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How to Cook Beets Without the Mess

Hello all my beet lovers! I don’t know about you but beets make my heart sing! One of my favorite food combos is good old beets and goat cheese. Add some nuts or crunchy  greens and OH MY GOD. Deliciousness is born! I like beets raw, juiced and cooked. I’m even have an AWESOME beet taco recipe you should checkout!

How to Cook Beets Without the Mess

Yes, beets are tasty, beautiful and hella good for you… but (there is always a but isn’t there?!) they are a pain in the butt to cook! The coloring from purple beets stains like crazy and bleeds everywhere once the beets are cooked. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve cooked beets and then removed the peels from the beets only to have my entire kitchen look like a scene from a gruesome horror movie. Yikes.

HOWEVER, I have good news! There is a quick and easy way to cook beets without the mess. The key to avoiding beet juice getting everywhere and staining everything is to peel them BEFORE cooking them. Beets bleed WAY less prior to cooking and hardly make a mess at all!

TIP: Put Press N’ Seal plastic wrap on your cutting board or work surface for easy cleanup and to avoid any chance of staining light surfaces but exercise caution to avoid slippage. Also, washing your hands immediately after peeling the beets will remove the small amount of red beet juice. Once the beets are peeled simply pop those little purple and gold beauties in the microwave. This is the quickest, easiest and cleanest way to cook beets! Happy cooking!

Raw beets on marble cutting board.

How to Cook Beets without the Mess

Yield: 4 servings
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 7 minutes
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Good news! There is a quick and easy way to cook beets without the mess.


  • 4 Fresh beets


  • Get Fresh Beets: Get fresh firm beets. Purple beets should be a deep purplish red color. Golden beets should be a deep bright gold color. Avoid beets that are soft, slimy or discolored.
  • Wash & Trim Beets: It is very common for beets to be dirty as they are root vegetables. Wash them under running water and pat dry with paper towels. Use a knife to cut off the top stem and leaves as well as the bottom tip.
  • Peel Beets: Use a peeler to peel the beets. If using bare hands, red beets may slightly color finger tips red but color can be removed with soap and water. Pierce each beet several times with a knife. TIP: Put plastic wrap on the cutting board for easy cleanup and to prevent staining of light surfaces.
  • Cover & Cook: Place peeled beets in a microwave safe dish with 1/2 inch of water. Do not stack beets and ensure beets are not touching each other. Cover the dish with plastic wrap, microwave for 3-5 minutes, flip the beets and microwave for an additional 2-3 minutes (depending on size). See specific cooking times in notes.
  • Let Cool & Enjoy: Allow the beets to cool. Then cut according to preference or recipe. Enjoy!


Cooking Times

  • Small beets (less than 2″ in diameter) cook time = 3 minutes/flip/2-3 minutes.
  • Medium beets (2″-2.5″ in diameter) cook time = 4 minutes/flip/3 minutes.
  • Large beets* (3″+ in diameter) cook time = 5 minutes/flip/3 minutes.
  • *Large beets may be tough and/or lack the flavor of small to medium sized beets.


Serving: 1beet | Calories: 35kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 1g | Sodium: 64mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 6g
Have you tried this recipe? Let me know what you think! Rate this recipe and leave a comment below.

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