How to Freeze Beets – Boiling Method

Here’s how to freeze beets in 7 easy steps with photos to guide you through the process.

garden beets
Time to freeze beets – no matter what size, shape or variety.

Also Read: Guide to Freezing Vegetables, How to Can Pickled Beets, Why Do Beets Turn Black, How to Roast Beets

You can freeze beets after roasting or boiling. Either method works fine. Just don’t freeze them raw!

Why choose boiling over roasting? It’s really just a matter of whether you prefer having a pot of boiling water or a hot oven. The steps below show how to boil beets, I use this method when I have really large beets that would be difficult to roast evenly.

cut boiled beets
I have a mix of big and small early wonders, candy stripe and detroit dark reds in this mix.

How to Freeze Beets – Step by Step

Unless you’re buying and hand selecting beets to freeze, chances are you have beets of various sizes, no problem! The following steps will show you how to get consistent tender beets, no matter the size.

Step 1 – Trim & Wash Beets

Trim the greens off the beets, but don’t cut into the beets, leave about 1/2 inch so the beets don’t “bleed” and lose all their gorgeous color.

Don’t cut the root end either – if you insist, keep at least 1 inch of root length.

Place beets in a big bowl of water to soak and loosen soil. Scrub each beet til it glows!

washing beets
Trim greens, leave root, soak and scrub.

Step 2 – Boil Beets According to Size

Sort beets into small, medium and large beets. If they’re all pretty much the same size, move on to Step 3. If you only have small and medium sized beets, just divide them into two groups. If you have gigantic, football sized beets you may need to break the no cutting rule and chop them down to a manageable size.

Don’t fuss too much, precise measurement not required.

graphic how long to boil beets
Approximate boiling times of beets according to size, give or take 5-10 minutes.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add your largest beets first and begin boiling. After 10 minutes add the next sized beets, and so on.

The goal is to get all the beets cooked to the same tenderness. But don’t worry too much, you can also take them out of the boiling water at different times if you feel like one or two beets are done before the others.

Step 3 – Test for Tenderness

When beets have boiled their recommended time, pierce a few with a fork to test for tenderness. You want the fork to be able to go through to the center of the beet without too much force.

fork tender beets
Test for tenderness with a fork.

Step 4 – Transfer to Ice Water

Move the boiled beets directly into an ice water bath to cool them and stop them from cooking further.

beets in ice water
Stop the beets from cooking further in an ice water bath.

Step 5 – Trim & Peel Beets

Cut the top and tail off the beets.

Remove the peel which should slip off very easily by just rubbing the beets. You can also use a knife.

peel beets
The peel slips off easily.

Step 6 – Cut Beets

Cut beets to your preferred size. I like cutting mine into cubes, but slices work too.

cubed cooked beets
Cut into even sized pieces.

Step 7 – Bag, Label & Seal

Thanks to the ice water bath, your beets should be cool all the way through. If they’re still warm, let them cool completely before bagging. This will prevent condensation and ice crystals.

Place beets in freezer bags or containers, remove as much air as possible and seal. Be sure to label your container.

Frozen boiled beets will last in the freezer for years, but for best quality, you’ll want to use them within a year, just in time for next year’s crop.

bag and remove air
I like to use a straw to remove the air from the bag. See the difference between the left and right?

How to Use Frozen Beets

Here are some of the ways we’ve used frozen beets. I’m sure there are many more!

Simple Side Dish – Thaw, re-heat, add salt, pepper, butter and dill for an easy side dish for any meal.

Salad – Thaw, drain and enjoy in your favorite salad. We like Apple & Beet Salad or Beet and Goat Cheese Salad.

Soups – Add frozen beets to soups – just remember they’re pre-cooked so add them at the end just to heat through.

Hummus –  Thaw, drain and add a handful to any hummus recipe and enjoy the earthy flavor and bright color.

Sheet Pan Dinners – My favorite use is to add a handful of frozen beets to sheet pan dinners. I don’t even thaw them, I just toss them on the baking sheet for the last 15 minutes of a sheet pan dinner. So good!

Smoothies – Just a couple of frozen beet pieces and you’ll have great color and a nutrient boost in your smoothie.

How do you like to use frozen beets?

Let me know in the comments below or take a photo of your beet dish and tag #getgettys so I can see it and like it!

Sign up to get articles by Getty delivered to your inbox. You’ll get recipes, practical tips and great food information like this. Getty is a Professional Home Economist,  speaker and writer putting good food on tables and agendas.  She is the author of Manitoba’s best-selling Prairie Fruit Cookbook, Founder of Fruit Share, a mom and veggie gardener.

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