Sautéed Beet Greens

Beet greens are delicate in flavor and can be prepared similarly to other leafy greens. This sautéed beet greens recipe uses only a handful of pantry staples! 

Sautéed Beet Greens in Skillet with Tongs

In keeping with last week’s guide on How to Cook Beets, I wanted to come back and share a simple recipe for Sautéed Beet Greens. We’re not letting anything go to waste! 

If you’ve never tried beet greens, they are mild in flavor like spinach, but have a slightly heartier texture. They’re also incredibly good for you. 

While this recipe is simple and straight-forward, you can use the same basic technique for any delicate green such as Swiss chard or Lacinato kale. 

Yellow Beet Greens

For this recipe, you’ll need only a handful of ingredients: 

  • Fresh Beet Greens – when you’re picking out beets, be sure to grab a bunch with robust, healthy looking greens. Discard any tough chewy stem ends and wash well to remove any dirt. Using your fingers, strip the thicker stems from the delicate leaves. We will dice and sauté the stems first, before adding the chopped greens. 
  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil 
  • Fresh Garlic – finely diced garlic gloves add great flavor. You can also substitute diced shallot or onion. 
  • Dried Red Pepper Flakes – for a touch of heat! 
  • Lemon Zest – adds brightness and a hint of citrus.

Chopped Beet Greens with Garlic on Cutting Board

Don’t waste those stems! They’re flavorful and full of healthy fiber. The trick is to separate the stems from the delicate greens and sauté them first, as they require a longer cook time. 

How to Cook Beet Greens: 

  1. Rinse the beet greens in a colander to remove any grit or dirt. Strip the thicker stems from the leaves (trimming and discarding any tough parts).
  2. Finely dice the stems and set aside. Roughly chop the tender leaves. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.

3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté, stirring constantly, until just sizzling and fragrant, do not allow the garlic to gain color. Add the diced stems and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.

4. Add the chopped leaves to the skillet, a pinch of salt, and toss with tongs to coat in the garlic olive oil mixture. Sauté over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the greens are wilted and tender.

5. Season to taste. Garnish with freshly grated lemon zest (*I recommend using a microplane) and serve immediately.

Sautéed Beet Greens in Pan

How to Serve Beet Greens: 

  • Serve as a simple side dish or use as a substitute for other delicate greens in your favorite recipe! 
Sautéed Beet Greens in Pan

Sautéed Beet Greens

Yield: 2 Servings

If you're preparing cooked beets, don't let the beet greens go to waste! Beet greens are delicate in flavor and can be cooked and used in place of fresh spinach or Swiss chard. This simple sautéed beet greens recipe calls for just extra virgin olive oil, fresh garlic, red pepper flakes, and lemon zest.

Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 15 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 bunch fresh beet greens, washed well (roughly 2 cups greens)
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • pinch dried red pepper flakes
  • kosher salt
  • finely grated lemon zest, for garnishing

Instructions

  1. Rinse the beet greens in a colander to remove any grit or dirt. Strip the thicker stems from the leaves (trimming and discarding any tough parts). Don't dry the beet greens.
  2. Finely dice the stems and set aside. Roughly chop the tender leaves. Heat the olive oil in a medium skillet over medium-low heat.
  3. Add the garlic and red pepper flakes. Sauté, stirring constantly, until just sizzling and fragrant, do not allow the garlic to gain color. Add the diced stems and sauté, stirring frequently, for 2 to 3 minutes or until tender.
  4. Add the chopped leaves to the skillet, a pinch of salt, and toss with tongs to coat in the garlic olive oil mixture. Sauté over medium heat, tossing occasionally, until the greens are wilted and tender.
  5. Season to taste. Garnish with freshly grated lemon zest (*I recommend using a microplane) and serve immediately.

Notes

Tips for Success:

  • Beets, like many root vegetables, have a long storage life, which is particularly helpful. Reference my guide on How to Cook Beets for more tips.
  • While beet greens should be used quickly, trimmed beets can be stored in the refrigerator for as long as 2 to 4 weeks.
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    Nutrition Information:
    Yield: 2 Serving Size: 1
    Amount Per Serving: Calories: 85Total Fat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 465mgCarbohydrates: 5gFiber: 2gSugar: 1gProtein: 2g

    A Beautiful Plate provides nutritional information, but these figures should be considered estimates, as they are not calculated by a registered dietician.

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