How to Roast Beets without using Aluminum Foil

Here’s how to roast beets without any foil or cover. I wash, cut in half, coat in oil and roast them open in the oven. Read on if you’d like more details.

multi color beets on baking sheet
Combine different colours and varieties on one baking sheet. As long as they’re not touching, they will not bleed into each other.

 Also Read: How to Boil BeetsHow to Pickle & Can BeetsWhy Do Beets Turn Black

I’ve never really understood the point of wrapping beets in foil – seems like a lot of work and waste. I’ve found that when I coat the beets in canola oil, they don’t scorch and roast beautifully.

roasted beets on pan out of oven
Here’s a batch just out of the oven. As they cool the skin will wrinkle more and be easy to rub off.

HOW TO ROAST BEETS – STEP BY STEP

Use whatever size, color and variety of beets you have. You can roast them together or separately. The following steps will show you how to get consistent tender beets, no matter the size.

STEP 1 – WASH & TRIM BEETS

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

Trim the root ends and greens off the beets.

STEP 2 – PREPARE BEETS FOR ROASTING

If beets are all small and relatively even, leave them whole. If they are uneven with some thicker than others, cut the larger ones in half.

Don’t fuss, they don’t have to be exactly the same. You can always remove smaller beets first while thicker beets continue to roast.

Coat each beet with canola oil. Rub all over.

Place beets on baking sheet leaving a little room between beets. Place cut side down.

beets coated in oil on baking sheet
Coated top to bottom in oil and ready for the oven. Notice while some beets are larger than others, they are all relatively the same thickness, so they’ll be done at about the same time.

STEP 3 – ROAST & TEST FOR TENDERNESS

Place baking sheet with beets in preheated oven set to 400°F (204°C). Beets will take 30 to 50 minutes depending on size and thickness. Start checking tenderness at 30 minutes.

At the 30 minute mark, pierce a few beets 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. If some are done, remove them from the baking sheet and let the bigger ones cook longer until they’re as tender as you like them.

checking beets with forks
Use a fork to pierce and check beets for tenderness. If some are more tender than others, remove them and let the others roast longer.

If you plan to freeze the beets and use them in cooked dishes later on, they can be a little more firmer than if using in a recipe right away.

STEP 4 –  PEEL & CUT BEETS

Once beets are cooled to the touch, remove the peel which should slip off very easily by just rubbing the beets. You can also use a paring knife.

peeling roasted beets with fingers
Once cool to the touch beet skins are fairly easy to pinch off. Use a paring knife to remove stuck on bits and further trim the beets.
finished beets
Here’s a look at the top and bottom of the roasted beets. You can still see the difference in beet varieties – Detroit Red, Early Wonder and Bull’s Blood.

Trim beet ends and cut to desired size based on how you plan to use the beets. I like cutting mine into cubes, but slices work too.

cubed cooked beets
Cut into even sized pieces.

STEP 5 – USE OR FREEZE

Use roasted beets as is or freeze for future use.

Once cooled completely, place beets in freezer bags or containers, remove as much air as possible and seal. Label and use within 6-12 months.

bag and remove air
Use a straw to remove as much air as possible when sealing beets to freeze. Notice the difference between the tight seal in the left bag compared to the right bag.

Other Roasting Methods

You can roast peeled and diced beets – with or without herbs and spices. But be warned, I have had beets turn black on me when I’ve used this method – not every time, but often enough that I use this method with caution.

roasting cut and peeled beets
You can roast peeled and diced beets. I do this when making beets to eat right away. I usually add herbs and spices as well.

How to Use Roasted Beets

Here are some of the ways we enjoy using roasted beets. I’m sure there are many more!

Simple Side Dish – Toss with a little salt, pepper, butter and dill for an easy side dish for any meal.

Salad – Toss beet pieces into your favourite salad. We like Apple & Beet Salad or Beet and Feta Salad. I also like adding quinoa to these salads for a full meal!

beet salad with quinoa
Quinoa mixed with beet and feta salad.

Soups – Add to soups – just remember they’re pre-cooked so add them at the end just to heat through. Try adding them to this Garden Vegetable Hamburger Soup.

Hummus –  Add a handful to any hummus recipe and enjoy the earthy flavor and bright color.

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

More Ideas

You don’t need a recipe to enjoy roast beets. Make up your own combination for delicious dishes. Some flavours that go really well with beets include:

  • dill
  • fennel
  • balsamic vinegar
  • feta cheese
  • dijon mustard
  • honey
  • maple syrup
  • oranges
  • lemon
  • nuts & seeds
  • whole grains – bulgur, quinoa, barley, etc.
  • apples
How do you like to use roasted 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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