• 5 cups prepared beets
  • 2 cups white vinegar
  • 1 cup water
  • 1 cup sugar
  • ½ cup pickling spice
  • one whole dried chilli pepper or ¼ teaspoon dried chilli flakes
  • 2 medium white onions (optional)


  1. Prepare jars, lids and bands for canning. Wash jars and bands with hot, soapy water then simmer in boiling water bath until ready to use. Get out new lids and have them ready. This recipe should make about 4 pints.
  2. Prepare beets. Trim stem leaving roughly two inches of stem in tact. Leave root end in tact. Wash and scrub to remove dirt, then bring a pot of boiling water to a boil and add beets to pot. Boil for about 20-25 minutes and test largest beet(s) with a fork to ensure they’re cooked through but not too soft. Larger beets may need to cook for a bit longer. Strain beets and run under cold water, using fingers to slip off peels and break off stems and roots (or cut them off with a knife). Slice beets into equal sized rounds or wedges, leaving small baby beets whole.
  3. Prepare onions if using by slicing into thin slices, about ⅛-inch thick. Set beets and onions aside.
  4. Combine vinegar, water and sugar in a large saucepan. Tie pickling spice and chilli pepper(s) in some cheesecloth and add to pot. Bring all ingredients to a boil, stirring constantly to dissolve sugar. Reduce heat to medium and let simmer for roughly 15 minutes.
  5. Remove spice bag and discard. Add beets and onions to brine and simmer on medium-low for another 10 minutes.
  6. Using a slotted spoon, scoop beets and onions into prepared canning jars leaving a generous ½-inch headspace. Pour brine overtop leaving ½-inch headspace. Jostle jars to release any trapped air bubbles and adjust headspace as needed. Wipe rims, place lids on top and screw bands on to fingertip tight. Process jars in a boiling water bath for 30 minutes. Then turn off heat, remove canner lid and let stand for another 5 minutes before removing jars from canner. Let cool on counter completely before storing.