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Ginger Pickled Beets

In this recipe I roast the beets instead of boiling them to intensify, not dilute their flavor. The picking liquid is a simple combination of vinegar, water, salt, and sugar. When pickling, you’ll need to make sure to use 5% vinegar with a pH of about 2.6. More traditional flavoring for this pickling liquid for beets would include clove and cinnamon and easily could be substituted for the star anise and ginger, here.
Prep Time10 mins
Cook Time2 hrs
Course: Appetizer, preserves
Cuisine: American, Southern
Keyword: beets, pickles, preserve, quick pickle
Author: Virginia Willis


For the beets:

  • 4 pounds medium beets, about 15
  • 8 garlic cloves, peeled
  • 4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Coarse kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the pickling liquid:

  • 3 ½ cups white vinegar 5%
  • 3 cups water
  • 1 ½ cups sugar
  • 1 tablespoon pickling salt
  • 4 slices ginger
  • 2 pods star anise


  • Heat the oven to 350°Scrub the beets and place in a shallow roasting pan or rimmed baking sheet. Add garlic, bay leaves, and oil. Season with salt and pepper; toss to coat. Cover tightly with foil and roast in the oven until tender to the point of a knife, about 1 ½ hours.
  • While the beets are cooking, prepare a boiling water bath and 2 quart jars or 4 pint jars. Place lids in a small saucepan over very low heat to simmer while you prepare the pickles. Do not boil the lids.
  • Combine the vinegar, water, sugar, salt, ginger, and star anise in medium saucepan over medium high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to simmer. Let cool until flavorful and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • When the beets are tender, remove to a rack to cool without removing the foil to let the beets steam. (This makes the beets easier to peel.) Once cooled, wearing gloves and using a paring knife, remove the stem end from the beet. Peel the beets, discarding the skin. Slice the beets into quarters.
  • Drain the jars. Pack the beet quarters into the sterilized jars. Carefully pour the boiling mixture over the green beans in the jars, leaving 1/2 inch of headroom between the top of the liquid and the lid. Seal the lids.
  • Process the jars in a boiling-water canner for 30 minutes. Store the unopened jars at room temperature for up 
to 1 year. Once the jars are opened, store in the refrigerator for up to 1 month.
  • Variation: For refrigerator pickled Ginger Pickled Beets, skip the boiling-water canner and refrigerate for up to 1 month.