Below are my favorite ways to cook beets including steamed, boiled, or roasted beets!
Beets are one of my favorite vegetables and can be enjoyed hot as a side dish or chilled in a salad. They’re easy to cook and jam-packed with flavor!
A Healthy Favorite
Beets are packed with essential vitamins, minerals, and compounds, and flesh can be used as an organic dye as well! You can find red beets, purple beets, even striped beets!
Once cooked the can be enjoyed hot or chilled and are a great addition to tossed salads or even added into hummus for a pretty pink dip!
How to Prep Beets
- Beets are a root vegetable and grow underground so you’ll want to give them a good scrub before cooking.
- Cut off the stems and leaves at the top (you can cook beet greens as well).
- While some people peel beets, they’re kind of messy and to be honest, it’s not necessary to do before cooking. Once cooked the skins just slide right off.
- If the beets are large, cut them in halves or quarters so they cook faster.
Beet skins and their juice will stain fabric, so be sure to use paper towels or a kitchen towel that you don’t mind getting dirty! If you’ll be handling the beets, wear gloves if you have them.
How to Cook Beets
Prepare beets (as above) and cook using one of the methods below.
In the Oven:
- Clean, dry and cut beets.
- Toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper.
- Roast in foil for about 55-60 minutes.
Serve warm, cold, or use in a simple salad topped with goat cheese!
On the Stove:
- Clean, dry, and cut beets.
- Add a little lemon juice to some water and cover the beets. The lemon juice will keep the beets from bleeding and look extra bright after they are cooked!
- Bring to a boil. Then simmer until tender, about 45 minutes.
Cool beets by placing them under cold running water until they can be handled. Toss in a salad, serve warm, or mashed!
In the Microwave:
Just like cooking potatoes in the microwave, beets need very little preparation. Choose beets that are uniform in size so they cook evenly!
- Rinse and prick each beet all over with a fork.
- Using a Pyrex glass dish, place beets in and add about 1/3 cup of water.
- Using a damp paper towel or plastic wrap, cover the dish and microwave on high about 5 minutes or until you can smell them starting to cook.
Beets will continue to cook once they’re removed from the microwave, so be sure not to overcook them! Rinse them in cold water to stop the cooking process.
Small, cooked beets can be frozen whole, but larger, cooked beets that have been cut or sliced will thaw out grainy and soggy. The best thing to do with thawed cooked beets is to put them in a smoothie, a muffin mix or blend into a healthy vinaigrette dressing!
More Veggie Tips
- How to Steam Cauliflower
- How to Cook Asparagus (Steam, Grill, Bake)
- How to Steam Broccoli
- How to Prepare and Roast Kohlrabi
- How to Cook Spaghetti Squash In The Microwave
- How to Cook Acorn Squash
How to Cook Beets
- 1 pound beets or as many as desired
- olive oil *for roasting
- salt and pepper *for roasting
- To prepare beets, cut off the stem and leaves (these can be cooked separately).
- Scrub the outside of the beets and dry.
- If beets are large, cut in halves or quarters.
- Cook beets using one of the methods below.
- Once cooked, use rubber gloves or paper towels to rub the beets and the skins will just slide right off.
- Serve warm with butter or chilled in salads.
- Place unpeeled beets in a steamer basket in a pot.
- Add 1" water to the pot. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer about 30 minutes (longer for larger beets).
- Ensure you check the water level as it evaporates.
- Fill a large pot with enough water to cover the beets by 1".
- Add 1 tablespoon lemon juice to the water.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat to simmer and cook until beets are tender, about 35 minutes (longer for larger beets).
- Toss beets with olive oil, salt & pepper. Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Place beets on a large piece of tinfoil and wrap to seal as a packet. Roast the foil package for 1 hour or until beets are tender when poked with a fork.
Nutrition information provided is an estimate and will vary based on cooking methods and brands of ingredients used.
© SpendWithPennies.com. Content and photographs are copyright protected. Sharing of this recipe is both encouraged and appreciated. Copying and/or pasting full recipes to any social media is strictly prohibited. Please view my photo use policy here.
Like our recipes?
Follow us on Pinterest!
I have always steamed my beets, but thought I would try the stovetop boiling with lemon juice. The colors definitely leached out much more than with steaming and the lemon juice didn’t make them retain their color. Maybe I didn’t put enough lemon juice? I used 1 Tbsp for 2-3 cups water to cover the beets, but I suspect the results would have been the same if I would have added a different amount of lemon juice. But it was fun to try because you never know if something different that what you are used to will turn out better!
Sorry that trick didn’t work well for you, Theresa! But I am glad you enjoyed them :)
Roasting did not work… I cooked for well over an hour at preheated 375 and even after adding 15 minutes could not get a fork through easily. I’ll steam or boil to finish off the beets. This is to puree them for my baby.
Depending on the size of the beets, they may require additional time to cook through.