Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze

The BEST way to cook beets? Roasted! These ruby red beets are oven roasted and tossed with orange zest and a balsamic glaze. So good!

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


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


1 Preheat oven to 400°F and line pan with aluminum foil.

2 Rub beets with olive oil, sprinkle with salt, place in pan, cover with 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.

roasted-beets-method-1 roasted-beets-method-2

3 Roast for 1 to 2 hours: 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.

4 Prepare balsamic glaze: 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.


5 Peel and cut cooked beets: 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.

6 Pour glaze over beets: 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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  • Donatello

    Totally amazing as advertised!! My family was so quiet devouring the beets. Definitely make more than you want!


  • Marina

    Hello :) Seems like a yummy recipe! Can’t wait to try it out this weekend.
    Do you think I could sub the sugar with maple syrup for the glaze?

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Marina, I haven’t tried subbing the sugar with maple syrup but I don’t see why it wouldn’t work. If you try it that way, please let us know how it turns out for you!

  • Carol

    We made this exactly as the recipe called for with one exception, we cut the sugar to 1 teaspoon, because we are not fans of sweet glazes. Unfortunately for us it was still sweet for us. We will use the technique for roasting the beets but will just reduce the balsamic vinegar alone next time.

  • Darcy

    Absolutely delicious!

  • Mrs. Donovan

    I am lazy, so I peeled beets first and cut them into 1/4″ slices. Put them in a roasting pan with olive oil, fresh thyme, salt and pepper. Covered pan tightly with foil and roasted for an hour. I didn’t want to take the time to reduce balsamic, so I uncovered beets and poured a few tablespoons balsamic vinegar over and sprinkled the sugar over as well. Roasted another ten minutes and served warm. Forgot the orange zest, and they were still extremely yummy. Will definitely make these again! Thank you.


  • Joyce

    Katie, use a roasting pan with a cover

  • Katy

    Is there another good option besides aluminum foil? I don’t use it to cook with but still would like to attempt this recipe.

    • Tasha

      What about parchment paper packets?

    • Bill

      I’m trying 2 shallow baking pans, one on the bottom and one used upside-down as a cover. It usually works as my go-to replacement for foil.

    • Bonnie Zelicz

      I don’t use aluminum foil either for cooking food but the upside down cake pan for a lid works just fine so the beets don’t dry out, or the good ole roasting pan with the lid on.

    • Chefjan

      Try lining the foil with parchment paper

  • Mary Jo

    Fantastic recipe. Really enjoyed every bite. Did not have an orange so used Lemon Zest and it was perfect! Thank you

  • Gabrielle

    I did this a little different. I peeled and cubed the raw beets, mixed all ingredients in a bowl then tossed with beets. Placed in a greased 9×9 pan, dotted butter over the top and baked 400 degrees for 1-1 1/2 hrs till beets carmelized and fork tender. They were like candy!!! Yumm!.

    • Sharon

      You found out something that most people don’t know. Beets and butter are a magical combination! Also, try grating raw beets on a box grater and sauteing them in butter. Cover and reduce heat, while you mince some onion and grate some fresh ginger. Add to skillet with beets, stir to mix and cook for a few minutes. Then cover, adding a tablespoon or so of water to create a little steam, and cook over low heat until beets are tender crisp. Salt & pepper and season to taste. The first time I made this, I served it with meat loaf, mashed potatoes and cream gravy. It was truly delicious and loved by my family. But, it was the flavor of the hot butter, beets and ginger that really created the magic!

  • RoseMary

    Can the beets be roasted a day or two ahead of time, then warmed just before you add the glaze? Thank you

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi RoseMary, I don’t see why not!

      • michelle

        Curious: why put olive oil if you’re peeling off the outer shell? Does it matter?

        • Elise Bauer

          Hi Michelle, good question! Because unlike water, oil doesn’t turn into steam when it is surrounded by high heat, oiling the beets allows the outside of the beets to get very hot, encouraging caramelization of the sugars in the beets.

  • Anne

    Tried this recipe last night and it is delicious! The orange zest is a lovely added flavor.


  • Andrea

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

  • 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!

  • 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

    • kat

      sugar beets produce commercial sugar, not the beets you buy for dinner. Regular beets only have a GI of 64

  • 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!


  • 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!)

  • 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.

  • Carole

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

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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:)

  • 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.

  • 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.