Pickled Refrigerator Beets

More from the Community Garden Recipe Challenge. Get ready for a bunch of recipes inspired by what I literally dig up at the community garden.  This very tasty light way of making beets was inspired by one found on Simply Recipes, but customized (as all recipes are, to a degree) for what I had on hand. The proportion is more important than the ingredients – it doesn’t really matter if you use white vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar, rice vinegar or malt vinegar. Same thing with the mustard, sugar and oil. Just use what you’ve got.

The non-negotiable part is the beets. You need beets to make pickled beets.

These tasted so great, they only lasted about three days here at the shack.  They’re easy to make, and essentially the jar can just live in your fridge for a few weeks (and get topped off with more boiled beets) as long as you don’t contaminate the brine.

My next step with this is to develop a canning recipe to enjoy pickled beets year-round.

Pickled Beets

Prep Time: 10 minutes

Cook Time: 45 minutes

Total Time: 50 minutes

Yield: 1 pint jar of pickled beets

Serving Size: 4

Pickled Beets


  • 1 bunch (4 or 5) beets
  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbsp sugar
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 3/4 teaspoon brown mustard
  • Salt and pepper


  1. Cut the tops and roots off the beets.
  2. Scrub all dirt off. Get aggressive with steel wool, if necessary.
  3. Place the beets in a medium saucepan and cover with water by about an inch.
  4. 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.
  5. While the beets are cooking, grab a jar and add the ingredients for the marinade.
  6. Combine the vinegar, sugar, olive oil, and mustard.
  7. Give it a taste and add salt and pepper, if you like. .
  8. Slice the beets up (or cut them into quarters if they're little) and layer them tightly in the jar
  9. Put the top on the jar, give it a good shake, and put it in the refrigerator.
  10. These will last for a few weeks - but you'll probably eat them before that.


This terrific recipe was inspired by one posted by Elise Bauer!

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Photo by C. Baltzer

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