How to roast beets

THESE WORK IN SO MANY WAYS. On salad, as salad, warm from the oven, pureed for baby food (or as a secret good-for-you ingredient for decadent brownies!). I’m a beet lover, Phoebe is hit or miss with these purple beauties and everyone else is still in the not-quite-sold stage. They’re so good though, and so good FOR you, that I’ll keep on roasting until everyone’s a fan. (Which may take up to 10 or more times, so excuse me while I make a major Costco run for foil…)

The trick is a nice, hot oven. Preheat at 375 but if you have other things to cook at the same time, beets are so forgiving they’ll cook just as well at 350 as they will at 425. Just adjust cooking time accordingly. Also, don’t forget that when you cook more than one thing in the oven at once, everything usually needs longer. One more thing about timing: the older and larger the beets, the longer the cooking time. Assuming they’re of average age and size, allow for about 25 minutes to roast a batch of beets in the oven.

Trim the ends, slather with oil and wrap the whole thing in an aluminium foil pouch. Great for keeping in the heat, even better for cleanup.

They’re soft enough to peel with your hands but beware, it’s a messy job. I used a paper towel to rub it off and still got very red fingers. I think it’s totally worth it. But if purple fingers aren’t for you, and they may not be, you could also try it the way my beloved Ina Garten does; The Barefoot Contessa peels and cuts her beets, dressing the whole chopped pile in vinaigrette before the pan ever hits the oven.

Unfortunately, I can’t promise that the kids will eat these just yet (I’m cooking on a bunch of ideas now, and no, not literally) but if YOU have a can’t-fail way to make beets, you must share the recipe with the rest of us today. You must!



  1. Viola says

    My kids will eat roasted beet salad dressed in mustard/balsamic vinaigrette. I don’t have exact ratios, but the vinaigrette has about equal parts mustard and vinegar and then enough olive oil added to make a thick emulsion. Also, soup of puréed beets and steamed zucchini, 1:2 ratio, dressed with olive oil and a little salt.

    • charityc says

      Yes! I use a similar dressing recipe/ratio and have successfully gotten this crew interested in baby spinach salad three times in the last week. Wonders never cease! At least the sweet wonders of balsamic vinegar. Love the soup idea though. Trying immediately. Thanks, Viola!

  2. sonya says

    I love Ina’s recipe for Roasted Beets from Barefoot in Paris – it’s the only recipe for beets that my husband and I like (we thought that we just didn’t like beets, which is probably true) – but in this recipe, we love them!

    • charityc says

      Hi Sonya! I’ll do almost anything for a good roasted beet. My kids are still on the fence and these beets are a lot of work BUT I’ll keep trying. They’re just that good. Thanks for your note!


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