How to Cook Beets

My first introduction to beets was in the ’90s.


The Beets from Nickelodeon's Doug
The Beets from Nickelodeon’s Doug


Aaaahh  EEE OOOO.  Killer Tofu!!  That was the hit song from The Beets on the ’90’s Nickelodeon show Doug.  Great subliminal advertising for beets and hilarious play on words.

Fast forward twenty years and beets are a running super-food that I eat every day.  I’ve put them in smoothies at breakfast, salads at lunch, and roasted them as a side for dinner.   My grocery bags have at least 2 containers of beets in them, and most recently I’ve found some beet noodles that I’ve used as a pasta!


How my grocery store trips always end
How my grocery store trips always end
Beets and Running


In recent years, beets have become popular in the endurance community thanks to some studies that linked beet juice with improved performance.   Researchers discovered that the nitrates in beet juice help the body utilize oxygen more efficiently, meaning that we can do the same amount of work with less oxygen.  For me, beet juice can taste really earthy.  The great thing is that eating whole beets has the same effect on the body as drinking beetroot juice!



How to Cook Beets in 3 Easy Steps:


I would always see bunched beets or loose beets at the grocery store when I was grabbing my other produce, but they always intimidated me.

What the eff do I do with you??
What the eff do I do with you??



How the hell am I supposed to cook beets?  Instead of trying to tackle cooking beets on my own, I would opt for the pre-packaged kind; However, I would go through one of those packages in two days!  Curiosity (and the economical side of my brain) eventually got the better of me and I decided to buy some loose beets when I was at Trader Joes.  Cooking my own beets was WAY cheaper and turned out to be better tasting and more satisfying.


Step One: Preheat Oven and Clean the Beets.

First thing you do when you cook beets is preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.  Then wash and scrub the beets.


Scrub a dub dub- clean your beets to remove mud. It sort of rhymes.
Scrub a dub dub, clean your beets to remove mud. It sort of rhymes.




All scrubbed and shiny
All scrubbed and shiny
Step 2: Cook Beets


Wrap them in tin foil and pop them into the oven to roast for 40-45 minutes.




After 45 minutes, carefully pull the out and open the foil.  You’ll know they’re done if you can easily pierce the beets with a fork.



If you're easily able to pierce the skin, you've cooked your beets enough.
If you’re easily able to pierce the skin, you’ve cooked your beets enough.


Step 3: Peel the Beets

Once they cool slightly, it’ll be easy to remove the skin- you can do so with your hands or a paper towel.

PRO TIP: Don’t wear white or any light color.  Beets stain everything, even your hands!


You'll look like you've murdered someone.
You’ll look like you’ve murdered someone.



That’s all there is to it!  It’s very simple to cook beets; store them in the fridge for up to a week and use for salads, smoothies, beet hummus, or if you have a spiralizer, you can make beet pasta!


Tofu Beet Salad
Tofu Beet Salad


A few tips:
  • Choose beets that are the same size so they cook at the same speed
  • Golden beets are slightly sweeter than red beets, but there is no difference in the way you cook them. You can cook both red and golden beets at the same time if you want.
  • I already mentioned this, but don’t wear white when you cook them, especially when you are peeling them, because it gets very messy
  • If you eat beets like I do (ALL THE TIME), whenever you are cooking something in the oven you can throw the beets in there to go along for the ride.  They tend to dry out if the temperature is above 450ºF, so if that’s the case you can add some water to the tinfoil package to help keep in the moisture.



Easy Roasted Beets




Prep Time: 5 minutes Cook Time: 45 minutes


  • Loose Beets, roughly the same size



  1. Preheat the oven to 400ºF.  Wash and scrub the beets to get rid of any dirt.
  2. Wrap them in tin foil and cook beets for 40-45 minutes
  3. Remove them from the oven and allow to cool.  Peel the skin off beets with your hands or a paper towel.
  4. Store in the fridge for up to a week, but seriously, how do you make them last that long?



Buen provecho,



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mm beets! so good! I tried making them with something else, and had them in the oven for an hour at 350. That wasn’t long enough, so I stuck them in at 400 for 20 minutes once my other item was done and I cut them in half. One of the beets still wasn’t done at that point, but I was tired and stopped there. I think it’s actually pretty easy to peel them with a small pairing knife and I would recommend using gloves (latex or otherwise) to save your hands. 🙂