How to Pickle Beetroot (Gran’s Tried and Tested Recipe!)

Ever wondered how to pickle beetroot at home? It’s super simple and it tastes a million times better than shop bought! This is my Gran’s trusted recipe that’s been perfected over many years of trial and error. Trust me, just like with my homemade sweet chilli jam, you won’t want another sandwich without it! Read on for the full recipe and tips, plus how to sterilise jars.

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

Funny story – When I was little I was the fussiest eater EVER. I basically only ate 3 things. Chocolate (obviously), coleslaw and beetroot. I didn’t even like pizza. I know, what a weirdo right?! So I’ve had a very close relationship with beetroot from a really young age. 

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

My Gran grows lots of delicious fruits and vegetables in her garden, one of them is beetroot. It’s pretty much the only vegetable I make a point of knowing when it’s in season – just so I can get my hands on a jar of the good stuff!

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

I’m not joking, my Gran’s pickled beetroot is like currency in my family! It generates jealousy of the highest kind when you know someone else has a jar and you don’t. It really is that good! Come to think of it, so does her epic ham and cheese quiche. She’s basically a legend!

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf and a fork next to it

There’s something about it that’s so special, shop bought genuinely doesn’t even compare! (This applied to these pickled onions too!) It’s so soft and delicate with a punchy yet sweet flavour. I haven’t bought a jar since tasting it and that was a long time ago.

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf and a fork next to it

Because my Gran is unbelievably awesome, I asked her what her secret recipe was… and she told me! This made me CRAZY happy as I now have not one, but two jars of the best pickled beetroot in my house and I get to share the recipe with you!

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf and a fork next to it

How easy is it to pickle beetroot?

It really is very simple to make your own pickled beetroot. All you really need is time, there’s actually very little hands on with this!

  1. Wash the beetroot and trim the stems
  2. Place in a pan of cold water and bring to the boil
  3. Simmer with a lid on for 1 hour
  4. Dissolve a little sugar into vinegar over a low heat
  5. Peel the skins off the beetroot and slice thinly
  6. Place the beetroot into sterilised jars and cover with hot vinegar
  7. Seal and allow to cool completely

 

See! Nothing to it.

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

What ingredients do you need to pickle beetroot?

There are just 3 ingredients required to make pickled beetroot. That’s all!

  • Whole Beetroot – Try to use beetroot that is all similar in size and that are not really small or really large, but somewhere in between.
  • Vinegar – My Gran swears by using malt (brown) vinegar as opposed to white. I trust her completely as it always works out so delicious!
  • Sugar – Soft light brown sugar gives a slightly more caramelised flavour here but if you don’t have that, most sugars will get the job done fine.

 

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

Tips on How to Pickle Beetroot

As with any recipe, no matter how simple, we are all human and we all make mistakes! Here’s a few helpful pointers so you can nail it first time.

  • Use a toothbrush to wash your beetroot before cooking. It’s gentle enough that it won’t break the skin but does a perfect job of removing all the dirt!
  • Make sure your beetroot is nice and soft before you slice it. This is what sets this pickled beetroot apart from the shop bought versions.
  • Try and peel the skins while the beetroot is still hot. If the beetroot and vinegar are hot, they will seal better in the jar.
  • Don’t forget to remove any rubber seals before sterilising your jars! (I’ve done this before and trust me, it’s messy and STINKS!)
  • Fill the jar as close to the top as you can. This helps the beetroot keep better over time.

 

Pickled beetroot in a jar

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Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

How to Pickle Beetroot

Here is what you will need to fill approx 1 x 500ml Jar. (There may be enough for a 250ml jar too, depending on the size of your beetroot.)

(For a printer friendly version, see the recipe card at the end of this post)

  • 550g (19.4 oz) of Raw Whole Beetroot
  • 270ml (1 + 1/8 Cup) Malt Vinegar
  • 3 – 4 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar

 

Essential Equipment

  • Large Lidded Saucepan
  • 500ml Preserve Jar
  • Small Saucepan
  • Sharp Knife

 

First, trim the beetroot stems (550g | 19.4 oz raw whole beetroot) to about 1″ and give them a good wash. I like to use a toothbrush as it’s perfect for getting into all those nooks and crannies!

Washed whole beetroot with the stems trimmed on a chopping board with a knife

Now place them into a large saucepan (that you have a lid for).

Washed whole beetroot with the stems trimmed in a large saucepan

Then cover them with cold water to about an inch above the tops, and place over a high heat.

Washed whole beetroot with the stems trimmed in a large saucepan covered with water

Bring it to the boil…

Whole beetroot in a large saucepan of boiling water

Then reduce the heat to a simmer and pop a lid on. Leave to simmer for 1 hour so the beetroot gets nice and soft.

Whole beetroot simmering in a large saucepan with a lid on

How to Sterilise Jars

Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 180°C/374°F and wash your jar(s) in hot soapy water. When there is about 15-20 minutes left on your beetroot timer, place your preserve jar(s) onto a baking tray with the lids off/open. Don’t forget to remove any rubber seals!

Clean jars on a baking tray ready to be sterilised in the oven

Place them into the centre of the preheated oven for 20 minutes. This is all you need to do to sterilise your jars.

Just make sure you don’t touch the inside of the jars with anything other than the beetroot/vinegar, or it will no longer be sterile.

How to Make the Pickling Vinegar

Meanwhile, with about 5-10 minutes to go, pour the vinegar (560ml | 2 + 1/3 Cup) into a small saucepan and set over a low/medium heat. 

1 tbsp at a time, add around 3-4 tbsp of sugar and stir through until it’s dissolved. If you can brave it, have a taste to check the sweetness is to your liking. Although, brace yourself – this is gonna tickle your throat a bit! (Well, it is pure vinegar!)

Vinegar and sugar being heated gently in a small pan over a low heat

Keep this hot (but not boiling) until you’re ready to bottle your beetroot.

How to Prepare Your Cooked Beetroot

When the hour is up, drain the beetroot.

Whole cooked beetroot in a large saucepan

Then, as soon as you can handle them, remove the beetroot from the pan and peel the skins off. They should slip off very easily.

Whole beetroot having their skins peeled off on a chopping board

Whole beetroot with their skins peeled on a chopping board

Now thinly slice the beetroot using a sharp knife.

Sliced cooked beetroot on a chopping board with a sharp knife

How to Bottle your Pickled Beetroot

While everything is still hot (the beetroot, vinegar and jars), fill your jar(s) as full as you can with sliced beetroot.

Sliced cooked beetroot in a sterilised jar

Then pour over the hot vinegar and fill it as close to the top as you can.

Sliced cooked beetroot in a sterilised jar

All that’s left to do is seal the lid and allow it to cool. 

Everything needs to be hot when you do this because they expand when hot. Then, when things cool, they shrink. This is how the jars seal.

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

That’s all there is to it! Unopened, your beetroot will last in a cool cupboard for up to 1 year. Once opened, it will keep well in the fridge for up to 3 months.

Let’s be honest though, it’s addictive and is never gonna last that long anyway!

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

Have you made this recipe?

Will this gorgeous pickled beetroot be making it’s way into your home? I’d love to know if it is! Send me your pics, comments and questions on Facebook, Twitter & Instagram or email me at emma@kitchenmason.com.

Like cooking to be as simple as possible?

You need the right equipment! Check out my favourite Products For Hassle Free Cooking.

 

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Pickled beetroot in a jar

Pickled beetroot in a jar

Pickled beetroot in a jar with a lettuce leaf next to it

How to Pickle Beetroot (Gran's Tried and Tested Recipe!)

Yield: 1 x 500ml Jar
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes

Want to know how to pickle beetroot? This soft and delicate beetroot pickled in a sweet yet punchy vinegar is my Gran's trusty recipe that's been developed over the years!

Ingredients

  • 550g (19.4 oz) of Raw Whole Beetroot
  • 270ml (1 + 1/8 Cup) Malt Vinegar
  • 3 - 4 tbsp Soft Light Brown Sugar

Essential Equipment

  • Large Lidded Saucepan
  • 500ml Preserve Jar
  • Small Saucepan
  • Sharp Knife

Instructions

  1. Trim the beetroot stems to 1" and wash them well.
  2. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to the boil.
  3. Reduce to a simmer and put a lid on. Simmer for 1 hour.
  4. Meanwhile, sterilise your jar (see below).
  5. Pour the vinegar in a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
  6. Add the sugar to taste and keep hot (but not boiling) until your beetroot is ready.
  7. When the beetroot is cooked, drain the water and peel the skins off.
  8. Thinly slice it with a sharp knife then fill your hot jar to the top with beetroot.
  9. Pour over the hot vinegar (as close to the top as you can) and seal.

How to Sterilise a Jar

  1. Preheat your oven to 190°C/Fan 180°C/374°F and make sure your jar is clean. (Washed in hot soapy water.)
  2. Place your jar on a baking tray (with seals removed) and bake for 20 minutes.
  3. Seal while your jar is still hot for best results.

Notes

Unopened beetroot will store in a cupboard at room temperature for up to 1 year.

Store opened beetroot in the fridge and consume within 3 months.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Nutrition Information:
Yield: 8 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving:Calories: 59Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 56mgCarbohydrates: 11gFiber: 1gSugar: 10gProtein: 1g

Nutritional information on kitchenmason.com should only be used as a general guideline, I am not a certified nutritionist. Please always check labels for allergens where applicable.

Did you make this recipe?

I'd love to hear about it! Please leave a comment on the blog or tag me on Instagram.

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As featured on Julia’s Simply Southern Meal Plan Monday #224

10 thoughts on “How to Pickle Beetroot (Gran’s Tried and Tested Recipe!)”

  1. Amy says:

    I have been trying to research how to sterilize these types of jars for ages! and you have shown me so simply. thank you so much. I will be trying the recipe out over the next couple of days as my beetroot is ready to come out of the ground now. Will be doing these as Christmas presents!

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Amy. Aww I’m so glad you found what you were looking for at Kitchen Mason! They would make super lovely gifts too 🙂 Emma x

  2. Kevin Peacock says:

    So I made this, with beets picked from the allotment this morning. How long doin have to wait before I can eat them ! I know leaving a month might make them taste wonderful but I don’t think I can wait that long. So, minimum waiting period advised before scoffing the lot !?

    1. Emma says:

      Hahaha I feel your pain Kevin!! I love beetroot too 🙂 I wouldn’t say the flavour necessarily improves with time on this one, it kind of just stays the same. I let mine cool to room temperature then refrigerate until cold… at which point it tends to mysteriously disappear into my belly haha! Emma x

  3. Billlie Delling says:

    Hi. Ms. Billie here, I love pickled beets and I do it completely different. I wash my beets real good, cut the stem about 2 inches, cover with water and boil till tender. Let cool until you can handle them, slip the skins off then slice and put in jars. Now, I make the brine by adding 1 part apple cider vinegar, 1 part water, 1 part sugar and pickling spice. Bring to a boil and cover beets, seal lids and leave about a week or two. Then try and see if you like them.

    1. Emma says:

      Hi and Billie. Your brine sounds very yummy! Emma x

  4. Hi, this may sound a bit silly, but i think 560ml is too much malt vinegar for 1x 500ml jar, surely there would not be enough room for the Beetroot, has there been a mistake?

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Susan. Not silly at all! You actually spotted a mistake so thank you VERY much for letting me know! (I made 2 batches in one go and forgot to halve the amount of vinegar in the recipe, DOH!) Emma x

  5. I notice that you do not put your jars in a hot water bath to seal them. Does this make a difference?

    1. Emma says:

      Hi Paul. Not in my experience. Because the jar, vinegar and beetroot are all hot (and expanded) when you close the lid, when it cools – everything shrinks back slightly which seals it. Emma x

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