How to Roast Beets
Step 1 of 6
Start With Fresh, Firm Beets
Roasting beets intensifies their flavor, brings out their earthy sweetness, and makes their peels as easy to peel off as an over sized sweater. Roasted beets are particularly delicious in beet salads.
Start with beets that are firm and feel heavy for their size. If the beets came with their greens still attached as pictured above, cut off the greens, wash them.
Rinse any dirt or debris from the beets—some beets may need to be scrubbed clean—and put the beets on a large piece of aluminum foil and preheat the oven to 375°F.
Note: Beets are fairly flexible veggies, if you have something else in the oven at anywhere between 325°F and 425°F, beets will happily roast up at that temperature alongside what you’re already cooking, it just will take a bit longer at lower temperatures.
Step 2 of 6
Drizzle Beets With Oil Before Roasting
Drizzle the beets with a bit of oil before roasting. I like to use olive oil, but grape seed oil or canola oil work just fine, too. Sprinkle the beets with salt, too, if you like.
Note: If you’re planning on making a salad with the roasted beets, feel free to use plenty of oil here—you can use the beet-infused oil in the dressing.
Step 3 of 6
Make a Foil Packet for Roasting Beets
For an even roasting of the beets, fold the foil over them and crimp the sides closed. This helps keep them moist, it also helps contain the powerfully staining juices they’ll emit while roasting and make clean-up a snap.
Roast beets until tender. The amount of time this will take can vary greatly depending on the size of the beets, how many there are, if other things are in the oven, and how fresh the beets are (fresher beets cook up faster). For smaller beets, start checking them for tenderness at about 25 minutes. Larger and older beets can take up to an hour.
Step 4 of 6
Let Beets Cool
Remove the beets from oven when tender (you should be able to easily pierce them with a fork). Open up the foil packet and let them sit until cool enough to handle.
Step 5 of 6
Peel Roasted Beets
When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip their peels off. You can use a paring knife, if you like, but you can also marvel at how easily the peels come off with just a rub of your fingers.
Step 6 of 6
Roasted Beets, Ready to Serve or Use
Serve peeled roasted beets as-is, with a drizzle of olive oil and a sprinkle of salt. Or slice and use them in salads. Roasted beets are particularly tasty with highly flavorful but creamy white cheeses – feta and goat cheese are excellent choices. They also pair well with roasted nuts like walnuts or hazelnuts, as well as fresh herbs like dill and parsley.
I’m always delighted with how well beets work with other sweet fruits and vegetables, particularly oranges, peaches, and tomatoes, which all share a tang within their sweetness that sets off beets quite nicely.
Kate is the founder of Learn and Grow Books, which is a website for parents and teachers of pre-K children.