How to Cook Beets (3 Methods) – The Forked Spoon

Cooking raw beets recipes

Learn how to cook beets using three easy-to-follow methods and enjoy this incredibly versatile vegetable to create colorful, nutritious, and tasty meals that the whole family will enjoy!

Three raw beets with adhered vegetables.

Continuing my series on how to cook all your favorite vegetables, today I have beetroot for you!

If you love vegetables as much as I do, don’t forget to check out these other great posts on spaghetti squash, sweet potato, acorn squash, and butternut squash.


For a long time, I had this preconceived and highly imagined image of beets in my brain. Very different from the sweet and delicious root it really is, my brain imagined that the poor beetroot was hard, crunchy and definitely what it would taste like to land face to face in a pile of dirt.


hadn’t even tried them, but somehow, this odd-looking earth-covered root vegetable (like a carrot, by the way) was already scaring me.

Fast forward ten years and here I am; very well acquainted with beets and about to share everything I know, including how to cook beets (3 ways!) with you today!

So, if you are new to beets, Hello!

Despite their rough exterior, they’re actually super easy to cook. And, they definitely don’t taste earthy, raw or cooked.

What are beets?


also known as beets, is the main part of a beet plant. The main root, a central root from which other roots sprout laterally, is a storage organ for the plant so well developed that it has been grown as a vegetable.

Beets are eaten boiled, roasted, steamed, or raw, and are enjoyed in dishes ranging from soups to salads, cocktails to sauces, and everything in between.

In addition to being a food,

beets are a popular non-toxic food coloring alternative and as a medicinal plant.

Bunch of raw, whole red beets cleaned and scrubbed ready to cook.

Health Benefits of Eating Beetroot

Beets are one of the most nutrient-rich foods that can fuel your body. Considered a superfood, you can’t go wrong by eating more of these delicious ruby-red roots.

So what are the health benefits of eating beets?

  1. Low in calories, but tons of nutrients. Beets do a great job of feeding your body the vitamins and minerals it needs without packing the calories. For example, in a 3.5-ounce serving, beets contain only 44 calories, 2 grams of fiber, 20% RDI of folate, and 16% RDI of manganese.
  2. Helps regulate blood pressure. Beets contain a high concentration of nitrates, which when ingested, are converted into nitric oxide. Nitric oxide helps dilate blood vessels, causing blood pressure to drop.
  3. Beets are a good source of fiber. As we know, fiber is important for maintaining a healthy gut and preventing things like constipation.
  4. Beets are low in calories and high in water. Given the high water and fiber content in beets, they are an excellent addition to any diet, especially for those who are trying to lose weight (although I will never claim that any one food is responsible for weight loss).
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How to pick beets from your local market

Beets come in all sorts of colors, shapes, and sizes. Some markets sell beets in “bulk containers” consisting only of the beet without the beet leaves, while others may only sell beets in heaps.

No matter where you find and buy your beets, use this as a guide to choosing the best beets every time!

  • Choose beets that are free of bruising or any major imperfections. Now, remember that we are talking about beets here, so it will probably be difficult to find a perfect beetroot in the shape of an apple.
  • Larger beets will be harder to cut and take longer to cook. As such, it is best to look for medium-sized beets.
  • If you can, buy beets with the vegetables still attached. It is a good indication of freshness.
  • Avoid beets with wrinkled skin, as it is a sign of dehydration.

Pot full of water and 9 medium raw beets.

How to cook beets

Now that we know all about the amazing benefits of eating beets and that they taste pretty amazing (translation: beets don’t taste earthy), let’s learn how to cook them using three easy-to-follow methods

. First, before using any method, you need to prepare your beets for



  1. If you bought beets with the vegetables still attached, remove the leafy greens and set aside for later use or throw them away. Do not cut through the beets; Instead, cut the beet greens, leaving about 1 inch of the green intact.
  2. Rub your beets. Use a vegetable scrubber if you have one.

1 | Boiling boiled beetroot

is my personal favorite. I feel that it is the easiest and flawless method to get perfect beets every time.

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To start, take a large pot. It should be large enough to fit all your beets plus water. So, take that pot, add the clean beets and cover with about 1-2 inches of water. Bring to a boil over high heat. As soon as the water is boiling, cover the pot and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until the beets are tender: You want your beets to be tender, but not too soft or soft. The total time will vary depending on the size of your beets, but it should take between 30 and 60 minutes.

Immediately transfer the beets to an ice water bath to prevent any further cooking and let them cool faster. As soon as they are cold, peel the skin immediately! Yes, guys, the skin should (if the beets were cooked long enough) peel right away. Give them a final rinse and enjoy your perfect, soft boiled beets!

Store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator and enjoy all your favorite things!

Cooked beetroot boiled and stuffed in an ice bath.

2 | Steam is

very similar to boiling beets. However, unlike boiling, beets are not completely submerged in water, which prevents nutrients from escaping into the surrounding water.

To start, take a large pot and insert your steam basket. Fill it with water, making sure the water level stays just below the steam basket, as you want steam to circulate under and around the beets as they cook. Add prepared beets to your pot and top with a tight-fitting lid (key to making this work). Bring the water to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Let the beets steam until tender: You want your beets to be tender, but not too soft or soft.

Carefully remove the beets from the pot and let them cool before peeling the skin. Rinse with cold water and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Raw beetroot in a large pot with a steaming basket.

3 | Argued

by some as the best way to block the taste of beets, there is no doubt that roasting beets is another easy way to cook these amazing vegetables. Personally, I am neutral. In terms of taste, I find little difference. However, if I’m already planning to bake some potatoes or roast chicken, then roasting beets is the most obvious (and logical) choice.

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To roast beets, set your oven temperature to 425 degrees F. Wash each beetroot thoroughly, drizzle with olive oil and wrap it in aluminum foil. Transfer the beets to a large baking sheet and let them roast until tender, about 45-60 minutes. Remove the beets from the oven, carefully remove the aluminum foil and let your beets cool before peeling the skin. Rinse with cold water and store leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator.

Do you need to peel the beetroot before cooking?

Nope. In fact, none of these methods require you to peel your beets before cooking them. Beets are incredibly difficult to peel, so unless you plan to eat your beets raw, just leave the skin on.

Can you eat raw beets?

Yes! Absolutely!

Raw beets are just as delicious as their cooked friends. Somewhat sweeter, and maybe a little crunchier, raw beets taste fantastically in salads like this kohlrabi, beetroot and apple salad or this grated Brussels sprouts salad. Raw beets can also be pressed for their juice!

More beet recipes

  • Scalloped root
  • vegetable pan Vegetarian beet

  • burgers Sweet
  • chili

  • Miso salmon
  • salad with beetroot and oranges Wild rice salad with beets,

  • oranges and lemon beaten Ricotta
  • Beet hummus
  • Beetroot

  • , avocado + quinoa salad with herbal vinaigrette Beetroot
  • smoothie and

  • mango carrot
  • If

you try

Cooking beets using one of these methods, leave me a comment and let me know! I always love reading her favorite thoughts, comments, and recipes, including sweet beets!

Beetroot and feta cheese salad in a small plate of gray salad.



This post was originally published in April 2017 and updated in February 2019 with updated images and text.

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