How to Roast Beets without Foil
Find out how to roast beets in the oven without foil, and why you should.
Sweet, juicy, and packed with nutrition, roasted beets have been one of my family’s favorite root veggies for years. My kids love them in their school lunch boxes, and I love them on salads like this one with arugula, citrus, and avocado. Roasting brings out the best in beets, in my opinion. The sweetness and flavor condenses down into the beets while roasting them whole. Today I’ll show you how to roast beets without foil, and why you should.
A few years ago I posted How to Roast Beets in Foil. I thought that using foil to wrap beets and line baking sheets was a great way to make clean-up easier. Since then I’ve learned more about aluminum and found a way to roast beets, without foil, that’s more eco-friendly and may be healthier. Roasting beets in the oven with my new preferred method is just as easy. Promise.
Is it Safe to Cook with Aluminum Foil?
Whether or not cooking with aluminum foil is safe is controversial and needs further research. One study published in 2011 found that aluminum exposed to high heat can leach aluminum into the food. Personally I’d prefer to keep unnecessary heavy metals out of my food. The second reason I no longer cook food in foil is that it’s unnecessary waste. The foil gets used one time and goes into the landfill. Wellness Mama has some great information here.
How to Cook Beets
Roasting beets without foil is so easy.
Step 1: Wash your beets. I don’t go too crazy with scrubbing them since the skins will be removed later anyway. If your beets came with those gorgeous greens, cut them off where they meet the beet roots. Keep those greens and saute them with garlic later. Or feed them to your chickens or guinea pigs like I do.
Step 2: Place the beet roots into a Dutch oven or braising pan with a lid. Make sure you’re using a pot that is oven safe to at least 400 degrees F. I love my Le Creuset for this. Drizzle the beets with olive oil and place the lid on top.
Step 3: Roast in the oven, covered, until tender. The time it takes will depend on the size of your beets. For 2-3 inch beets like I have here, it takes about 30 minutes, while big beets can take up to 60 minutes. Just check every so often. Being careful when you remove the lid because it will be very hot.
Step 4: Let the beets cool enough to handle. Now the fun part. Cut the base of the beet off with a paring knife and slip the skins off with your fingers. I find the skins slip off more easily while the beets are warm. Your fingers are going to get very pink. If this is a problem, you may want to put on some gloves first. Your cutting board will also get stained, which is why I have a piece of parchment under mine here. Cut your beets into rounds or dice.
Aren’t these roasted beets just beautiful? Beets generally are found in three colors. The most common is the deep “beet” purple-red, but there are also yellow and my favorite, the candy cane Chioggia beet.
There are so many great things you can do with your roasted beets, though I usually use them in salads. Roasting beets is a great addition to food prep days. I like to drizzle a little balsamic vinegar on my peeled beets and keep in the fridge for salads and lunch boxes. Here are a few other ideas.
- Beet Hummus Recipe
- Roasted Beet and Heirloom Tomato Salad
- Roasted Beet Soup with Fennel and Orange on the Kitchn
- Lentils with Roasted Beets and Carrots on PBS
- Fennel Salad with Roasted Beets and Shaved Asparagus on A Spicy Perspective
Oven Roasted Beets without Foil
This easy method of roasting whole beet roots in the oven creates the most delicious and sweet tasting beets. I love to roast beets on food prep days, drizzle with balsamic and keep in the refrigerator to use on salads and in packed lunches.
- 6 beets
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Wash beets and beet greens.
- Cut greens off where they meet the beets and save for later. Place the beets into a Dutch oven or other oven save container with a lid, such as a ceramic braiser. Drizzle the beets with oil and rub with your hands to coat. Place the lid on the pot and place on the middle rack of the oven. Roast, covered, for 30-60 minutes. 2-3″ in diameter beets will take about 30 minutes, while huge beets can take up to 60. Remove the pot from the oven and carefully pierce a beet with a fork or knife to check for tenderness. When they are tender remove from the oven.
- Let the beets cool enough to handle. Slip the skins off with your fingers (warning – your fingers are going to get pink). Use a paring knife for any stubborn bits. Cut beets into rounds crosswise, dice, or cut into wedges. Store in the refrigerator in a covered container until ready to use.
Yield: 6 whole beets, Serving Size: 1/2 cup of slices
- Amount Per Serving:
- Calories: 33