These easy refrigerator pickled beets are super easy to make. Perfect for preserving homegrown beetroot to enjoy your harvest for longer!
During the craziness of 2020 we had a lot more time at home, and like a lot of people kickstarted our vegie patch. We were a bit late getting started, but one of the first things we harvested was this amazing homegrown red beets or beetroot as we say in Australia.
Normally I love beetroot roasted with a little balsamic vinegar and olive oil drizzled over the top but I wanted something different that would make my homegrown beets last more than one meal. This pickled beetroot recipe was the answer.
Easy to throw together and keeps the beets fresh and crunchy in the fridge for upto two weeks! Some people roast their beetroot before pickling, however I wanted to preserve the fresh, earthly flavors and crunch of the beets, I kept them raw.
Perfect on a Aussie burger or a bagel with some cream cheese and some smoked trout, delicious!
How long will pickled beets keep in the refrigerator?
Depending on the recipe, anywhere from two to six weeks. I recommend these pickled beets are eaten within two weeks of making, however I am probably being very conservative and they will likely last longer than that.
Should pickled beets be refrigerated?
For this recipe yes defiantly. The beets are pickled in brine but they must be kept in the refrigerator to keep them safe to eat.
Canned beets are safe to keep in the cupboard at room temperature, but this is a different process that must be carefully followed to keep them safe to eat.
Fresh beets: I used homegrown red beetroot from my garden. If you don't grow your own you can use store bought beetroot. You can also use any colored beetroot you like, why not mix things up with yellow or white beets instead?
Vinegar: regular white vinegar is fine for this recipe. You can try using other types of vinegar if you like such as white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar.
Sugar: white sugar is best in this recipe to help preserve the beets. You could use castor sugar or raw sugar if you like, just make sure you dissolve it well in the pickling liquid.
Salt: a little table salt adds to the flavor and helps preserve the beets.
Bay leaves: whole bay leave will help add some lovely flavor to these beets without over powering them.
Mustard seeds: this recipe uses whole mustard seeds.
Pepper corns: this recipe uses whole black pepper corns to add some lovely flavor and spice to the these pickles. You can try using white or pink peppercorn instead if you like.
How to make refrigerator pickled beets
Make sure you jars are clean and dry. Because these beets are stored in the fridge the jars do not need to be fully sterilized as you would if you were properly canning, but they do need a good clean with hot soapy water and dried thoroughly.
I use two smalls jars of about (200mls) each, but you use one larger jar if you prefer.
Make the pickling liquid first. Add the vinegar, sugar, spices and water to a small pot on the stove. Heat on medium high, stirring until the sugar and salt is dissolved.
Reduce to low and simmer for five minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool. While the pickling liquid is simmering and cooling, prepare your beetroot.
Hot tip: beets can stain your hands, cloths, chopping boards and lots of other things! Be careful not to get beet juice on things and if you are worried about staining your hands you can wear gloves.
Wash the beetroot well, especially if using homegrown beets pulled from the garden. Peel the tough outer skin with a sharp knife.
Cut into halves or quarters if you beets are particularly large. Thinly slice the beets. You can use a mandolin for this if you like or just a sharp knife.
Once the beets are all sliced and your picking liquid has cooled down a bit you can start layering your beets. Put a splash of pickling liquid and a bay leaf in the bottom of the first jar. Put in the sliced beetroot, moving them around slightly as you add each layer to help expose as much beet as possible to the pickling liquid.
Fill with beets till about one third full. Add some more pickling liquid and another bay leaf. Fill jar with beets until two thirds full, add more pickling liquid and another bay leaf. Finally fill the rest of the way with sliced beets, really packing them into the jar and top up with pickling liquid. Repeat with second jar. Screw on lid tightly and store in the fridge for at least two hours before eating, preferably over night.
How to serve
These beets are delicious as a snack on their own, in a salad or layered up on a toasted bagel with some cream cheese and smoked salmon or trout. Delicious!
How to store
These beets will store well in the fridge for up to two weeks. Always check the jar before eating and discard if they are showing any signs of going bad.
Have you made this recipe? Tell me how it went in the comments below!
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Refrigerator pickled beets
- 3 medium (1lbs/440gms ish) fresh beetroot
- ½ cup (125mls) white vinegar
- ½ cup (110gms) white sugar
- 2 teaspoons salt
- 2 teaspoons mustard seeds
- 2 teaspoons whole black pepper corns
- 6 whole bay leaves
- ¼ cup (62mls) water
- Ensure your jars are washed and thoroughly clean and dry.
- Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, spices and water to a small pot.
- Cook on medium high heat, stirring to dissolve the sugar and salt.
- Reduce to low and simmer for about five minutes.
- Turn off heat and allow to cool while you prepare you beetroot.
- NB: you may want to use gloves for this step so as not to stain your hands.
- Wash the beetroot if needed to remove any dirt, especially if using home grown beetroot.
- Peel the beetroot with a sharp knife. Cut the beetroot into at least half, or quarters if you beetroot is especially large.
- Slice the beetroot as thinly as you can. You can use a mandolin for this if you like, or just use a sharp knife.
- Add a splash of pickling liquid and one bay leaf to the bottom of the jar. Layer in the beetroot slices, turning each slice slight as you go and pushing them down into the jar.
- When the jar is about one third full, add another bay leave and some more pickling liquid.
- Full until jar is two thirds full and repeat again for the final layer.
- As you get towards the top make sure the jar is well packed with beetroot, pushing some down the sides if you need to.
- Repeat the steps again with the second jar if using.
- Screw the lid on tightly and refrigerate for at least two hours before eating, preferably overnight.
- You can store these pickled beetroots for up to two weeks in the fridge.
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