How to Cook Beets

5 from 305 votes

In this step-by-step tutorial learn how to cook beets either by steaming, boiling, or roasting! Whichever method you choose they are superfood worth eating!

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Learn how to cook beets in three different ways. Beets can be roasted, steamed, or boiled. Most closely associated with borscht, the pink soup of Eastern Europe, beets have many other uses. You can pickle them, make salads, and more.

Roasted beets on white plate with arugula

Love beets? Well, you’re in luck because I am going to show you how to cook them three different ways! Whether you want to roast them, steam them, or boil them, I’ve got you covered. Beets are a healthy vegetable that is low in calories and high in fiber. They also contain essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, and vitamin C. Let’s get started!

WHY learn to cook beets

  • Beets are amazing in salads, roasted as a side dish, for pickled eggs, in borscht, and so many other dishes.
  • You can use beets as a natural food dye in pancakes, cakes, and cookies without altering the flavor!
  • They add a gorgeous pop of color to the plate and are full of vitamins – one serving gives you 20 percent of a day’s folate.

HOW TO cook fresh beets – 3 ways

How you cook beets will depend primarily on if you’re following a recipe. You’ll want to either boil, roast or steam, depending on what you’re making. Roasting is going to provide a bit of a charred flavor. Boiling will give you a softer beet, and steaming will be somewhere in the middle. If you’re making them as a side dish, all three of the methods below are delicious, so it’s really up to you!

how to roast beets

  1. Lay washed beets on a large piece of aluminum foil. The foil needs to be big enough to entirely wrap up the beets.
  2. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Gather up the sides of the foil and create a sealed pouch for the beets. Place on a baking sheet in case of any drippings and roast in the preheated oven.
  4. When the beets are fork tender, you’ll know that they are done. Allow to cool and then peel under running water.
4 image collage to show how to roast beets in the oven with foil

how to steam beets

  1. Outfit a large pot with a steamer. And fill with water, making sure the water level is below the bottom of the steamer. Water levels will vary depending on your steamer set-up. Bring the water to boil
  2. Put the beets in the steamer basket and cover. Steam on high until the beets are fork tender, which will vary by size. Allow to cool and then peel under running water.
2 image collage to show how to steam beets in a steamer basket

how to boil beets

  1. Place the beets, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic, and salt in a large pot. Fill with water to cover the beets completely and bring to a boil over high heat. Reduce to a simmer.
  2. Cook until fork tender, which will vary by size. Allow to cool and then remove the skin under running water.
2 image collage to show how to boil beets in a small pot on the stovetop

TIPS FOR cooking beets

  1. Pay attention to the size of the beets. Size matters: tiny beets might be ready in 10 minutes where large ones might take up to 40. Keep checking whichever method you’re using.
  2. Don’t remove the beet skin before cooking. It’s really not necessary and it’s much easier to do so after cooking. Some also find that removing the skin prior to cooking takes away some of the beet’s earthy test.
  3. Add vinegar (or lemon juice) to the boiling water. This is a trick I learned that helps lock in the beet’s beautiful red (or orange color) with just a drop of either vinegar or lemon juice. It works great and you won’t taste the acide.
  4. Be mindful of staining. Yes, beets can be a beast to work with sometimes because of staining. Most of it is easy to clean but stains can be stubborn on cutting boards.
Chopped beets in a white bowl with parsley after steaming

HOW TO REHEAT & STORE cooked beets

The best way to store beets is by wrapping them in foil and then refrigerating them. You can also use a Ziploc bag or airtight container. Beets do tend to weep when in the fridge, so make sure you store them upright to keep them from making a mess.

When you’re ready to reheat, just pop them in the oven at 350 degrees for about 15-20 minutes or until heated through. If you’re microwaving them, cook on high for about three minutes or until heated through.

HOW LONG WILL cooked beets LAST IN THE FRIDGE?

Your beets should last in the fridge for about 5 days. If you notice any molding or an off smell, make sure to toss them.

CAN I FREEZE beets after cooking them?

Yes, you can absolutely freeze your cooked beets! Let them cool completely, and then store them in an airtight container or freezer bag. Beets will last in the freezer for about 12 months. When you’re ready to eat them, just thaw in the fridge overnight or use the defrost function on your microwave.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

What is the easiest way to peel cooked beets?

Scrubbing the peel off under running water is one method. Or you can try the dry method of scrubbing off the outer skin with a paper towel.

When should I cut my beets before cooking?

For specific applications, like roasting beets on a sheet pan with other cut vegetables, it definitely makes sense to peel and slice the beets prior to roasting. But there is no doubt that big beets are easier to slice after cooking.

Do I need to cook beets before juicing them?

No, as long as you have the type of juicer that can handle hard vegetables, there is no need to cook beets before juicing.

Boiled beets in white bowl sliced after cooking

If you’ve been hesitant to cook beets because you’re unsure of the best way to cook them, I hope this tutorial was helpful!. Beets are such a colorful, fun way to add flavor and nutrition to your plate. Let me know which method you try and love!

recipes to make with beets:

If you found this tutorial for How to Cook Beets helpful or if you try any recipe on Feel Good Foodie, then don’t forget to rate the recipe and leave a comment below! It helps others who are thinking of trying out this tutorial, and we would love to hear about your experience. And if you snapped some shots, share it on Instagram so we can repost on Stories!

How to Cook Beets

In this step-by-step tutorial learn how to cook beets either by steaming, boiling, or roasting! Whichever method you choose they are superfood worth eating!
5 from 305 votes
Servings 4 servings
Course Tutorial
Calories 148
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 45 mins
Total Time 50 mins

Ingredients
  

For Roasted Beets

  • 3 beets scrubbed and tops removed
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and pepper to taste

For Steamed Beets

  • 3 beets scrubbed and tops removed
  • As needed water

For Boiled Beets

  • 3 beets scrubbed and tops removed
  • As needed water
  • ¼ cup Vinegar
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3 cloves garlic clove crushed
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

Instructions

Roasting Method

  • Preheat oven to 375°F.
  • Lay out a piece of aluminum foil large enough to wrap the beets. Place the beets on the foil. Drizzle olive oil on top of the beets and season with salt and pepper. Fold over the sides of the foil and wrap the beets so they are in a pouch.
  • Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and roast until fork tender, about 45-60 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes and peel under cool running water.

Steaming Method

  • Bring a large pot filled halfway with water to a boil under high heat. Add a steamer basket on top of the pot, making sure it’s not touching the water beneath it.
  • Place the beets in the steamer basket and cover. Steam on high until the beets are fork tender, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes and peel under cool running water.

Boiling Method

  • In a large pot over high heat, place the beets, vinegar, bay leaf, garlic and salt. Add enough water to cover the beets completely, bring water to a boil, and then reduce to a simmer.
  • Cook until fork tender, about 30-40 minutes, depending on the size.
  • Allow to cool for 10 minutes and peel under cool running water.

Notes

Storage: Cooked beets can last up to 5 days in the fridge or in the freezer for up to 12 months. 

Nutrition

Calories: 148kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 3g, Fat: 7g, Saturated Fat: 1g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g, Monounsaturated Fat: 5g, Sodium: 733mg, Potassium: 609mg, Fiber: 5g, Sugar: 13g, Vitamin A: 63IU, Vitamin C: 10mg, Calcium: 35mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information provided is an estimate. It will vary based on cooking method and specific ingredients used.

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Chopped beets in a white bowl with parsley after steaming

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Comments

  1. I have cooked all my life and never cooked beets cause I didn’t know how. Well now, thanks to you, I know how. God bless you and keep recipes coming..

  2. Roasted beet salad looks great but I had to scroll through the directions a few times and never found what the “preheated oven” temperature was supposed to be. The ads and photos kept distracting from the useful information. Guess I’ll just go back to cookbooks.

  3. Hi, Yumna! I personally never tried beets until my relatives came over last month and cooked borscht soup. Ever since, I’ve loved it and have been curious about it. I’m not really sure how to cook it, so it’s a good thing that I came across this blog. Thanks for sharing this!