Let's make delicious oven roasted beets without foil. Use the roasted beetroots as a side dish, salad topping, and more.
Roasting beets in the oven is one of the best cooking methods to bring out all the delicious flavor from this beautiful root vegetable. Roasted beets have a naturally sweet, slightly earthy flavor profile.
Many recipes call for wrapping whole beets in aluminum foil before placing them in the oven to cut down on cooking time. However, not everyone is comfortable using aluminum foil in cooking anymore since links between aluminum and certain health conditions have been discovered.
My oven roasted beets recipe doesn't require foil. Instead I am using a deep baking dish with a lid or a baking sheet on top and parchment paper.
If you have garden fresh beets or got them from a Farmer's market with the greens still attached, save them to make sautéed beet greens or use the tender baby leaves raw in salads.
The ingredient list for this recipe couldn't be simpler:
- Beets - Use small to medium beets for best flavor and texture. Small beets taste brighter and sweeter and also cook faster than large beets, which can be woody
- Olive oil
- Sea salt
Follow the step by step picture tutorial on how to roast beets in the oven:
Place beets in parchment lined baking dish and drizzle with a little olive oil
Sprinkle the beets with sea salt
Use your hands to evenly coat each beet with the oil and salt
Cover the beets with a lid or baking sheet (my whoopie pie pan perfectly fits on top of my square baking pan) and roast for 30-50 minutes
Let the beets cool after roasting then cut off the top and root end
Then you can easily remove the beet peel by hand
And just like that you have whole roasted beets ready without using foil.
Hint: To avoid pink beet juice staining everything, use rubber gloves to handle the roasted beets. Use a plastic cutting board for trimming, cutting, and dicing/slicing the beets. Wooden cutting boards absorb the juices too much and can get permanently stained.
Substitutions and Variations
Its such a short ingredient list, but there are a couple alternative options for them:
- Oil - instead of olive oil, you can use avocado oil or coconut oil
- Seasoning - I only use salt but you can also add other seasoning like pepper or garlic powder on the beets, but keep in mind that most if it will be peeled off anyway after roasting
- Beets - use red beets, candy cane or golden beets
Instead of using foil, I use covered baking dishes and pans to create a similar cooking environment for the beets where they are somewhat snugly covered to trap some steam and heat. This way the beets are steaming and roasting at the same time and they turn tender faster than if just put on an open baking sheet.
Depending on the number of beets I want to roast, I use either an 8-inch square cake pan for 3-5 beets. Or a 9x13 rectangular pan for 8-10 beets. Deep cake pans with at least 2-inch rims work best to fit the beets. As lids I use small cookie sheets or my square whoopie pie pan on top.
Of course, if you have a casserole dish with an oven safe lid that would be even better for cooking beets in the oven.
Store roasted beets whole in the fridge in an airtight container for up to 1 week. I recommend not slicing or dicing them until ready to serve and eat.
You can also freeze roasted beets for up to 8 months. After thawing they will still taste as if freshly roasted.
Top Energy Saving Tip
To conserve energy, make roasted beets when you already have your oven on anyway. I like to make my oven work double-duty when I bake sourdough bread. Both use similar a temperature and cooking time.
Recipe Using Roasted Beets
Save yourself the work of taking a vegetable peeler to a beet. After roasting you can easily remove the peel with your hands. The skin is soft and simply slides off after cooking.
Technically you could poke holes in the beets with a fork to release steam while roasting. However, beet skin is very soft and will easily release steam or water. I've never seen it form a hard skin like a whole squash or potato might, that would trap steam and might explode.
Cooked or roasted beet skin is perfectly fine and edible. Especially if you grew them yourself or bought organic beets that you scrubbed well before cooking. You can even return them to the oven or put the beet peel in the air fryer and crisp them up for a crunchy chip snack.
I roast beets at 400°F. A temperature range of 375-425°F works well for roasting any vegetables. Because of varying oven temperatures be sure to test for doneness, and not just go by suggested baking time.
How to make oven roasted beets without foil
- rimmed baking dish
- small baking sheet or lid
- parchment paper
- 4-5 medium beets or as many as you like
- olive oil just enough to coat, 1 tablespoon at most
- sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 400°F. Find a rimmed baking dish with a lid or a baking sheet that fit snugly on top. It should hold all your beets without them touching. Line the baking dish bottom with parchment paper.
- Wash and dry your beets. If the green beet leaves are attached, trim them off.
- Place the beets in the prepared baking dish and drizzle a touch of olive oil on each one.
- Then sprinkle each beet with a little salt. Evenly coat the beets with the oil and salt by tossing in the pan or just your hands.
- Cover the baking dish with a lid or baking sheet. Place in the preheated oven and roast the beets for 30-50 minutes until they are tender and a small paring knife can easily pierce to the center of the beet.
- Final baking time depends on the size of the beets. Start checking after 30 minutes of roasting time. Keep adding 5-10 minutes as needed.
- After roasting, let the beets cool until safe to handle.
- Use rubber gloves if you don't want to stain your hands. Cut off the top and root end of the roasted beet. Then the rest of the peel can easily be removed by hand. Slice or dice as desired.
- Use roasted beets as dinner side or salad topping.