This simple cooking tutorial teaches you how to cook beets from scratch. Cooking fresh beets from scratch requires time, but the work is almost entirely hands off. Most normal-sized beets take anywhere from 45 minutes to 1½ hours to cook through. While some roasting methods call for wrapping each individual beet in aluminum foil, I prefer this method below (similar in ways to braising) as it's simpler, reduces waste, and requires nothing more than an oven-safe pot with a lid. Use in this simple Beet and Orange Salad or add to grain bowls, smoothies, or any myriad of dishes.
1large bunch fresh red or golden beets with greens attached
extra virgin olive oil or avocado oil
Preheat oven to 375°F (190°C) with a rack in the center position.
Trim beet greens (set aside for another use), leaving roughly half an inch of stem on the top of the beet roots. Do not remove or trim the hairy roots. Scrub gently with fingertips without piercing the skin.
Rub the beets with a small amount of olive or avocado oil. Set in a large saucepan and fill with cold water until the beets are submerged halfway. Top with a tightly fitted lid.
Transfer to the oven and cook for 45 minutes (minimum) or up to 1½ hours (2½-inch to 3-inch diameter beets), or longer. Check by piercing the center of each beet with a paring knife – if the knife meets no resistance, the beets are finished cooking. Total cook time will vary based on size.
Remove from the oven and transfer the beets to a bowl and allow to cool until they’re able to be handled. Warm beets are easier to peel.
Using a clean kitchen cloth or gloves, gently rub the skins off the beets and trim the tail or tougher stem. Trim into wedges or half-moon shapes and use as desired.
Storage Tips: Cooked beets will last at least 3 to 5 full days in the refrigerator. You can also freeze cooked beets for later use. Spread the beets pieces, so they are not touching one another, on a small sheet pan and place in freezer. Freeze completely then transfer to a large Ziplock bag or freezer safe container for later. You can use frozen beets in smoothies (for an extra dose of nutrition and fiber!) or defrost them in the fridge before using regularly.
I love yellow beets, because they’re a bit more delicate in flavor and you don’t have to worry about staining. However, red beets are delicious, very nutritious, and more readily available.
Cooked beets can be stored in the refrigerator for at least 3 to 5 days. You can also freeze cooked beets for up to 3 months or longer. Use the frozen pieces in smoothies or defrost and thaw in the freeze for regular use.