Whenever we need an easy vegetable side dish for family dinners, we turn to a few of our favorite recipes. These Simple Boiled Beets, which don’t even require peeling before you cook them, are one of our go-tos!
Quick Boiled Beets
First of all, I realize that beets are a somewhat polarizing vegetable in that people often love them or hate them. My husband and I land firmly on the love them side of the fence—beets are naturally pretty sweet, when cooked they have a soft texture that’s easy for kids to eat, and they taste ridiculously good with a little butter and salt. This boiled beets recipe takes about 30 minutes and is mostly hands off—and it’s a good one to make-ahead to reheat later!
What to Pair with this Easy Veggie Side
We love boiled beets with burgers, hot dogs, almost any chicken dish, with dinner salads, and with sandwiches. (Related: We’ve been doing more sandwich nights lately, which is such a great dinner option…even if you need to serve the components deconstructed for your toddler.)
Which beets are best for this recipe?
You can make boiled beets using either golden beets or red beets. I like it with both and use whichever we have access to. Red beets are often more available, but they have similar flavors and they cook up identically.
What are the benefits of golden beets?
When serving beets to kids, the biggest benefit to golden beets is that they are MUCH less messy. The color of red beets is obviously wonderfully vivid, but it has the tendency to stain hands which I’ve learned that my two year old doesn’t like very much. Golden beets are less likely to leave their color everywhere. They also have fiber, potassium, Vitamin C, and a little iron.
How to Make Boiled Beets Step-by-Step
Here’s a look at the process involved in making this simple boiled beets recipe.
- Wash your beets and cut off the stem and the root ends.
- Cut into roughly 1-inch pieces as shown above.
- Add to a medium or large saucepan and cover with about two inches of water.
- Bring to a boiling, then reduce heat to about medium to keep at a simmer. Cook for about 20-25 minutes or until the beets are soft when poked with a fork or a knife.
- Drain and rinse under cold water for a few minutes. Slip off the skins by pressing gently with your fingers. If the beets are soft, the skins will slip off.
- Place beets into a bowl and toss with butter (or olive oil) and sprinkle with salt. Enjoy!
- The pieces of chopped beets should be relatively the same size so they cook evenly.
- Let the beets cool down for a few minutes so they are easy to handle with your hands. You can slip the skins off under cold running water if that helps speed the process along.
- Cut the beets into slightly smaller pieces for your kid’s serving if needed.
- Sprinkle with shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled goat cheese, or crumbled feta cheese to add more flavor.
- If you have any leftovers, consider adding them to a salad for yourself! I love them over greens with feta, sunflower seeds, and hard cooked egg or chopped chicken.
Green bamboo bowl by Bobo & BooPrint
You can use golden or red beets in this recipe. If using red beets, once they’re boiling, you’ll want to cover the pot with a lid—but leave it sort of cockeyed so some steam can escape—to prevent red splatters from getting all over the stove!
- 2 pounds beets (golden or red)
- 1 teaspoon butter or olive oil
- Wash and cut off the root and stem ends of the beets. Cut into even chunks, about 1-inch thick, leaving the skin on. Place into a medium or large saucepan and cover with about 2 inches of water.
- Bring to a boiling over high heat, then reduce to medium to simmer rapidly. Cook for about 20-30 minutes or until the beets are soft when poked with a fork or paring knife. Remove from heat.
- Drain and run under cold water to help them cool down enough to handle them. Slip off the skins by rubbing on them gently with your fingers—they should slip off.
- Place beets into a bowl and toss with butter. Sprinkle with salt and serve warm or at room temperature.
Store any leftovers in an airtight container for up to 3 days. Warm slightly before serving.
Top with shredded cheddar cheese, crumbled goat cheese, or crumbled feta cheese if desired.