Quick Balsamic Pickled Beets


Pickling doesn't have to take all day.

Quick Balsamic Pickled Beets
Photo: Antonis Achilleos; Food Styling: Emily Nabors Hall; Prop Styling: Heather Chadduck Hillegas
Cook Time:
15 mins
Active Time:
10 mins
Cool Time:
45 mins
Total Time:
1 hrs 10 mins

This summer, we're making it easier than ever to eat the rainbow. If you grew up in a pickling household, odds are you always had jars and jars of pickled vegetables lining the pantry walls. Real-deal pickling takes time and dedication, two things that we don't always have these days. But what if we told you that you could achieve the same flavor of hours and hours of pickling in a matter of minutes? Our Quick Balsamic Pickled Beets come together lightning-quick, and the results might just rival all those glass jars Grandma stored in her pantry.

Brighten up your veggie spread with an instant side that'll add a pop of pink to your plate. These quick pickled beets are earthy, tart, and sweet. Did we mention that lovely, vibrant pink-purple hue? The secret to achieving maximum flavor with minimal time is in the cooking method. Because the raw beets cook in the pickling liquid, they draw in all that good flavor right away—you don't have to brine the beets for days or weeks to achieve that flavor. White balsamic has a softer acidity than other types of vinegar and works especially well to develop delicate, but still punchy flavor here. These pickled beets would be great on a salad or served alongside some fried chicken or BBQ. Time to get pickling!


  • ¾ cup white balsamic vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons granulated sugar

  • 1 ½ teaspoons kosher salt

  • 1 tarragon sprig 

  • 1 pound trimmed red beets (about 3 medium-large beets), peeled and cut into ¼-inch wedges (about 4 cups)

  • 1 medium shallot, thinly sliced (about ⅓ cup)


  1. Stir together vinegar, ⅔ cup water, sugar, salt, and tarragon in a small saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high. Stir in beets and shallot. Cover and reduce heat to medium. Cook until beets are tender when pierced with a knife, 15 to 20 minutes.

  2. Remove from heat. Uncover and let cool to room temperature, about 45 minutes. Store in an airtight container in refrigerator up to 2 weeks. Serve using a slotted spoon.

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