Earthy beets turn sweet and tender when they're roasted in this healthy beets recipe. Preheating your baking sheet speeds up the roasting time and gives the outside of the beets a quick and flavorful sear. Honey and lemon juice add sweet and tangy notes.
The Best Way to Cook Beets
Raw or cooked, beets are a sweet and earthy addition to any dish. While we love beets in any form, roasted beets are particularly yummy. The hot oven softens the beets while searing the outer layer, which intensifies their flavor. We finish off our roasted beets with a sweet and tangy lemon-honey glaze that brings all their complex flavors into perfect balance. Here's our favorite way to cook beets:
Prep Your Beets
Beets should be peeled before roasting. If you're using red beets, keep in mind that their color will stick to anything they touch. Wooden utensils and cutting boards will be the hardest to clean (although the color will come out eventually), so stick to plastic cutting boards and metal utensils if you want to skip the extra scrubbing. You can wear gloves to keep their pink hue off your hands, or opt for yellow or chioggia beets which also work well here. Make sure your beets are all cut into the same size pieces so they cook evenly.
Preheat Your Pan
We preheat the oven with the baking sheet inside. Heating up the baking sheet jump-starts the cooking process and creates a sear on the beets that adds both flavor and texture. Make sure the beets are added in a single layer so they can roast evenly. It's easy to forget that the pan is already hot when returning it to the oven, so be sure to keep a pair of oven mitts at the ready.
Flavor Your Beets
The beets already have salt, pepper and oil, but to really jazz them up we add a lemon-honey glaze. Sugar burns easily in a hot oven so to give the beets a nice sweet coating that doesn't burn, we add the glaze at the end of the cooking time. There's no need to take the beets off the baking sheet to add the glaze. Drizzle your glaze onto the beets right on the baking sheet, stir to coat, then spread them out again before returning them to the oven for 5 more minutes to finish cooking. After that, your beets are ready to go! You can enjoy them just like this or sprinkle on some chopped fresh herbs or crumbled goat cheese to suit your taste.
Additional reporting by Hilary Meyer