Roasted beets cooked in the oven brings out the sweet side of this humble and healthy root vegetable, and is the easiest way to cook beets.
In the veggie world, the glorious beet doesn’t get the credit it should. I see cooked beets and I see garnet gems and ruby jewels. I mean, sure, uncooked beets aren’t the prettiest veggie on the block, but they are loaded with good for you vitamins, minerals, fiber, and vitamin C and are known as cancer fighters, endurance boosters, and digestive helpers. That’s pretty pretty in my book.
Raw beets are the perfect veggie to have on hand any time of year, because unlike some, they seem to last forever in the fridge. Over the years I’ve cooked lots of beets. I’ve made them for my fave pickled beets recipe, or meal prepped them for lunches in any one of my many beet salads. I’ve tried all the methods, always experimenting to find the easiest, most successful technique for preparing roasted beets. And now, after years of kitchen play, roasting them whole in the oven with this super simple method is the only way you’ll find them cooking in my kitchen.
The Healthiest Way to Cook Beets
There’s so much you can do with roasted beets. From adding them to my favorite beet and goat cheese salads to snacking on baked beet chips to sipping beet lemonade (yes, it’s a thing!) the humble beet is one of my favorite root vegetables to eat all year long.
Here’s all you’ll need to cook beets the healthiest way:
- Medium fresh beets of any color (not canned!)
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Kosher salt
Roasted or Boiled? Which Is Better?
One of the biggest questions about cooking beets is whether it’s better to boil or roast beets? Even more, which way is easier?
Just like so many other vegetables, roasting beets in the oven coaxes out their natural sugars, creating a caramelized bite that make veggies taste even sweeter. Whereas boiling vegetables in water dilutes both their flavor and nutrients, that are left behind in the cooking water.
The Best Beets for Roasting
So they cook evenly, pick beets that are about the same size. As a root vegetable, beets can sometimes look a little beat up. Look for those that are unblemished and consistent in color with crisp, green, vibrant leaves still attached to the beetroot, a sure sign of freshness.
Choose the rainbow. Beets come in different colors, yet the color does not affect the taste. No matter what shade, they all taste the same.
There’s No Need to Peel Beets Before Roasting
Don’t peel beets before roasting. Beets are sturdy. They’re resilient. And when placed skin-on in the oven, their thick skin turns into the perfect baking jacket, steaming their insides and turning their dense interiors into supple bites of sweetness. That’s why there’s no need to peel beets before baking or roasting.
Scrub and trim the greens and ends. Before baking, trim the greens and ends from the beets. Then, instead of peeling, scrub the beets in cool water to dislodge any dirt from the bulbs. Pat well with paper towels so oil will stick to them.
How to Roast Beets
Skip wrapping beets in foil before cooking. In past beet cooking adventures, I’ve individually wrapped each beet in foil before baking. But now, I don’t waste my time—or foil. Instead, simply toss the cleaned, dried beets with olive oil and kosher salt.
Place beets in a baking dish and cover with foil. No wrapping. No origami. The easiest way to roast beets is to toss in olive oil, season with kosher salt, then place all together in a baking dish, cover with foil, and bake.
What Temperature Do You Roast Beets In the Oven?
Bake at high heat: 450°F. Beets are dense, hardy, and can take the heat. Roast at high heat, 450°F., until a sharp knife easily slides into the center of the beet and the skins easily pull away from the sides. This should take about 45 minutes for medium size beets and 1 hour for larger beets. Add more cooking time the bigger your beet.
Here’s the Rub: How to Peel Beets After Roasting
Use paper towels to easily wipe the skin from the cooked beet. After baking in the oven, the beet skins become soft and supple, making them easy to skin. Instead of using a knife, grab two paper towels (one for each hand) and gently scrub the skin away. This is the reason to look for skins that pull apart from the beet when testing for doneness.
The Beet Goes On
Slice, chunk, or dice ’em. Depending on how you’re serving them, beets can be prepped any number of ways. Big. Small. Round. Square.
Create an ombré of color. Beets are used as a natural dye, even for their fellow beets. To create an ombré beet effect, store varying colors of cooked beets in the same container. The cooked beets release liquid as they sit, so the lighter yellow and orange hues absorb the dark red juice, creating a colorful rainbow affect.
What to Do With Roasted Beets
- Burr Trail Grill Pickled Beets
- Roasted Beet, Avocado And Goat Cheese Spinach Salad With Chicken
- Green Salad With Shrimp, Beets, Sweet Pecans And Goat Cheese
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad With Roasted Beets, Pecans And Goat Cheese
- Beet, Avocado And Fried Goat Cheese Salad
Honey and Balsamic Vinegar Roasted Beets
Add a sweet dressing to roasted beets by mixing the ingredients below and drizzling over the beets before serving:
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 2 tablespoons honey
- chopped fresh thyme, mint, or chives
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
How to Make THE BEST Roasted Beets
- 2 pounds fresh beets , about 6 medium
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- fresh herbs for garnish
- Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the greens from the tops of the beets and save for another use, then trim the bottom of the stems and discard. Scrub the beets under cold water, pat dry with a paper towel and place in a bowl. Toss with the olive oil and generous pinches of salt.
- Place the beets in a baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour for large beets, or about 45 min for medium. The beets will be done when you can easily slide a sharp knife into their tender centers. Set aside to cool enough to handle.
- To peel, trim the ends then use a paper towel in each hand to rub off the skins. If you don't want your hands to get red, wear plastic gloves. Toss with more olive oil and salt and pepper and garnish with fresh thyme or chopped chives.
More Roasted Vegetable Recipe Ideas
- How To Cook Easy Roasted Vegetables
- The Best Crispy Oven Roasted Potatoes
- How To Make Yummy Roasted Sweet Potatoes
- Pan Roasted Brussels Sprouts With Pancetta
- How To Make Roasted Cauliflower
- Oven Roasted Asparagus
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I love roasted root vegetables, but particularly beets. I can not believe how many of my friends didn’t know you can roast them so good thinking posting this recipe! One thing I do to mix it up is to add a sprinkle of Parmesan. Also super yummy. Love your blog!