My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ An Illustrated Cooking Lesson from the Beet Queen

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
How to roast fresh beets with minimum fuss and an abundance of earthy, sensual beet flavor. After many years of cooking beets one way or another, in my experience, this is the best way to cook fresh beets. All it takes? Some beets rubbed with oil. A hot oven. Time. That's it!

Year-Round Kitchen Staple. Great for Meal Prep. Weight Watchers Friendly & Freestyle Friendly. Not just vegan, Vegan Done Real. Naturally Gluten Free. Whole30 Friendly.


What's the Best Temperature to Roast Beets? How Long Do Beets Roast? It Depends.

If you ask the Beet Queen (aka me, Alanna) how to roast beets, what oven temperature to use for roasting beets, even how long to roast beets, I'll tell you, "It depends."

You see, I've tried so many ways of roasting beets, some simple, some a little complicated, some worth remembering, others not. It's taken five years of cooking beets to settle onto my favorite way to roast beets. This method takes the least fuss and every time, yields moist and earthy cooked beets.

Roasting beets is easy but it helps to arm yourself with a few shortcuts, tips and techniques I've collected over the years.

And once you've roasted beets, there are soooo many quick salads and sides to choose from. Check out all the beet recipes, the ones that call for pre-cooked beets are marked like this . They don't call me the Beet Queen for nuthin'.

For Slightly Pickled Roasted Beets

So my #1 way to roast beets is here, on this page. But I've also found a new and slightly different way to roast beets that's pretty cool and that is extra-perfect in certain situations when a slight bit of pickle-y-ness (is there such a word?) in the beets seems exactly right. So here you go, to compare, My Favorite New Way to Roast Beets.

BEET-ROASTING COMPLIMENTS
from My Beet Princesses!

"These were beyond easy to fix and then I put butter and a little salt on them - once again - WOW." ~ Anonymous
"Love these." ~ Anonymous
"This worked beautifully ... will definitely do it again! ... [ate] one right away while it was still warm ... oh so good". ~ Jennifer
"... it was very delicious. Now I understand why people in Australia put a slice of beet on everything!" ~ Anonymous
"My beets turned out perfectly ..." ~ vivihofman
"... the beets turned out fabulous! ... Hubby hasn't been willing to try beets in decades, but he said these are great!" ~ Anonymous
"Have been doing it your way and loving it ..." ~ Maricia
"Love this recipe ..." ~ Anonymous

Would you like to be a beet princess too? Just roast some beets and let me know how it goes in the comments!

What You Need to Roast Beets

Some beets (duh!)
A cutting board
A large oven-safe pot with a cover
A sharp knife
A little oil
That's all!
Oh! and an oven




MY FAVORITE WAY TO ROAST BEETS

Behold the Beautiful Beet!

Such knobs of dark and mysterious beauty, we shall capture their hearts, just as they romance the tastebuds of all beet lovers. Ahhh, beets ...

For even roasting, the beets should be roughly the same size, all large, all medium-size, all small, etc.

That's because larger beets take considerably longer to cook than small beets. When the beets are roughly the same size, they'll finish cooking at the same time.

Before getting started, set the oven to 375F/190C.

Clean the Beet Bulbs

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
We're doing to deal with the beet bulbs and the beet greens separately.

Scrub-scrub-scrub the beet bulbs themselves. Clean them under running water, rubbing the skins with your fingers to brush off any stubborn grit, paying special attention to all the rough parts where the stems sprout out and to the "tail".

But be gentle! Don't scrub the beets too hard, otherwise the barrier of the skin will weaken and if it does, liquid and flavor will leak out during roasting.

While you're washing the bulbs. give the greens a quick rinse too.

Cut Off the Beet Greens

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Cut the beet greens off the beet bulbs. Leave about a half inch to an inch of stubby stems. Don't touch that tail!

Actually, it's not a "tail" at all, even if it does resemble a mouse's tail. It's the "tap root" of the beet, the bit that reaches deep into the soil to gather up minerals and all the wonderful earthy flavor that we love about beets.

Why leave a bit of stem on, why leave the tail / tap root alone?

We don't want to risk cutting the beet's flesh, effectively "wounding" the beet, letting liquid and flavor leak out during roasting. That's bad for the pan (one big sugary mess) and bad for the beet lover (dry and shriveled beets). NOT good.

Find the Right Pot

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
What you're looking for is a large, heavy, deep pot, something with a lid, something that can go in the oven. I use a Dutch oven.

Arrange the beets in a single layer. I suppose if your pot is deep enough, you could do more than one layer. But one layer is all that will fit in my Dutch oven so that's all I've ever roasted.

If you have an extra beet that won't fit, make yourself a Raw Beet Sandwich.

Yum. Plus it's going to be awhile before the beet babies are roasted.

Or maybe you've got way more beets than will fit the pot? You are going to love-love-love the oh-so-gorgeous Greens 'n' All Beet Soup.

Ooops, sorry for the distractions. This is the Beet Queen talking, after all.

Rub the Beet Skins with Oil

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Pour a tiny bit of oil on each beet, about a teaspoon apiece.

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Now get in there with your hands and rub that oil all over the skins. Yes, use your hands! Cooking can be a sensuous art ...

Cover The Pot!

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
I mean it, cover the pot!

Once I forgot the lid and the lovely little beets from the farmers market didn't cook during the first hour and had a really off taste when I covered them and roasted a second hour. It was a "save" that didn't work.

How Long to Roast Beets

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.

Put the beets into the oven for about an hour. If the oven hasn't fully preheated, don't worry, just put the pot in the oven and set the timer for 60 minutes plus whatever number of minutes remain for the oven to come to the roasting temperature.

But. But. But.

Cooking time is always iffy with beets. So please don't "count on" roasted beets for supper in exactly an hour because some times roasting beets takes longer than an hour.

I haven't been able to figure out the difference. Maybe it's the size of the beets? how fresh they are? how they've been stored? how dense the beets are? etc.

But when someone presses me to be specific about how long to roast beets, this is my answer. "Roast beets for an hour, then check every 15 minutes or so until they're done."

To promote even cooking, especially with large beets, some times I turn the beets after 20 and 40 minutes.

How to Clean Beet Greens

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Now the greens – and if you've got any even tiny thought of throwing away beet greens, banish the thought! This is going to be so easy!

First, check for grit. Check the greens by rubbing a leaf or two with your fingers. Be particular about this, there's nothing worse than finding crud in your greens after they've been cooked.

If there's any feel of grit, wash the greens well. Just head back to the sink and rinse the leaves again under running water, gently rubbing the leaves with your fingers to loosen the dirt.

If the greens are really gritty, they'll need a good soak. Soak the greens in cool water for a few minutes, sloshing them around every so often to release the dirt and let it fall to the bottom of the sink or pot or bowl or whatever you're using to hold the soaking water. Rinse them under running water again, making sure to get right into all the crevices.

Once the greens are grit-free, line them up at the junction of the stem and the leaf, then slice off the stems.

Check for Bruising Too

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Check the leaves themselves. If any are bruised, as shown here, give them a toss, they're perfect for a compost bowl, it's My Most-Used Kitchen Tool. If any leaves are tough or cracked, throw them away too.

Now inspect the beet stems. If the stems are thick and crotchety looking, well, unless you're really frugal, toss 'em, they're just not worth it. But if they are thin and perfect like these, they cook quickly and add lots of fiber. They're good!

Work With Stems & Greens Separately

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Keep the stems and the greens separate because they have different cooking times.

Now I'm going to introduce you to one of my best cooking secrets. Okay, I share all my best recipes, no secrets there, so let's call this my favorite technique for cooking greens, beet greens and other greens too.

This is how to cook greens, quickly and easily, not necessarily to eat right away but to hold them for a day to two to eat later! Say hello to Greek Greens.

Greens are so tender and perishable, this easy technique lets you do a little "cooking" now but postpone the "eating" until later. Fresh greens need never go to waste again.

After an Hour in the Oven, Test the Beets for Doneness

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Back to those roasted beets! It's time to check to see whether they're done.

Take the pot out of the oven and insert a thin knife right into the center of at least one beet, one at the center and one at the edge if you're feeling ambitious.

If the knife goes in easily, the beets are done.

If there's resistance, put the beets back into the oven for 15 minutes, then check again.


I've had beets take as long as 2 hours to roast. Remember what I said about not counting on beets for supper at a specific time? This is why.

Patience, people. Let the beets cook until they are soft and fully roasted, all the way through.

A Treat for Beet Lovers, ASAP

King Hill Farms Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com, my favorite way to savor that first hot beet.
But once the beets are indeed cooked, oh my, here's a treat for hungry beet lovers, one I look forward to every time I roast beets.

Just skin and slice a hot-hot beet and dab with butter and if you like, a little good salt or a sprinkle of Spanish paprika. Ohhhhhhhh so good!

Go ahead and eat one, I'll wait. Isn't that first beet just delicious?

This "recipe" was given to me by a reader from Brunswick, Missouri. I'm so forever grateful, I call the recipe King Hill Farms Simple & Sublime Beets.

Let the Beets Cool a Bit

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Once the beets are fully cooked, let them cool down until they're cool enough to handle.

Frankly, it would be just fine to refrigerate the beets right now for eating later.

But the skins are slightly easier to remove when the beets are still warm.

It's Time to Peel the Beets

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Let's peel these beets! It's a little messy and your hands, yes, will stain. Call it a Beet Queen badge of honor.

Slice off the stem end first.

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
Rub the beet skins with your fingertips. They will slip right off! A knife can help with any resistant bits.

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets

My Favorite Way to Roast Beets ♥ AVeggieVenture.com with step-by-step photos. The Beet Queen has roasted beets in so many ways. This technique? Least fuss, excellent results. Rave reviews. Currently recruiting Beet Princesses.
So yeah. That's how to roast beets, all there is to it!

You've roasted a big panful of beets and from now on, quick beet dishes are just a few minutes away because the cooking is already done.

Don't forget, there's this great list of all my beet recipes. For convenience, the recipes that call for pre-cooked beets are marked like this . Cool, eh?

Heh, heh. Yes, I'm recruiting Beet Princesses.




MORE WAYS to COOK BEETS

~ Microwave Beets ~
~ Summer Borscht ~
(Beets Cooked in Water on Stovetop)
~ Roasted Beet Supper Salad ~
(Beets Peeled Then Roasted)
~ Pan-Pickled Beets ~
("Pickled" in a Skillet)

FAVORITE WAYS to ENJOY ROASTED BEETS

~ How to Make a Roasted Beet Salad ~
~ Beet Salad with Sumac, Yogurt & Pita ~
~ Twice-Roasted Beets with Red Grapes, Cherries, Blueberries & Avocado Feta Cream ~
~ Beet Pesto ~
~ more beet recipes ~
from A Veggie Venture

~ Borscht Beets with Sour Cream ~
~ Those Pink Potatoes ~
~ Refrigerator Pickled Beets ~
~ Karelian Borscht (Finnish - Russian Beet Borscht Soup) ~
~ more beet recipes ~
from Kitchen Parade, my food column




Looking for healthy new ways to cook vegetables? A Veggie Venture is home to hundreds of super-organized quick, easy and healthful vegetable recipes and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables. Join "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg to explore the exciting world of common and not-so-common vegetables, seasonal to staples, savory to sweet, salads to sides, soups to supper, simple to special.

© Copyright Kitchen Parade 2010, 2015 (repub) & 2019


Alanna Kellogg
Alanna Kellogg

A Veggie Venture is home of "veggie evangelist" Alanna Kellogg and the famous asparagus-to-zucchini Alphabet of Vegetables.

Comments

  1. Alanna,
    I love beets too! A couple of easy uses for the roasted beets posted today.

    http://eatlittleeatbig.blogspot.com/2010/10/roasted-beets.html

    Susan

    ReplyDelete
  2. I roast my beets in an aluminium paper pouch but next time I'll use your method.
    I had so many that I froze them (the first time). I imagine that I will only be able to use them in soups. I haven't tried defrosting the little darlings yet LOL

    ReplyDelete
  3. I've been getting bunches of baby beets in my CSA box and I've had success roasting them in my mini slow cooker. My favorite use for them at the moment is adding them to my green salads.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Excellent post. I love roasted beets. By far the best way to eat them.

    ReplyDelete
  5. I have always boiled my beets but will roast them next time. This is a nice little tutorial. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  6. My absolute favorite way to prepare beets is to scrub them well, slice thin, toss with oil and seasoning and then roast at 425* for about 30 minutes. You'll get beet chips that are fantastic tossed in salad or eaten plain.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Wow!!! What more can I say. This was my first experience with fresh (not pickled) beets and am I ever glad to have stumbled across your website. These were beyond easy to fix and then I put butter and a little salt on them- once again- WOW. I also cooked the greens and stems and am looking forward to trying the Greek Greens with dinner tomorrow night.

    ReplyDelete
  8. AnonymousJune 27, 2011

    Love these. I roast three at a time (they come in bunches of three here) and eat one that night, then peel and heat the others in the microwave later that week. I can and have eaten all 3 in one sitting - but it makes me a little gassy!

    ReplyDelete
  9. This worked beautifully. I roasted beets for the first time this week, and will definitely do it again! I also followed your suggestion to eat one right away while it was still warm... oh so good. Nice snack while I peeled the rest of my beets and made dinner :)

    ReplyDelete
  10. Just followed this recipe and it was very delicious. Now I understand why people in Australia put a slice of beet on everything!

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  11. Thank you SO MUCH. My beets turned out perfectly with your recipe. Now I'm going to let them cool so I can use them in a salad. :]

    ReplyDelete
  12. Alanna,

    Love this post-you crack me up!!!

    Kiley

    ReplyDelete
  13. AnonymousJuly 15, 2013

    thanks for the step-by-step instructions - the beets turned out fabulous! Warm out of the oven with dab of butter & paprika & good salt is totally perfect! Hubby hasnt been willing to try beets in decades, but he said these are great!

    ReplyDelete
  14. I use latex like gloves that are really thin to peel the beets so my hands don't get all red.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Have been doing it your way and loving it ....BUT...sooo much more pleasant with the cheap disposable plastic gloves ... I also got into a twit because I dont have a decent "Dutch Oven" but found that my deep sided baking pan, lined with foil and TIGHTLY covered with foil did the trick. However, I needed to do 12 beets, so left it in oven for 1.5 hours, and then overnight in foil ... this morning just perfect! Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Love this recipe and there is nothing like skinning a warm beet! So don't miss the sensuous feel of of the beet flesh because you are worried about staining you hands. When you are finished skinning, just take a slice of lemon and rub it on your stained fingers and it comes right out.

    ReplyDelete

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Thank you for taking a moment to write! I read each and every comment, for each and every recipe, whether a current recipe or a long-ago favorite. If you have a specific question, it's nearly always answered quick-quick. (So sorry, as of 4/23/22, I’ve had to turn comments off to prevent hundreds of spam comments a day. Stupid Spammers.) ~ Alanna