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How to Cook Beets: 5 Ways

Try these simple methods for cooking beets.

How to Cook Beets

Beets are one of our favorite superfoods. How can they not be, with all of that gorgeous color? Their unique earthy flavor is delicious in all kinds of recipes. And, of course they're tasty on their own!

Once you know how to cook fresh beets, it's a snap to prepare this vibrant vegetable for any recipe you like. You can use the methods below to learn how to cook beets for smoothies, salad recipes, grain bowls, and more. We even include the time for each method, so you can choose the one that works best for you tonight. No time to slow roast beets? No problem! Just microwave or steam them instead.

How to Cook Beets

You can use all of these tutorials to learn how to cook fresh beets from the garden, the grocery store, or your local farmer's market. The directions are the same for golden beets and red beets.

For all methods, first wash your beets and remove the leafy green tops. You may have to scrub the beets a bit to remove all of the dirt, as beets are a root vegetable. Then cut off the green tops about 2 inches from the top of the beet.

A note about beet juice: It can stain! Watch out for your clothing, hands, and cutting boards. Consider using a glass cutting board to help with this. You can also wear gloves to protect your hands. If you do stain your cutting board, sprinkle some salt on the stain and let it sit for a bit before cleaning.

How to Steam Beets

Time: 15 minutes
Peel beets first?: No
Cut beets?Yes

Want to know how to cook beets fast? Steaming them is a great way to go, since you cut them up before cooking. It's easier to estimate how long to steam beets this way as well, since you don't have to account for the various sizes of the vegetable. It should take about 15 minutes.

  1. Cut your beets into quarters and then put them into a pot with a steamer basket. Put a few inches of water in the bottom of the pot, but keep the water line below the bottom of the steamer basket.

  2. Bring the water to a simmer and then steam the beets for about 15 minutes. They're done when they are tender when poked with a fork. 

  3. Gently rub off the skins with a paper towel before serving.

How to Roast Beets (Whole)

Time: 60 minutes
Peel beets first?: No
Cut beets?: No

This is one of the easiest ways to cook beets!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F.

  2. Wrap each of your beets individually in aluminum foil. Place the wrapped beets in a roasting pan to catch any juices that drip out during roasting.

  3. Check on the beets every 20 minutes or so to ensure that they're not getting too dry. If they are, drizzle a little water or olive oil over them and wrap them back up.

    Roast the beets for about 50-60 minutes total, or until a fork can easily pierce the beets to the center.

  4. Gently remove the skins by brushing them off with a paper towel.

How to Roast Beets (Cut)

Time: 30 minutes (plus prep time to peel and slice beets)
Peel beets first?: Yes
Cut beets?: Yes

This is a great way to turn your beets into an instant delicious side dish. By peeling, slicing, and seasoning your beets before roasting, you won't have any more work left to do when they're done cooking!

  1. Preheat your oven to 400 degrees F. Line a baking sheet or roasting pan with aluminum foil.

  2. Peel your your beets and slice them into quarters.

  3. Drizzle your cut beets with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.

  4. Roast beets in the oven for about 30 minutes, or until slices are fork tender. Serve and enjoy!

How to Boil Beets

Time: 30 minutes
Peel beets first?: No
Cut beets?: No

This is another super easy way of cooking beets. No peeling or slicing required!

  1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

  2. Add your whole beets to the pot.

  3. Boil for 20-30 minutes, until the beets are fork tender. Prepare a large bowl of ice water.

  4. Remove beets from the boiling pot and place in the bowl of ice water. This will help the beets cool quickly so that you can remove the skins.

  5. Gently remove the skin from the beets. Prepare as desired for salads, smoothies, and more.

How to Cook Beets in the Microwave

Time: 15-20 minutes
Peel beets first?: No
Cut beets?: No

As you might guess, this is one of the fastest and easiest methods for cooking beets!

  1. Place beets in a microwave safe bowl with 3-4 tablespoons of water. Cover the dish.

  2. Microwave your beets on high for 10-15 minutes. They should be fork tender at this point.

  3. Let your beets cool for 5 minutes before removing the skins. Remove the skins by gently rubbing them off with a paper towel.

How to Store Cooked Beets

Cooked beets can be stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 1 week. They can be stored whole, sliced, or diced - whatever works best for you!

Beet Recipes

Now that you know how to cook raw beets, you can start enjoying all of these amazing beet recipes! Cooked beets are great in salads, they're delicious in dishes like hummus or smoothies, and they're yummy if you just want to eat them with a little salt and pepper. Whatever method you choose, we're sure you're going to enjoy this verstile vegetable.

Detox Heart Beet Juice

This recipe can actually be made with raw beets, but we wanted to include it anyway. It's bursting with flavor and good-for-you nutrients. It's a great recipe, and it looks so pretty!

Roasted Chioggia Beets

"Roasted Chioggia Beets brings out more of their natural sweetness and flavor. Have you ever seen a Chiggio beet before? They are also called candy cane beet or bullseye beets and are an heirloom beet from Italy."

Beets Hummus

If you're wondering what to do with beets, this hummus recipe is just what you need. It look beautiful, and it's so delicious on pita chips, fresh veggies, and more.

Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing

"This Mandarin Beet Salad with Poppyseed Dressing makes for an easy and delicious winter lunch! I used canned beats for this salad just to keep it nice and easy, but feel free to roast your own."

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