How To Perfectly Roast Beets
Oven-roasting whole beets helps bring out their natural sweetness and earthy flavor, all while locking in moisture and color. Learning how to roast a whole beet in the oven is super easy to do and requires very little work. In this guide,I’ll show you how to roast beets so that they’re fork tender, and perfect for enjoying as a veggie side dish or tossed in a salad.
Beets are one of those veggies that people either love, hate, or have no idea what to do with.
I used to be in the “hate” camp when it came to beets, since I couldn’t get past their earthy flavor. However, over the years of veggie-loading my own life, I have learned that roasting beets is the secret to cutting that “dirt” flavor beets and bringing out their natural sweetness. Once cooked, roasted beets are amazing in veggie-loaded sides dishes, muffins, pancakes or so many vegetarian recipes!
And roasting beets couldn’t be easier! In this guide, I show you how to quickly prep your beets, how to roast them up for various sizes, how to peel them for minimal mess, and how to use and/or store you perfectly roasted beets!
Love the idea of adding beets but need them done fast? Learn how to quick cook beets in an Instant Pot!
Health benefits of beets
Beets are kinda plant rockstars. Seriously. Not only a stunning shade of red, but they have so many vitamins and nutrients in their pretty scarlet package. But if you are like me….you want to know what a veggie offers so you can decide what plants to veggie-load your life with and see why veggie-loading can increase the health of your foods.
By adding beetroot, you also add: (source)
- Folate (vitamin B9) (this is helpful for cell and tissue growth)
- Manganese (an essential trace element)
- Potassium (good for heart health)
- Iron (an essential mineral that is necessary for the transport of oxygen in red blood cells)
- Vitamin C (something all us parents need oodles of in our diets)
How do I prepare beets for roasting?
First, wash wash wash! Beets are a root vegetable are are, thus, usually pretty dirty. Give your beets a good scrubbing before roasting them.
Trim the beets next. I do this by carefully cutting the tops and bottoms off of each beet with a knife. Some people just remove the greens, but I prefer to cut the whole top off.
Wrap the beets in foil. This will help hold in the heat and their juices while roasting. The foil also helps them roast more evenly. I have found it best to wrap each beet individually for quicker, even cooking. However, if you prefer, you can wrap them all together, though you will need to check for doneness more frequently.
If you like, you can drizzle the beets with a little olive oil or avocado oil for extra richness. This is totally optional (I often skip it), but does give your beets a great flavor if you plan to enjoy them as a side dish or in a salad.
If you prefer your food not to touch foil, add a layer of parchment paper between the beet and foil. You can also roast your beets in a Dutch oven for a no-waste option.
Place prepared beets on a baking sheet. This is optional, but helps make the transition in and out of the oven easy and catches any beet juices that might escape the foil while roasting.
Pop them in the oven! Yeah, that is about all it takes to prep your beets for roasting. See! Told ya it was easy.
How to roast beets: visual step-by-step guide
How long do I roast beets?
This all depends on the size of your beets. Beets can be big, medium, or on the smaller side. How long it takes your beets to roast to a sweet perfection will depend a lot on how big or small they are.
Small beets (a little smaller than a tennis ball) are usually done roasting in a a 400℉ oven in about 30 minutes.
Larger beets (usually the size of a baseball or softball) can take anywhere from 45-60 minutes to finish roasting.
Since Mother Nature doesn’t make things to an exact size, you will have to use your best guess as to which size category your beet falls into to know how long to roast it for.
TIP: You will know your beet is done roasting when the skin literally falls off of the beet. So if you take the beet out and the skin isn’t peeling off super easily with the touch of your fingers or fork, pop them back in to cook a bit longer.
Can I roast beets without foil?
Yes. IF you prefer to roast your beets without foil, you can use a Dutch oven to roast your beets.
Arrange beets in a single layer in the Dutch oven, cover, and roast at the same temperature until beets are fork tender and the skin easily slides off the beet.
FYI: Beets roasted all together in a Dutch oven might require a little extra cooking time than beets wrapped individually in foil.
What is the difference between red beets and golden beets?
Red beets are the beets you typically see and think of when you think of beets. And they are, you guessed it, red in color.
Golden beets are much more yellow and orange in color. Not only is their color different, but golden beets have a mellower, less earthy flavor than red beets.
How to peel beets
While you can peel beets when they are raw, I find it so much easier to peel them after they have been cooked.
So easy, in fact, that the skin of a cooked beet literally rubs off with a paper towel. Which is also helpful in avoiding fingers getting stained from beet juice.
To peel a cooked beet: Place the roasted beet in a piece of paper towel. Use one end of the paper towel to rub the peel off the beet and continue removing pieces until it is removed entirely.
How to store cooked beets
Once your beets have been roasted, let them cool completely. Unwrap and discard the foil you used for roasting and peel off the skin of the beet. The skin should easily fall off with your fingers or a fork.
Place peeled beets in an air-tight container and store them in the fridge for up for 4 days.
Can I freeze roasted beets?
Totally. In fact, that is exactly what I do with most of the beets I roast. That way, I don’t feel like I have to eat them all at once if I don’t want to, and no beet goes to waste.
Once your roasted beet has completely cooled, peel it, pop it into a freezer safe container of your choice and into the freezer it goes.
I like to slice my beets before freezing for extra easy use and so that they thaw quicker. I also will puree my roasted beets.
Awesome beet recipes
Roasted beets are delicious on top of a salad (mmm, with goat cheese!), but if you are looking for some more creative beet recipes, check out these family favorites below!
- Pink Beet Pancakes
- Pink Beet Smoothie
- Vegan Beet Waffles
- Strawberry Beet Instant Pot Applesauce
- The BEST Beet Hummus
- 10+ Delicious Beet Recipes
Loving this veggie how-to and are hungry for more?
How To Perfectly Roast Beets
- 4 beets, or however many you need/want to cook
- 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided , optional, but creates for a richer flavor if enjoying in a salad or as is
- Preheat your oven to 400℉.
- Wash your beets well and pat them dry.
- Carefully use a knife to trim the tops and bottoms off of your clean beets.
- Place each trimmed beet on a sheet of foil. Drizzle each with 1/4 tablespoon oil, if using.
- Wrap each beet up, having the opening for each pouch at the top of the beet. Arrange the beets on a baking sheet.
- Roast smaller beets for 30-35 minutes and larger beets for 45-60 minutes. Your beet is done cooking when it is fork tender and the skin easily lifts from flesh.
- Let cooked beets cool completely before peeling. The skin should easily fall off of the beet with your fingers or a fork. You can use a paper towel to prevent the beet juice from staining your fingers.
- Slice cooked beets and enjoy over a salad, as a side dish sprinkled with salt, or add them to one of the suggested recipes above. Store in fridge for 4-5 days or in your freezer for months to come.