Grandma's Refrigerator Pickled Beets

My Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets are a simple, classic pickled beet that makes just enough to fill a jar. Because Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets are so easy, you can just knock them out when you have a few minutes.

Grandma's Refrigerator Pickled Beets
Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets

Quick refrigerator pickles like My Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets can be a great save when you have a few leftover veggies or maybe a few too many veggies to use. Obviously, some vegetables pickle better than others, but you’d be surprised how many pickle well.

One way to preserve those veggies is to store them in a simple brine and pickle them. If you’re making a small amount like this and planning to refrigerate, no need to go through any canning process. Just heat the brine, pour over the raw, cooked or blanched vegetable in the jar and refrigerate. I prefer to cook beets for these pickles by roasting, using the slow roasted option from Martha Stewart.

Besides just eating Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets, or serving them as a tangy side for something rich, I love using pickled beets in salads like this Irish Pub Salad and the Beet Goes on Salad. The Honey Citrus Vinaigrette in the Beet Goes on Salad? You’ll want to drink it! Maybe even splash a little on your wrists and behind your ears!

Grandma's Refrigerator Pickled Beets
Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets

You might have guessed by the name, Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets, that this is the recipe my Grandma Irene used, my Mom used and now I use. There’s nothing too exotic, just a beautiful brine that turns into the loveliest color when combined with the beets. The beets, in turn, pick up all the flavor from the spices.

Look for beets in season for the best pricing and don’t be dismayed by what the tops look like. The leaves are often unattractive. I don’t waste them, though. Wash them and use them in salads, smoothies or pesto. They are just as good for you as the beets themselves.

When you make Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets, you will want to make sure all the beets are covered, not sticking above the brine. I just wanted to make sure you could see at least a little of the beets when I took the pictures for this post.

Grandma's Refrigerator Pickled Beets
Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets


Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets

Grandma's Refrigerator Pickled Beets

A classic refrigerator pickled beet.

  • Author: Irene Elsenbast
  • Yield: 1 jar


  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water (or beet juice if you’ve cooked your beets in water)
  • 1/4 cup sugar
  • 2 cloves
  • 1″ piece of cinnamon stick
  • 1 small piece bay leaf
  • 4 whole black peppercorns
  • 2 beets, cooked and sliced


Bring all ingredients except beets to a boil in a 2- to 3-quart saucepan, stirring until sugar is dissolved. Cover and simmer a few minutes.

Add beets to a very clean or sterilized jar, pour the hot brine over. Cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.

Keeps six to eight weeks in the fridge.


If you are pickling to can and store, there is a whole different process. This is for the refrigerator, only.

When the beets are gone, the brine can be brought back up to a boil and reused for another batch. It just gets better and better.


I’ll be sharing Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets at Fiesta Friday #219, hosted this week by Jhuls at the Not So Creative Cook. Do stop by their sites when you have a minute – Fiesta Friday is a fun link up from some of the best bloggers and you’re going to fall in love with Juhl’s site!

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12 Comments on “Grandma’s Refrigerator Pickled Beets

  1. I love pickles, Mollie. And wow, look at that color!! Thanks for sharing and happy Fiesta Friday!

  2. So happy you have posted this Mollie – I love pickled beets but refuse to buy them in cans from the supermarket….I usually end up roasting my beets and then blitzing with olive oil…..but my fridge doesn’t have any room for jars left – so next time I’ll be pickling and canning them! Thank you….

    • I’m pretty sure this is just cut back from my Grandma’s actual canning recipe, but you’ll want to double check the acid ratio if processing. 🙂

  3. This is perfect. I love beets, but I’m the only one that does at our house. We grow them anyway, so this would keep me from having to eat a huge pile by myself and all at once!

    • Hi Carlee, it’s the same at my house! My kids never really warmed up to them. So I’ll make a “bunch” of them and then pickle the rest.

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