How to roast beets whole in foil (or chopped without foil) until perfectly tender and packed with flavor following a simple step-by-step method. They’re gluten-free, dairy-free, paleo, keto & vegan!
When I discovered how healthy this little superfood is, I aimed to consume beets as often as possible. However, though I’ve enthusiastically devoured beet hummus, roasted beet salad, and beet pasta, all the recipes require the beets to be pre-cooked. And it only just occurred to me that this simple oven-roasted beets recipe deserves a post of its own.
Learning to roast beets in foil is possibly one of the EASIEST ways to prepare this ingredient, too. There’s no peeling or chopping and very little mess for perfectly moist and tender results every time. I’ve even added a bonus method for naturally caramelized chopped oven roasted beets, too.
What Makes Beets Healthy? Beets are low in calories and fat but high in fiber with an abundance of antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals. They may reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure, improve brain power, provide an energy boost, regulate blood sugar, and more!
Why Is Roasting the Best Way to Cook Beets?
Whether you’re planning on roasting whole beets in foil or chopping them up, roasting is my favorite way to cook beets.
Whole roasted beets in foil come out perfectly tender with no risk of becoming waterlogged/mushy, unlike boiling methods (which also remove flavor and color). My “steaming” method also helps to keep them perfectly moist throughout while still bringing out their natural sweetness.
The foil method is also one of the EASIEST ways of roasting beets in the oven. There’s no need to peel or chop them – just trim the ends, wrap them in foil, and bake whole. The foil will also keep in all the juices for a super easy clean-up. It’s perfect for any recipe calling for soft, more delicate-tasting beets.
In comparison, chopped roasted beets (without foil) are transformed. By caramelizing their natural sugars and concentrating the flavor, you get a richer, deeper, sweeter flavor and slightly crisp outer shell – albeit not as moist and with extra prep and clean-up.
Is It Better to Peel Beets Before or After Roasting?
There is no “better” way. You can peel before, after, or leave the peel on entirely. It’s edible and will often become imperceptible once cooked, though it can sometimes be tough. It just comes down to preference.
Personally, I prefer to peel them after (if at all). Not only does this remove a tricky pre-roasting step, but it makes less mess, and they’re SO easy to peel after baking (they practically slip right off). Keeping the peel on also helps keep the roasted beetroot moist and flavorful. Just make sure to scrub them really well to remove any dirt before cooking.
How to Roast Beets in the Oven
Cooking beets in the oven requires just a few simple, low-fuss steps and only minutes of hands-on prep!
First, preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
Meanwhile, prepare the beets by removing any beet greens (if there are any) with a sharp knife or scissors, leaving at least one inch of stem attached to the beets.
Leaving the stem will stop the whole roasted beets from bleeding as much while they roast. You can also trim the pointy end of the beets, too.
Then wash the beets well, using a scrubbing brush to scrub away any dirt – there’s no need to dry them afterward.
Next, wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil and place them on a large baking tray/in a baking dish.
Transfer the wrapped beets to the oven and roast for between 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Sometimes it can take up to 90 minutes if they’re very large.
If you want to, you can now peel the beets. Use paper towels or your fingers (wear gloves) to rub the skin, and the peel should slide right off.
For Chopped Roasted Beets
Slice them into 1/2-3/4-inch wedges or diced pieces and spread across a baking sheet (don’t crowd it). Drizzle with olive oil, sprinkle with some sea salt and optionally black pepper, then toss to coat. Roast for 30-40 minutes (based on the size), flipping halfway. That’s it!
Add some honey/maple syrup and lemon or orange juice or balsamic vinegar in the last 10 minutes of roasting the beets for extra flavor.
How to Tell When Beets Are Done Roasting
The baked beets are ready when they become fork/skewer/knife tender.
How to Enjoy Roasted Beets
You can enjoy oven roasted beets sliced, diced, and shredded (warm or chilled) in and over plenty of dishes:
- Pickled beetroot,
- In a salad – like beetroot goat cheese salad or carrot and beet salad,
- Over pizza, flatbread, or bruschetta,
- With pasta and risotto,
- Sliced and garnished with lemon/orange juice and fresh herbs,
- To make pasta sauce, beet hummus, and other sauces and dips,
- In a breakfast hash,
- Warm and tossed with a little butter, balsamic, and/or goat’s cheese/feta,
- As a side dish alongside chicken, steak, fish, or tofu.
Several ingredients pair particularly well with the savory-sweet, earthy flavor of beets. These include balsamic vinegar, honey/maple syrup, citrus (lemon/orange juice and zest), avocado, arugula, cheese and yogurt (especially robust goat cheese and feta), fresh herbs (like fresh thyme, chives, mint, parsley, dill, and basil), nuts (like walnuts, pecans, etc.), and more.
More Easy Roasted Vegetable Recipes
If you try this recipe for the perfect roasted beets, let me know how it goes in the comments below. I’d appreciate a recipe card rating and would love to see your recipe recreations – tag me on Instagram @Alphafoodie!
How to Roast Beets in the Oven (Whole Roasted Beets)
- 23 oz beetroot 7 medium-sized or as many as needed/fit in the oven
- Preheat the oven to 400ºF/200ºC.
- Meanwhile, prepare the beets by removing any beet greens (if there are any) with a sharp knife or scissors, leaving at least one inch of stem attached to the beets.Leaving the stem will stop the whole roasted beets from bleeding as much while they roast. You can also trim the pointy end of the beets, too.
- Wash the beets well, using a scrubbing brush to scrub away any dirt. There's no need to dry them afterward.
- Wrap each beet individually in aluminum foil and place them on a large baking tray/in a baking dish.
- Transfer the beets to the oven and roast for between 45-60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. If they are very large, it can take up to 90 minutes.They're ready when they're knife/skewer tender.
- If you want to, you can now peel the beets. Use paper towels or your fingers (wear gloves) to rub the skin, and the peel should slide right off.
- Use the best beets: Ensure they’re fresh (beets with the greens attached usually ensure maximum freshness). They should be firm, feel heavy for their size, and have unblemished skin. Any variety works (red, golden, candy, Chioggia, etc.)
- Use similar-sized beets: So they roast evenly. Otherwise, you may need to incrementally remove them from the oven based on their size (i.e., small beets come out first, large beets last).
- If chopping the beets: The red juice will strain practically anything it touches, so it’s best to use gloves while preparing them, along with plastic cutting boards.
- To roast without foil touching the beets: To mimic the same “steaming” action, either add a layer of parchment paper between the foil and beet, cover the entire baking dish with foil instead, OR use a Dutch Oven with a lid.
- Adding oil: Even when roasting beets in foil, a little oil can help to keep them super moist and tender. Plus, leftover beet-infused oil can be added to salad dressings.
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