How To Roast Beets

updated Oct 3, 2023

Here's an easy step-by-step recipe for roasting perfectly tender beets every time.

Cook50 minutes to 1 hour

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Roasted beets are a year-round staple in our house; they’re fantastic for tossing in salads, quick pickling, or making into fritters.

We roast several at once by wrapping them in foil and tucking them into the oven to cook alongside braises, bread, or whatever else we might be cooking. Then the beets are ready for whenever we need them. Here’s a step-by-step guide for roasting perfectly tender beets every time.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

Why Roast Beets?

Beets don’t have to be roasted, and are actually quite good thinly sliced and eaten raw. But roasting transforms beets from something crunchy into something silky and tender.

Although it requires a hot oven, I prefer roasting over boiling or steaming because roasting concentrates the beet’s flavors and brings out its sweeter side.

Credit: Photo: Alex Lepe; Food Styling: Nicole Rufus

How to Pick Beets

This roasting method works for any kind and any size of beet. Pick beets that feel hard in your hand, never soft or squishy.

If you have the choice, pick bunches with their big leaves still attached. Those greens wilt down beautifully and can be added to stir-fries, frittatas, pasta dishes, or anywhere else a little extra green might be welcome.

Once roasted, beets will keep refrigerated for up to a week. I keep them in one big container and slice off just what I need for whatever I’m making.

Roasted Beets Recipe

Here's an easy step-by-step recipe for roasting perfectly tender beets every time.

Cook time 50 minutes to 1 hour

Nutritional Info

Ingredients

  • Beets (bunches or trimmed)

Equipment

  • Sharp knife

  • Aluminum foil

  • Rimmed baking sheet

Instructions

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  1. Heat the oven to 400°F. Arrange a rack in the middle of the oven and heat the oven to 400°F. This is a flexible cooking temperature; if you're using the oven for cooking something else, beets can be cooked at that temperature. Beets will cook more slowly at lower temperature and more quickly at higher temperatures. At higher temperatures, check more frequently for scorching (see Step 3).

  2. Prepare the beets. If the beets still have their leafy tops, cut off the tops close to the tops of the beet, leaving yourself enough to grip. Save the beet greens for another purpose. Scrub the beets thoroughly, then wrap them loosely in aluminum foil. No need to dry the beets before wrapping. Small beets can be wrapped together, but it's easiest to roast large beets individually.

  3. Roast the beets. Place the wrapped beets on a rimmed baking sheet to catch drips in case the beet juices leak. Roast for 50 to 60 minutes. Check the beets every 20 minutes or so. If they are starting to look dry or are scorching on the bottoms, dribble a tablespoon of water over the beets before re-wrapping. Beets are done when a fork or skewer slides easily to the center of the beet. Small beets will cook more quickly than large beets.

  4. Peel the beets. Set the beets aside until cool enough to handle. Hold one of the beets in a paper towel and use the edges of the paper to rub the skin away. The skin should peel away easily; if it doesn't, the beets likely need to cook for a little longer. Peel the remaining beets.

Recipe Notes

Storage: Roasted beets can be refrigerated whole or sliced in airtight container for up to 1 week.