Pink Pickled Turnips

5 from 18 votes
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A simple Lebanese pickled turnips recipe (pink pickles) – a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes, including falafel wraps, salads, kebabs, and more!

top view of pickled turnips cut in a plate

Pickled turnips are like the pickled cabbage of the Middle East—beautiful pink pickles (naturally colored) with a delicious tangy pickled flavor that combines beautifully with a wide variety of dishes. Plus, they are so simple to prepare – make the pickling brine, slice turnips and beets, combine, and let them sit in a dark place until they’re ready to enjoy.

side view jar of pickled turnips

Watch how I make pink pickles

Ingredients

Ingredients for pickled turnips
  • Turnips
  • Beetroot: It’s necessary to make pink pickles.
  • Water
  • White vinegar
  • Salt
  • Garlic (optional)

How to make pickled turnips

First, make sure to sterilize and dry all the jars and tools.

Prepare the pickling brine: Mix water and salt in a large bowl. Use an egg to check the water is salty enough (necessary for the pickling process). If the egg floats in the water, that means you’ve added enough salt. Otherwise, keep adding salt until the egg floats. Then add vinegar and stir.

Prepare the vegetables: Cut pickles and beetroot into the shape/size you prefer. I sometimes make them thin (like potato crisps), or I thinly slice them to about 1/2 inch thickness.

Fill the jars: Pour brine into the sterilized jar. Then add the rest of the ingredients. Make sure to submerge all the pieces of turnips in the brine.

Set aside: Close the jar and place it in a dark cupboard at room temperature. The pickles are generally ready within 4 to 5 days. Afterward, store the pickles in the refrigerator for up to one month.

To achieve a lighter pink color, remove the beetroot from the jar on the third day or reduce the quantity next time.

Should the pickling brine be heated?

There are several methods for preparing the pickle brine, and I’ve tried them all. Some recipes ask for the brine liquid to be heated, some only heat certain elements, and some just chuck everything unheated into the jar. I usually stick to just chucking everything in the jar – it works well and takes less effort, so really it’s a win-win. My mother advised me to heat the water and salt first, to dissolve the salt better, but agreed with me that either way works.

Ways to serve with pickled turnips

Serve these pickled turnips generously over dishes like homemade falafel wraps or oven-baked falafel patties. Pickled turnips are delicious alongside tawook, Baba Ganoush, and creamy hummus. They’re also a perfect addition to meals like rainbow vegetarian bibimbap or Japanese-inspired ramen-they complement dishes from all over the world.

falafel burger patty topped with veggies and pickles

If you try this pickled recipe, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Pink Pickled Turnips

5 from 18 votes
By: Samira
A simple Lebanese pickled turnips recipe (pink pickles) – a wonderful addition to a variety of recipes, including falafel wraps, salads, kebabs, and more!
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 4 days 5 minutes
Servings: 20

Equipment

  • 1 Large jar 32 oz (1L)

Ingredients 
 

  • 2.2 lb turnips
  • 1 beetroot a small one
  • 3 cups water
  • 1/2 cup white vinegar
  • 1.5 Tbsp salt
  • 1 garlic clove optional

Instructions 

  • Sterilize all jars and tools. Let them dry.
  • Mix the water and salt in a large bowl – this will be the pickling brine. Then mix in the vinegar.
  • Cut the pickles into the shape/size you prefer – disks/slices, french-fry-like batons, or wedges. Or even use a melon-baller to make them into balls.
  • Add the brine to the pickling jar.
  • Add the rest of the ingredients. Make sure all the pieces of turnips are submerged in the brine.
  • Close the jar and place it in a dark cupboard.
  • The pickles are normally ready within 4 to 5 days. Then, they can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one month. 

Video

Notes

Salinity levels: Use an egg to check enough salt is added to the water. If the egg floats in the water, that means you’ve added enough salt which is necessary for the pickling process. Otherwise, keep adding salt until the egg floats.
For a lighter pink color, remove beetroot from the jar on the third day if desired. 
Check the blog post for serving suggestions!
 
Course: Side, Snack
Cuisine: Lebanese, Middle Eastern
Freezer friendly: No
Shelf life: 1 Month

Nutrition

Serving: 50g, Calories: 17kcal, Carbohydrates: 4g, Protein: 1g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 1783mg, Potassium: 109mg, Fiber: 1g, Sugar: 2g, Vitamin C: 11mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

5 from 18 votes (17 ratings without comment)

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10 Comments

  1. J Farhood says:

    Great recipe. I bought a raw beet. Do I cook it first before adding to the turnips? Thanks!

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi there,
      No, you can add it raw, I made a video of the process you can watch on this blog if it helps šŸ™‚

  2. Lexi says:

    5 stars
    You receipe are amazing I am so glad you did Instagram.

    1. Samira @ Alphafoodie says:

      Thank you so much for your comment, Lexi!

  3. Han says:

    Samira. We have a question.
    Do you use 100 gram (5 tablespoons)salt as noted in the recipe? On 1 kg turnips.

    We tried but it is very, very salty.

    Please let me know, or it is part of the cooking style of course

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Han,
      For 1 kg of turnips, you need 1.5 Tablespoons of salt which is about 25-27 g. I hope you give this recipe another try – it’s not supposed to be very very salty šŸ™‚

  4. Joan says:

    The question I have is, after 4 to 5 days in a dark place do you then
    put in the fridge.

    1. Support @ Alphafoodie says:

      Hi Joan,
      Yes, after the turnips have pickled (4-5 days), it’s best to keep them in the fridge.

  5. Raquel says:

    I tried this at home, but the next day the mix started smelling really bad.
    Why does this happen? Is it normal?

    1. AlphaFoodie says:

      Oh no! I’m sorry to hear that. What exactly did it smell like? Were the turnips completely covered by the pickling liquid?