Beet Greens

For so many years I loved beets but threw the beet greens away. Yikes! No more. This is a delicious way to serve greens, whether collard, kale, or beet. In fact, beet greens taste (and look) a lot like Swiss chard.

So, the next time you buy beets with the greens attached, don’t throw away the greens! Chop them up and add them to a soup or stew, or prepare sautéed with onions and bacon like we are doing in the following recipe.

Beets with Beet Greens

Updated from the recipe archive, first posted 2004.

  • Prep: 5 minutes
  • Cook: 25 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

While this recipe calls for discarding the stems, if you want you can use them too if they aren't too woody. Just cut them into 1-inch segments and add them to the onions after the onions have been cooking for a minute.


  • 1 pound beet greens
  • 1 strip of thick cut bacon, chopped (or a tablespoon of bacon fat)
  • 1/4 cup chopped onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 3/4 cup of water
  • 1 Tbsp granulated sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 Tbsp of cider vinegar


1 Rinse and cut the beet greens: Rinse the beet greens in a sink filled with cold water. Drain greens and rinse a second time. Drain greens and cut away any heavy stems. Cut leaves into bite-sized pieces. Set aside.

2 Sauté the bacon, onions, garlic: In a large skillet or 3-qt saucepan, cook bacon until lightly browned on medium heat (or heat 1 Tbsp of bacon fat). Add onions, cook over medium heat 5 to 7 minutes, stirring occasionally, until onions soften and start to brown. Stir in garlic, cook a minute more.

3 Add water, sugar, red pepper flakes: Add water to the hot pan, stirring to loosen any particles from bottom of pan. Stir in sugar and red pepper flakes. Bring mixture to a boil.

4 Add beet greens, cook until tender, add vinegar: Add the beet greens, gently toss in the onion mixture so the greens are well coated. Reduce heat to low, cover and simmer for 5-15 minutes until the greens are tender. Stir in the vinegar. (For kale or collard greens continue cooking additional 20 to 25 minutes or until desired tenderness.)

Beet Greens

Main Ingredients