Beet Greens

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

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.

Beet Greens Recipe

  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Cook time: 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.)

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Beet Greens

Showing 4 of 77 Comments

  • Jennie

    Thank you for sharing this recipe. I was at a loss for what to do with beet greens other than including them in borcht. This is delicious! I included the stems, and I did have to cook it about 25 minutes to boil off the liquid, so the greens were a bit more “done” than I’d have preferred, but still quite tasty.

  • sharon sherman

    Loved this recipe and easy to make…..

  • Larry Angell

    Hi,my name is Larry…. This recipe is very good , but I am going to have to try this with fresh cut beet greens. I am a canner and can about everything I get my hands on. I love pickled and canned beets, plus I can the greens by themselves. I drain hem and then saute….. yum very good… your recipe works well…. Thank You

  • Laura

    As a child my dad always grew beets. Mom didn’t waste much but always pickled the stems and threw away the greens. I have tried twice cooking the greens like we cook turnip greens or collards. They were edible but not really tasty. We loved this recipe! Will do it again. As usual with cooking beets my entire kitchen is red. Let me get busy. Thank you. It is delicious!

  • Janet Campbell

    Thank you for this recipe, Elise. I was looking for this recipe for long time. I love it…

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