Roasting Whole or Peeled and Cut Beets in the oven is a quick and easy way to bring out their natural sweetness. Add roasted beets to your favorite salads, turn them into hummus, or serve them up as a healthy side dish. You’ll learn three different ways to perfectly bake them every time!
Roasted Beets – 3 Ways
Beets get a bad rap.
With their earthy notes and somewhat “dirt-like” taste, most people have crossed them off of their menus entirely.
But boy are they missing out!
If only people knew that the simple process of roasting beets in the oven brings out their naturally sweet flavor.
Yup, that unwanted dirt taste is almost completely gone.
And whether you’re in a rush or want to roast them low and slow, there are three different methods below that you can choose from!
(If you’d rather cook them up more quickly, you can also boil beets instead.)
Selecting the Best
When you’re buying beets at the grocery store you’ll have the options of buying them with their stems and leaves attached or solely purchasing the beetroot. (That’s the hard, brown, potato-like part.)
The choice is totally yours to make! If you buy the beets with their greens, you can always add them to smoothies or mix them into soups to use them up.
To select the best beets you’ll want to look for these key features:
- Smooth and unbruised. Select ones that have little to no cuts or bruises on their skin.
- Hard and firm. Soft and mushy beets have either been damaged during transport or are becoming rotten.
- Fresh leaves. Wilted greens mean the vegetable is spoiling and will not last much longer.
- Similar size. If boiling beets, it’s best if you select ones that are a similar size so they cook within the same amount of time.
Preparing the Beets
Since beets are grown underground it is extremely important that you rinse and scrub them thoroughly before baking.
Also, if you buy anything organic, beets are the ones to splurge on! Much like potatoes, they soak up a lot of the pesticides and fertilizers in the soil when they are growing underground.
After you have rinsed and scrubbed the beets, you’ll need to cut and remove the leaves.
Leave about 1-2 inches of the stem on the beet root. This helps to decrease the amount of beet juice that oozes out while baking.
Coat each beet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle each with ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. (step 1 & 2 above)
1 – Wrapping in Foil
The most classic way to roast whole beets is to wrap them individually in a piece of aluminum foil.
If you’d rather not bake your vegetables in heavy metals, no worries! Take a look at the two different methods below.
- Wrap each beet in a piece of aluminum foil large enough to completely enclose it.
- You can also place a piece of parchment paper between the beet and the foil so the metals do not leach into the beet. (image 1 above)
- Place wrapped beets on a large baking sheet so it will catch any of the beets juices that run out while roasting.
- Bake beets at 400°F for 45-75 minutes, depending on their size.
- Smaller beets will be ready in as little as 45 minutes, whereas larger beets can take up to an hour and fifteen minutes.
Cons: Beets that are directly touching aluminum foil will get some of the heavy metals into their skin.
2 – Covering in Foil
Another easy alternative to wrapping the beets in the foil is to actually place them in a cast-iron or oven-safe skillet.
You’ll still place a piece of aluminum foil on top of the skillet, but the metal will not be directly contacting the food.
If you’d like to take it a step further, you can even place toothpicks into the beets so the foil is not touching any of them.
Roast beets in a cast-iron skillet that is covered with foil for 40-70 minutes, or until cooked through. (Image 2 above)
Con: The only downside to this method is the beets can get pretty charred and are slightly harder to peel. Make sure you keep a close eye on them while baking.
3 – Roasting Cut Beets
Another quick method, that is used in this Roasted Beet Hummus recipe, is to peel the beets and cut them prior to roasting.
This can get a little messy since the beet juice will run all over your cutting board, but it is the fastest way to roast beets.
- Peel the outer skin from the beets using a vegetable peeler. (step 1 above)
- Remove the stem end and cut beets into ½ to 1-inch cubes. (The smaller you dice them the faster they will cook.) (step 2 above)
- Add beets to a large bowl toss with 2 tablespoons oil, 1 teaspoon salt, and ½ teaspoon pepper for every pound of beets you have. Toss until well coated.
- Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place cut beets in a single layer. (step 3 above)
- Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until beets are tender. Flip beets halfway through to ensure even roasting.
Cons: A little messier to prep and harder to peel their skin.
Peeling Whole Roasted Beets
Let the beets cool until they are comfortable to the touch.
There are 3 different ways you can peel whole beets once they are boiled:
- Hold a paper towel in your dominant hand and pull back the skin on the beet to remove it. (method 1 above)
- Using a paper towel prevents the red stain from getting all over your hands.
- Use your bare fingers to remove the peel on the beetroot. (method 2 above)
- Golden beets do not stain your fingers, so this is the best method to use when peeling those.
- Peel back the skin on the beetroot by using a paring knife. (method 3 above)
- This method works best if you have a stubborn peel that is adhered to the root.
How to Use
Once you have the roasted beets you can use them in so many different ways!
- Serve them as is with a sprinkle of fresh parsley or cilantro.
- Use them in a roasted beet hummus recipe.
- Add them to a Warm Fall Salad.
- Top your favorite homemade pizza with them.
- Add some ricotta and honey.
Roasted Beets | How to Roast Beets
Roasting Whole or Peeled and Cut Beets in the oven is a quick and easy way to bring out their natural sweetness. Add roasted beets to your favorite salads, turn them into hummus, or serve them up as a healthy side dish. You'll learn three different ways to perfectly bake them every time!
- 1 lb. beets 2-4 medium-sized
- 1-2 Tbsp. oil olive or avocado
- 1 tsp. salt
- ½ tsp. black pepper
Preheat oven to 400 °F.
Wash and scrub the beets to remove any dirt and debris.
Whole Roasted Beets:
Cut and remove the leaves leaving 1-2 inches of the stem remaining.
Coat each beet with 1 teaspoon of olive oil. Sprinkle each with ¼ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper.
With Foil Packets: Wrap each beet in a piece of aluminum foil large enough to completely enclose it.* Place wrapped beets on a large baking sheet.
Without Foil Packets: Place beets in a large cast-iron skillet or another oven-safe skillet. Cover the skillet with a piece of aluminum foil.
Bake for 45 - 75 minutes in the preheated oven. (This largely depends on how large the beets are.)
You’ll know the beets are done roasting when a knife easily slices through.
Peeled and Diced Beets:
Using a vegetable peeler, peel the outer skin from the beets. Remove the stem end and cut beets into ½ to 1-inch cubes.
Add beets to a large bowl toss with 1 tablespoon oil, ½ teaspoon salt, and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Toss until well coated.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and place cut beets in a single layer.
Bake for 30-40 minutes, or until beets are tender. Flip beets halfway through to ensure even roasting.
- You can also place a piece of parchment paper between the foil and the beet to prevent direct contact.
- If you'd like to cook them more quickly, you might prefer boiling beets instead.