Sweet and Savoury Fennel Pickled Beets

Fall always means canning here at my house.  My mom was always canning things from her garden, and I have done the same since I have had my own home and family.  I’m always changing recipes with new tastes and flavours and I adapted my mom’s recipe with the addition of spices, and onions.  The spice mix is a basic pickling spice I made up using flavours I love, with the addition of fennel.   I use these sweet and savoury pickled beets as a condiment, or in a beet salad made with goat cheese, roasted walnuts, and mixed greens.  Mix equal parts of the beet juice with olive oil or walnut oil for the dressing.


Ingredients & Materials: 


  1. Large pot for cooking the beets
  2. Colander
  3. Canning jars and new lids and covers: 6 – 500 ml or 3 – 1 litre
  4. Large bowl
  5. Rubber gloves (to protect hands from staining)
  6. New dishcloth *optional
  7. Wide neck funnel (*optional but does make filling the jars easier)
  8. Jar lifter (*optional but helps to remove hot jars safely)
  9. Canner, pressure cooker, or large covered pot with a rack on the bottom (to prevent jars from cracking)
  10. Labels *optional


  • 2.5 cups Apple Cider Vinegar
  • 1.5 cups Water
  • 2 1/4 cups of granulated white Sugar
  • 5 lbs of Beets
  • 2 Large Onions sliced or 2.5 cups pearl pickling onions
  • Spices as listed below

In Medium Pot with liquids

  • 1 Tbsp Whole Cloves, Allspice, Fennel, Whole Mustard Seed,
  • 2 cinnamon sticks

Each Jar

  • 1/2 tsp salt, peppercorn, mustard seed, fennel


1.  Remove any beet stems. Do not cut the top or bottom of the beet off yet.
2.  Boil the beets for approximately 45 min or until tender


3.  Drain the beets and let rest until cool enough to handle.  I place a bit of tap cold water in the pot to help if a beet is too hot to handle this cools the temp when peeling

20130930-085125.jpg4.  The beet skins should be able to be removed by just rubbing, I find that beet skins tend to stick to the gloves and the beets and you will constantly be rinsing the skins off.  I use a dishcloth to hold and wipe the skins away.  Not as messy and much quicker peeling.  *(The dishcloth will be stained, do not throw in the wash with your clothes or towels and blame me)


5.  Set beets aside


6.  Measure liquids and pour in to medium-sized pot turn heat to medium high.

7.  Add the 1 Tbsp Whole Cloves, Allspice, Fennel, Whole Mustard Seed, and 2 cinnamon sticks to the pot and bring to a boil

8.  Fill canner with water and place jars in canner to boil over high heat.


9.  Cut and slice onions set aside

10.  Remove jars from boiling water.  Set lids in boiling water to soften for 5-10 minutes


11.  Add approx. 3/4 cup of sliced onions to hot jar

12.  Add the 1/2 tsp each of  salt, peppercorn, mustard seed, fennel to each jar

13.  Fill the jar to 3/4 to 1inch with the beets.  Add the boiling syrup to within 1/2 inch of the rim.

14.  With a sterilized rubber spatula remove any air bubbles that may be in the jar.


15.  Wipe the jar with a clean cloth and place the lid and cover on the jar.  Place in water canner bath.  Fill all remaining jars in the same process.

16.  Cover Canner, Bring back to a boil then start the canning time for beets at 30 – 45 min.  (Check on your altitude as canning time may differ)

17.  Let cool, wipe jars clean


18.  Label and store in a cool dark place.  I buy these labels at My Own Labels as I like to give these in a gift basket, or take as a housewarming gift for dinner at a friends.  The label makes a more elegant gift (in my humble opinion)

The pictures are of the above recipe tripled.

One thought on “Sweet and Savoury Fennel Pickled Beets

  1. Marion says:

    Was pleased to get your Blog today,as I am ready to make my pickled beets.I will be using your receipe. I enjoy your Blog….Thanks Marion


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