Homegrown Pickled Beetroot

Just a few short weeks ago, I sowed some beetroot seed to fill in an empty spot in the veggie garden. They grew well and we used the baby leaves regularly in salads. This week however, I noticed that several bulbs had formed and after a previous attempt at trying to grow beetroot and ending up with woody roots, I decided to pull them up, if a little on the small side - at least they would (should!) be tender.

Fresh from the garden!
After removing the leaves and leaving a small section of stalk attached, I ended up with one kilogram of beetroot.  They were then washed...

Trim the leaves leaving a section of stalk in place, then wash...
....placed in a pot and covered with water and then boiled gently for around 20 minutes until tender. Leaving the tap roots and stalks uncut while cooking prevents loss of flavour occurring from excess bleeding.

...and then boil until tender (20 mins approx)
Once tender, the beetroot was drained and left until cool enough to handle. The skins were slipped off with the help of a small paring knife and then the whole bulbs were quartered or halved, depending on their size.

Once drained and cool enough to handle, carefully peel the skins off - they should slip off easily
Around the same time, I got the pickling solution under way. The following ingredients were placed into a pot:

4 cups vinegar (I used 2 cups white & 2 cups apple cider)
1 1/2 cups sugar (more or less may be used, depending on your preference)
1 tsp ground cinnamon (or 1 cinnamon stick)
about 8 cloves
10-12 peppercorns

The ingredients were brought to a simmer and stirred occassionally to allow the sugar to dissolve and the flavours to infuse.

The beetroot segments were placed into (sterilised) jars, covered with the pickling liquid, leaving a 1cm headspace and processed. (I used the Fowlers Vacola unit, however a 15 minute boiling water bath could be used in place).

1kg of beetroot yielded three modest size jars of pickled beetroot
Perfect for summer barbeques!


  1. My Mum always makes her own beetroot and it's the best, so much nicer than the store bought. Yours looks and sounds very yummy and will be perfect for summer. Enjoy your the fruits of your hardwork. :)

  2. Everyone raved about my homegrown pickled beetroot on Christmas day:0) Hope you enjoy them!

  3. Memories of earlier days..can't wait for my beetroot to bulk up.

  4. small is beautiful! They look perfectly delicious, huge beetroot fans here :)

  5. Chris, look at the potatoes! And those gorgeous little beets! They're just about finished in our garden, but I think I'll go rooting around outside to see if the last few are ready for picking now.. :)

  6. I made my own beetroot for Christmas for the first time. It turned out okay but i found that I only used Apple Cider Vinegar and I find that taste a bit strong. I will try your recipe next time. Thanks for the post, Wendy

  7. These beets look gorgeous. How long did they take to grow?? I planted my seeds about 10 weeks ago and the leaves haven't been worth picking for salads and there are no bulbs.... what's your secret? what is your soil PH? and what about sunlight?? did they need feeding?? I've been giving mine seasol and phospherous but still no improvements.. would love to hear from you. Thanks

  8. I have just come across your blog and found this timely post as I have been given some home grown beetroot. I didn't quite know what to do with it and thought I might look up a pickling recipe. Just put them on the stove to boil while I came to find a recipe and got a little sidetracked. I came here and found this post! Thank you. Maa.

  9. You are right, homemade IS so much nicer, Catherine. Lucky you :)

    Lovely, Debbie, nice that you got some done in time for Christmas!

    It's exciting, isn't it, Hazel.

    I'm a big beetroot fan too, Jo and now a home pickling convert - these ones are so much better than the tinned ones variety from the shops. Plus, that homegrown COLOUR! WOW!!!! :)

    It's a little hard to stop from pulling them all up, Celia..so easy to get carried away. Best let some sit in there to actually grow a little more, at least here anyway! :)

    Wendy, being the first time I've made them it's hard to know what else to compare them too. The mix of vinegars was good, and the spices were quite spicy although next time I will add slightly more sugar as it was a little acidic - something which I'm sure would mellow over time, not for someone (like me) who jumps in and eats them the day after pickling!

    Oh, gosh, Tam, uh probably about 8-10 weeks. No idea on all the specifics, they were planted in a bed that the chooks travel over but had already grown a crop of vegies previously (double cropping?), sunlight would be about 6 hours a day (when it's actually sunny that is!) and I didn't feed them anything extra at all. Oh, I also used the seed tape which is great - already evenly spaced and the thinnings were replanted to increase the yield.

    Lovely, Maa, best of luck with your pickling, we have had ours twice already with bbq's. :)


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Hi there, so nice of you to stop by! Thanks for sharing your thoughts, I love hearing what you are up to. Christine x

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