June 9, 2020

Cooking beets in the microwave is a quick way to easily get the roasted beet’s sweet flavor fast. They come out tender and ready to season any way you like.

So often these root vegetables are overlooked as just garnishes in salads, or powdered in smoothies, but they really make for a delicious side dish to meals all year round. Of course you can get them canned, but so much of their nutrition (and even their taste) is lost to the process. 

So let’s say you are trying to level up your vegetable intake but still want to add a bit of starch to your entree and still save time in the kitchen. This, my friends, is one of the greatest reasons we own a microwave: fast veggies. Turn a bowl of diced beets into a beautiful microwave beets recipe in about six minutes: three for prepping and dicing, and three minutes to cook. 

Fun fact about beets: The sugar beet is high in potassium, fiber AND sugar. The special betalain that gives the beet its rich color is good for you, too. Celebrate the humble beet at the Sugar Beet Days festival in Colorado in September. Sugar Beet Days Festival

When it comes to cooking beets there are two things to consider before you get started.

  • Do you want to cook whole beets, sliced beets, or diced beets?
  • Do you want to peel the beets first?

There are no wrong answers here. We personally prefer to dice up the beets without peeling them but our recipe below is for cooking diced beets in the microwave. My suggestion is to experiment with cuts and seasonings. And it turns out, you can eat the entire beet, roots to leaves!

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About cutting beets

Here’s an important tip for you to remember if you choose to dice the beets. Cutting beets can be a messy adventure. Beet juice may stain your clothes, your kitchen towels and even your cutting boards.

There are a few things that we suggest that you do before you cut the beets.

  • Wear latex gloves when cutting beets. We keep a box of them in our kitchen just for such occasions.
  • Change your shirt into something you don’t mind getting stained up before you start. I can’t seem to cook without getting something on my shirt. This is even with me wearing an apron.
  • Wear an apron. It’s CookingChew swag! 
  • Clean your cutting board and knife immediately after working with the beets. Here are some tips on cleaning a cutting board for you.

Can beets be cooked in the microwave?

Yes, you can cook beets in the microwave.

For diced beets:  

  1. Wash and dry beets. Peel, if desired. 
  2. With a sharp knife, firmly grasp the beet and dice into 1-inch thick cubes.
  3. Add diced beets to a microwave-safe container with the seasoning of your choice, such as salt and pepper, or lemon pepper, with a teaspoon of fat for flavor. Coconut butter is an excellent choice for adding flavor to cooked beets. (If not using fat, include about 2 T of water.)
  4. Cover loosely.
  5. For 1 cup of diced beets, cook on high 2 minutes.
  6. Stir. Cook for an additional minute.
  7. Poke with a fork to test for tenderness. Use hot pads to remove from the microwave.

To cook sliced beets in the microwave:

  1. Wash and dry beets. 
  2. Peel, if desired.
  3. With a sharp knife, firmly grasp the beet and trim off each tough end, then slice into desired thickness.
  4. Add sliced beets to a microwave-safe container with 2 T of water.
  5. Cover loosely.
  6. For 1 cup of sliced beets, cook on high 2 minutes.
  7. Stir. Cook for an additional minute.
  8. Gently poke with a fork to test for tenderness.
  9. Use hot pads to remove from microwave.  
  10. Optional: Season with a fast pickling spice of 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1 t sugar, ½ t salt.
  11. Toss well and serve warm or chill before serving.

For whole beets cooked in the microwave:

  1. Thoroughly wash and pat dry the whole beets.
  2. Peel, if desired.
  3. If you don’t peel the beets, poke them with the tines of a fork a couple of times to let the steam escape while they cook (like you might with potatoes).
  4. Wrap in a paper towel OR place beets on microwave-safe plate and cover loosely.
  5. For up to three small whole beets, cook on high for three minutes, turn with tongs or hot pad, then cook for an additional 30 seconds to one minute.
  6. Poke with a fork to test for desired tenderness.
  7. Use hot pads to remove from microwave.

Tips on cooking beets in the microwave

  • You don’t have to peel the beets before you microwave them. This is purely an option based upon your taste preferences. Do note that the larger in diameter the beet the more likely the skin will be rougher in texture and perhaps taste more earthy.
  • You can cook whole small beets in the microwave like you would small potatoes.
  • The smaller you cut beets, the faster they will cook. 
  • Dice or slice the beets into as close to the same size as possible. This will help them cook evenly. 
  • Use the largest glass microwave-safe dish that you can fit in your microwave. The more that you can spread the beets out in the dish the faster they will cook. Avoid stacking them if you can.
  • If you have so many pieces of diced beets that they are layering in the dish, cook them in rounds instead. It is better to cook multiple batches than to have them cook unevenly.
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Yield: 2 cups diced beets

How to Cook Beets in the Microwave

How to Cook Beets in the Microwave

Cook diced beets in the microwave to quickly add a low-calorie, nutritious veggie to your entrees all year round.

Prep Time 3 minutes
Cook Time 5 minutes
Total Time 8 minutes

Ingredients

  • 3 small beets, diced, making about 1.5 to 2 cups
  • ¼ t salt
  • 2 T water
  • Optional: Seasoning or pickling spices. (See below for fast pickling spice.)

Instructions

  1. Wash and dry beets.
  2. Peel, if desired.
  3. With a sharp knife, firmly grasp the beet and trim off each tough end, then dice into 1-inch cubes.
  4. Add diced beets to a microwave-safe container with a seasoning of your choice, such as salt and pepper, or lemon pepper.
  5. Add a teaspoon of fat for flavor. (If not using fat, include about 2 T of water.)
  6. Add salt and cover loosely.
  7. Please microwave-safe dish in the microwave and cook on high 3 minutes.
  8. Stir. Cook for an additional minute.
  9. Gently poke with a fork to test for tenderness.
  10. Use hot pads to remove from the microwave.
  11. Toss well and serve warm or chill before serving.
  12. Optional fast pickled beets: Use water instead of fat. Season with a fast pickling spice of 1 T apple cider vinegar, 1 t sugar, ½ t salt.

Did you make this recipe?

Please leave a comment on the blog or share a photo on Pinterest

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About the author

Meet Go-Go-Gadget Renee'. Her passion for #kitchen gadgets is matched only by her love for tech. A real #foodie, she's all heart for red wine and delicious meals. #CookingChewTribe

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