Harvard Beet Recipes

Category Vegetables
This is a page about Harvard beets. A New England tradition these beet recipes are sweet and tangy.


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  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1/2 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup water
  • 2 cups diced cooked beets
  • 2 Tbsp. melted butter


Mix first two ingredients together. Add vinegar and water. Boil 5 minutes. Add beets and butter. Allow to stand over low heat until flavor penetrates. Serve hot.

By Robin from Washington, IA

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Love this beet recipe! Very, very good and tangy!


  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 cup vinegar
  • 1/4 cup beet juice
  • 1 quart diced beets, drained
  • salt and pepper, to taste


Combine sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and beet juice. Cook until thickened, stirring constantly. Add drained beets and heat thoroughly over low heat. Season to taste. Serve hot.


Servings: 6-8
Prep Time: 20 Minutes
Cooking Time: 10-15 Minutes (just until heated through)

By Robin from Washington, IA

Comment Was this helpful? Yes


Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

July 28, 2017

I would like to know if you can use this recipe for canning? I have looked all over the internet and there is nothing for canning Harvard beets with cornstarch in it.

Thank you.


July 29, 20170 found this helpful

You did not provide a recipe. I found one that does use cornstarch: www.google.com/.../easy-as-1-2-3-harvard-beets-372772

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July 29, 20170 found this helpful

Like the other link, most recipes for Harvard Beets does include cornstarch but that is the recipe for making serving beets and not canning beets.


Most recipes for canning fresh beets do not include cornstarch as that is generally added when preparing to serve. But I did find one canning recipe that includes cornstarch - I've never used this recipe but I hope it is what you are looking for.


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May 29, 2012

Do you have a recipe for Harvard beets using pickled beets?

By Forrest C.


May 30, 20120 found this helpful

I don't. If you already have the pickled beets and want to use them up I would do this. Melt a little butter (two tablespoons) and mix it with a little flour (one tablespoon) in a saucepan.

Add the juice of the canned beets and then sweeten with a tablespoon of sugar. If you don't have a half cup of juice add a little water. Cook until the juice forms a glaze. It won't take long. If you are going to buy the beets. Get plain canned beets and make the recipe just like above only add two tablespoons cider vinegar. Delicious.

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ThriftyFun is one of the longest running frugal living communities on the Internet. These are archives of older discussions.

October 25, 2010


  • 2 cups freshly cooked drained and diced beets
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/8 tsp. salt
  • 1/3 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup boiling water


Cook all ingredients except for beets until sauce is clear. Add beets. Keep beets and sauce in warm place for 30 minutes. Add 2 tablespoons butter and serve.

By Robin from Washington, IA

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

June 19, 2009

This recipe for Harvard beets comes from the 1964 edition of "Joy of Cooking". It is one of my husband's favorite vegetables. It makes 6 servings.

Slice or dice:

  • 3 cups freshly cooked or canned beets

Stir in a double boiler until smooth:

  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 whole cloves
  • 1/2 cup mild cider vinegar or dry white wine

Cook and stir these ingredients until they are clear. Add the beets and place them over hot water for about 30 minutes. Just before serving, heat but do not boil, and add 2 tablespoons butter.


  • 1 tablespoon orange marmalade (optional)

I never leave them sitting over hot water, but I do find that making them the day before really makes a difference.

By Coreen from Rupert, ID


Harvard Beets Recipe

I tried a recipe from The Complete Cooking Light Cookbook. I have never liked beets (I think they taste like dirt) but I loved this recipe! I don't see why you couldn't use canned beets and Splenda does make a brown sugar sub. This is a recipe for six.

  • 2 1/2 lbs. beets
  • 2/3 cup orange juice
  • 2 Tbsp. cider vinegar
  • 2 tsp. margarine or butter
  • 1/4 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. cornstarch
  • 1/4 tsp. salt
  • 1/8 tsp. black pepper
  • orange zest (opt)

1. If using fresh beets - leave root and one inch of stem on beets; scrub with a brush. Place in a Dutch oven; cover with water, and bring to a boil. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer 40 min or until tender. Drain, peel, and cut into 1/4 inch-thick slices.


2. Combine juice, vinegar, and margarine in a bowl. Combine sugar, cornstarch, salt, and pepper in a large saucepan. Gradually add juice mixture, stirring well with a whisk. Bring to a boil over medium heat; cook until thick (about two min), stirring constantly. Add beets, tossing gently to coat. Garnish with orange zest, if desired.

This is a lot easier than it sounds. Excellent recipe - even my 2 and 5 year olds love this. (01/11/2007)

By Lisa from WI

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January 16, 2007

I am searching for a recipe for Harvard beets using the canned small whole beets and Splenda. I made this a while back and have lost the recipe. Any help will be appreciated.

Linda from Greenwood, SC


Harvard Beets Recipe

I don't believe I've ever had Harvard beets, but a friend of mine says they are very good. I'm assuming they are served hot? I've always loved pickled beets. My husband and I have canned our own and they were great; however we decided that the Aunt Nellie's jarred in the store are excellent and cheap enough so we'll just buy them. Aunt Nellie's does make Harvard beets if you wanted to just buy them; however they wouldn't contain Splenda.

I would think you could find recipes online. Put Harvard beet recipe into a search at Google or ask.com. Also www.allrecipes.com is a great recipe site and you might find the recipe there.

Good luck,
Debbie (01/08/2007)

By Debbie Dzurilla

Harvard Beets Recipe

Use any Harvard beets recipe and substitute Splenda. It tastes fine! (01/08/2007)

By Coreen Hart

Harvard Beets Recipe

Searching on allrecipes.com using the ingredient search, I was able to find 3 different recipes. None of them have Spenda but instead have sugar, but from what I understand you can pretty much substitute Splenda for sugar in just about any recipe. Here's the links to the recipes I found, hope they help:




By Tracy

Harvard Beets Recipe

Hi Linda, check out recipezaar.com for a basic Harvard beets recipe and as others have noted, just sub Splenda for the sugar. BTW, I notice you're down here in my neck of the woods! I'm an ol' Green Woojun myself, and if you come up with a killer beet recipe you could call it "Lander Beets"! (Hey, Greenwood needs all the help it can get!) (01/08/2007)

By Warren D. Lockaby

Harvard Beets Recipe

Thanks so much for all the info. I remembered using the small whole beets in a can, but didn't remember using any vinegar.
And, Alph, I'm a former Lander gal. (01/09/2007)

By Linda

Harvard Beets Recipe

I've always heard that Splenda and sugar are equal amounts in recipes - have you tried a regular recipe and just substituting the Splenda? (01/09/2007)

By Teri Van Hecke

Harvard Beets Recipe

I use Splenda in everything--even Harvard beets. But if a recipe calls for 1 cup sugar, I use 2 cups Splenda. To me, the vinegar is overpowering if you don't use more sweetening to balance it. I've also found that using the packets rather than the measure for measure Splenda yields a sweeter product (each packet = 2 tsp.). (01/12/2007)

By Cryssie

Comment Was this helpful? Yes

January 6, 2007

Pour over sliced cooked cubed beets 1/2 hour before serving.

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