Preserved Beetroot

Cooking BeetrootI’ve never been a fan of Beetroot. 

I think I was put off it as a kid when it would come in a burger (common addition to a New Zealand burger) and even if I took it out, it would leave a big, soggy, bright red stain on the burger bun that I would then have to eat around.

Or maybe it was from reading too many historical novels that would describe a hideous sounding meal including boiled beets.

Either way, they’ve never been a vegetable I’ve warmed too, and so it is another vegetable that I never used to grow.

There’s a bit of an obvious pattern that has been occuring in our edible garden. Because I am the primary gardener, if I don’t like something, I don’t grow it. The problem is that this means I haven’t been growing quite a few things that my husband actually enjoys eating. Like broccoli, and beetroot.

I’ve been planting broccoli for a few seasons now, and after receiving a free packet of beetroot seeds with a seed order, I decided to pop them in ‘just for the heck of it’.

And they grew nicely.

Growing Beetroot

I can’t say I tended them perfectly but they fattened up anyway and produced some nice little beets.

I pulled a few out, quite proud of their progress, and when my husband saw them he exclaimed ‘I love beetroot!’

“How do you like them?” I asked, unsure of whether he had had them any other way than out of a can.

“Like the stuff in the cans” No suprises then.

So off I went, determined to make the best organic, ‘canned’ beetroot he had ever tasted.

I decided to make just one jar to begin with, just in case it turned out awful.

I’m happy to say though, that my perserved beets turned out pretty damn fine.

Preserving Beetroot

My sweet man demolished the whole jar in one standing (over the kitchen sink) and ooh-ed and ahh-ed all over his delicacy. Apparently they were the best beets he had ever eaten.

It’s only fair then, that I should share the recipe with you, the Growing and Gathering readers.

It’s not complicated at all, and there is perhaps a fancier, more spiced and exotic version to be made, but this is the recipe that produced the ‘best beets ever’, so I’m going with it.

Preserved Beetroot

  • Half dozen Beetroot
  • 1.5 cups of Malt Vinegar
  • 1 cup of Water
  • 1 cup of Brown Sugar
  • 1 teaspoon of Salt
  1. Wash the Beetroot to remove most of the dirt and then chop leaf stems off the Beetroot so only an inch or so is left.
  2. Place Beetroot into a pot of water (skins on) and bring to the boil.
  3. Boil until the Beetroot is soft – about 30 minutes – think of the softness you aim for with potatoes.
  4. Remove from the boiling water and allow to cool. Save the water for the preserving mixture.
  5. Start making the preserving mixture while the Beetroot cools.
  6. Put all ingredients into a pot, and bring to the boil.
  7. Boil for 10 minutes.
  8. When the Beetroot has cooled, rub the skins away – they should come off easily having been boiled.
  9. Cut the Beetroot into slices, and then halve the slices if desired.
  10. Place the Beetroot into sterilised jars, so the slices lay horizontally in the jar.
  11. Pour the boiled preserving mixture into the jar, over the Beetroot.
  12. Seal with sterilised lids and then using heat protection, gently tap the bottom of the jar on a chopping board to force the air bubbles up to the surface and also settled the Beetroot slices.
  13. Leave the jars for at least a week so the Beetroot pickles. (We only just made the week in our house before the contents were demolished so if you have Beetroot lovers like I do, you may need to stash your jars away so they don’t get opened prematurely).




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  1. Dan

    December 14, 2013 at 10:30 pm

    i didn’t use your recipe because i was immediately put off because you spent the first paragraph explaining that you don’t like beetroot. would much rather have a recipe from someone who actually likes the food they are talking about

    • gandg

      December 18, 2013 at 10:18 am

      As I mention in the post, if you read on, there are a number of things I have starting growing in the garden because my family enjoy them, even if I don’t. My husband LOVES this beet recipe and since he’s an avid beetroot fan, he’s a much better judge than I am on the results of the recipe I shared. If I limit my recipes to only those that I enjoy there would be great recipes that I’d never get to share with my family and my readers.

    • matt

      February 3, 2016 at 6:16 pm

      Dan jump in the lake !

    • joni

      January 1, 2017 at 5:12 pm

      wow …. obviously diddnt read the whole article 🙂

  2. Eric

    March 23, 2014 at 12:01 pm

    Cheers for this, I’ll give this one a go as I don’t like too much vinegar. This is my first year veggie gardening and it’s come off rather well, better than I expected. I love beetroot but I really prefer it as a hot veggie in the same way you’d eat a potato. Roasted they’re superb. I would have preferred not to preserve them but they’re getting to a size where they’ll become woody and loose that earthy sweetness.

  3. mary mccarthy

    July 1, 2014 at 9:50 am

    thanks for your recipe i will give it a try. have been growing beetroot fr yrs x have too much this year so i need to preserve it. we are lovers of beetroot in our house. keep up the good work. m

  4. Kaytee

    July 22, 2014 at 5:31 am

    Sounds lovely, how long do you reckon they’ll keep for?

    • gandg

      August 22, 2014 at 7:46 pm

      We tend to get through all of ours before the next growing season, but it should keep easily for a year. I know of people who have eaten there’s a good few years after we have given it to them and it’s been perfect still.

  5. amber

    August 22, 2014 at 7:33 pm

    love how u wrote this all out so easy to follow ………..just harvested our first crop of beetroot so heading to the kitchen right now to use your recipe ..super excited ,thankyou !!hope theyll be delishhh

  6. amber

    August 22, 2014 at 7:37 pm

    if i dont have brown sugar could i use white????????????

    • gandg

      August 22, 2014 at 7:44 pm

      Absolutely. Enjoy!

  7. Kim

    September 2, 2014 at 1:22 pm

    This is great. My partner and I both love beets. Pleased that you pay attention to like dislike of your partner’s taste-buds, not easy to get right. This will be my first try at preserving anything so wish me luck as I am not the green thumb.

  8. Gerard.dervan

    January 17, 2015 at 11:50 am

  9. Gerard.dervan

    January 17, 2015 at 11:55 am

  10. Grant

    December 27, 2015 at 10:59 am

    Making my third batch today. Nice and simple. The family all love it and my 8 year old prefers it over the canned product.
    Thank you

  11. Dave

    February 13, 2016 at 7:38 am

    Third go at making this, family love it. I have, however halved the amount of sugar this time, as my good lady complained that it was “nice but too sweet”, but what is a recipe if not to chop and change it to suit your own likes.

  12. karen

    July 13, 2016 at 2:19 am

    Stupid question what do you mean by heat protection. Is this like a lot of others l have read were l have to place jars in a water thing and cook for a while ? Sorry very very new to veggie gardening. This being first year with crops actually arriving .

    • gandg

      October 1, 2016 at 8:50 pm

      Hi Karen.

      Sorry, a bit late to your comment (new babies have a way of stealing ALL your time) but I wanted to reply to say ‘heat protection’ in this instance simply meant using a glove or jar tongs to lift the jars and tap them on the board so that you’re not burnt but the hot jars.

      I hope you made the recipe, even without that clarification, and enjoyed it!

      • Wayne

        January 6, 2017 at 2:31 pm

        Just completed bottling my first lot of Beetroot, they look great, I will let you know how they taste in a week or so.

        • gandg

          January 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

          Thanks for your comment Wayne. Hope you enjoy your Beetroot as much as others have : )

  13. eileengrogan

    September 7, 2016 at 4:33 am

    I’m off to make my first lot of pickled beetroot, I’m excited about it.
    I will come back after a week when the beetroot has pickled and let you know how it tastes.
    Wish me luck.

  14. Jo Ratcliffe

    September 10, 2016 at 4:40 am

    I used this recipe of yours last year – fantastic, and so simple. It’s beetroot time again now, and I’ll absolutely use your recipe again! Many thanks…

    • gandg

      October 1, 2016 at 8:45 pm

      I’m so pleased you’re enjoying your Beetroot this way Jo : )

  15. Maureen

    September 25, 2016 at 5:42 am

    Thank you sooo much for your recipe. I followed it to the dot and like you i wasn’t really a fan of beetroot although i knew its good for you. Now!!! I love it. !!!

    • gandg

      October 1, 2016 at 8:43 pm

      I’m so glad you liked the recipe! It is definitely so much tastier than the store bought version : )

  16. ashleigh m

    October 24, 2016 at 6:47 pm

    I’m part way through the process of preserving my beetroot and I am a little confused. in the ingredients list you say use 1 cup of water, is that the water that you boiled the beets in or is that extra water you add to the water you boiled the beets in as you also wrote to keep the boiled water? Thanks

    • gandg

      November 3, 2016 at 2:45 pm

      Hi Ashleigh, thanks for your question.

      The one cup of water is taken from the water you originally boiled the beets in, to make the preserve.

  17. Rebecca

    November 8, 2016 at 10:53 pm


    I am planning to preserve the beetroots tomorrow 🙂

    Can I use white vinegar instead of malt vinegar?

    Thanks 🙂

    • gandg

      January 17, 2017 at 1:04 pm

      You sure can Rebecca. It just comes down to taste really.

  18. Wendy Chatfield

    December 23, 2016 at 1:34 am

    Thanks for your recipe, purchased fresh Beetroot today and can’t wait to try it

  19. Tracey

    January 1, 2017 at 4:58 pm

    Hi, just wondering how you seal your jars and how full you make them? I’m new to preserving (this will be my first attempt).

    • gandg

      January 17, 2017 at 1:03 pm

      Hi Tracey

      I fill my jars to about 1 cm from the top. I re-use jars from products we have purchase and when you put the lids on they will seal as the contents cool and the air ‘shrinks’ in the jar. If your jars are still good for preserving you will hear a pop as the lids depress and seal. As long as this happens you’re all good. If not, you will need to refrigerate and eat the contents within a few weeks.

  20. Keery

    January 6, 2017 at 5:49 pm

    Can you tell me do you have to use malt vinegar. Could you use appke cider vinegar instead?

    • gandg

      January 17, 2017 at 12:59 pm

      You absolutely can. The taste will vary slightly to a more fruity one but just as tasty!!

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