Red Beet Pickled Eggs

ImageMy dad loved these and were made often when I was growing up.  I continued to make them for my own family.  My parents were from western Pennsylvania and the cooking was influenced by the Germans that settled there.  Red beet pickled eggs today is considered Pennsylvania Dutch cooking. When the chickens laid too many eggs farmers would pickle them for future eating.  They are easy to make today because all you need is a can of pickled beets, a few spices and onion.  I keep an old quart jar to make them in because the beets stain plastic.

The last shopping trip the store I found a can of pickle beets for 68 cents.  I thought I had picked up just beets because I was planning to make beets with pineapple.  What must of thrown me off was the price, you pay a little more for pickled beets.  They are usually in glass jars and have onions already in them.  But for pickled eggs the plain pickled beets work just as well and it is easier and cheaper.  There was still some eggs left from last week bargain find of a dollar a dozen, so I really needed to use them.  Older eggs are better to hard boil and peel.  The shells don’t stick to the eggs like the fresh ones do.

Now it also depends on how you boil your eggs to keep the shells from sticking.  What I do is put the eggs in a pan of cold water enough to cover them. Then I bring them to a gentle boil and let them boil gently for 2 or 3 minutes and turn off the stove. A tight lid needs to go on the pan and you let them set in the pan covered and forget about them.  When you remember you were making hard boil eggs, they should be cool enough about room temperature to handle.  They will be easily peeled and cooked all the way through.  This is the way I was taught and I don’t have much trouble peeling the eggs. You can give this a try if you have trouble making the perfect hard boiled egg.

Red Beet Pickled Eggs

6 hard boiled peeled egg

1 can of pickled beets undrained (the juice is needed to pickle with)

1 onion thinly sliced

2 bay leaves

5 whole cloves

1 can of water

In a small sauce pan heat the pickled beets with juice, water, onion, bay leaves and cloves just to a boil.  I usually taste the beets to see how sour they are, sometimes they need a tablespoon of sugar added for taste.  Heating is important so the spices release their flavors.  Put the eggs and beets in jar and pour over the juice.  Place a lid on the jar and let it cool.  Then chill over night.  They will be ready in 24 hours.


With a ladle, in a clean quart jar, put some beets and onion in the bottom. Then add two eggs and continue to alternate between beets and eggs.  Then pour the juice over the eggs  in the jar.  If there is not enough juice add more hot water to fill up to the top.  Put the lid on and give it a gentle shake to mix the water in.


You can only get 6 or 7 eggs in a quart jar, so if you are planning on doing more, you will need to double the recipe and have two jars for a dozen eggs.

They make pretty deviled eggs too.  I find the men like these eggs and always ask, here in the south, were did you get those.  The stores down here sell large jars of spicy hot pickled eggs.  I guess red beet pickled eggs are new to them.  The beets can be used in salads or served as a side dish.  I don’t keep them past 5 days.  The eggs get eaten and there is always a few beets to toss out.  I try to use all the beets but the kids turn their noses up to them. I used to make the pickled beets from scratch but using the canned ones don’t stink up the house because you aren’t cooking the brine for 20 minutes.

Simple eats for small budgets.

cross post at Trkingmomoe’s Blog


4 thoughts on “Red Beet Pickled Eggs

  1. tpturner

    I got a Perfect Hard-Cooked Eggs magnet at the Minnesota State Fair from the American Egg Board. It says to put the eggs in a single layer in a pan and to add enough water to cover by 1 inch above the eggs. Quickly bring to a boil and turn off the heat. Remove from the burner and let stand 15 minutes for large eggs, 12 minutes for medium and 18 minutes for extra large eggs. Then run cold water over them and place in ice water for about 15 minutes. Almost the very same method you use.

    This does work quite well but I like to let the eggs warm up a bit on the counter instead of using them right out of our very cold ice box

    1. I learned a very similar method. My mother had given me “The Joy of Cooking” when I first moved out on my own, and I had never really cooked before so I found the entire book to be overwhelming. I decided the only recipe that I could follow was the first one in the book: Hard-Boiled Eggs.

      Their method is to stick the eggs in cold water, bring to a gentle boil, and then turn down to a simmer for exactly 17 minutes. Then run the eggs under cold water.

      I’ve been making them this way ever since, and they always peel well.

      1. Do you know the orginal author, Irma Rombauer, of that cook book never learned to cook? She had collected recipes and published them to support herself after her husband committed suicide in 1930. My copy is a 1946 edition of the 1936 publication which was larger then the original 1931 publication. My guess is your mom gave you the one that was updated in the late 1970’s. I am not sure if the grandson has updated since? I must of got mine at a yard sale or church white elephant sale many years ago. That is how I got my collection of recipe books from thrift shopping. I didn’t care if they were worn out and slopped up. There is something fun about an old cook book that is missing when you look up recipes on the internet today.

    2. The cold water with ice helps loosen the shell. I learned to cook as a kid in the 1950’s from ladies that developed their skills in the first quarter of the 20th century. Ice wasn’t as convenent then as it was in the 2nd half of the century. I remember we had this tiny little box with a door inside the top corner of the refrigerator that froze a tray of ice and you could put ice cream in there and maybe a few other things. It would get ice all over it on the outside in a couple of weeks so you had to defrost it almost every week in the summer time or the little door would not shut.

      It is just one of those things that always worked and you just keep doing it out of habit. Thanks for stopping by and adding to the conversation. Our door is always open for new ideas.

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