The Best Canned Beets for All You Beet Freaks

Canned beets don’t get enough play in the kitchen. When I go to a salad bar, I always load up my plate with beets (especially if they’re the crinkle-cut kind; miss you forever, Soup Plantation), but I never think to buy a can to eat at home. That changes today. I put in the damn work to find the best canned beets, the best jarred beets, and the best pickled beets at the grocery store, so now we. eat. BEETS.

I’ll be honest: A lot of the canned beets I tried were pretty similar. Pickled beets are another story, though. There’s a lot of variety in flavor, and I think we found a brand that strikes that perfect balance of sweetness and tang (and also proves pickled beets don’t have to be more expensive or come in a cute jar to be tasty). In terms of regular canned beets (the non-pickled variety), I looked for a slick, toothsome texture, and a signature earthy flavor. Even if you’re getting them from a can, beets should still taste like they came from the earth (get ready to see the term “earthy” used a lot). Whether you’re making Harvard beets or stocking your at-home salad bar, these are the best canned beets to buy.

best whole beets in a can

Best Whole Beets

Kroger Whole Beets

When I was taste testing canned beets, I got the impression that the bigger the beet, the more I tasted the flavor of tin can. Kroger whole beets were the exception to that rule. These were the best tasting whole beets we tried because they don’t taste like a can. If you’re looking for canned beets you can toss in the food processor to make a red hummus or other pureed beet dip, these are the best beets you can buy.




best sliced beets

Best Savory Beets

Kroger Sliced Beets

If you like your beets with a little bit of salinity to offset the natural earthy sweetness, these are the best canned beets. I’ll admit—a lot of sliced beets are pretty damn similar, but these struck the best balance of sweetness and saltiness without leaving a lingering salty flavor on the palate. They’re very tender and they’re going to make a killer beet salad for people who don’t necessarily want to be punched in the face with beet flavor.




best pickled beets in a can

Best Pickled Beets

Great Value Pickled Sliced Beets

If you’re looking for the best pickled beets, I have great news. These Great Value pickled beets are cheap as hell and they’re pretty much perfect. We liked them better than all the jarred pickled beets we tried, including some of the pricier ones we found on Amazon, many of which were cloyingly sweet and so spiced that they tasted like the inside of a craft store smells at Christmastime. The vinegary tang hits the sides of your tongue and the sugary sweetness is just right. Put down that jar and buy these instead.




best cut beets in a can

Best Cubed Beets

Libby’s Cut Beets

I love that Libby’s beets come in big fat cubes. If you’re making Harvard beets, these are the best canned beets to buy. The flavor is good and the texture is great, too—they’re a little more fibrous than some of the sliced beets we tried, but I mean that in a good way. They’re more substantial and have more resistance when you chew. They come in beautiful ruby cubes, and they’re going to be good for a lot of cooked beet recipes because they won’t totally get lost in the sauce like sliced beets.




best canned beets

Whole Foods 365 No Salt Added Sliced Beets

When it comes to the best canned beets to have in the pantry, I do think that no-salt-added beets are the way to go. Is that boring? Maybe! But they’re much more versatile, whether you’re making a beet salad or something sweet rather than savory like beet cookies or beet smoothies. A lot of the canned beets we tried leave a lingering saltiness on your tongue. Not these. They’re earthy and sweet and neutral in the best way possible. Buy these beets!




About the Author

Gwynedd Stuart

Gwynedd Stuart, Sporked’s managing editor, is an L.A.-based writer and editor who spends way, way too much time at the grocery store. She’s never met an Old El Paso taco or mozzarella stick she didn’t like.

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