old fashioned pickled beets

Old Fashioned Pickled Beets: The Best Way To Preserve Beets

old fashioned pickled beets

These Old Fashioned Pickled Beets are Special

Lightly sweet, tangy and spiced with cinnamon and cloves, these old fashioned pickled beets are so good that they’ll win over just about everyone in your house.

When I planted beet seeds in my permaculture garden this spring, I never guessed that I’d end up with so many beets come summer! I don’t mind at all because beets are one of my all-time favorite vegetables. I love them in borscht soup, roasted, and in summer salads with walnuts, feta cheese and balsamic dressing, but by far, my favorite way to eat them is pickled. 

This recipe I am about to share is an old fashioned pickled beets recipe that my mother taught me and is my go-to for easy refrigerator pickled beets.  This recipe uses a combination of white vinegar, sugar, salt, cinnamon and clove spices. The combination is amazing!  I love the warm scents of cinnamon and clove that fill my kitchen as I prepare this easy recipe. 

old fashioned pickled beets

If you’re like me and have a lot of beets to use up, then you’ll love this recipe. You can double, triple, or even quadruple it depending on how many beets you have. Don’t worry about making too much.  It seems that no matter how big a batch I make, my family has no trouble gobbling them up and then asking for more, they’re that good! 

Another great thing about this recipe is that you don’t need a lot of kitchen equipment or tools to make them. All you need is a covered casserole dish or dutch oven and a medium saucepan. 

These old fashioned pickled beets are a great way to liven up any meal, but they’re also an easy way to add some color and unique flavor to any spread. Pickled beets are healthy, and these homemade ones are sure to become a holiday favorite in your household. Enjoy!

If you’re looking for more old fashioned recipes or ways to use up your abundant garden harvest,these recipes may interest you:

old fashioned pickled beets

Old Fashioned Pickled Beets

Barbi Gardiner
These old fashioned refrigerator pickled beets are spiced with cinnamon and clove and are amazingly easy to make and require only a few simple ingredients.
4.25 from 8 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 4 people


  • 2 cups sliced cooked beets
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup white vinegar
  • 1/4 cup white sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground cloves


  • Scrub beets and trim tops to remove leaves. Place in a Dutch oven or large pot and cover with water. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and simmer until tender, 25-35 minutes. Remove from water; cool. Peel beets and quarter. Cut each quarter into 1/4 inch thick slices.
  • In a medium saucepan combine the vinegar, sugar, water, salt, and spices.
  • Bring to boiling, stirring occasionally.
  • Add 2 cups of sliced, cooked beets. Return to boiling; reduce heat.
  • Cover and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Cool on counter before placing in refrigerator to chill for at least 8 hours before serving.
  • Store covered in refrigerated for up to one month. I doubt they'll last that long!


Recipe can be doubled, tripled, or even quadrupled as needed. 
Keyword pickled beets, refrigerated pickled beets, spiced pickled beets
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

9 thoughts on “Old Fashioned Pickled Beets: The Best Way To Preserve Beets”

  1. This recipe is very similar to my mom’s and brought back great memories. She saved the cooking water to use in the recipe, being careful not to get any grit from the bottom of the pan. It helps the cooked beets keep their jewel like color. I can’t wait to take these to the family reunion!

  2. My Grandmother used to make the nicest pickled beets and her recipe was similar in that she just used cloves and apple cider vinegar and white combined and water and sugar. That was it. Wow so darned good.
    You know my sister made apple pie with Chinese 5 spice mixture and everyone loved it. That spice has all of the 5 spices, Cloves, nutmeg, allspice, Cinnamon, and anise seeds so lovely. I will try yours next load of beets. I am alone to eat them so there you go

  3. Have u tried to freeze them in freezer zip lock bags or plastic containers A fruend gavel me his mothers recipe for bread and butter pickles that I freeze

    1. No, I have not. There usually isn’t much need as my family eats them as fast as I can make them lol. How are bread and butter pickles after being frozen? My results with freezing high water content veggies have usually resulted in soggy veggies.

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