Roasted beets are one of my favorite vegetables to cook. This is my go-to method and easy recipe for roasting beets in the oven—and no peeling required.
“I love beets,” a friend of mine recently told me over a beet appetizer we shared at a restaurant. “But they seem like such a pain.”
I could understand why she said that.
My first few experiments with cooking beets were disastrous.
At first I tried steaming them, not realizing how much steam was needed to soften something as hard as beets.
Then I tried to roast. Peeling, then roasting. Peeling was considerably trickier than I thought—my fingers kept slipping, and I even tore a knuckle—and it took longer than expected.
Fifteen or twenty minutes later, red-handed, I put the beets in the oven. The resulting roasted beets were good, but they weren’t actually as tender as I had hoped they would be.
It felt like a lot of work for a lot of effort.
Then I learned to roast beets in the oven wrapped in foil and everything changed.
Roast beets in foil
Why is making roasted beets in foil such a game changer?
Basically, the beets are wrapped in foil locks in some moisture while cooking. This moisture helps beets to be especially sweet and tender.
It also has the effect of making the skins slip off the beets easily after roasting them.
Perfectly sweet, tender beets + no laborious peeling = a big win, at least in my book.
There are more. This method of roasting beets in the oven requires less oil or spices.
Basically, you can season the beets to your liking after roasting them. Tomorrow, I’ll share the recipe for marinated beets that I almost always prepare with my roasted beets.
But if you’re looking for tender, fully cooked beets, with no additives, you’ll have them. You can season them more, or you can let their simple, sweet flavor shine brightly.
How to Make Oven-Roasted Beets (Without Peeling)
This is my favorite way to prepare roasted beets because it’s so easy. Here are the steps.
Step 1: Trim your beets
You don’t have to peel your beets, but I recommend trimming them: just the tops and (if they have any) the long tips at the bottom.
You can save beet greens to stir-fry as a side dish, add to pasta.
Step 2: Lightly coat the beets in oil and wrap them
Time to wrap up!
Place each trimmed beet on a piece of foil large enough to wrap the beet.
Then, rub the beets lightly with a little olive or avocado oil; You don’t need much, just a small coating. This will eventually help the skins slip off, after roasting.
If easier, you can use olive or avocado oil spray.
Then, use a piece of foil to wrap the beets tightly. I usually twist the top, to create a little seal.
Step 3: Roast
You will now roast the beets in a preheated 400°F / 200°C oven for 45-60 minutes, or until you can peel the beets and pierce them easily with a fork or knife.
Small beets may only need a 40-minute roast, while very large beets may need about 75 minutes.
Step 4: Cool
Just remove the bits 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 okay if they are quite warm.
Step 5: Slip the skins under cold, running water
Here’s the fun part: peeling without any hassle.
Remove each beet from its foil wrapper, and while placing the beet under cold, running water, remove the skin.
This should happen quite effortlessly. If you find that a piece of skin is stubbornly stuck to the beet, use a little more force or peel the vegetable for a moment. (I rarely need it.)
Step 6: Dry and store
Now, you can pat dry the beets and store them. Sometimes I save them whole and other times, I slice them up before saving. Both options are good.
Cooked beets will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
I think they are an especially wonderful vegetable for meal prep. You can make this recipe on Sunday (it’s quite generous, using two whole bunches of beets) and enjoy the root vegetable all week long.
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Does it matter what color beets I use?
no The recipe can work with different beet varieties.
I have used this method of preparing roasted beets with golden, red and Chioga beets and it works well every time.
If you are using baby beets, you may need to cut the roasting time in half, but the recipe will work just the same.
What should I do with my oven roasted beets?
Oh my goodness, there are so many great uses for beets once cooked.
I often add beets to random lunch bowls and meal-sized salads. They even make a fun (and colorful) addition to pasta.
Otherwise, here are some recipes you can use beets:
Yes, chocolate beet cake. It’s delicious, and a great reason to make these simple oven roasted beets as soon as possible.
Simple Oven Roasted Beets (No Peeling Required!)
Production: 4 the cup
- 2 the bunch Red, Yellow or Chioggia beets (about 3 lbs/1.4 kg)
- Olive or avocado oil
Scrub and trim your beets.
Preheat your oven to 400°F/200°C.
Rub the beets in olive oil, then wrap each beet tightly in foil. Transfer the wrapped beets to the prepared baking sheet and roast until completely tender when pierced with a knife, 45 to 60 minutes. Let stand at room temperature until cool enough to handle, 15 to 20 minutes.
Run the cold beets under cold running water as you peel off their skins. Dry the beets.
Leave roasted beets whole until used, or chop, slice or prepare as desired. Cooked beets will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 5 days.
Where I live, beets are available year-round. But in the Northeast their peak season is mid-summer and late fall.
In other words, this is a great time to experience the sweet and tender texture of roasted beets.
Hopefully this post, however simple, gets you excited (and maybe reassured) about preparing them.