The first time I made these Caramelized Roasted Beets, it was an accident with a happy ending”¦well, sort of. With two small kids, life can get a little hectic and one night, I had my beets roasting in the oven, but they weren’t tender by the time it was time to eat. And, I couldn’t put off dinner any longer or the kids would have gone crazy! (Can you relate??) After dinner we were going through the normal nighttime routine when, all of the sudden, I had that “oh crap” moment when I realized I’d left the beets in the oven (for a solid 45 minutes longer than they should have been!). Grrrr”¦
Much to my pleasant surprise, they weren’t burned to a crisp”¦not even close! One look at them told me I’d stumbled on my new favorite way to make beets. They had taken on this amazing glistening, caramelized look, which I’d never seen with beets (unless of course they are drowning in sugar, which these are not!)”¦and, they tasted as good as they looked on the outside. Needless to say, I was super excited to dig into them once I’d finished putting the kids to bed. Well, that was not to be”¦
See, my husband got home from work while I was putting the kids to bed. Let’s just say he lacks a bit of self-control when it comes to food, and when he started eating the perfectly caramelized beets, he couldn’t stop. Yep, he ate ALL but two of the beet wedges! That was the not so great part of the happy ending here. The dietitian in me couldn’t be too mad at him because after all, he was eating vegetables.
Of course, I had to recreate these beauties. It actually took a couple more times making them before I nailed the recipe. Not because the beets themselves didn’t turn out, but because I was perfecting what pan to use. The first time, I roasted them in a shallow glass baking dish ““ I know, this would not be the choice of famous chefs, but it works. The next time I tried a shallow baking pan that has a light-colored nonstick surface. Both work, as I said, but the problem was, both options were really hard to clean because the beets get so caramelized they create a sticky browned mess in the pan. And, I don’t know about you, but I definitely don’t like spending my precious time slaving over a hard-to-clean dish!
I thought about parchment paper but was a bit skeptical lining the pan with it because I wasn’t sure it would allow the beets to caramelize as well as they had when roasted directly in the pan. Well, it worked and, if you’ve never used parchment paper to line a pan, let me just say, your pan will hardly need to be washed when you’re finished. Yay! I had worked it all out and will never roast beets any other way!
Two quick notes ““ I love using yellow beets for this recipe, but other colors will work well too. I don’t feel beets need to be dressed up with a lot of flavorful ingredients when they are roasted this way, however, if you like, you can toss in some fresh herbs after they come out of the oven.
I hope you enjoy them as much as my family does! They taste like candied beets, and don’t contain a lick of sugar. What more could you want?!?
Caramelized Roasted Beets How-To Photos:
Raw yellow beets – they are 3 to 4 inches in diameter/length
The beets are bright yellow after peeling. Parchment paper ensures you have almost no clean-up after they are done.
Covering the beets with foil for the first part of roasting/baking prevents them from drying out with the long bake time. You’ll uncover them after a while, which will allow them to caramelize.
This is what the beets will look like after you uncover them. No need to stir unless you want to.
Finished beets. Give them a quick toss to disperse the oil in the pan and you’ll have a fabulous side dish that takes very little effort to make!
Close up shot!
- 2 ½ to 3 pounds yellow or orange beets (about 5 large)*
- 2 to 3 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- ½ teaspoon coarse salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons snipped fresh Italian parsley or basil (optional)
- Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a large shallow baking pan (I use a half sheet pan, which is 18x13x1-inch) with parchment paper. Peel and trim beets. Cut beets into ½-inch thick wedges. Arrange wedges on parchment paper in pan. Add oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
- Bake, uncovered, for 3 minutes or until oil is melted. Toss beets to coat in the oil. Spread wedges back to a single layer. Cover pan with foil. Bake for 45 minutes. Remove foil from pan. Bake, uncovered, for 30 to 35 minutes more or until beets are tender and golden brown.
- If desired, toss with fresh parsley or basil just before serving. These beets taste great warm or cold on top of your favorite salad.
- *I measured my beets for this recipe without the tops. If yours still have the beet greens attached, trim them off before weighing. You can wash, trim, and tear the green leaves and toss them into your favorite soups or sauté in a little olive oil with garlic, salt, and pepper, for a quick and healthy side dish.
- 6 to 8 servings
- 99 cals, 2 g pro, 13 g carb, 5 g fat, 0 mg cholesterol, 4 g sat fat, 4 g fiber, 304 mg sodium