Pickled Red Beet Eggs: Made with Fresh Beets!

Wherein A Cook & A Geek Dresses Up an Egg for Halloween

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Or beeting off your huevos in time for the holidays


So I guess this is a thinly veiled attempt at making some food seasonal given the upcoming spooky holiday. Because shortcuts and multi purposing are beautiful things.

It’s actually a bit of a coincidence really. Dad came back and brought home some beautiful fresh beets because he wanted to have some of these naturally dyed beauties after seeing some in the Amish country on his most recent excursion. I’ve actually seen these before but I’ve never realized they were a Pennsylvania Dutch tradition before my dad told me he saw these there.

The more you know I guess!

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Strangely enough, the great majority of the recipes involved online usually use canned beets, but I was able to find one that used fresh beets on Maria’s Farm House Country Kitchen.

The recipe called for some pretty straightforward ingredients beyond the beets, and a well stocked pantry should have a fair amount of the ingredients. The most exotic things were the cloves and possibly the apple cider vinegar, which are both good things to have on hand.

In addition to the aforementioned ingredients you need some sugar, a stick of cinnamon, some beets, and of course eggs. While Maria’s recipe calls for one beet for every egg, I thought that I could squeeze in a few more eggs per beet. I actually used five eggs for three beets.

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The first thing to do is to hard-boil the eggs. Place them in a pot with a tight fitting lid.

Cover with cold water, with  enough water to cover the eggs by an inch.

By the way, slightly older eggs work better for this application.

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Bring it to a rolling boil in a pot with a lid. When boiling, cover it up, remove from heat, and let sit for about twenty minutes before removing and placing them in cold water. Let them rest in the cold water for a few minutes before peeling

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Then, completely forget to take pictures of peeling beets, placing them into a pot, covering with them in water and boiling them. Peeling beets is messy business and lots of paper towels were sacrificed.

Boil the beets for twenty minutes, then remove from the pot.

I found I had just enough juice for the next part of the step, so if you can remove the beets, just keep it in the pot. But you should have about a half cup of the stuff for every egg you’re using.

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Add in the cloves, sugar, vinegar, salt and cinnamon stick. Heat and stir until sugar is dissolved.

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Pour into clean jars or a bowl.

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Then add eggs (splitting if necessary) then slice up the beets and stick them in as well.

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It is a nice snug fit. Let sit overnight at least, before digging in. Use by the fourth day, or preferably the third.

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And voila, you have strange purple monster eggs!

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So pretty!

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After a night, we see that the color has penetrated a decent amount. More days, more penetration.

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This is plenty pretty as it is though.

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Some good uses include salads or just as a snack. It actually found some pretty good use with some Vietnamese noodle soup, in this case mì, which in this case features pork ribs and shrimp balls. Probably would not work with Phở, but then again it just might!

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Pickled Red Beet Eggs, adapted from Maria’s Farm Country Kitchen


3 large red beets
5 eggs
1/4  cup sugar
1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
3 cloves
1 stick cinnamon
A three fingered pinch of salt
(Optional) A diced shallot


  1. Place eggs in a small pot, covered with over an inch of water. Bring to boil, cover with lid, then remove from heat for 20 minutes. After letting the eggs sit, place into a bowl of cold water, or even ice water, then peel.
  2. While eggs are coming to a boil and resting (keep an eye on it!) trim the the red beets and cover with water, and place a lit on it. Bring to a boil and continue cooking for about 20 minutes, then remove from heat.
  3. Remove the beets from the now purple dyed water, then add to the pot the remaining ingredients except for the eggs and shallot if using. Place back on high heat and stir until the sugar is dissolved.
  4. Into some jars or a large bowl, pour in this liquid and the cinnamon stick. Add the eggs and shallot if using, then slice up the beets and add those too.
  5. Store in refrigerator at least overnight before serving. Use however you would use a slightly sweet and sour hard boiled egg!

12 thoughts on “Pickled Red Beet Eggs: Made with Fresh Beets!

  1. Thanks for the recipe! I made some today. A tip for beet peeling: you can boil them with the skins on! When finished, run them under cold water and the skin slides right off. Much easier (and less messy) than peeling before hand.

  2. Red beet juice and beets can be stored up to a month. I make 12 eggs. After eggs are eaten i make 12 more and add to the juice. Also let eggs soak for at least 3 days to get the flavour and color into the eggs.

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  4. These are also a long standing traditional side dish for many of the Balkan nationalities, especially at Easter. I am using my grandmother’s recipe, which had been handed down through many generations before her. Her family was Slovak.

  5. I mad e this recipe today, but completely forgot to peel the beets before I boiled them (usually I roast and you don’t have to peel(. Are they ruined?

    • Sorry, didn’t see this note until now!

      If you washed the peels thoroughly it should be fine, but if they had some residual dirt, then I couldn’t in good conscience recommend you eat anything. Well, the eggs anyway, the beets themselves might be fine.

      • Of course you can still use them. I always boil my beets first, then slip the skins right off, instead of peeling. I would in good conscience, absolutely say you can eat them if you did it this way. I pour out the liquid I originally boil the beets with, as it is full of dirt and roots, etc.
        Put the beets back in with the vinegar and sugar when you boil those ingredients together and you will get more beautiful purple liquid. Nothing is ruined.

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