Gluten Free Quick Pickled Beets Recipe

by Carol Kicinski on September 16, 2012

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Gluten Free Quick Pickled Beets Recipe

I am a huge fan of quick pickles. My mother made the quickest of quick pickles when I was growing up – sliced cucumbers, a sprinkling of sugar, a pinch of salt and pepper, a splash of vinegar and 10 minutes later, pickles.

This Gluten Free Quick Pickled Beets recipe is not quite that quick but it is almost that easy. And unlike my mom’s quick pickles, this recipe is refined sugar free.

There is something so satisfying about taking gorgeous veggies and, with a few simple ingredients, transforming them into something entirely different. Pickling stuff makes me feel like some sort of early pioneer gal (but with better shoes and hair).

All it takes to quick pickle vegetables is water, salt, vinegar, some sort of sugar and some spices. It couldn’t be easier or tastier.

When you are quick pickling soft stuff like cucumbers, all you have to do is slice them. When using a firmer vegetable like beets, simmering them in some water until they are crisp tender is required. And don’t throw away that water the beets were cooked in. I use some for the pickling liquid for the beets but it can also be used for making a bright risotto, to add some color to juice and for making beet margaritas. Yes, you heard me right – beet margaritas! (I will be posting the recipe for that in a couple days.)

To complement the earthy flavor of the beets, I decided to use Wholesome Sweeteners Coconut Palm Sugar. Not only is it unrefined, the flavors work so well together. I also used apple cider vinegar, a couple bay leaves, the rind and juice of a lemon, kosher salt and peppercorns.

Pickled beets are a lovely complement to roasted meats, in salads or, eaten as they are. I like mine with a few very thin slices of sweet onion.

These pickles will keep just fine in the fridge for a week or so. Any longer and you would probably have to can them. Of course, then you couldn’t really call them quick pickles now, could you?

Quick Sugar Free Pickled Beets

Gluten Free Quick Pickled Beets Recipe


4 medium beets
½ cup apple cider vinegar
¾ cup coconut palm sugar
2 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon peppercorns
2 – 3 bay leaves
1 lemon


Peel the beets and cut into chunks. Place in a large saucepan and cover with water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer until the beets are crisp tender, about 20 – 25 minutes. Remove the beets from the water with a slotted spoon and place in a mixing bowl. Reserve 1 cup of the water the beets were cooked in and put back in the saucepan with the vinegar, coconut palm sugar, salt, peppercorns, and bay leaves. With a vegetable peeler, peel off slices of the lemon peel and add to the mixture. Squeeze in the juice of the lemon. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the sugar. Pour over the beets and let stand for 30 minutes.

Store beets in a covered container or jar in the fridge with the pickling liquid.


This Gluten Free Quick Pickled Beets recipe makes 2 – 3 cups

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Categories:    Condiments & Sauces

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

InTolerant Chef September 17, 2012 at 8:30 pm

This would have a lovely deeper flavour than ones made with white sugar too I guess. Yummo!


Carol Kicinski September 18, 2012 at 10:36 am

Yes, sweet but not too sweet and so beautifully earthy!


Lynne H. September 19, 2012 at 10:11 pm

I absolutely love pickled beets and remember when my Mom made them for our picnics long, long ago. I can’t wait to make these – they look so easy. Think I will bar-b-que this weekend and make them. Thanks – you have such great ideas and great recipes!!


Bethany April 22, 2016 at 9:17 pm

Great recipe! I’ll be trying it this next week. Thanks so much.


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