Roasted beets are one of my favorite vegetables to meal prep. This is my go-to method and simple recipe for roasting beets in the oven—and there’s no peeling required.
“I love beets so much,” a friend of mine recently said to me over a beet appetizer that we were splitting at a restaurant. “But they seem like such a pain to make.”
I could understand why she said it.
My first few experiments with cooking beets were sort of disastrous.
First I tried steaming them, without realizing how much steaming would be necessary to tenderize something as firm as a beet.
Then I tried roasting. Peeling, then roasting. The peeling itself was considerably trickier than I thought—my fingers kept slipping, and I even nicked a knuckle—and it took longer than expected.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later, with crimson hands, I put the beets into the oven. The resulting roasted beets were good, but they actually weren’t as tender as I’d hoped they’d be.
It felt like a lot of work for not a lot of payoff.
Then I learned how to roast beets in the oven wrapped in foil, and everything changed.
Why is making roasted beets in foil such a game changer?
Basically, wrapping the beets in foil locks in some moisture as they cook. This moisture helps the beets to become especially sweet and tender.
It also has the effect of making it easy to slip the skins off of the beets after they roast.
Perfectly sweet, tender beets + no laborious peeling = a major win, at least in my book.
There’s more. This method of roasting beets in the oven minimizes the need for added oil or added seasoning.
Essentially, you can season the beets to your liking after you roast them. Tomorrow, I’ll share the marinated beet recipe that I nearly always prepare with my batch of roasted beets.
But if all you’re looking for are tender, fully cooked beets, with no added frills, you’ll have them. You can season them further, or you can allow their simple, sweet flavor to shine brightly.
This is my favorite way of preparing roasted beets because it’s so wonderfully simple. Here are the steps.
You don’t have to peel your beets, but I do recommend trimming them: just the tops and (if they have them) long tips at the bottom.
You can save the beet greens for sautéing as a side dish, adding to pasta, etc.
Time to get wrapping!
Place each trimmed beet on a piece of foil that’s big enough to wrap the beet up.
Then, rub the beet lightly with a little olive or avocado oil; you don’t need much, just a small coating. This will help the skins to slip off, ultimately, after roasting.
If easier, you can use a spritz of olive or avocado oil spray.
Then, use the piece of foil to wrap the beet tightly. I usually twist at the top, to create a little seal of sorts.
You’ll now roast the beets in a pre-heated 400°F / 200°C oven for 45-60 minutes, or until you can unwrap the beets and pierce them quite easily with a fork or knife.
Small beets may only need 40 minutes of roasting, while very large beets might need about 75 minutes.
Just remove the beets from the oven and let them sit for 15-20 minutes, or until they’re cool enough to handle. Cold water will be involved in the next step, so it’s OK if they remain quite warm.
Here’s the fun part: peeling with no hassle.
Remove each beet from its foil wrapper, and, while holding the beet under cold, running water, slip the skin off.
This should happen pretty effortlessly. If you find that a piece of skin is stuck stubbornly to the beet, use a little more force or resort to the vegetable peeler for a moment. (I rarely need to.)
Now, you can pat the beets dry and store them. Sometimes I store them whole, and at other times, I cut them into pieces prior to storing. Either option is fine.
Cooked beets will keep for up to 5 days in an airtight container in the fridge.
I think that they’re an especially nice vegetable to meal prep. You can make this recipe on a Sunday (it’s pretty generous, using a whole two bunches of beets) and enjoy the root veggies all week long.
Embrace the joy of eating homemade food every day with the hearty and wholesome recipes in The Vegan Week.
Nope. The recipe can work with different beet varieties.
I’ve used this method of preparing roasted beets with golden, red, and chiogga beets, and it works well each time.
If you use baby beets, you may need to cut the roasting time in half, but the recipe will work the same way.
Oh gosh, there are so many great uses for beets once they’re cooked.
Otherwise, here are some recipes that you can use the beets in:
Yep, chocolate beet cake. It’s delicious, and it’s a great reason to make these simple oven roasted beets just as soon as you can.
Where I live, beets are available year round. But their peak season in the Northeast is all through summer and into late fall.
In other words, it’s a wonderful time to experience the the sweetness and tender texture of roasted beets.
Hope this post, no matter how simple, makes you feel excited (and maybe reassured) about preparing them.