Most canning recipes make huge amounts, but this one is engineered to help you crank out a smaller batch, in case you aren’t feeding an army. The sweetness of beets lends itself to a great pickle. Once you’ve enjoyed your beets, try using the leftover brine in potato salad or vinaigrette, for a lovely boost of color.

By Robin Asbell, Co+op, stronger together

Total Time: 4-7 days, 1 hour active
Servings: makes 1 quart; 16 servings


  • 1 pound beets, 2 1/2 inch diameter
  • 1 small white onion, slivered
  • 1/2 cup white wine vinegar
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 2 1-quart canning jars with lids
  • 1 tsp. each whole cloves, whole allspice, a couple of bay leaves, optional


Scrub the beets and place in a large pot, cover with water, and bring to a boil. Boil the beets until they are tender when pierced with a paring knife, about 25 minutes. Drain, and run cold water over each beet, slipping the skins off and paring off the tops and root tips. Let the beets stand until cool enough to slice. Thinly slice beets, then pack into the two 1-quart canning jars, alternating with sliced onions.

In a 1-quart non-reactive pot, combine the vinegar, salt, sugar, and water. Add optional spices, if desired. Bring to a boil over high heat, then pour the liquid over the beets in the jars. Screw the lids on the jars tightly, then refrigerate for 4-7 days before serving.

Nutritional Information

24 calories, 0 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 54 mg sodium, 5 g carbohydrate, 5 g fiber, 1  protein