How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

Move to the beet. Start with these basics to learn how to cook fresh beets at home-then get creative with your salads, snacks, dinners and more.

Beets are full of nutrients—plus natural sugars that come out in full force when you roast them. Learn about the sweet root veggie you can boil, roast, microwave, slow-cook, pickle or even munch on raw. Seek inspiration from our best beet recipes.


Pickled Beets

The pickled beets my mother made came from our garden and were canned for the winter months. Even as a child I loved beets because they brought so much color to our table. —Sara Lindler, Irmo, South Carolina Get Recipe

Beet Salad with Lemon Dressing

I was looking for a recipe for pickled beets and saw one with lemon instead of vinegar. I immediately thought of making a tabbouleh-inspired salad with beets instead of tomatoes. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts

Grilled Pizza with Greens & Tomatoes

This grilled beet pizza scores big with me for two reasons. It encourages my husband and son to eat greens, and it showcases fresh produce. —Sarah Gray, Erie, Colorado

Nectarine and Beet Salad

Beets, nectarines and feta cheese make for scrumptious additions to mixed greens. While the combination of ingredients may seem unlikely, I guarantee it will become a favorite salad on your home menu. —Nicole Werner, Ann Arbor, Michigan

Air-Fryer Beets with Orange Gremolata and Goat Cheese

My grandma always grew beets and then pickled or canned them, but I prefer to prepare them differently. These roasted beets with fresh herbs and tangy goat cheese are wonderful in the winter or they can be enjoyed all year. —Courtney Archibeque, Greeley, Colorado

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

Honey Beet Bread

If you have any leftovers from dinner, you’ll find this savory beet bread makes great sandwiches, too. —Nancy Zimmerman, Cape May Court House, New Jersey Get Recipe

Minted Beet Salad

We have neighbors who share vegetables from their garden, and every year my husband and I look forward to their beets. My interest in Mediterranean food inspired this beet salad recipe—the vinegar and oil dressing with fresh mint will tone down the sweetness of the beets, and the kalamata olives add a salty touch. —Barbara Estabrook, Appleton, Wisconsin

Berry-Beet Salad

Here’s a delightfully different salad that balances the earthy flavor of beets with the natural sweetness of berries. If you prefer, substitute crumbled feta for the goat cheese. —Amy Lyons, Mounds View, Minnesota

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Smoky Sausage & Apple Pizza

This good-for-you beet pizza combines savory chicken sausage with fresh fruit and vegetables. It makes for a healthy dinner that won’t sabotage your waistline. —Lindsay Williams, Hastings, Minnesota

Harvard Beets

This pretty side dish’s bright, citrusy flavors are an ideal companion for down-to-earth entrees—and for people who usually shy away from beets. —Jean Ann Perkins, Newburyport, Maryland

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Beet and Sweet Potato Fries

Oven-baked beets and sweet potatoes put a colorful and flavorful twist on traditional French fries and add interest to a meal as a side dish. —Marie Rizzio, Interlochen, Michigan

Russian Borscht Soup

With beets, carrots, cabbage and tomatoes, this Russian borscht soup recipe is great for gardeners like myself. Not only is it delicious, but its bright crimson color is eye-catching on the table. —Ginny Bettis, Montello, Wisconsin

Roasted Beet Wedges

This beet recipe makes ordinary beets taste tender and delicious with just a few sweet and good-for-you ingredients. —Wendy Stenman, Germantown, Wisconsin

Citrus & Roasted Beets Salad

Glistening citrus and beets star in this colorful, tangy salad. It’s a refreshing mix of bright flavors—just add chicken and it’s a complete meal. —Peter Eldridge, Clermont, Florida

Pickled Eggs with Beets and Hot Cherry Peppers

Because my grandmother didn’t measure anything when she cooked, I had to guess when I decided to duplicate her recipe for pickled eggs with beets. The color becomes more intense the longer they marinate. —Judie Thurstenson, Colcord, OK

Red Flannel Stew

When I was a child, every Saturday night was red flannel night. Grandpa and I wore our red flannel long underwear to supper and Grandma, the cook, dressed in a long calico dress and sunbonnet. We’d eat this beet stew spooned over fluffy southern-style biscuits. Grandma learned to make the stew from earlier generations of our family. —Kathy Padgett, Diamond City, Arkansas

Harvest Salad with Cherry Vinaigrette

Mixed greens and plenty of beets make this salad so satisfying, and it’s gorgeous to serve for special occasions. —Jaye Beeler, Grand Rapids, Michigan

Fall Garden Medley

I like to make this beet recipe in the fall and winter for special occasions because it’s very colorful, tasty and healthy. It’s a hearty side that complements many different meat dishes. —Krystine Kercher, Lincoln, Nebraska

Ruby Red Beet & Apple Salad

Because I grow beets I eat them a lot. This is among my favorite recipes. One heads-up: The beets usually turn the apples pinkish-red (maybe your fingers, too). — Kathy Rairigh, Milford, Indiana

Rosemary Beet Phyllo Bites

The deep red of the beets will definitely bring a splash of festive color to any appetizer tray. The mild rosemary flavor accents the peppery bite of the arugula and the sweet-sour flavor of the pickled beets. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

Winter Beet Salad

To save a little time on this sweet and savory beet salad, we recommend using packaged salad greens in this original recipe. The simple dressing is easy to assemble. —Taste of Home Test Kitchen

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Spiced Sweet Potato Chowder

At my house, we’re all crazy for beet chowder. This meatless version is loaded with root veggies and spices—cinnamon, cardamom and allspice—that really say fall. —Mary Anne Thygesen, Portland, Oregon

What To Know Before You Cook Beats

Before you dig into those beautiful beets, read through these good-to-know tips compiled by experts from our Test Kitchen team.

There’s a Difference Between Red and Yellow Beets

Red beets taste slightly more earthy than yellow, or golden, beets. For taste and texture, you can use the colors interchangeably, but if your recipe calls for many different-colored ingredients—like potatoes, beets and carrots—keep in mind that when you stir everything together, red beets will turn just about everything purple. Try yellow beets instead, although they can bleed a bit, too.

How to Store Beets

Cut off greens 2 inches above the beets. Refrigerate greens separately in a sealed plastic bag for up to three days. Refrigerate uncooked beets in an open bag for about two weeks.

You Can Eat Them Raw

You may not want to bite into raw beet like you would an apple, but thinly sliced beet root can add a nice crunch to a dish. Just peel with a veggie peeler. They can be tough (beyond crunchy), so try shaving them with that peeler or cut them into matchsticks. A mandoline slicer works nicely, too. You could even spiralize them! Here are 6 more vegetables you never knew you could spiralize.

Now, Get Cookin’

Click on a link below to learn how to cook the best beets ever.

  • Boil
  • Roast
  • Bake
  • Slow Cook
  • Microwave
  • Pickle

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

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How to Boil (and Peel) Beets

Boiling beets to remove skin is an excellent way to keep your hands from getting stained. When the beets are cool enough to handle, trim off what’s left of the stem, grab a couple sheets of clean paper towel and hold one in each hand. Then pick up a beet with both hands. Hold the beet firmly and twist your hands in opposite directions. The skin slides right off and you hands stay clean!


  • Beets
  • Water


  • Cutting board
  • Knife
  • Dutch oven
  • Paper towels

Step 1: Trim the tops and tails

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

On a cutting board, cut off the greens to 1 inch and cut off tail of beet.

Test Kitchen tip: Why trim the tops to 1 inch? It helps prevent the color from bleeding into the water.

Step 2: Get boiling

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

Place beets in a Dutch oven and add water to cover. Bring to a boil, then cook for 30 minutes.

Step 3. Cool ’em down

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy WaysHow to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

Remove beets to a bowl of cold water.

Step 4: Easy, breezy peeling

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways

Trim off what’s left of the stem, grab a couple sheets of clean paper towels and hold one in each hand. Pick up a beet with both hands. Hold the beet firmly and twist your hands in opposite directions. The skin slides right off and your hands stay clean!

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How to Roast Beets

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy WaysTaste of Home


  • 1 lb of beets, scrubbed and tops trimmed to 1 in.
  • Olive oil


  • Heavy-duty foil
  • Baking sheet

Roasting beets concentrates their sugars, making them extra tasty. It couldn’t be easier. Place beets on a double thickness of heavy-duty foil (about 24×12-in.); drizzle with olive oil. Fold foil around beets, sealing tightly. Place on a baking sheet. Roast at 400° for 55-65 minutes or until tender. Open foil carefully to allow steam to escape.

How to Cook Beets in the Oven


  • 1/2 lb of beets, scrubbed and tops trimmed to 1 in.
  • Water


  • 13×9 baking dish

Beets cooked this way steam gently, letting them cook through evenly. Place beets in a 13×9-in. baking dish; add 1 in. of water. Bake at 400°, covered, until tender, 40-45 minutes.


How to Microwave Beets

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy WaysTaste of Home


  • 2 lbs of beets, scrubbed and tops trimmed to 1 in.
  • Water


    • Large microwave-safe dish

Beets cook quickest in the microwave, with a flavor and texture similar to steaming or boiling. Place beets in a single layer in a large microwave-safe dish. Drizzle with water. Microwave, covered, on high 14-15 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork, turning once; let stand 5 minutes.


How to Slow-Cook Beets

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy WaysTaste of Home


  • 3 lbs of beets, scrubbed and tops trimmed to 1 in.
  • 1 cup water or stock


  • 4-qt. slow cooker

Concentrate the sweet flavor of beets by cooking ‘em low and slow. Place beets in a greased 4-qt. slow cooker. Pour about a cup of liquid over the top. Cook, covered, on low 6-8 hours or until beets are tender.

How to Pickle Beets

How to Cook Beets, Six Easy Ways


  • 8 medium fresh beets
  • 1 cup vinegar
  • 1/2 cup sugar
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons whole cloves
  • 1-1/2 teaspoons whole allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt


  • Dutch oven
  • Knife
  • Small saucepan

The sweet, rich flavor of beets springs to life with the addition of vinegar and spices. Try these zippy pickles on sandwiches, potatoes or with fruit or vegetable salads. Scrub beets and trim tops to 1 in. Place in a Dutch oven; add water to cover. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, covered, 25-30 minutes or until tender. Remove from water; cool. Peel beets and slice; place in a bowl and set aside.

In a small saucepan, combine vinegar, sugar, cloves, allspice and salt. Bring to a boil; boil 5 minutes. Pour over beets. Refrigerate at least 1 hour. Drain before serving. (Makes 6-8 1-cup servings)[external_footer]