Oxbow Farm & Conservation Center

Phyllis’ Famous Pickled Beets

Luke’s mom makes THE BEST pickled vegetables and her pickled beets will make you LOVE beets (really, I swear). She was kind enough to share her recipe with me this year to share with all of you.


  • 2 C sugar
  • 2 sticks cinnamon
  • 1 T allspice
  • 1 ½ tsp salt
  • 3 ½ C white vinegar
  • 1 ½ C beet juice and water*

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.

  • Scrub beets thoroughly. Cut off tops and bottoms and put in deep baking pan (about 2”), flat side down. Add about 1” of water, cover tightly with foil and bake for about 1 ½ hours. It’s best to separate large from small beets as small beets take only an hour.

  • When done, let stand about 5 minutes without foil. Use gloves to prevent staining and wash each beet under cold water to remove skin. (This is SO much easier than trying to peel when cold!) Refrigerate.

  • *After beets are cooked, use juice in pan for brine. I generally double or triple the recipe of brine as I put up maybe 18-24 pints at a time. So, however much water is called for, use beet juice first and then add water to get correct amount needed.

  • Make brine: Put all ingredients in pot except sugar. Bring to a boil, lower heat and slowly stir in sugar. (Otherwise it will stick to the bottom of the pan). Hold on simmer while you cut up beets (large beets can be cut into six pieces while small beets can be quartered).

  • Sterilize the jars (wash in very hot water or run through the dishwasher). Add beets to hot jars and ladle hot brine over them. Seal and screw on top and immerse jars in canner. Once the water is boiling, process for 30 minutes (both quart size and pint size). It is very important not to under process them.

  • 4 ½ – 5 average size beets = 1 pint

  • Note: I generally cook beets the night before, remove skins and have them ready for the next day. I also make the brine (except the sugar) ahead. When canning beets, I always wear a plastic apron and spread towels on the flood where I’m working. Beet juice stains!