How to Make Quick ‘Refrigerator’ Pickled Beets

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One of my favorite snacks from childhood has always been pickled beets. Seriously, I could eat them as a snack every day. There was just something so delicious about how my grandma made them. The thing is, I’d never even taste them if someone else made them. My grandma was so proud that I liked hers the best, and honestly, I think that secret ingredient was love. Now, my kids love them too, so I try to make them often. Tangy and sweet, they’re the perfect addition to almost everything. I almost always have them in my fridge. I could just eat them while enjoying some good television.

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So, how do you pickle beets? It’s fast and easy. You don’t need to sterilize any jars, prepare a water bath, or wait weeks. They’re ready to eat after just an hour. Here’s how you can make them at home.

First, you’ll need some fresh beets. The type of beet doesn’t matter too much, though the classic red beets are most common. Golden beets can add a lovely color to your dishes too. The important thing is to use fresh beets.

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Start by cooking the beets. You can boil them, roast them, or even steam them. My grandma always boiled hers, 25 to 30 minutes until they’re tender. Once they’re tender, let them cool slightly so you can handle them without burning your fingers. Then, remove the peels. It’s best to do this while they’re still warm, as the skins will slip off more easily. Trust me, you don’t want to skip this step.

Next, slice the beets into your desired shape. Thin slices are nice for sandwiches, but chunky cubes are great for salads or charcuterie boards. The shape is entirely up to you and how you plan to use them.

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Now, prepare the pickling brine. You’ll need vinegar, salt, sugar, and any desired pickling spices. A basic brine can be made with just these ingredients, but adding spices like cloves and allspice will give your beets a more complex flavor. Here’s a simple recipe to get you started:

Pickled Beets Recipe


3-4 medium-sized beets

1 cup vinegar (white or apple cider vinegar work well)

1 cup water

1/2 cup sugar

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon whole cloves

1 teaspoon allspice berries

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Cook the beets until tender. Let them cool slightly, then peel and slice or cube them.

In a saucepan, combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, cloves, and allspice. Bring the mixture to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.

Pack the beets into a clean jar or container.

Pour the hot brine over the beets, making sure they are fully submerged.

Let the jar cool to room temperature, then refrigerate for at least an hour before serving.

That’s it! No need to bother with traditional canning methods for these quick-pickled beets. If you want to try canning, be sure to use a recipe made for that, like spiced pickled beets, since canning requires exact amounts of vinegar and sugar for safety (!!!)

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Pickled beets are incredibly versatile. They make a great snack straight from the jar, but there are so many other ways to enjoy them. Here are a few serving suggestions:

Salads: Add them to a mixed green salad with goat cheese and walnuts for a delicious and colorful dish.

Sandwiches: Thin slices of pickled beets are a great addition to sandwiches, especially with roasted meats or cheese.

Charcuterie Boards: Chunky cubes of pickled beets add a pop of color and flavor to any charcuterie board.

Side Dishes: Serve them alongside roasted meats or fish for a tangy, sweet contrast.

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How to Store Pickled Beets

When it comes to storage, pickled beets will last in the fridge for up to a month. Just make sure they are kept in an airtight container and that the beets remain submerged in the brine. If you notice any off smells or signs of mold, it’s time to toss them out.

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Pickled beets are not only delicious but also a great way to preserve the flavors of fresh produce. They bring a tangy, sweet addition to many dishes and can be enjoyed year-round. So, the next time you find yourself with a bunch of fresh beets, give this recipe a try. You might just find yourself reaching for them as a favorite snack, just like I do.