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Red Beet Pickle

Red Beet Pickle 12.000

Dayna Smith for The Washington Post

Washington Cooks Nov 16, 2011

Smithsburg Md., farmer Sally Waltz watched her mother make this hors d'oeuvre/side dish and has long served it at her own family Thanksgiving feast. She uses red beets that she cans herself. The dish has a lovely taste of cloves that is not overpowering.

Make Ahead: The eggs and beets need to marinate in the refrigerator for 3 days.

Servings: 12 , plus leftovers
  • 1 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1 1/2 cups sugar
  • 1 cup water, or as needed
  • 1 tablespoon whole cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon celery seed
  • 30 ounces cooked canned or homemade red beets, cut into chunks, plus their liquid (see headnote)
  • 12 to 18 large hard-cooked eggs, peeled (see NOTE)


Have a glass jar or non-staining container large enough to hold the beets, the liquid and all of the eggs.

Combine the vinegar, sugar, water, cloves, celery seed, the beets and all of their liquid/pickling juices in a large saucepan. Add water as needed so the beets are generously covered. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat; cook for a few minutes, then remove from the heat.

Transfer to the container. Add the hard-cooked, peeled eggs; stir gently so the eggs pick up color from the liquid. Cover and refrigerate for 3 days before serving, stirring gently once a day to make sure the eggs are evenly colored.

NOTE: To hard-cook eggs, place the eggs in a large saucepan and add enough cold water to cover them by an inch or two. Place over medium-high heat and bring to a boil, then remove from the heat. Cover and let sit for no more than 15 minutes. Drain, then cover with cold water until the eggs are cool enough to peel.

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Recipe Source

Adapted from Smithsburg, Md., farmer Sally Waltz, from her mother's family recipe.

Tested by Sally Waltz and Bonnie S. Benwick.

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