coalcracker in the kitchen red beet eggs

Pennsylvania Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Also known in some places as “pickled eggs”, these are well known in the Coal Region, thanks to the Pennsylvania Dutch influence in the area.  In the plethora of bars and hoseys (volunteer fire companies) that dot the landscape in towns all across the coal region, you will often find a jar of red beet eggs waiting for patrons to purchase along with an ice cold beer and a piece of hot bologna.

Every cook’s recipe is a little different but these are easily adaptable to fit your taste.  Want them a little more sweet? Increase the sugar.  More “zippy”? Decrease the sugar. Add a cinnamon stick, some ground or whole cloves, whole allspice or some pickling spice mix to the “juice” or you can skip the spices altogether as in my Nana’s original recipe here on my blog. Add finely sliced onions or not — the choice is yours!

Many grocery stores now sell already cooked and peeled eggs for those who do not feel like cooking and peeling hard-boiled eggs at home. For a primer on how to cook hard-boiled eggs, watch the video below.

How To Cook Hard-boiled Eggs

I used to really struggle with peeling eggs; I wound up with really nasty looking things that only looked worse when the red beet juice touched them. I tried all the tricks but my solution is this nifty little gadget, an electric egg cooker from Dash. I love this little appliance so much, I even did a post here on the blog about it. I am not affiliated with the Dash company, but I always like to pass along any info on kitchen equipment that I personally use and would recommend.

Don’t rush into eating these red beet eggs for several days. You want the lovely purple color of the juices to make their way into the egg white. Three days minimum is the norm. I personally like to let them sit longer – until the purple makes its way entirely to the yolk.

Deviled Eggs Extraordinaire

Use these for making deviled eggs using your favorite deviled egg recipe. I have been doing this for years and people LOVE them!

Pennsylvania Dutch Red Beet Eggs

Recipe by Lori Fogg, A Coalcracker In The KitchenCourse: Appetizer, SidesCuisine: Pa. Dutch, Coal RegionDifficulty: Intermediate


Cooking time



One of the quintessential “seven sweets and sours” from the Pennsylvania utch.


  • 2  (1-pound) cans tiny whole beets, drained with juices reserved

  • 1 small onion, halved and thinly sliced into half-moons (optional)

  • 12 hard-cooked eggs, peeled

  • 1 cup sugar

  • 1 cup apple cider vinegar

  • 1-1/2 teaspoons salt

  • Dash of black pepper


  • In large glass jar or non-reactive container, place peeled eggs at bottom, top with onion slices if using, and add beets on top. Set aside.
  • In a medium-size nonreactive saucepan, combine sugar, reserved beet juice, vinegar, salt, pepper, and cloves (or your choice of spices if using). Bring to a boil, lower heat, and simmer 5 minutes.
  • Immediately pour simmering liquid and spices over beets and eggs. Cool to room temperature, cover, and refrigerate a minimum of 72 hours before serving.


  • Use these for making deviled eggs using your favorite deviled egg recipe. I have been doing this for years and people LOVE them!