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Amazing Homemade Harvard Beets


Since my Grandmother first made Harvard Beets, they have been a family favorite for generations. Since they have disappeared off the selves at the grocery stores I have looked for the recipe. I found an old recipe and put my own spin on it and to my family and friends delight it worked way better than they have ever tasted. Knowing how much even the beet haters liked it, I decided to share this recipe for all those who love Harvard Beets. Enjoy!

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Rate this recipe 4.4/5 (8 Votes)


  • 4 cups boiled beets
  • 2/3 cups sugar
  • 2 tablespoon corn starch
  • 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar
  • 1/2 cup beet water
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 4 tablespoon melted butter
  • 1/4 cup unsweetened orange juice, optional


Servings 4
Cooking time 90mins


Step 1

Take 6 to 8 medium beets (enough for 4 cups diced) and wash, cut off stems, stalks and tips. Peel beets and cut into slices or wedges, as desired.

Place beets in a large pot with enough salted water to cover beets. Bring beets to a boil over high heat. Reduce heat to medium-low and cook for 45 minutes, or until fork-tender. Check your beets and make sure they are cooked. Soft but still firm and hold their shape.

Take 1/2 cup beet water (water that the beets were boiling in) and set aside.

Drain beets through a colander, flood with cold water until beets are easy to handle. Dice and set aside.

In a medium sized pot, sift the sugar and corn starch together to avoid clumping.

In a glass jar or a small bowl put in the apple cider vinegar, pepper and salt and stir until dissolved.

Once dissolved mix in the beet water and orange juice into the vinegar mixture.

In the medium pot add beet water mixture. Should look like a red creamy mixture.

Bring to a boil for 5 minutes stir constantly until sauce is thickened.

Stir in butter and add beets. Stir well to distribute flavors. Turn your temperature down to Low and let stand for 20 - 30 minutes. Heat beets all the way through before serving.

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