Savory Pickled Beets

3 lbs peeled, cooked beets cut into 1/4 inch slices
3 teaspoons yellow mustard seeds
2 teaspoons dill seed
2 teaspoons peppercorns
1 1/2 teaspoon coriander seeds
1 teaspoon salt
3 bay leaves
1 1/2 cups white vinegar
2 cups water
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
1 onion, sliced thinly (about 3/4 cup)

Place all of the ingredients in a large pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 15 minutes. Prep your jars. Pack the beets into the warm jars and ladle the pickling solution over them. Leave a 1/4 inch headspace. Process in a water bath for 30 minutes.

Note: A great source for canning information is the Blue Book guide to preserving. I highly recommend it for learning how to can. Here is a bunch of other canning books and equipment I find useful.

My thoughts:

Last summer my goal was to teach myself how to can. I didn’t get to it because I was unexpectedly busy developing recipes for my cookbook but I have read dozens of canning books just waiting for the growing season to begin here. It turns out canning is a lot easier than I thought. It is slightly trickier to develop a new canning recipe because I have to make sure that I use enough ingredients to actually fill the jars and acidic ingredients to keep it safe enough for water bath canning but it isn’t terribly difficult. The ratio of brine to vegetable is pretty consistent in the recipes I’ve read so when I decided to make my canning debut, I had a good idea how much vinegar I needed to pickle my beets. I have always loved the idea of pickled beets but most commercial jars of beets and recipe call for a much sweeter and cinnamon-clove spice flavor profile than I’d want to eat. I really wanted pickled, pickled beets, if that makes sense. I wanted the flavors to be closer to that of a cucumber pickle. So I followed the basic ratios but used the ingredients and flavors that I would enjoy. I am happy to stay I succeeded! The flavors are savory and sharp but still complement the beet. Lovely directly out of the jar and in salads.


  1. I keep seeing recipes for beets and they look so delicious. I'm not a big fan of them but I am giving them another shot this summer! Great recipe!

  2. If I wanted to make these but skip the actual canning process and just keep the beets in jars in the fridge, is that ok? I know they won't keep as long, but I'm cool with that.

  3. Jersey Knitting Mama

    Oh Yummy! I love beets. I can't wait to try it.

  4. Abby
    I think they would keep for a couple weeks in the fridge without processing.

  5. I'm just delighted that you're conquering your fear of canning! And the beets look terrific, too!

  6. This year I actually bought canning jars and some equipment. I am going to learn to can tomatoes this summer!

  7. I canned for the first time last year. Pulled my mom's canner out of the garage and dusted away the cobwebs. It was easier than I expected too. I made jelly, and then came up with my own take on pickled peppers. I used red and yellow banana peppers and threw in a few jalapenos for fun. Sweet and hot! Good on salads and sandwiches, deviled eggs, tuna salad… Gotta get to the Farmer's Market so I can make some more this year. Thanks for the reminder. 🙂

  8. I have been searching for the perfect pickled beet recipe – I'm new to canning myself, but excited to try this!

  9. I realize it's been a while since you posted this, but I would love to know how many jars to prep for this recipe – do you remember how many jars and if they were pints or quarts? I am totally on the same page about savory beets – I have been searching for a while for a good pickled beet recipe that doesn't include much, if any sugar. I am really looking forward to trying this one out!

  10. I think it was 4 or 5 pints ? I made these savory beet pickles this year, you might like them too I am glad I am not the only one who doesn't like sweet pickled beets!

  11. Thank you so much! I didn't see your reply until today, but I have to say I made the beets and they were fantastic. I added in some fresh dill and celery seed, which worked both great. I'll have to check your post from this year! Wondering how long you leave the beets in the jar until opening? I waited (as patiently as possible) til this weekend and they were really great but wondering if I should wait even longer to develop the flavors and let the pickle process do it's thing?

  12. I left mine about a week before opening. I don't find the flavor deeps that much if you let it go much longer. Glad you enjoyed them!