmed the beet greens off. I’ve been looking for a recipe that was simple–just sugar, salt, beets and vinegar….I cannot wait to try this over the next few days. I love onion (but have never tried them in beets) so I have to think about that a minute! LOL

    1. I like to add some ground clove, cinnamon, and leave out the sugar. I am canning probably 50 quarts a year, and everyone who has tried it say that they eat it like candy. It is fun to mess with the recipe a little. I will try some of the onions I grew this year in with the beets. Happy canning.

  6. Just wondering if you HAVE to use a water bath to can beets. I usually put my veggies as directed, but then put them in warm oven and let set overnight.

      1. It is not risky.Ive been doing it for years. I find if you pressure cook them they get to done and soggy. I like a crisp beet.

  7. 5 stars
    My COVID garden yielded an excessive amount of beets this year and I was able to successfully follow your fabulous beet canning tutorial. All 6 jars sealed! I can’t wait to taste them! Thanks for your help Kaleb!

    1. So did mine! I have 3 paper grocery bags full, all just pulled with greens and roots intact. One bag full of smaller ones for pickled and two for canning sliced. Big job tomorrow…thanks for recipe.

  8. How long after canning them can we start eating them? I’ve never eaten pickled beets before, let alone canned them, so I’m very excited to try them & see if I like them.

  9. Hey Kaleb, disregard my question. I went back and reread your note at the bottom of the recipe and see that they’re ready to eat in one week so I will have to patiently wait. My jars turned out beautiful, by the way. Thank you for the recipe.

  10. I’m new to canning and making my first batch of pickled beets tomorrow. My question is, anytime a canning recipe states a water bath cooking time, should we assume that time is based on sea level?

    1. Hi April!! Yes you need to adjust for sea level! I always look at the USDA canning guide to make sure you have the proper time! Can’t wait to hear how your canning turns out!

  11. The white vinegar I purchased is only 4%.I didn’t notice until I got home.Can it be used? Can I substitute apple cider vinegar? Thamks

  12. I made the pickled beets and gave a few jars away to friends. They love them said they were the best they had ever eaten! I love them too, wish I hadn’t given so many jars away… Just kidding I will be making a lot more.
    Thank you so much

  13. Hi. tried your recipe for the first time but used 1/2 cup of sugar instead of 2. I loved the beets, but would like to know about how long is the shelf life. I’m about to start my second batch. Thanks

  14. how do you pickle beets after canning, if you didn’t pickle them before canning? can you still pickle them afterwards?

  15. 5 stars
    I have been a canner for years. I love it. I was given some beets last year and needed a recipe because I wanted to can them, however I never canned beets before. I found this recipe. It was simple and the brine was too. I never had beets so good in my life. Awesome recipe. Lost the recipe and researched and found it again. Thanks . I printed it this time. So happy I found it this year again.

  16. I just made a batch of these and they were delicious!! I had one jar that I did not have a cover that fit so I just let it sit for a few hours and had a taste and was pleasantly surprised!! Thank you for sharing!

  17. Hi there! I made two batches of your recipe with my homegrown beets this season. I was just wondering if the vinegar-water ratio is safe? A lot of other recipes I see now have at least a 2:1 ratio of vinegar:water. Thanks!

  18. sorry about the spelling. I was typing with a grandBaby in my arms….Can you use balsamic or apple cider vinegar instead of the white.

  19. Hi Kaleb! Just did your pickled beets and I heard the pops! So excited! So easy!
    I will try your strawberry jam soon
    Thank you for your videos, they are great, Cheers from Canada

    1. Eat them! The salt is not necessary for the process. Neither is the sugar. The vinegar does the job of preventing bacteria from forming along with the low pressure condition of canning. (Diabetics like this fact.)

  20. Is there a way to do pickled beets without the hot water bath? We always boil everything together & put in jars & lids that have been boiled. This is the way we do our salsa & jelly. I don’t like dealing with hot water baths.

  21. Did you ever can beets with the brine, but without heating in a water bath. I was told a few years back that it can be done. Thanks for replying

  22. 5 stars
    These are Delicious!! I made a batch in the summer but didn’t pant enough to last so this wknd, I went and bought more at the farmers markets!!! Thank you Kayleb! If I’d have listened to other posts, I’d never have given this a try!! Your advice was accurately and made the whole process very easy!! Thank you!
    Christine

  23. 5 stars
    I love watching you on Facebook/cooking/gardening/landscaping, you are very good, I have a pan of beets on stove cooking and will use your recipe, thank you.

  24. Haven’t tried your recipe yet. I’ve made them using canned sliced beets to store in the refrigerator. My question is can I use the cans of sliced beets instead of fresh beets to preserve them to put on the shelf? Thanks Nancy

  25. 5 stars
    What to do with 25 lbs of beets? Preserve them!!!
    I love this recipe and the details Kaleb gives to help with clarity. I normally don’t vary a recipe when someone has taken their valuable time to share with others. I will admit I looked at my last year’s recipe, Kaleb’s recipe and two others and came up with a slight variation which I really want to share with you and Kaleb. It’s not new, just a slight variation. I don’t add onions to my beets but it sounds delicious but my wife doesn’t like them. (Boo on her)
    Secondly I added to the simmering brine (vinegar, water, sugar and salt) a half stick of cinnamon and 4 whole cloves. I removed them before pouring over the beets and placing the jars in the canner bath. One recipe suggests to add a clove per jar, I thought that too much and I love what whole cloves does when simmered. They turned out lovely. Get out there people and preserve summer’s bounty! Get caught red handed with canning beets, that is, if you don’t wear gloves. Thanks Kaleb!!!

  26. 5 stars
    Thank you for sharing your recipe for canning red beets .. I’m ready to get started on my beets .

  27. I’m curious about the processing time. Most other recipes and my preserving cookbook say to process in water bath for 30 min. Yours only calls for 10 min. Can you shed any light on the difference and food safety?

  28. 5 stars
    Love the beets that I made from this recipe!!!!! Easy and delicious!!!! I even drank the vinegar brine after the beets were ate from the jar!!! Yummmm

  29. I should have read up on beets before I received them and trimmed them. I trimmed the roots and tails off and rinsed them. Are they going to stilll turn out??

    1. Hello!! No worries they will turn out just fine! The beets will bleed while cooking but it will all be fine.

  30. Hi, I like the ingredients you use for this recipe. My question is why is your processing time only 10 minutes? I have seen other recipes that say to process for 30 minutes. Just curious!

    Thank you

  31. I love beets. I scrub and boil beets til soft then pour the juice away. Now I know you should make brine from it. Isn’t it dirty from Boiling the beets ?
    I know I didn’t get all the dirt.

  32. I canned a bunch of pickled beets. I opened them for a dinner and none was ate. Can I reprocess them and recan them

  33. 5 stars
    On all canning sites I’d like to mention that after canning when the seal has locked down the lid. I always remove the screw cap wash the jar and screw, and completely dry the screws on a tray in sun or on counter. This stops them from corroding and in many cases sticking to the jar. Especially for sweet syrups. You can then use the screws for other batches and don’t need to buy as many, just the lids.

  34. I have a great tip for peeling the beets. I dump the cooked beets into the sink. Fill up with warm water. The hotter the better. Gently squeeze the Beet and the skin just slides right off. If you find its not slipping off as good just add more hot water. Super fast and your hands don’t turn purple.

  35. 5 stars
    I’m 68 years old and have always gardened but never tried canning. I read about canning beets from several others but they really just kind of scared me. After reading your directions, however, I felt much more at ease about trying my hand at canning (especially your comment about not worrying if some didn’t seal—just stick them in the fridge and eat them during the next couple of weeks!) That remark, oddly enough, made me feel comfortable about going ahead & trying my hand at it! I’ve finished six small jars and there may only be one that I’m not quite sure sealed so it’ll go in the fridge after cooling. Will have to get back to you on their flavor later but I just appreciate you giving me the courage to try it at least!

  36. Years ago I had pickle beets that were in a thick juice, I haven’t been able to find the recipe for them. You wouldn’t have the recipe would you.

  37. It made only 4 1/2 pint size jars. I used just a bit more than 3.5 lbs. So hiw come I ended up with less than in the recipe?

  38. Hey Kaleb … Thanks so much for your help on canning beets . This is my first year growing them …crazy rite?! I love them and just made a batch following your accomodations! They are baithing as I message this. Your a joy to watch !! Keep up the good work🙂

  39. 5 stars
    I absolutely love watching you. Thank you for all the amazing tips. I am excited to pickle my beets tomorrow. Wish me luck!!

  40. 5 stars
    Made these today from beets harvested from our garden. It’s a great way to share are use for holiday meals. My reward was an Aperol martini inspired by your Aperol margarita.

  41. 4 stars
    Although I make icicle pickles by the bushel, I’ve only made pickled beets once, for my later father-in-law. He was pleased but these beets are far better than my first attempt. In fact, they may be the best I’ve enjoyed, to date. The secret seems to be the onions!! Thank you.

  42. 4 stars
    Just wondering why onion is added to the pickled beet recipe? Just finished my first batch of 7 jars. Looking forward to trying them. Thanks for sharing your recipe

    1. The onion is simply added for some crunch and flavor. You could omit them entirely, but I really do enjoy eating them along with the beets.

  43. Love your kitchen man. … the faucet over the stove …. that’s very serious!
    Will try your pickled beet recipe today. Thanks, Tom

  44. Just wondered if there is a recipe that is for a more sour beet? My mom used to make pickled beets for my dad, but they never tasted like they had sugar in them. They were sour but good. She would spice salt, pepper (sometimes whole peppercorns) Thank you, in advance. I am definitely, going to try these!!

  45. I have a question I have a surplus of beets in the garden and I plan on doing some canning this week most the recipes talk about doing a five minute pre-boil of beets in brine vinegar prior to canning is that necessary?

  46. 5 stars
    Love this recipe!! Used it last year and here I am back again. Love how everything is explained and very easy to follow!! Thanks for a great tutorial!!

  47. 4 stars
    This recipe made me comfortable enough to try to can beets ! But I became very confused after I watched the video and he said 10 mins for processing time but the recipe says 30! Can someone clarify so can I get this recipe down? Thank you !

    1. Hi Jessica! Our family has traditionally canned our pickled beets for 10 minutes, but the USDA canning guide recommends processing them for 30 minutes, so I made sure to update the recipe to follow this guidance. In accordance with best food safety practices, the processing time should be 30 minutes. I hope this helps!

  48. This is the easiest and most delicious pickled beet recipe that I have ever tried. The onions taste amazing with the beets. I will never use another recipe for these again! Yummy

  49. Hi There, i noticed you don’t boil your lids and rings, I do, just to make sure they are sterilized, is this ok, thankyou, colleen, from fort erie ontario