Refrigerator Pickled Beets; Grandma’s Pickled Beets Recipe

Making Refrigerator pickled beets are surprisingly easy. With their crunchy texture, pickled beets are a great addition to salads, sandwiches and burgers. Here, we’ll show you how to make easy refrigerator pickled beets, using my Grandm’s Pickled Beets Recipe.

Refrigerator Pickled Beets

Grandma always had countless jars of homemade canned pickled beets on her pantry shelves that she made over the previous summer. Her Pickled Beets were the perfect way enjoy her beet harvest year-round.

But, you don’t have to grow your own beets and fill your canning pantry with jars of pickled beets to enjoy the sweet & sour flavors of my Grandma’s beets with my Easy Refrigerator Pickled Beets!

What are Pickled Beets?

Pickled beets, in the simplest terms, are cooked beets that are marinated in a sweet and tangy brine made up of ingredients such as water, salt, vinegar and sugar. More of a bread and butter style pickle flavor instead of a sour pickle with garlic and dill. AKA we can call these Beet Pickles if you want!

Traditionally pickled beets were actually prepared via fermentation. The bacteria and probiotics are what naturally created a sweet/sour flavor profile. While I love a Fermented food and even have a published cookbook on the topic Fermented Foods at Every Meal – I still prefer the simplicity of refrigerator pickled beets.

You can ALSO, as I mentioned above, make a shelf stable version of pickled beets using the same ingredients and a water bath canning preparation in jars that have been seal for a long shelf life, which I’ve recently added to this post in case you were wondering!!

Refrigerator Pickled Beets

And I can’t think of a better way to enjoy the delicious flavor of beets than marinating them in a sweet and tangy hot brine with red onions. Pickling and marinating vegetables in a brine with ingredients that are salty, vinegary and sweet is such a great way to incorporate a unique and delicious taste to even veggies you may typically avoid!

Yes, my Easy Refrigerator Pickled Beets are just that easy, Cook/peel/cut beets and soak them in salt, sugar vinegar and water.

BOOM in just about a week you have Pickled Beets to enjoy and it’s a great way to preserve them for month to come! You can make a small batch or giant batches, depending on how much room you have in your fridge to store the jars.

Grandma’s Pickled Beets Ingredients

To make this old fashioned pickled beets recipe recipe you only need a few, easy to find ingredients:

  • Fresh Beets (large and medium beets should be cut into pieces, where as small beets can be left whole) Red beets or golden beets can be used. In a pinch you can also use canned beets too!
  • Red Wine Vinegar, Apple Cider Vinegar, white vinegar, etc
  • Sugar, honey or sweetener of choice
  • Water, filtered
  • onion (red, yellow, white, etc)
  • Optional spices; pickling spice, whole cloves, bay leaves, peppercorn, cinnamon sticks, red pepper flakes, mustard seed, allspice, etc. Or any funky spices you want to try out!

How to make Quick Refrigerator Pickled Beets

Making refrigerator pickled beets is SO EASY! Here’s how…

To get started, remove your beet greens, with a paring knife leaving about 1 inch of stems remaining. Cook beets as desired. How to Cook Beets in foil & oven without Making a Mess is my suggestion. You can also boil/steam and I include those instructions in the recipe card below along with all the nutrition information for this recipe, No matter if you bake, steam, boil or roast

Once your beets are cooked, peeled and cut, if needed for larger beets but feel free to leave smaller beets whole. I personally prefer to slice beets so that they are salad ready!

Place them into a large jar or other air tight container along with onions and spices, if desired.

Over medium heat, in a small saucepan combine your pickling liquid ingredients and bring to a simmer to melt the sweetener. Allow to cool slightly then pour over top of your jar of cooked beets.

Fill each jar with the brine, and cover with an air tight lid. Allow to cool to room temperature before placing in the refrigerator.

You can start enjoying your refrigerator pickled beet salad within a few days and they will keep for MONTHS in the refrigerator in an air-tight container.

How to Can Pickled Beets

Canning pickled beets might be new to you but the canning process is very straight forward. You don’t need a pressure cooker or pressure canner, we’ll be using a water bath canner on your stove top.

Start a large pot or kettle filled with cool water on high heat, fitted with a rack in the bottom. The large sauce pot will need to hold the jars and be able to fully submerge them in water, past the tops of the jars. This will be used for a water bath to can your pickled beets.

Using sterilized hot jars, place prepared cooked beets into the jars. Add extra spices, onion, etc as desired.

Bring brine to a hard boil (aka the sugar vinegar mixture) and fill each jar, on top of the beets, with the brine, leaving a half-inch of headspace. This is called hot packing, using a hot brine before canning. Remove any air bubbles from your canning jars.

Clean the top of the jars by wiping the rims of the jars with a clean damp towel to remove any debris and drips from the pickling brine. Then place lid and ring on each jar as you fill them, being careful not to over tighten (this can cause lids to buckle).

Place prepared jars in a water bath, making sure water covers jars by at least one inch. Bring boiling water bath to process pints 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! Store cooled sealed jars in a dark place until ready to enjoy. They will be shelf stable and safe to eat for 1+ years.

What to eat with Pickled Beets

Now that you have a beautiful and delicious jar of Pickled Beets in your refrigerator, let me inspire you with some serving suggestions for this healthy snack:

  • My favorite way to enjoy my Easy Refrigerator Pickled Beets is on top of a steak salad salad smothered with my homemade ranch dressing – there’s something so addictive about the sweet/tangy beets paired with the creamy ranch!
  • They are also a traditional food to be served on Easter Sunday alongside with roast Ham.
  • Add them to your charcuterie board, pickled beets are especially delicious paired with feta cheese and goat cheese
  • Serve them as a side dish to your favorite sandwiches
  • These are also the key to making my beautiful Beet Pickled Eggs (recipe coming soon) which are a perfect addition for your Easter Dinner!

If you like these Refrigerator Pickled Beets Recipe, try these other refrigerator pickle recipes next:

Refrigerator Pickled Beets

Quick & Easy Refrigerator Pickled Beets

Refrigerator pickled beets are surprisingly easy. With their crunchy texture, pickled beets are a great addition to salads, sandwiches and burgers. Here, we'll show you how to make easy refrigerator pickled beets.
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Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
pickling: 7 days
Servings: 8 servings




How to Cook Beets:

  • Trim the top stem to roughly 1 inch and throughly wash your beets.
  • Place washed beets in a large pot of water and boil for roughly 20 minutes, or until tender. (just like boiling potatoes, the larger beets will take longer to cook)
  • Strain cooked beets in a colander and cool your beets by running cold water over them.
  • When your beets are cool enough to safely handle, with your faucet is running with cold water, use your hands to slip the skin off the beets. Trim the remaining stems and root to be flush with the beet bulb.
  • Cut or slice cooked beets as desired.

To make pickled beets:

  • Combine vinegar, sugar and water in a small sauce pan. Heat to dissolve sugar. Remove from heat and set aside.
  • In glass jar(s) or container(s) with a tight fitting lid, layer cut up beets and sliced onion.
  • Pour vinegar/sugar/water over top. Add additional water if needed to fully submerge the beets in the liquid.
  • Cover with a tight fitting lid and place in the refrigerator for 5-7 days before enjoying. Refrigerator pickled beets will keep for about 2 months.


Calories: 104kcal | Carbohydrates: 24g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 0.2g | Saturated Fat: 0.03g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 0.1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 0.04g | Sodium: 91mg | Potassium: 388mg | Fiber: 3g | Sugar: 20g | Vitamin A: 38IU | Vitamin C: 6mg | Calcium: 22mg | Iron: 1mg
Tried this recipe?Mention @hayley_inthekitchen or tag #hayley_inthekitchen!

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  1. 5 stars
    I made these 4 years ago and thought I lost the recipe! Thankfully I never delete emails hahaha I had emailed it to myself! This is by far the best recipe. I will be canning them this year.

  2. 5 stars
    Just made these! They were so simple to whip up and a great way to save my beets before they went bad. I’m looking forward to enjoying them in a few salads later on this week!

  3. 5 stars
    I have beets from my garden and wanted a good recipe to try for pickled beets. Walaa! Your recipe is easy to do and follow. I especially like the option of using honey (we have a hive). My pickled beets are now in the refrigerator and the countdown is on for a week from now when I can enjoy them.

  4. I literally googled “pickled beets and ranch dressing” because I’ve never known anyone else to eat this or any restaurants to serve it.

    I’m ecstatic that I found someone else who understands the deliciousness of this combination! I also pour roasted sunflower seeds over these two ingredients and it’s epic for me.

  5. When you say that they will last for 2 months in the fridge, is that after they are opened to be eaten or before? Thank you

    1. You are welcome to use other types of vinegar, they will affect the taste slightly – so pick one you like!

    1. Pickled beets are traditionally a sweet & sour treat, omitting the sugar would leave them just sour. Honey would work great as a swap or even a favorite low carb sweetener like swerve. I welcome you to create your own recipes using mine as a starting point.

      1. Many of us are diabetic and many more obese, which is why we cannot take sugar, or honey or anyother sweetners, same with mayonaise and pickles, they all contain sugars.

        1. Hey Phil – thanks for your comment. I think you’re new to my site – I eat a mostly low carb diet but this blog covers all types of real food eating. Not every recipe is ideal for everyone. I am more than aware of a diet which addresses diabetes – specifically I would not even encourage eating beets since they will raise most people BG levels due to their high carbohydrate content, so to discuss the sugar component is a moot point. There are naturally based sweeteners which do no impact blood glucose that are healthy in strict moderation for even ketogenic dieters. As for mayonnaise and non-sweet pickles, perhaps you need to upgrade your groceries to higher quality?! Many brands do not include sugar in mayonnaise, nor do they add sugar to pickles, If you need help finding healthier options please don’t ever hesitate to reach out.

          1. I used honey, fresh ginger and lemon with vinegar, omitted the onions. Taste really good

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