Love beets but not sure how to cook them? When you want to enjoy this tasty root veggie, you need to follow these tips on how to cook beets. We present four simple methods, including boiled, steamed in the Instant Pot, oven roasted, and air fried to suit your tastes and needs. You can then use the cooked beets in your favorite salads, soups, sides, and main dishes.
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Beets are an underrated, over-hated veggie. People seem to have this notion that beets are bad even if they have never tried them before. But when you cook them properly or dice them and add them to a salad, they can be very delish.
When you cook beets, they act a lot like carrots: they sweeten up. They go great on salads, as a simple side, in soups, or as part of a main dish that needs a bit of sweetness.
For those looking to take advantage of beets, we present four ways to cook them:
- Roast in an oven
- Steam in Instant Pot
- Air Fry
Beets 3 Ways Video Recipe
How to shop for and prepare beets
While buying beets from the grocery store, there are a few tricks to get the best result.
- Try and get them fresh the day you want to make them
- Get medium sized firm beets. Roughly the size of a golf ball.
- Select the ones with least blemishes.
- Have roots attached and finally
- have green leaves
Prepare the beets by following the steps below
- It is recommended to wash beets prior to cooking no matter how beets are cooked.
- You can use a produce brush to scrub off dirt under running cold water.
- Beets always transfer color, so its better that you wear gloves while making / preparing beets.
- It is easier to peel beets when they are cooked.
- Clean the cutting board as soon as you are done cutting to minimize staining.
How to boil Beets
- First, place the beets in a large saucepan or pot and then pour water over them to cover completely.
- Next, place the pot on the stove and bring to a boil. Once the water starts boiling, reduce heat and simmer until tender, which should take about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Finally, strain the beets and run them under cool water until you can safely handle them. Before serving or adding to your favorite dish, you can easily peel the cooked beets.
How to roast Beets in the oven
- To start, preheat your oven and then cut off the tops and the roots from the bottoms. If you like, you can save the stems to serve or cook later or just throw them away. Next, make sure to scrub the beets thoroughly before wrapping them loosely in aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped beets onto a roasting pan or cookie sheet and place them into a preheated oven set at 400 degrees.
- Roast the beets for 30 to 35 minutes for the best texture. You can tell they are done when a fork or skewer slides easily to the center of the beet.
- Finally, allow them to cool before removing the skin and serving them over your favorite salad, soup, or as a side dish.
How to make Air Fryer Beets
- First, cut off the top and bottom of the beets. Next, scrub them until they are clean and cover them loosely with aluminum foil.
- Once they are cleaned and wrapped, place the beets into the air fryer basket. Set the air fryer to 380F.
- Air fryer for 30 to 35 minutes or until a fork can easily slide into the center of the beet.
- Finally, remove them from the air fryer, remove the peel, and serve as is or with your favorite dishes.
How to steam Beets in Instant Pot
- Before starting, wash the beets and trim off the root part and the leafy and top part.
- Next, pour 1 cup of water into the Instant Pot’s inner pot. Carefully, place the beets into a steamer basket and then lower them inside the Instant Pot. If you don’t have a basket, you can place them on top of the trivet.
- When the beets are ready, close the lid, turn the pressure valve to Sealing, and cook on High Pressure for 15 minutes
- Before releasing pressure, allow it to naturally release for 10 minutes.
- Finally, allow them to cool before peeling and serving the beets.
Pro tips and tricks
When making beets, keep these tips and tricks in mind.
- You don’t need to peel them before cooking them. Just remove the stem and the bit of roots sticking out the bottom with a sharp knife.
- Make sure you clean them well before cooking them to remove any excess dirt.
- For the longest shelf life, cook the beets and store them in the freezer for up to 12 months.
- When cooking, remember that bigger beets take a longer time than smaller beets so you may need to adjust your times as needed.
What do beets taste like
Fresh from the ground, beets taste a bit earthy, crunchy, and a bit bitter.
When you boil or steam beets, they get a much sweeter taste to them. They also soften quite a bit, which makes them easier to eat.
How do I make beets taste better?
Our recipes outline the basic ways to cook beets, but if you want to make truly delicious tasting beets, you can try adding flavor to them either as they cook or after they are done. Here are some tips:
- Marinade them in a tangy juice like pomegranate, orange, or cranberry to give them a bit of a sweeter, tangy flavor
- Roast them with your favorite spices and herbs like cloves of garlic.
- When roasting, add aromatics like onions, peppers, and garlic for a more savory veggie bake.
- Add beets to your favorite sauces.
- Chop raw beets up and serve over your favorite salads.
- For a basic flavor, use a small amount of salt and pepper.
What are the benefits of beets?
Beets provide a lot of healthy benefits and are a great veggie to feed your hungry family. Some benefits include:
- They contain a high amount of nitrates, which may help regulate your blood pressure when eaten regularly.
- Low in calories and high in nutrients, which makes them a nutrient dense food perfect for nearly any diet.
- Beets contain a lot of water, which can help make you feel full longer.
- They are high in fiber, which can help you feel full longer and can provider other health benefits too.
What is the healthiest way to cook a beet
If you are looking for low calorie cooking, your best bet is to either boil, steam, or use the Instant Pot. These methods do not require any oil or other fats to cook them. Beets are cooked the best by boiling or steaming them.
The Air Fryer or oven are also great choices because you don’t need very much or any oil to cook them. Using a nonstick spray for both the oven and airfryer can significantly cut back on how much oil you use.
The least healthy way to cook beets involves sautéing them in fats like butter or oil.
Is it better to boil or roast beets
Boiling or roasting beets comes down to a matter of preference. Roasting beets can give them a bit of charred skin on the outside while staying soft and moist on the inside.
Boiling or steaming beets gives them a bit more of a fall apart or softer consistency throughout. They are a bit more moist when you boil or steam them.
What do you serve with boiled beets
Beets pair well with different veggies, salads, and soups.
You can serve them on top of your favorite salad. They go great as an added topping to our Autumn Apple Pecan Salad recipe.
They also make a great sweet side dish to nearly any main dish that you want some extra veggies for. For a mix of savory and sweet, you can serve them with our Baked Potatoes in Air Fryer recipe.
How to store Beets
You can store beets safely and easily. All you need is either small airtight containers, plastic wrap, or aluminum foil.
To store, allow them to cool completely and then place in an airtight container and seal the lid or wrap tightly in plastic wrap or aluminum foil. Once properly wrapped or sealed, you can place them in the fridge for about 3 to 5 days.
For raw beets, chop off all but about 2 inches of their stems. Place the beets in an airtight bag and then place that in the produce drawer of your fridge. They should last about 2 weeks.
How long do beets last in the fridge?
When wrapped tightly or placed in an airtight container, your cooked beets will last about 3 to 5 days in the fridge.
Raw beets will last about 2 weeks in the produce drawer of your fridge if you wrap them in an airtight bag first and chop off all but 2 inches of their stems.
Can I freeze beets raw?
Though you can freeze raw beets, we don’t recommend it. When you freeze raw beets, they lose their texture and some of their flavor.
If you want your beets to last a long time, cook them first before freezing them. Once you cook them, place them in a freezer bag and push out all the air. You can then place them in the freezer for about 8 to 12 months. We recommend marking the bag with the year and month to make sure you know when you put them in and how long they will stay fresh for.
More Instant pot recipes
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- 5 medium beets, trimmed
- Water as per instructions
Boiled Beets method
- Place the beets in a large saucepan and add water to cover completely.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer until tender, about 45 minutes to 1 hour.
- Place pot under running cold water and rinse until beets can be handled. The skins can now be easily peeled off the beets.
Instant pot / steamed beets method
- Wash beets and trim off the root part and the leafy and top part.
- In Instant Pot, add 1 cup water. Place beets into a steamer basket and inside the Instant Pot. If you don’t have a basket yet, add trivet and place beet on top.
- Close the lid, turn pressure valve to Sealing and cook on
High Pressure for 15 minutes
- Let the pot release pressure naturally for 10 minutes, and then release
all remaining pressure.
- Allow the cooked beets to cool before trying to peel, but once
they’re cool the peel will just slide off.
Air fryer/ Roasted 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.
- Place the wrapped beets to the air fryer basket. Set the air fryer to 380F .
- Air fryer for 30-35 minutes for the perfect texture. 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.
- Set the beets aside until cool enough to handle. Slice them and serve as is or in a salad.
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Hello, I am Soniya, the cofounder of The Belly Rules The Mind. Originally from Mumbai, India, I am settled in Virginia US with my husband.
I am a mother of 2 energetic boys, referred to as R2 (15-year-old) and R3 (10-year-old) on the blog. In case you are wondering who is R1, well that is my husband.
My hubby and I were born in Mumbai, India, where we were spoiled by the wealth of food choices available to us. We could enjoy everything from yummy street food to multi-cuisine restaurants and we became very picky about what we like and what we don't. Read more