Beets, with their vibrant hue and earthy flavor, are a versatile and nutritious addition to any meal. Knowing how to cook beets properly allows you to enjoy beets at their full potential. In this article, I will instruct you cooking fresh beets in 2 different ways
1. What is the Best Way to Cook Fresh Beets?
Boiling and steaming are good choices if you want softer, more tender beets for eating straight or incorporating into other recipes.
Roasting at high heat concentrates the natural sugars and intensifies the flavor of beets to bring out their hearty, caramelized essence. However, the prep for roasting can take more time upfront.
For a quick side dish or salad, boiling or steaming fresh beets may be preferable. But roasting is best way for maximizing flavor.
2. How to Cook Beets on the Stove
2.1. How To Boil Beets
Boiling beets is one of the quickest and simplest cooking methods. It results in extremely tender beets that hold their shape nicely when sliced or diced.
Clean any dirt off beets with a vegetable brush, but leave skins on. Trim off stems and root ends.
Place beets in a pot and add enough cold water to cover them fully. Bring to a boil over high heat.
Reduce heat to medium-low and simmer until a knife inserted into the biggest beet slides through easily, 30-45 minutes depending on size. Check doneness every 10-15 minutes.
Drain beets in a colander. Let stand until cool enough to handle. Slip off skins with your fingers, a paring knife, or paper towels.
Slice, dice, or quarter beets when ready to use in salads, as a side dish, or in recipes.
2.2. How To Steam Beets
Prep beets as directed for boiling.
Fill a steamer pot with water, ensuring it doesn’t touch the steaming basket. Bring the water to a simmer.
Place the beets in the steaming basket and cover. Steam for 20-30 minutes until they’re tender and easily pierced with a fork.
Remove steamer basket and run under cool water or soak in an ice bath. Then drain well. This next will help skin come off easily
Finally, peeling beets when cool enough and you can use as desired.
3. How to Cook Beets in the Oven
3.1. How To Roast Whole Beets
Roasting concentrates the natural sugars in beets, resulting in caramelized flavor and a chewy texture. Roasting whole beets retains more moisture compared to roasting wedges.
Preheat oven to 400°F. Prep beets as for boiling methods.
Arrange beets in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil.
Roast for 40-60 minutes until fork tender. Time varies based on size. Carefully unwrap foil when beets are cool enough to handle. The skins should slip off easily.
Slice, dice, or quarter beets. Enjoy roasted beets on salads, with a creamy goat cheese, in grain bowls, or as a simple side dish.
3.2. How To Roast Beet Wedges
- 1 1/2 pounds beets (about 4 medium), peeled and cut into 1-inch wedges
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar (optional)
Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper.
In a bowl, toss the beet wedges with olive oil, salt, and pepper until evenly coated.
Arrange the beet wedges in a single layer on the prepared baking sheet. Make sure they are not crowded together.
Roast for 20-25 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the beets are tender when pierced with a fork. The edges should look caramelized.
Remove from oven and immediately drizzle with balsamic vinegar (if using). Toss to coat.
Let cool for 5-10 minutes before serving.
Serve the roasted beet wedges as a side dish, on top of fresh greens, in grain bowls, in sandwiches or tacos, or enjoy them on their own for a tasty and nutritious snack!
No matter which cooking method you choose, beets are a versatile and tasty addition to any meal. Their attractive color also livens up a plate. Simply roasted, steamed, or boiled beets can be used hot or cold in salads, sides, soups, and more.