Quick Pickled Beets

In the summer, I often preserve pickled beets from those we grow by canning them, but by this time of year, I am eating pickled beets in cans from the grocery store. Well, as I was in the pantry to get a can of pickled beets the other day, I was disappointed, for the last 4 cans were…standard canned beets. Which…canned beets are just awful. They always taste tinny. They need that zing of being pickled. I can only figure out that the kids grabbed the wrong cans while shopping. They do look very similar!

But not wanting to waste them, I quickly pickled the canned beets in the refrigerator so my crisp salad could get topped.

Each batch makes enough for 2 standard-sized cans of beets. So for us, two lunches worth. We like beets. You can reuse the pickling liquid to do a second batch afterward, so the savings continue. Once you have them in the refrigerator, you have 5-6 weeks to enjoy them.

Quick Pickled Beets


  • 2 cans beets, well-drained
  • 1 cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 3 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1 Tbsp kosher salt (do not use iodine-containing salt!)
  • ¾ tsp whole mustard seed
  • ½ tsp ground black pepper


Drain the beets, stack them in piles, and cut them into bite-size cubes.

Using a canning funnel, transfer the beets into a wide-mouth mason jar.

Meanwhile, heat the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, mustard seed, and pepper in a small saucepan till boiling.

Pour the liquid over the beets until the jar is full (all the liquid should fit). Let it sit open on the counter to cool down a bit.

Seal and chill in the refrigerator until cold. For best taste, allow them to pickle for at least 2-3 hours, or better, for 2-3 days, before enjoying.