Beets are nutritious and delicious root vegetables high in antioxidants, fiber, and other essential nutrients. They have an earthly flavor that can be enjoyed raw in smoothies, cold in salads, or as a hot side dish. Roasted beets in foil are easy to make, and roasting brings out the sweet flavor.
Beets typically grow during the fall and spring and are a great addition to winter meals and summer salads.
So, if you want to add color to your usual vegetable rotation but want an easy way to prepare this root veggie, keep reading for a quick step-by-step guide to roasting beets in foil.
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What Are the Health Benefits of Beets?
The ruby red color of red beetroots comes from betalains, pigments with antioxidant properties. These natural substances help reduce inflammation and lower the risk of some diseases.
Beets are an excellent source of fiber, folate, and vitamin A. And studies show that compounds found in beets are good for heart health.
How to Make Roasted Beets in Foil
Beets can be boiled, steamed, used in soups, or roasted. Whatever method you choose, the red pigment can stain clothes and cabinets, so prepare your prep area. And wear gloves to avoid staining your fingers (rubbing lemon juice on your hands will remove the pinkish stain).
For roasted beets, use fresh beetroot and not canned beets. Canned beets contain too much water and won’t caramelize in the oven. The high water content causes it to braise in its own juice when covered while roasting.
What You’ll Need For This Recipe
This recipe doesn’t require many tools or ingredients, just the time to cook the beets until they are tender.
This is all you need to roast beets in foil:
- Aluminum foil. This cooking method contains the liquid the beets give off during cooking. Use a heavy-duty foil so the foil doesn’t puncture when you wrap the beets. That way, the red beet juice doesn’t leak.
- Sheet pan. Any pan will work. I prefer using flat half-sheet pans for roasting vegetables.
- Paring knife for peeling the beets after roasting (optional).
- Disposable powder-free gloves for handling cooked beets (optional).
Step 1: Preparing and cleaning the beets
Thoroughly wash fresh beets and dry them with a disposable towel. I usually use washable tea towels to dry vegetables. But beets stain the towels. Handling a raw beet is more manageable than hot beets, which readily transfer the red juice to surfaces or your hands.
Next, cut off the beet greens, leaving 1 inch of the stem. You don’t have to peel the beets before roasting. Although the skin is edible, cooking dissolves most of it.
But don’t throw out the beet greens. Did you know that you can eat the green leaves? Sauté the greens in a little olive oil for a quick side dish.
Step 2: Wrap the beets up in foil
Lay a sheet of foil, approximately 9 x 13, on a half-sheet pan. Place the beets in the center and loosely fold all four sides of the foil over, making a bowl shape with the foil. Then, take another piece of foil and cover it loosely, folding it the same way on top as you did on the bottom.
Step 3: Roasting the beets in an oven
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (204 degrees C) and roast for 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on their size. A bunch of medium beets will be fork-tender after about 50 minutes of roasting in a conventional oven.
Beets retain their shape and won’t become soft like a well-done baked potato. But you should be able to pierce them with a fork easily.
Remove the pan from the oven and let it cool slightly before removing the top foil. If you prefer to remove the rest of the skin, wait until the beets are cool enough to handle. Then, wearing gloves, use a paring knife to scrape off the skin.
How to Store Cooked Beets
Cooked beets can be safely stored in an air-tight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 to 4 days. Serve them cold or reheat them in the microwave.
Tips for Serving Beets
Beets are versatile, and you can serve them hot or cold. They only need a hint of seasonings such as olive oil, vinegar, garlic, herbs, and spices. Cheese and nuts pair well with the strong earthy flavor of this veggie.
Cooked beets can be repurposed into several main course salads and sides. Here are a few ideas to use leftover beets so they don’t go to waste.
- Toss with roasted walnuts for a cold or warm side dish
- Roasted beets can be blended into soups, pureed into hummus, or combined with cream cheese to make dip (or to spread on your bagel)
- Add to any salad
- Make a cold beet salad with cooked sliced beets, sliced red onions, olive oil, and salt and pepper
- Toss quartered beets with goat cheese or feta for an easy lunch
Roasted Beets In Foil
- 1 Half cookie sheet
- 1 pound beets (3 – 4 medium beets)
- 1/4 teaspoon salt kosher
- 1/4 teaspoon black pepper fresh
- 1 tablespoon olive oil extra virgin
- Preheat oven to 400°F (204°C)
- Wash beets and set beets on a paper towel to dry. Remove the beet greens, leaving about 1" of stem.
- In a small bowl, combine the beets with the olive oil, salt and pepper.
- Place a 9 x 13 sheet of aluminum foil on a half cookie sheet and add beets in the center. Fold up all four sides to create a bowl to contain the beets. Top with another piece of foil and pinch all four sides closed.
- Place half cookie sheet on the bottom rack in the preheated oven.
- Let cool, then scrape off the skin with a paring knife (optional).
About Jennifer Messineo, MS, RD
I’m a food loving Registered Dietitian. I help families plan meals, reduce food waste and save money on food!