Kickin' Pickled Beets- Putting Up with ErinKickin' Pickled Beets. SPICY!- Putting Up with Erin

In the past two weeks my hobby of pickling has resulted in one job offer, one phone number, two suggested friend dates, and several pickle samplings at various establishments around Baltimore. It’s exciting that my longstanding passion for pickles, now expressed in this blog, has lead to me making new friends of whom share similar interests in preserving and pickling food. In fact, I’m moving to the NH/ME seacoast region in a couple of months. If any of you are aware of any pickle/canning happenings please let  me know.

A recent addition to the local pickling scene, Tanner’s Pickles just opened in Remington, literally 2 blocks from my apartment. Not only does the shop feature sampling and sales of their own canned and fridge pickles, they also offer other local food products such as ferments, snacks, ice cream, etc. Inspired by Evan at Tanner’s, these hot kickin’ beets offer a spicy alternative to sweet pickled beets. Enjoy. 🙂

Kickin' Pickled Beets. SPICY!- Putting Up with ErinKickin' Pickled Beets. SPICY!- Putting Up with Erin

Kickin’ Pickled Beets

Yield: 4 pints


  • 3 pounds red beets (greens removed)
  • 3 cups cider vinegar
  • 4 cloves garlic (peeled & sliced)
  • 2 Tbsp salt
  • 1 Tbsp black peppercorns
  • 2 small jalapeño peppers (cut in half lengthwise and de-seeded)
  • 1 Tbsp thyme (chopped)


  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Place rack in middle of oven.
  2. Wash and scrub beets.
  3. Put the beets in a baking dish. Add about 1/4 inch of water, or just enough to cover the bottom of the dish and provide some moisture.
  4. Cover the baking dish with foil and put it in the preheated oven. Roast the beets for at least 45 minutes or up to an hour. Test for doneness with a small knife -- it should slip right into the thickest part of the beet.
  5. Remove dish from the oven and allow the beets to cool before handling them. Slice a thin layer off the top and bottom of each beet and remove the peel with your fingers or a small knife.
  6. Slice into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  7. Meanwhile, in a large-sized, non-reactive pot, combine vinegar, salt, peppercorns, garlic, peppers, and thyme. Bring to a boil. Let simmer on medium heat for 5 minutes.
  8. Pack beets into prepared (hot and sterilized) jars. Ladle brine and brine ingredients (make sure the jalapeños and thyme get into the jars) into jars leaving approx. 1/2 inch of head space.
  9. Wipe rims, apply lids and rings (finger tight), then process in a covered hot-water bath for 10 minutes.
  10. Remove from water and let cool on a folded towel for 12 to 24 hours.
  11. Let pickle for at least 3 weeks before consuming.

46 responses to Kickin’ Pickled Beets

  1. i could hardly wait the 3 weeks to open these up but i did and they were worth the wait. =) when i finally opened them they sort of had a little limey flavor and they were just the right amount of spicy! i really like that they weren’t too sweet and had a distinctively different flavor than many other “pickled beet recipes” i’ve tried. i only made a half recipe since i like to try something out so i don’t end up with 6 jars of something i don’t like. next time i’ll definitely make [at least] the full recipe so i can give some jars away. thanks for this awesome recipe!

    • Hey another Erin- I’m really glad you enjoyed them. They are probably one of my favorite top pickles! Thanks for stopping by the blog. And yes the beets have a tendency to dominate any other colors in play!

  2. oh and one other thing i wanted to mention, the jalapenos are a necessary and delicious part of this recipe but be warned there color suffers quite a bit. they did look pretty unappealing by the time i opened the jar. ;P

  3. I planted a bunch of beets this summer and was looking for a non-sugary recipe. I am trying this one and will let you know how it turns out.

  4. Mmm… I love beets. And pickled beets. And spicy.

    Have you ever tried using the microwave for cooking the beets (covered in a micro-safe bowl, it is essentially steaming them), instead of using the oven?

  5. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I usually can pickled beets, but my husband likes things spicy instead of sweet. I found your recipe and tried it and he LOVED them. He doesn’t even want to share them with anyone else. lol This is definitely going in my summer canning recipes!

  6. Erin, just Googled “spicy canned pickled beets” because so many recipes called for way more sugar than I wanted to use, and found your recipe. Plus, we’re hot pepper fanatics, I grow habaneros. Then I had some turnips – pickled turnips?… never heard of them, but after a little more Googling, I found they’re big in the Middle East, and one recipe I found for them calls for beets! So basically, I’m following your recipe but I’m adding turnips. Maybe I’ll let you know how they come out! Thanks for posting.

  7. Opened a jar of a first batch these yesterday and they were so good I want to share them but on the other hand, they are so good I don’t want to give them up. I bought more beets and jalapeños today so I should be able to get another batch in before the weekend.
    I do have one question, when you say salt, are you referring to pickling salt?

  8. These sounds wonderful! This is the first pickle recipe I’ve ever seen that uses just vinegar, undiluted. Does that not make it too acidic? I usually use 1 part water for each 2-2.5 parts vinegar.

  9. Ok, one more salt question. Is there supposed to be two teaspoons of salt instead of two tablespoons? I ask because they very strongly salt flavored and also I see in your champagne vinegar beets you use 3/4 tbsp of pickling salt.

    • Hi Lynette- thanks for your question. The 2 tablespoons is correct. That being said if you feel like they were too salty for your taste, you could always cut the salt in half and still safely can these spicy beets.

      • I made these today and unfortunately didn’t read down through the comments first to discover that the salt should have been pickling salt. I’m wondering if Lynette also used table salt. Erin I think it would be great if you could revise the recipe to say that it is pickling salt and when to add the garlic. Hope my beets still turn out okay with using table salt instead of pickling salt, I have a feeling that they are going to be salty too 🙁

  10. Hi!
    I’m just wondering if I can use reg vinegar instead of cider…not a big fan of cider vinegar, but this recipe looks amazing!

  11. I’ve suddenly come in to many pounds of beets, and can’t wait to get pickling. This recipe looks AWESOME, but I’m curious about the 10 min processing time- most similar pickled beet recipes I’ve read have longer (30min) times. Is the shorter time here related to the fact the vinegar is not diluted? Thanks for any info- science is confusing!

  12. Quick question…can the beets be boiled…or do they have to be roasted…found the recipe after I already started boiling…

  13. I’m concerned about the 10 minute processing time is not long enough; most beet processing recipes require a 30-40 minute processing time depending on altitude.

  14. Hi Erin, I just made this recipe and I’m super excited about trying it! Just wondering though, is there a reason for the shorter processing time? A lot of recipes I see for pickled beets say to process for 30 minutes. Thanks!

  15. This is the 3rd year making these and I love them! I have tried using different types of hot peppers and it always work out. The best part is that these have no sugar. Thank you for an amazing recipe.

  16. I have made these a couple of times. I use yellow beets and they look so beautiful in the. Ring with the peppercorns, thyme and jalapeños.

  17. I don’t really like the sweet-sour pickled beets that you find everywhere, but these beets are amazing! They aren’t overly sweet and the spice is amazing!! I have made this recipe 3 times already, and my friends love it!

  18. This looks amazing and my mouth started to water just reading it! My partner and I are planning a wedding this next summer and we are having a vegan taco picnic. We want to make as much of the meal ourselves for our guests as we can and but I have a few questions:

    1. What would your max recommendation be for the amount of time to let them pickle?
    2. Proper storage? In a dark dry space?
    3. Think this would be tasty to use as a topping for some sort of vegan taco?

    Thanks for the help!

    • Hey Amanda,
      1. I typically store things for up to 1 year. Max. time needed? I’d say 2mos. I am making a second batch this week just to remind myself how good they are.
      2. Proper storage= cool, dry, darkish place for up to 1 year.
      3. VEGAN TACOS! Yes, rice and beans, something a bit sweet to offset the “kick’in” jalapeno and herb.

    • Hi Kassi these are vinegar pickles not fermented. After canning I keep them in a cool dry place for up to 1 year and in the fridge after opening.

  19. Thank you for sharing this recipe! I made my pickled beets July 30th and just now opened up a jar. Mmm mmm good! Even my coworkers were loving them. I think next time I do this I will add more jalapeños. I used garlic, jalapeños and beets from my garden. I actually harvested just a little over 3lbs which worked out perfectly! . Oh, I also made them in half pint jars, made a total of 8. I recommend this recipe! 🙂

  20. I have some extremely large beets, is it advisable to try to bake them ass is, or should they be cut in half / quarters when in the oven?

    Thanks in advance,

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