Pickled Beets Are Easy to Make at Home With This Recipe (2024)

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A midwestern classic—our favorite refrigerator pickled beets recipe.


Elise Bauer

Pickled Beets Are Easy to Make at Home With This Recipe (1)

Elise Bauer

Elise founded Simply Recipes in 2003 and led the site until 2019. She has an MA in Food Research from Stanford University.

Learn about Simply Recipes'Editorial Process

Updated January 28, 2024

Pickled Beets Are Easy to Make at Home With This Recipe (2)

Beets are a weekly ritual around here. Usually we boil them and toss them in a sweet sour vinaigrette and keep them in the refrigerator to eat all week. The vinegar in the dressing "pickles" the beets, helping them last longer in the fridge.

Many pickled beets I find are much too vinegary, hiding rather than enhancing the naturally sweet flavor of the beets. This recipe is my mother's approach to preparing the beets, using cider vinegar balanced with a little sugar (you could also just use balsamic), along with olive oil and some dry mustard.

We love it! The vinaigrette complements the sweetness of the beets without overpowering them.

Pickled Beets Are Easy to Make at Home With This Recipe (3)

Updated from the recipe archive, first posted in 2006.

Pickled Beets Are Easy to Make at Home With This Recipe (4)

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Reader Variations

Over the years many of you have shared the ways you like to make this recipe your own. Here are a few to try.

  • Jessica E.: "I subbed balsamic vinegar for the cider vinegar since I didn't have any. Soooooo good!! Definitely putting this recipe in my arsenal for future use."
  • Sarah: "I've made these several times. I roast the beets, which gives them a smokey flavor."
  • Not Contrary: "The sugar really does a great job of cutting the bite of the vinegar. I did not have mustard powder so I used whole grain mustard from a jar. It worked just fine. It tasted great but, I can never leave well enough alone. So, I added brown mustard seeds and dried basil leaf."

From the Editors Of Simply Recipes

Easy Pickled Beets

Prep Time5 mins

Cook Time50 mins

Total Time55 mins

This recipe uses a basicvinaigrette, heavy on the vinegar to offset the sweetness of the beets, but you could easily use any favorite vinaigrette. A little olive oil with salt, pepper, and balsamic is lovely. Try sprinklinga little orange zest in with the beets, or adding some lime, lemon, or orange juice to the dressing for a citrus note.


  • 1 bunch (4 or 5) beets

  • 1/4 cup cider vinegar

  • 1 tablespoon sugar

  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

  • 1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

  • Salt and pepper


  1. Prep and cook the beets:

    Remove the greens from the beets, save for future use (see beet greens recipe). Scrub the beets free of any dirt.

    Boiling method

    Place the beets in a medium saucepan and cover with water by about an inch. Bring to a boil on high heat then lower the heat and maintain a simmer for 35 to 45 minutes, depending on the size of the beets, until they are easily pierced with the tines of a fork.

    Roasting method

    Rub the beets with olive oil and wrap them in foil (you can wrap them all together, no need to wrap them individually). Roast in a 400°F oven for an hour or until they are easily pierced with a fork. Let them cool to the touch.

  2. Peel the beets and cut into quarters or slices:

    If you have boiled the beets, drain them and rinse them with cold water. Use your fingers to slip the peels off of the beets. The peels should come off easily. Discard the peels. Quarter or slice the beets.

  3. Make the vinaigrette and pickle the beets:

    Make the vinaigrette by combining the cider vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and dry mustard. Whisk ingredients together with a fork. The dry mustard will help to emulsify the vinaigrette. Adjust to taste. Add salt and pepper to taste. Combine beets and vinaigrette in a bowl and allow to marinate for 30 minutes at room temperature.

    Store in the refrigerator.

    Did you love the recipe? Give us some stars and leave a comment below!

  • Canning and Preserving
  • Summer
  • Beets
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
4g Fat
11g Carbs
1g Protein


Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 4g5%
Saturated Fat 0g2%
Cholesterol 0mg0%
Sodium 206mg9%
Total Carbohydrate 11g4%
Dietary Fiber 2g6%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 1g
Vitamin C 3mg14%
Calcium 15mg1%
Iron 1mg4%
Potassium 244mg5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.

Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.

Pickled Beets Are Easy to Make at Home With This Recipe (2024)
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