Beets Every Which Way: Pickling Spice Blend

a jar of pickled beet from a bird's eye view

I have a beet problem, which is to say that I love pickled beets, which means I’m worried that I’m missing out on the perfect pickled beet recipe. That means I experiment a lot with them. My rule has been that when I make them, I make my current favorite recipe alongside a new recipe, so I can taste them against each other. Sometimes the new recipe goes on repeat and sometimes it just goes into my notes, to be revived if I think a friend or guest will enjoy it.

Today’s recipe is more of a traditional pickle profile.


  • 1 lb beets steamed, roasted, or boiled beets, sliced or quartered*
  • 1/2 medium onion, sliced thin\
  • 1 c. apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 c. nonchlorinated water
  • 1/2 c. sugar
  • 1/4 tsp mustard seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole coriander seeds
  • 1/4 tsp whole allspice berries
  • 1/2 tsp celery seeds
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3/4 tsp. whole peppercorns

Boil vinegar, water, and spices, then cool slightly; strain. Pour over beets and onions in a heat-proof jar. Refrigerate*

You can steam them by covering them in tin foil and placing in a roasting pan at 400 degrees. Roast by putting them in a roasting pan with olive oil at 400 degrees. Or place beets in enough water to cover and boil 1-2 hours until soft. In any case, wash thoroughly but do not peel before you begin and leave 1-2 inches of tops intact. After the beets are cooked, the skins slip right off.


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