How to Cook Beets


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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!

Sliced cooked beets in a bowl.

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.

Close up of beets on a counter.

How to Cook Beets

Prepare beets (as above) and cook using one of the methods below.

In the Oven:

  1. Clean, dry and cut beets.
  2. Toss them with olive oil and salt and pepper.
  3. Roast in foil for about 55-60 minutes.

Serve warm, cold, or use in a simple salad topped with goat cheese!

Beats being steamed in a steamer basket over a pot of boiling water.

On the Stove:

  1. Clean, dry, and cut beets.
  2. 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!
  3. 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!

  1. Rinse and prick each beet all over with a fork.
  2. Using a Pyrex glass dish, place beets in and add about 1/3 cup of water.
  3. 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.

To Freeze

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! For more information on freezing fresh vegetables check out this helpful guide.

More Veggie Tips

beets plated to show how to cook beets
5 from 2 votes
Review Recipe

How to Cook Beets

Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 servings
Author Holly Nilsson
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Beets are a delicious veggie, great as a side or in salads. Cook these pretty veggies in the oven or on the stovetop!

Ingredients

  • 1 pound beets or as many as desired

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Instructions

  • 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.
Steam
  • 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.
Boil
  • 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).
Roast
  • 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.

Recipe Notes

Nutritional information is for beets only.

Nutrition Information

Calories: 49, Carbohydrates: 11g, Protein: 2g, Fat: 1g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Sodium: 88mg, Potassium: 369mg, Fiber: 3g, Sugar: 8g, Vitamin A: 37IU, Vitamin C: 6mg, Calcium: 18mg, Iron: 1mg
Keyword beets, boiled beets, how to cook beets
Beets in a silver steamer with a title.
Cooked beets in a silver serving bowl with writing
Cooked beets in a dish with a silver fork and writing
Cooked beets in a serving bowl, and beets with the greens left on under the title.

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Holly

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Holly is a wine and cheese lover, recipe creator, shopping enthusiast and self appointed foodie. Her greatest passion is creating in the kitchen and making deliciously comforting recipes for the everyday home cook!

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