A guide for beets: how to cook and cut beets

picture of raw harvested beets with title of article and logo on top of image

If you’re growing beets in your garden, this post will help you learn how to cook, cut, and enjoy them. Like Dwight Shrute (hey, The Office fans!), cooked beets are one of my all time favorite vegetables. 

Boiled beets are my favorite cooking method listed below. I find it’s easiest to pick a batch, boil them all together, and then use them throughout the week. Beets from the garden are delicious on their own or in many different dishes. Keep reading to learn how to cook and cut beets. 

Hand-drawn garden layout.

Health benefits of beets

Beets are full of nutritious benefits. The colorful antioxidants in beets are anti-inflammatory and keep your cells healthy. They are a good source of folate which helps with cell growth and red blood cell formation. And, they protect the heart and reduce risk of dementia and memory loss! With all of these benefits, beets are great to include as a part of your meals. Even the leaves offer the additional benefits of fiber and vitamins. 

Image of my garden with an arrow pointing to the row of beets.

Cooking beets

Roasting

This brings out their natural sweetness and intensifies their earthy flavor. Simply chop the beets into wedges or cubes, toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper, and roast at 400°F (200°C) for 30-45 minutes, or until tender.

Boiling

A classic method that’s quick and easy. Place whole beets in a pot of boiling water and cook for 20-40 minutes, or until fork-tender. Once tender, place into an ice bath and slip off the skins. Boiling is my favorite method for beets!

Image of glass bowl with boiled beets in it.

Instant pot

This method is simple and gives a more earthy flavor than boiling. Scrub the beets, place 1 cup of water and beets into your pot, put your valve into the sealing position and cook on high pressure for 15-40 minutes depending on the size of your beets. This blog goes into more detail on this method.

How to cut beets

Raw

Image of harvested raw onions, beets, zucchini, and tomatoes from my garden.

Use a sharp knife to thinly slice beets for salads or carpaccio. You can also shred them using a grater for use in slaws or dips. 

Cut off one round end first so you can place the flat end on your cutting board so it won’t roll around. Raw beets are tougher than potatoes, a sharp knife and smooth cutting surface are a must! Read more about essential kitchen tools here!

Roasted or boiled

Once cooked, the beets will be softer and easier to cut. Dice them for salads, soups, or stews, or julienne them for stir-fries or garnishes.

Additional tips

  • Wear gloves when handling raw beets, as they can stain your hands.
  • To prevent beets from bleeding into other foods, cook them separately or wrap them in foil while roasting.
  • Beets can be stored in the refrigerator for up to a week or frozen for later use.
  • Beets are so good, they can be enjoyed on their own with a pinch of salt! 
  • When planting beets in your garden, try succession planting at 1 week intervals so you can enjoy a longer season.
  • Cooked or blanched beets can be cut and frozen for roasting or using in various dishes throughout the winter. 

Creative ways to enjoy beets:

  • Make beet hummus! This vibrant dip is a delicious and healthy alternative to traditional hummus.
  • Add roasted beets to your smoothie for a boost of sweetness and nutrients.
  • Pickle cooked beets for a tangy and crunchy snack.
  • Use beet greens in your next salad or sauté them like spinach.

If you’ve decided to grow beets in your garden or pick up a batch from the grocery store, I hope you enjoy the flavor and versatility of beets as much as I do. From boiled and salted to roasted and served cold on salads, beets are delicious! Although they can seem intimidating to prepare, once you understand the process, it’s very easy to cook and cut beets!

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