In this post you’ll learn How to roast beets without foil in the oven to get a fantastic healthy roasted vegetable that you can serve as a side dish or as an ingredient in salads or appetizers. I also share how to choose and clean beets, as well as the health benefits of this tasty root vegetable!
Simple Oven Roasted Beets are like vegetable candy. I mean, just look at all those candy colors and beautiful patterns and textures. And, the taste of Roasted Beets is out of this world. Naturally sweet, earthy, robust, root vegetable, like pure veggie candy! And, all this yummy sweetness, and they’re still healthy!
Roasting beets is one of the best ways to bring out all the delicious flavor from this beautiful root vegetable. And really, I’m a big fan of almost every vegetable when it’s roasted. Check out my recipes for how to roast asparagus, Roasted green beans, Maple roasted carrots, and Roasted Butternut Squash Soup with Roasted Butternut Squash Seeds.
I first published this recipe in 2018, but it was time for an update. So I’ve updated the photos and the information for a better user experience.
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They’re available in grocery stores year-round. However, their peak season, and when you can find them in most farmer’s markets, is typically June through November.
Health benefits of this root vegetable
The portion that most people think of when we talk about beets is actually the root of the plant.
The beet, also known as the beetroot, has lots of health benefits. The beet green has great health benefits too, we’ll talk about that below.
Beets may lower blood pressure, help prevent some cancers, cleanse the liver, treat anemia, help prevent macular degeneration, improve blood circulation, and they’re high in vitamins and minerals, like potassium, folate (a B vitamin), vitamin C, iron, and manganese.
Beets are also full of antioxidants and fiber.
How to buy beets
I prefer to buy beets with the green tops still attached. The leafy greens are perfectly edible, and the ones with their tops attached are generally fresher.
For the beetroot itself, choose ones that are round, hard, smooth and without any bruising or blemishes. Pass over ones that look dry or soft and mushy.
Generally, smaller to medium-sized beets will have better flavor (less bitterness), and they’ll take less time to roast.
Different kinds of beets
There are many different kinds of beets. Typically, the grocery store will carry the classic red variety and may also carry golden beets, these are the two I’ll focus on here.
During peak season you may find beautiful striped or multicolored beets. The farmer’s market is also a great place to find more unusual varieties. The different colors do have different flavors. The farmer or the grocer should be able to tell you which are sweeter or more flavorful.
Red beets are the classic beet that everyone thinks of. They are sweet and earthy in flavor. They will stain your hands and your cutting board when you cut them open.
Golden beets have a little milder flavor than red beets, being a little less earthy and a little less sweet.
Gold beets don’t bleed like red beets, and so they are easier to clean and prepare. They also help answer the question of “How do you roast beets without bleeding?” Use golden beets for this!
Since they don’t make as much of a mess, and they can be included in a roasted vegetable dish without staining all the other veggies.
Golden ones will oxidize and turn brown if they’re cut and left out without cooking them.
How to store raw beets
You can store unwashed beets in the refrigerator for up to a week or so.
The beet greens, however, will start to wilt much more quickly, within a day or two.
So, you’ll want to cut the greens from the beets, leaving 1 to 2 inches of stem attached to the root. Then use the beet greens quickly.
Don’t just throw them away!
Beet greens can be used in a salad, boiled, used in a gratin, toss them in a soup, add them to a smoothie, add them to pasta, garnish a plate with them, and you can also toss them in the compost or green waste. Check out my post What can I throw in the compost? for more info.
Sauté them with some olive oil and garlic, then drizzle on some balsamic vinegar for a great side dish.
I used them in my Deconstructed hummus salad.
Beet greens are low in fat and cholesterol. They have good amounts of protein, phosphorus, and zinc. They’re a great source of fiber, packed with antioxidants, high in vitamin B-6, magnesium, potassium, copper, and manganese.
How to clean beets
Beets are usually pretty dirty, even when getting them at the grocery store. I mean, they did come out of the earth!
Clean beets of any dirt and loose roots by rubbing the raw beets with your fingers under cool tap water. Use can use a vegetable brush if you prefer, to lightly scrub the beet.
Don’t scrub too hard, as you don’t want to bruise the veggie.
Peeling beets is not necessary. The peel is perfectly edible.
When you roast small to medium beets, the peel will just seem to disappear into the vegetable.
If your beets have a thicker or tougher skin, it will come off very easily when after beets are cooked. Simply pull the roasted peel off with your hands when the beets are cool enough to handle. Or hold the beet in a paper towel and using the edges of the paper towel to rub the skin away.
No, you don’t need to go to that extra step.
Roast beets in the oven
I thought I’d share my easy method for how to roast beets in the oven without foil. I make them all the time. Super easy and a great vegan healthy snack!
This roasting beets without foil method works for any kind, color, or size beet.
I like to cook beets without foil – no wrapping involved. I just roast them open in the oven.
Does roasting beets destroy nutrients?
Raw beets will have the most nutrients, but will also have a less complex roasted flavor.
The longer you cook vegetables (especially if you boil them in water), the more nutrients leach out of the food and into the water.
Keep those nutrients in the beet by roasting them.
How to roast beets without foil
There are many recipes that tell you to wrap beets in foil before roasting them. You don’t need to do that.
In fact, wrapping them in foil is steaming them. Roasted beets no foil is a super easy way to cook them with less waste.
The full printable recipe ingredients and instructions are available in the recipe card at the bottom of the post. You can find important tips and tricks in the post.
prep the beets
With your clean beets, you’ll want to cut them so they’re all about the same size when they go in the oven. Also, smaller pieces will cook faster.
Cut them in half or quarters.
Hint: To avoid beet juice staining everything, use rubber gloves to handle the roasted beets. You can also use a plastic cutting board for cutting the beets. Wooden cutting boards can get permanently stained.
Place the cleaned and prepped beets in a roasting pan, baking dish, or in a cast iron skillet.
Drizzle with a little olive oil or avocado oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat.
You can also place them in a large bowl and toss them with the oil, then transfer them to the skillet for roasting if you prefer.
Place the pan in the preheated oven, and roast until the beets are fork tender, about 45 minutes if the beets are small or medium in size. If they’re large, the roasting process may take longer, maybe 60 minutes. The cooking time will vary depending on the size of your beets.
That’s it! Now you just have to decide if you’re serving the beets plain or doing something with them! I usually can’t help but grab a couple pieces from the pan to nibble on right away!
How to serve roasted beets
- In a salad, as in my Farmer’s Market Salad
- With goat cheese
- With a splash of balsamic vinegar
- With feta cheese
- As a simple colorful veggie side dish
- Top with a dollop of sour cream
- Beets are delicious hot from the oven, at room temperature, or even cold from the fridge
How to store cooked beets
If you’ve got some leftovers, beets will keep refrigerated for up to a week. Simply pop them in an airtight container and into the fridge.
Want to store them for longer? You can freeze roasted beets in an airtight container for up to 8 months.
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Oven Roasted Beets Recipe
Oven Roasted Beets
- 2 pounds Beets scrubbed clean tops and root removed
- 1 tablespoon olive oil or avocado oil
- pinch of salt
- Preheat oven to 400° F.
- Clean beets of any dirt and loose roots by rubbing the raw beets with your fingers under cool tap water. (You may get some red stains on your hands; don’t worry, it’ll wash off.) If your beets are large, or of varying sizes you’ll want to half or quarter them. They should all be about the same size when they go in the oven.
- Place cleaned and prepped beets in a roasting pan, baking dish, or in a cast iron skillet. Drizzle with a little olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and toss to coat. Place the pan in the oven, and roast until the beets are fork tender, about 45 minutes if the beets are small or medium in size. If they’re large, the roasting process may take longer, maybe 60 minutes.
Nutritional information is based on third-party calculations, and should be considered estimates. Actual nutritional content will vary based on brands used, measuring methods, portion sizes, and more.