Learn how to cook beets and how to use them in easy delicious recipes from our detailed guide. We'll show you several different ways to prepare this delicious root vegetable. Beets are sweet, healthy, full of nutrients, and super versatile. Use them in salads, burgers, dips, tacos, and much more! Check out beet recipes for inspiration.
How to Cook Beets
Cooking beets is not nearly as difficult as you might think. We will show you the best methods for cooking beets. Some methods preserve more of the nutrients and amazing beet taste. Beet juice can make the process messy, so make sure to wear disposable gloves. Since the dishes you can create are oh-so-good, it's totally worth the free natural red dye! Wear gloves and keep a paper towel roll handy.
How to Buy Beets
Whether you find large beets or medium beets, red beets, or color variations, look for these characteristics.
- Skin intact.
- Firm and not mushy.
- Bright, healthy leaves. You can tell how fresh the beets are by how wilted the leaves are. If the leaves have been removed, the beets are not the freshest, but you can still buy them as long as they are firm. Root vegetables will keep for a very long time.
How to Roast Beets Whole
- Cut off the beet greens - Beet greens are edible! Set the leaves and stems aside, wash them well, and enjoy them in salads or sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and salt.
- Wash the beets and wrap them in aluminum foil. This seals in the moisture, which will help steam the beets, adding a secondary cooking method.
- Place them on a baking sheet and roast them at 400ºF for an hour or until tender. Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beets.
- Let the beets cool. Remove the aluminum foil and gently rub the skin off the beets with your fingers (it should come off easily). If you don't use gloves, you will have pink-stained hands, but the color will easily wash off.
- Use this method of roasting beets to make our cauliflower beet dip, roasted beet hummus, beet salad, roasted beet and sweet potato tacos, beet carpaccio with chia seed dressing, and quinoa, chickpea & beet burger. You can also use these beets for a grain bowl, a quinoa salad, or on a sandwich.
How to Roast Sliced Beets
- Cut off the beet greens.
- Wash and peel the beets. A vegetable peeler is the best tool to peel beets. Don't forget to wear gloves.
- Cut them into large chunks. They will shrink as they roast, so keep that in mind. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt.
- Place the beets on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Bake at 400ºF until tender, about 45 minutes or longer.
- Place the beets in a bowl and enjoy them as a snack or side dish or serve them as an appetizer.
Pro tip: Want to keep the heat out of your oven? This method can be moved to the grill. Instead of a sheet pan, make pockets out of aluminum foil and seal them up. Each pocket should be a serving size and sealed up so the steam is trapped inside. The high heat of a grill will make the process go even faster.
How to Boil Beets
- Cut off the beet greens.
- Wash the beets. Place them in a large pot with salted boiling water, and boil them until fork tender. You can reduce the heat to a simmer once it is boiling. Cooking time will depend on the size of the beets. We find that boiling them takes a long time, and they're not as sweet as when they're roasted.
- Removes the beets from the water and cool them completely.
- Gently rub the skin off the beets with your gloved fingers.
How to Cook Beets in an Instant Pot
We don't own an Instapot, but if you own one and have used it, please let us know! We would love to hear all about it.
How to Store Cooked Beets
Leftovers should be kept in the fridge in an airtight container and will keep for up to five days.
Freeze cooked beets for up to three months in an airtight container. If you freeze the individual slices on a baking sheet and then move them to a container, you can thaw exactly what you need a few at a time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to peel beets before cooking?
No. In fact, the peel will come off much easier once the beets are cooked.
Do beets lose nutrients when baked?
Yes. All vegetables lose some nutritional value during the cooking process. However, this loss is lower from baking than it is from boiling.
How do I know if my beets are done cooking?
They should be knife or fork tender just like potatoes or carrots.
Can you eat beets raw?
Yes, absolutely. Beets can be eaten raw, but it is best to shred or cut them into small thin pieces. Otherwise, the flavor can be a little overwhelming.
How to Eat Beats Raw
- Cut off the beet greens.
- Wash the beets and peel them.
- Shred or grate the beets using a food processor or a box grater. You can also use a spiralizer or slice them into thin, small pieces using a mandoline or a sharp knife.
- Make a salad with raw, shredded beets, fresh-cut apples, pickled onions, caramelized pumpkin seeds, and a mustard salad dressing.
- Try also our spiralized veggie noodle salad with peanut dressing.
Different Kinds of Beets
Beets come in a variety of colors, such as white, red, pink, and orange beets, not to mention the stunning Chioggia or candy cane variety. If you want to add beets to lettuce, cucumber, or avocado salad, we don't recommend using red beets since they will make your whole salad red. Use yellow, orange, or pink beets instead. Yellow beets are sometimes called golden beets. Our cookbook Tahini and Turmeric includes a recipe using different-colored beets. We called it ombre roasted beet salad with cumin dressing. Check it out by clicking the image below and order our cookbook for more exciting and irresistible recipes!
Health Benefits of Beets
Beets are considered a superfood. They are low in calories and high in nutrients. One hundred grams of cooked beets have only 44 calories, no fat, and are high in fiber, vitamins C & B6, folate, and minerals such as magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, manganese, and iron.
The nitrates and red pigment in beets have great health benefits:
- Supporting healthy blood pressure levels
- Improving athletic performance
- Increasing blood flow to the brain
Our Favorite Beet Recipes
- Cauliflower beet dip
- Roasted beet hummus
- Roasted beet salad with creamy horseradish and candied walnuts
- Roasted beets and sweet potato tacos
- Quinoa, chickpea, and beet burger
- Beet carpaccio with chia seed dressing
- Beet smoothie bowl
- Veggie noodle salad with peanut dressing
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Learn how to cook beets, and how to use them in easy delicious recipes. Beets are sweet, healthy, full of nutrients and super versatile. Use them in salads, burgers, dips, tacos and much more!
1 lbs of beets
- Preheat the oven to 400F
- Cut off the beet greens (See Note)
- Wash the beets
- Wrap the unpeeled beets in aluminum foil and place them on a baking sheet
- Roast them for an hour, or until tender (cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beets)
- Let them cool. Remove the aluminum foil and gently rub the skin off the beets with your fingers (it should come off easily)
Beet greens are edible and delicious! Set them aside, wash them well and enjoy them in salads, or simply sauteed with olive oil, garlic, and salt.
- Prep Time: 5
- Cook Time: 60
- Category: How to
- Method: Oven
- Cuisine: Healthy
- Serving Size: 2 ounces
- Calories: 49
- Sugar: 8.3
- Sodium: 88
- Fat: 0
- Saturated Fat: 0
- Unsaturated Fat: 0
- Trans Fat: 0
- Carbohydrates: 0
- Fiber: 3
- Protein: 2
- Cholesterol: 0
Keywords: how to cook beets, beets, whole roasted beets