Harvard Beets Canning Recipe

Harvard Beets Canning Recipe
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The Harvard beets recipe found its name from the Harvard Crimson football team at Harvard University. The deep red color of the dish resembles the team jersey. Though it was called Harwood at first, it became known as Harvard Beets with time. 

Harvard Beets Canning Recipe

Know About the Harvard Beets Canning Recipe Ingredient 

The Harvard beets recipe includes some ingredients, and the overall recipe is perfect as a side dish. Whether you put it with a steak or a rice dish, it tastes just as good. The ingredients are straightforward, as the main highlight will be the beets. The processing of the beets is where most of your time will carry. 

This is one of the dishes that tastes heavenly when served fresh. But as for the canning recipe, it stays just as good. You can even serve it at Thanksgiving dinner. And with the canning recipe, you can make it a few days prior. 


Here we are including a detailed list of the ingredients used in our recipe. But according to preferences, the ingredients can be revised.  

Beets: The name of Harvard Beets might come from the football team, but Beats are the hero. And for this recipe, we recommend three whole beets. You can also grab 4 cups of sliced beets. Try to choose fruits that are fresh and particularly large. 1 pound or 16 ounces of beets is perfect for our recipe here. 

Sugar: The taste of beets might seem like a good go, but adding sugar makes it more delicious. We recommend 2/3 cup of sugar. You can change the ingredients to a healthier option with the addition of honey. But for the recipe’s integrity, we say stick with sugar for now. 

Cornstarch: The Harvard beets recipe is slightly on the thicker side. The recipe will be runny with sugar, water, and beets on a pan. Here you want a certain consistency of the broth. So, 3 teaspoons of Cornstarch are perfect.  

Butter: This is the one thing that will make everything come together as a dish, and it will add the creamy texture as well as the fat ingredients. Go for 2 or 3 tablespoons of butter. The more butter, the creamier the beets will taste. 

Salt: Salt is optional. But as the recipe is a bit sweeter, salt will only enhance the taste. We even recommend using salt in a cake, so why not in the Harvard beets? ¼ teaspoon of salt would be ideal.  

Black Pepper: This is entirely optional, as the taste of the pepper will add a nice balance of spices. ⅛ teaspoon of black pepper is added later. 

Cider Vinegar: Most recipes went with sugar, Cornstarch, and butter with beets. But we are all about balance. A little bit of cider vinegar will do the trick and add a hint of tanginess to the Harvard beets; thus, the sugar won’t be overpowering.  

Water: ⅓ Cup of water has to be added to make the beets saute on the pan, and water brings everything together and binds the recipe as a canned one. 

How to skin beets for canning? 

When you are making Harvard beets, we recommend using fresh beets. But you can definitely add canned beets; in that case, use half of the canned beet water in the recipe. But as for fresh beets. You have to prepare them separately before putting them in the pan. To skin the beets, you have to: 

  • Wash the beets first.  
  • Please leave at least one inch of roots and stem on either side of them. 
  • Put the beets in a saucepan and cover them with water. 
  • Add salt to the water. 1 teaspoon of salt for every quarter of water 
  • Bring the water to the boil. 
  • Once the water is boiled, take the pan from the fire and put a lid on it. This will tenderise the beets and do it for at least half an hour. 
  • Drain and cool the beets.  
  • The skin should slip easily from the beets. And then make medium slices from it. 

How Do You Make Harvard Beets?

Harvard beet canning recipe comes with a wild and flourished history. Most people will make big batches of the beets during the fall, which would last the meals for months. And with that, the canning process came into play. Small portions can keep the side dish perfect for every serving and can be an excellent example to place in Christmas dinner. 

The Harvard beets canning recipe comes in two parts. For the first, you have to prepare the Harvard beets recipe; for the next, you have to store the food. 

Here we are including a step-by-step guide for the authentic Harvard beets recipe.  

Step 1

Start with the dry ingredients first. Add sugar and Cornstarch to a saucepan. 

Step 2

Then add the wet ingredients to the pan. Start with water and then add vinegar. 

Step 3

Place the pan on medium heat and stir until the concussion has thickened. 

Step 4

Add the beets to the pan with some salt with it. Heat the mixture until the beets are cooked properly.  

Step 5

Then add butter on top with some pepper. Let the butter melt all the way. 

Serve hot! 

How Do You Store The Harvard Beets?  

For this, you’ll need jars or cans, which can be a serving size for the family or even a large one. 

Step 1

Cool the Harvard beets completely. 

Step 2

Pour them into the jar. Put the lid on and close them tight. Put a seal on if you want. 

Step 3

Put them in the freezer to store them.

Harvard Beets Canning Recipe

Harvard beets canning recipe

Harvard beets canning recipe is one of the staples holiday dishes. They can be served hot or canned for months to come.
Print Pin
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: British
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Total Time: 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings: 6 People
Calories: 159kcal


  • 3 Whole beets
  • 2/3 Cup Sugar
  • 3 Tsp Cornstarch
  • 2 or 3 Tbsp Butter
  • ¼ Tsp Salt
  • 1/8 Tsp Pepper
  • 1/3 Cup Cider vinegar
  • 1/3 Cup Water


  • Boil the beets to peel the skin off and then slice them.
  • Put sugar and cornstarch in a pan with water and cider with it. Boil them on medium heat.
  • Add the beets to the pan with some salt and cook them.
  • Add butter and pepper at the end.
  • Cool them down and pour them into a jar.
  • Freeze them for later.


Here are some additional tips: 
  • Make sure the dish is completely cold before putting them in the freezer .
  • Store them in small quantities to serve fresh. 
  • Store the Harvard beets in a glass jar. 
  • Thaw the dish first before serving it on the table .
  • Try and use organic and fresh beets for the recipe. 
  • You can add pepper or salt according to the taste.
  • Add more butter to make the dish more creamy and rich.


Nutrition Facts
Harvard beets canning recipe
Amount per Serving
% Daily Value*
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Sum Up

Harvard beets canning recipe is simple, and a gorgeous part would be that you can can the recipe for further use. The Harvard beets canning will take minds away even after months of storing. With the canned recipe, you can just make them in a jar; thus, it’s convenient.

Read More:

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