Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze

Every Saturday my dad heads to the local farmers market and, if the season is right, comes home with a big bunch of beets, which he then scrubs clean, boils, quarters, and marinates in oil and vinegar. So by the time I show up in the morning we have a bowlful of beets for breakfast or lunch. Boiled beets are fine; the method is fast, energy efficient, and since the beets are so naturally strongly flavored, combined with the dressing, it works.

That said, over the years I can’t count the number of people who have tried to get me to roast beets instead of boiling them. They’ve insisted that roasted beets just taste better than boiled. I have roasted beets. Quite frankly, I haven’t been able to tell that big of a difference from boiled. Until now. Now I get it. These beets are great. The long roasting caramelizes the sugars in the beets adding all sorts of awesome flavor. The trick? Make sure the beets are wrapped in foil so they don’t dry out, and then forget to set the oven timer so you cook them 20 to 30 minutes longer than you think you should. By the time I took these beets out of the oven, they had roasted for an hour 45 minutes. There was so much caramelization the peels were like candy. They were a little harder to peel, but wow, so worth it.

The orange zest and balsamic glaze? Double wow. Like orange-y beet-y balsamic-y fireworks in your mouth. Watch out though, talk about high glycemic. These beets are addictive. Pace yourself. They will last for several days in the fridge.

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Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze Recipe

  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 6 to 8.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red beets, medium sized, scrubbed clean, green tops removed (see beet greens recipe for what to do with beet greens)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • 1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons sugar
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Method

1 Preheat oven to 400°F. Line a roasting pan with aluminum foil. Place the beets in the pan. Rub olive oil over the beets, and sprinkle with salt. Cover the beets with another sheet of aluminum foil. Roast for 1 to 2 hours, depending on the size of the beets and how old they are. After 1 hour, test every fifteen minutes by poking a beet with the tines of a fork. Once the fork tines go in easily, the beets are tender and cooked. Remove from the oven.

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2 While the beets are cooling, prepare the balsamic glaze. In a small, shallow sauté pan, add the balsamic vinegar and sugar. Heat on high until the vinegar has reduced to a syrup consistency. Remove from heat.

3 After the beets have cooled for several minutes, but are still warm to the touch, peel off the outer skins and discard. Cut the beets into quarters or more, bite-sized pieces.

4 Place beets in a serving bowl. Pour balsamic glaze over the beets. Stir in grated orange zest, and add salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with a little orange zest to serve.

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Links:

Hate 'em or Love 'em Beets? from White on Rice Couple

Balsamic Roasted Beets

34 Comments

  1. Danielle

    I LOVE roasted beets. I buy beets every week and eat them roasted almost daily. I also ALWAYS forget about them and end up roasting them for over an hour. They are definitely better when over cooked vs under done so I usually over do them to be on the safe side. I have never made a balsamic glaze but have always wanted to. Now this is a perfect excuse!

  2. Elke Sisco

    Perfect timing, thank you! I was just wondering what to do with the beets from my farmshare box.
    And I bought an apricot-lavender balsamic from Big Paw that might do nicely for the glaze.

  3. Lydia (The Perfect Pantry)

    I roast my beets with similar flavors, but a slightly different process. Peel and cut the beets (yes, your hands will get a bit red!), place in a roasting pan with orange juice and honey, cover the pan with foil, and roast. The honey and OJ will glaze the beets, and make them taste like candy.

  4. Katie

    This is great! I just came home from the market with a big bunch of beets today. I was already planning a pesto for the greens, so this is shaping up to be a delicious week!

  5. Rivki Locker (Ordinary Blogger)

    This looks wonderful. I have discovered that you can actually avoid peeling beets altogether. Just scrub with a vegetable brush before roasting. The scrubbing removes the dirt and thins the peel. just be sure to wear gloves while scrubbing.

  6. Lana

    Your dad’s approach is similar to what I have been used to growing up in Serbia. We were never without boiled and seasoned beets in the pantry. I have transformed my beet-hating American husband to a beet lover with beets seasoned with garlic, salt, pepper, vinegar, and oil.
    Your recipe would be a welcome alternative – sticky and sweet sounds really good right now:)

  7. kathy

    sounds delicious and i will definitely be making them…i love roasted beets and whenever i see lovely beets at the store or farmers market and am sure to get them….but i never peel them…i scrub them really well before roasting…cut into equal sizes unless they are very small…roast for an hour with a bit of balsamic over them (wrapped tightly in foil) and a pinch of sugar…unwrap and enjoy. YUM.

  8. Ella

    I have always loved beets, but my mom has her own special recipe. I am going to try for this one for sure. Thanks for this post.

    Just so you know, juicing fresh beets with other veggies and fruit is a pretty powerful drink, and I read online that it’s often recommended to cancer patients. There must be something in the colour, although they say you should never drink it on its own.

  9. Cooking with Michele

    I prefer to peel them before roasting them – when you do, the great sugary caramelization on the edges of the beets isn’t lost with the peeling process. I usually quarter or slice them before roasting as well, so they are in bite sized pieces ready to eat once they are done – even so, to do take over an hour to cook!

  10. Cathy

    Man get outta here. Slap them beets trimmed and peeled in dutch oven with 1/3 water,1/3 chicken stock, and 1/3 balsamic vinegar.Bake them little fools for 45-1 hr. What you talkin’ about. The beets cut up on anythang like salads or as a side will make you slap somebody. It will not be your fault, I aint lying.

  11. Loretta Lawrence

    My husband loves beets and is always asking me to make them. Until now, I only boiled them and dressed them with red onions, salt, pepper and oil and vinegar dressing and served them cold. This recipe sounds very good and the roasting intrigues me. I love roasting veggies but never tried it with beets. I will try it. We all thank you especially my husband.

  12. sp

    Roasted beets are wonderful! I scrub them, then leave them unpeeled and wrap them in foil. Then I throw them in the slow cooker until they’re cooked enough that I can glide a fork into them (or, until there’s beet juice escaping from the folds of the foil!) After that, I only need to wait until they cool a bit and I can slip the skins right off.

    And of course, I use this method when I make your beet hummus!

  13. Jennifer

    Love this recipe! I also just put peeled beets in with any pot roast – so potatoes, carrots, beets, whole onions, and meat make that meal. The beets make it special.

  14. Lulu

    I love beets. I even love them raw.
    I do something similar, except I toss the beets in olive oil-balsamic-fresh orange juice before throwing them in the oven, then give them a sprinkle of finely grated orange zest the second they come out. Orange really complements the flavor of beets.

  15. dena

    I’ve had beets with balsamic glaze before, but never considered adding orange zest. Sounds delicious! I will have to try it.

  16. laura @ a little barefoot

    I love roasted beets, but I am definitely guilty of under-roasting them. I will have to try to forget to set the timer, as you suggest!

  17. Steve-Anna

    I am so one of those people who’s been telling you over and over to roast your beets.

    Whew! Now I can finally give it a rest!

  18. John Bilchak

    Your pickled beet recipe is a staple at our house:

    http://simplyrecipes.com/recipes/pickled_beets/

    I will have to try this as well.

    Thanks!!

  19. Pamela

    My mom always pickled beets, but our family favourite was “Harvard Beets” so your recipie brought back many happy taste memories. Would not change a thing, made them for dinner tonight and all I can say is WOW – and thanks for sharing!

  20. Tracey

    I’ve only had beets a few times, usually in raw, juice form. I really need to expand my beet experiences because I keep seeing so many raves about them..and now this recipe..it looks so enticing. First chance I see some beets I am gonna grab ‘am and transform them into those beauties above!!
    We really like balsamic vinegar so I expect these are fabulous.

  21. Sally

    I can’t believe that my (once) picky kid, now a college boy, LOVES these beets. You’re right about roasting them long enough. They always take longer than you think they should. If I don’t get around to peeling them while they are still warm, I pop them in the microwave for about 30 seconds and the skins cooperate. Now I feel a beet craving coming on….Nice post, Elise!

    Thanks for the tip on the microwave Sally! ~Elise

  22. Diane

    This is making me so looking forward to “beet season”! I’ve been doing them every week all summer for several years. I just get a big bunch or 2 at the farmer’s market, and then scrub them and wrap in foil and bake till done. So easy, and I use a couple of paper towels to rub the skins off while still hot. It’s a breeze and then when cool, I dice them and keep them in the fridge. We eat them (cold) most every day, usually either on a salad or plain with feta cheese sprinkled on them. YUM :) I am looking forward to trying this new recipe!

  23. Trish

    I love roasted beets! My husband and I discovered them at Oceanaire (our local seafood restaurant) and make them at home regularly.

    My husband – aka My Chef – peels and quarters them prior to roasting, as well as tossing them in salt, pepper and olive oil. He roasts them in a baking dish with a fitted lid. In the last five minutes (or so) of roasting he tosses the beets with some basalmic vinegar. As he serves, he crumbles blue cheese (the stinkier, the better!) over them and the flavors simply explode.

    I cannot wait to try your method and draw some comparisons… any excuse to eat more of these is a good one in my book!

    Love the idea with blue cheese, thanks! ~Elise

  24. Katepdx

    I have a recipe for a salad that uses roasted balsamic beets similar to this recipe. After being cooked, cooled and chopped, the beets are tossed with Arugula, chopped walnuts, cranberries and cubed avocado. Then topped with crumbled goat cheese. It is to die for and my friends frequently request it. The beets make this salad!

    I have also left the arugula out and served it as a side dish instead.

  25. HeatherC

    These were great! I substituted carrots for half of the beets with delicious results. I roasted the beets for almost 2 hours, adding the carrots at the 1.5 hr mark. Thanks for a great recipe!

  26. Carole

    I had to drive 43 miles to nearest grocer to satisfy my yearning to try this recipe. I would do it again in a heartbeat. I took this as a side dish to a neighbors dinner invitation, they were eaten up before the meal was set on the table. A Real Winner!

  27. Martha

    I love roasted beets. So much tastier and easier than boiled, I think. And I’m all about easy when it comes to cooking. A friend brought be me incredible balsamic vinegar syrup with orange from The Burrough Market in London that is incredible on them.

  28. Carole

    My fourth batch of this recipe is in the oven right now. Everyone loves these! So simple-SO delicious!

  29. Ken

    Thank you Elise. I tried the recipe and loved it; my wife, not so much. I think the reason is threefold: I like balsamic and it is not her favorite, reducing the balsamic for the glaze is overpowering (Turn on the EXHAUST FAN right away BEFORE adding the vinegar. The overpowering aroma filled the house and turned her off before she even tried it.), and while I had it grated and on hand, I forgot to add the orange zest (She liked it better once I added the zest; so did I, but to me it was great either way!).
    However, I was wise enough to leave some roasted beets free from the glaze–and these she devoured with approval. Roasting is good! Thanks again.

  30. LeeAnn

    My husband, Mr. I Don’t Like Beets, LOVED these! Thanks for another fabulous recipe.
    (btw, quality balsamic vinegar will NOT give off the nasty odor and smoke that the low quality kind they sell at most grocery stores does. I used a 25 year aged bottle – I could drink this stuff straight!)

  31. Val from PA

    Loved these!!! It was my first time roasting beets – I used gold beets cause a friend of mine gave them to me from her CSA share… They were a little bitter before I added the balsamic glaze… Made the house smell for a little while, but that didn’t bother me… Very tasty!

  32. Christie

    Wait, what? I thought beets are LOW on the glycemic index.

    Did you know that the two major sources for commercial sugar are beets and sugar cane? Beets are very high in sugar. So are carrots. Still they’re good for you, just don’t over do it. ~Elise

  33. Jaime (Denim Debutante)

    I’m making this now – the comments are helping.

    I have some bacon, goat cheese and arugula – with some blood orange, I think this could be the best salad I’ve ever made!

  34. Andrea

    Fabulous recipe. Agree with everyone……….over roast! Skins slip right off. Can’t go wrong with a little balsamic glaze……

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