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Cooked and peeled beetroot in a glass container.
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5 from 2 votes

How to cook beetroot

This simple "How to cook beetroot" guide will teach you how to prepare, roast, boil & steam this humble vegetable ready to use in wide array of recipes. Beets rule!
Course meal prep, Side Dish
Cuisine British
Keyword how to cook beetroot
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings 4 beetroots
Calories 36kcal
Author Jo Allison


  • 4 medium beetroots (beets) roughly 6cm/3inch in diameter
  • 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar for boiling beetroot only (optional)


Roasting Beetroot

  • Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas Mark 6.
  • Wash each beetroot carefully and give them gentle scrub with vegetable brush if required, taking care not to damage the skin. Don't peel it!
  • Dry it gently with clean kitchen towel, put in a prepared piece of aluminium foil and wrap like a little parcel.
  • Put the parcels on a baking tray and into preheated oven.
  • Roast for approximately 1 hr (smaller beets will require shorter roasting time) or until tender (check for tenderness with a knife). I roasted mine for 1 hour.
  • Let them cool slightly before peeling.

Boiling Beetroot

  • Wash each beetroot carefully and give them gentle scrub with vegetable brush if required taking care not to damage the skin. Don't peel it!
  • Put cleaned beets in a pan and cover them with cold water.
  • At this point you can add tablespoon of apple cider vinegar (optiona).
  • Cover pan with a lid and bring it to boil.
  • Once boiling turn the heat down to simmer and let your beetroot cook (depending on the size) for between 20 minutes and 1 hour or until tender (check for tenderness with a knife). I cooked mine for 45 minutes.
  • Drain beets in a colander and pop under cold running water to stop the cooking process.
  • Dry them carefully or let air dry and once cold enough to handle, peel and use as desired.

Steaming beetroot

  • Put beetroot in a pan with a steamer basket with enough water so that it sits just below the bottom of the basket without touching it.
  • Cover the pan with tight fitting lid to allow for the build up of steam and bring to boil.
  • Once boiling, turn the heat down to simmer and let it steam for anything between 30 minutes to an hour (depending on the size of your beetroot) or until tender (check for tenderness with a knife).
  • Let beets cool a bit, peel and use as desired.


  • Nutritional information provided is per 1 medium beetroot and should be treated as a rough guideline only.
  • Uncooked and unwashed beetroot can be stored in the fridge or in a cool, dry place for couple of weeks or even longer. If storing in the fridge you might want to keep it in the plastic bag with few air holes to prevent it from drying out and going limp. 
  • Cooked beetroot should be stored in the airtight container in the fridge and used within 5 days. 
  • I wouldn't recommend freezing beetroot. 
  • If you buy bunched beetroot make sure to cut off the greens as soon as possible and store separately as they will draw the moisture out of the root leaving your beets limp.
  • Don't discard beetroot greens but use them raw in salads (really young leaves are best for that) or cook in a similar way you would spinach or chard.
  • Try and not buy beets bigger that 6cm/2.5inch in diameter. Really large beetroot might be a bot wood and it will take forever to cook.
  • Roasting beetroot (my favourite method of cooking it) intensifies its sweetness.
  • Adding vinegar when boiling beetroot protects its colour.
  • Don't peel beetroot when cooking it whole as skin acts as a protective layer keeping both colour and nutrients in the beetroot.
  • Don't top and tail beetroot too close to the root itself until it's cooked to retain nutrients and colour.
  • Cooked beetroot is much easier to peel than raw.
  • Choose similar size beets so that they finish cooking at the same time.  


Calories: 36kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 1g | Sodium: 64mg | Potassium: 269mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g | Vitamin A: 27IU | Vitamin C: 4mg | Calcium: 13mg | Iron: 1mg