Homemade Pickled Beets – Made the easy way in the fridge with no canning required and you only need 3 ingredients (plus salt and water)! Fresh beets are steamed or roasted then marinated in the fridge for a day in a simple, vibrant vinegar brine. They make a delicious and healthy snack or salad addition!
Easy Refrigerator Pickled Beets
Pickled beets used to be one of those things that I cringed at growing up but now I absolutely love them! Maybe that’s because the homemade version completely changed my opinion on them.
I make these several times every summer when I get fresh beets from my brothers garden. Pickled beets really don’t get any better than this!
These are super fresh, perfectly simple without other flavors to hide their unique flavor, and you wouldn’t believe how easy they are to make.
These are a great option if you, like me, aren’t familiar with canning things yourself (to make them shelf stable). Someday I’ll learn but in the meantime this quick and simple method using the fridge is such a breeze and it makes the best pickled beets I’ve ever tasted! See for yourself and make a batch this week.
Then pair them with a ham and cheddar salad, or make them the star of a spinach salad and pair them with some walnuts and feta.
Pickled Beets Ingredients and Substitutes
- Beets: Fresh beets that are fairly even in size work best.
- Apple cider vinegar: You could try another vinegar here such as white wine vinegar or even plain vinegar if that’s what you have on hand.
- Maple syrup: You can adjust this to taste if you want it more or less sweet. Use real maple syrup not pancake syrup. Honey will work too.
- Salt: You can use the amount I’ve recommend or season to taste.
- Water: Use cool filtered water, not hot.
How to Pickle Beets
Note that beets can be steamed, roasted or boiled (though I recommend the first two methods for more nutrition) for refrigerator pickled beets.
- Prepare pot for cooking: Place a steamer basket (or steamer attachment of pot) in a pot and fill pot with about 1 1/2-inches to 2-inches of water (it shouldn’t touch the steamer basket). Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Steam the beets: Place beets in basket, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot with lid and let steam until beets are tender when pierced with a fork (they shouldn’t be overly soft, I like a very light bite to them), about 45 to 50 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level you may need to add more water to the pot as they steam.
- Let beets cool and peel: Remove beets and let them cool in a cutting board. Once cool enough to handle rub skins off of beets using paper towels.
- Cut beets and place in jar: Cut beets into chunks about 1 to 1 1/2-inches. Transfer pieces to a 32 oz mason jar or other food storage container.
- Make brine: In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup whisk whisk together apple cider vinegar, water, maple syrup and salt. Pour mixture over beets in jar.
- Marinate in the fridge: Cover with lid and refrigerator at least 24 hours, or up to 3 weeks.
How to Roast Beets for Pickling
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place each beet on a sheet of foil, add 1 Tbsp water as you wrap it up.
- Place beets on a baking sheet and roast until tender, about 45 to 60 minutes depending on size.
- Let cool then peel (using a paper towel to rub it off), and chop.
Helpful Tips for the Best Pickled Beets
- Cook beets just until tender. We don’t want them overly soft and mushy.
- Also be mindful that they are cooked through to the center, so they aren’t hard and under-cooked.
- Larger beets will take longer to cook while smaller beets will cook faster. You can use any size of beets but if they are super large you may want to cut beets in half before cooking.
- Allow enough time for the beets to marinate for more flavor to soak in.
- Be sure beets are covered with the brine, if you need add a little splash more of water/vinegar.
You can also season these with other ingredients such as:
- Herbs such as thyme, rosemary, oregano or marjoram
- Onions, garlic or shallot
- Seasoning such as mustard seed, black pepper, or even cloves, cinnamon and allspice
How to store pickled beets
- They should be kept in the fridge for in an airtight container.
- Freezing is not recommend as this will alter the texture.
How long do pickled beets last?
These refrigerator pickled beets should last up to 4 weeks in the fridge.
Are pickled beets good for you?
- Yes! These pickled beets are a healthy food packed with vitamins such as (vitamin c, b vitamins and maganese), minerals and antioxidants.
- These may actually be a healthier option than many store-bought varieties as well since the beets here are steamed instead of boiled, and they may include less sugars and salt.
- They are also very low fat and low cholesterol.
Can I make the beets without sugar or sweetener?
- If you’d like these can also be made without the sugar just keep in mind they will be more tart.
- You may consider adding a few pinches of sugar-free sweetener such as stevia to help balances it out.
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Refrigerator Pickled Beets
- Place a steamer basket (or steamer attachment of pot) in a pot and fill pot with about 1 1/2-inches to 2-inches of water (it shouldn't touch the steamer basket). Bring water to a simmer over medium-high heat.
- Place beets in basket, reduce heat to medium-low, cover pot with lid and let steam until beets are tender when pierced with a fork (they shouldn't be overly soft, I like a very light bite to them), about 45 to 50 minutes. Keep an eye on the water level you may need to add more water to the pot as they steam.
- Remove beets and let them cool in a cutting board. Once cool enough to handle rub skins off of beets using paper towels.
- Cut beets into chunks about 1 to 1 1/2-inches. Transfer pieces to a 32 oz mason jar or other food storage container.
- In a 2-cup liquid measuring cup whisk whisk together apple cider vinegar, water, maple syrup and salt. Pour mixture over beets in jar.
- Cover with lid and refrigerator at least 24 hours, or up to 4 weeks.
- *Small, medium, or large beets work for this recipe. Just note that the small beets may take only 30 minutes to steam and the larger beets closer to 1 hour to steam. So if they are all various sizes keep this in mind and remove them accordingly.
- Beets can also be roasted or boiled for this recipe. I just found the steaming method to be the easiest and I believe it retains a good amount of the nutrients.
- I love to use remaining brine, I just pour over sliced fresh cucumbers and serve bright pink cucumbers, they're so pretty!
- Nutrition estimate based on 1 Tbsp maple syrup and 1/2 tsp sodium being absorbed into beets (not serving remaining brine).