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).




Want to know more about growing and gathering edibles?

Fill in your name and address in the form below and you'll receive all the latest updates directly in your in-box.


  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!!

  21. Sue Hunt

    January 18, 2017 at 4:43 pm

    My family and friends love it when I grow and then use this recipe to make what seems to be an endless supply of preserved beetroot.
    I am so glad I found it as it is easy and YUMMY

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:26 pm

      Thanks Sue

      Glad you and your family and friends are enjoying it!

  22. Andy

    February 20, 2017 at 2:21 pm

    I have used your recipe 3 seasons straight now. It is failsafe and delicious. Incidentally Im in the middle of doing this seasons right now

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:25 pm

      Thanks for your feedback Andy : )

      I really appreciate it and it’s great to know that you’re enjoying the recipe.

  23. julie watson

    March 9, 2017 at 12:57 pm

    the recipe states water, is it the water that the beetroot has been cooked in or is it water from the tap ?

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      Hi Julie

      Either is perfect. I use the water from the beetroot but others have decided to go for tap water. Personal choice : )

  24. Ruth

    March 15, 2017 at 8:59 am

    Hi. Thank s for sharing your recipe, I have quite a few beets that I want to preserve as I remember my mum doing it. The only query I have is regarding the water the beetroot was cooked in. You say to wash most of the dirt off the beetroot before cooking and then you use that water to make the preserve. I am not sure about using that water that may have some residual dirt in it. Am I being too pedantic?

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:23 pm

      This is purely personal choice Ruth. I do use the water but you may choose not to. Taking into account that with a good wash and all the boiling there really won’t be much in the way of dirt left in the way. But totally up to you if you’d prefer to use a fresh lot of water.

  25. Shaye Teika

    April 22, 2017 at 9:40 pm

    Hi there, how big are these half dozen beetroot?

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:21 pm

      Hi Shaye

      The ones I grow are around the size of medium apples at harvest. Hope this helps : )

  26. Eileen Leahy

    May 7, 2017 at 11:01 am

    Hi! Thanks for sharing this recipe – it sounds amazing and I really look forward to trying it! I’ve heard that when bottling pickles with vinegar you should not use a metal lid, as the vinegar will rust the metal. I can see in your picture that you have used a metal lid, do you use anything as a protective layer between? I have some glass jars that have plastic lids, but I don’t think they would have the same sealing effect. Do you have any advice on this topic? Thanks! Eileen.

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:20 pm

      Hi Eileen

      Thanks for your question.

      In terms of the metal lids, the ones we use have a special layer to avoid rust and oxidation. But you’re correct, these could occur in straight metal lids. Our beetroot tends to get eaten pretty quickly but if you find you are preserving yours for longer you may want to try the likes of the glass swing lid jars.

  27. Terri Rice

    May 16, 2017 at 7:15 pm

    Have been using your recipe for about a year now – love it. Do also add pickling spice, cloves & bay leaves to the preserver mix – don’t know that it makes too much of a difference, but it tastes great. Also signed up to your web site but have never heard anything back. Is that because we’re in Australia or some other reason?

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:18 pm

      Hi Terri

      Thanks for your comment. And my apologies on the delay in replying (and a current lack up updates) as I am currently on maternity leave.

      The extra spices sound delicious! Would be keen to try this in our next batch and see what my husband thinks. Great suggestion 🙂

  28. Michael

    June 26, 2017 at 9:46 pm

    Can one use Stevia as a sweetener rather than sugar ?

    • gandg

      July 14, 2017 at 2:13 pm

      Hi Michael – Sure, Stevia would be fine as a sweetner. I haven’t used it myself though so couldn’t advise on the quantities. Maybe let us know once you’ve tried it!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *