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A Beet Recipe Round-Up – Simple Bites

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Ten recipes for cooking and baking with the versatile winter beet. Inspiration for every meal of the day, plus dessert.

Beets are coming home with me at every farmers market these days. Not merely because there’s less selection for locally grown vegetables in February, but beets are a winter staple in the Simple Bites kitchen.

With my Ukrainian heritage, I come by my love of beets honestly; it’s just in our DNA. However, it was my years as a fine dining chef that opened my eyes to the versatility of this humble root vegetable.

I had one mentor who’s favourite vegetable was The Beet and we featured them year-round on our menu. It was a good lesson in valuing the less-desirable ingredients; an perspective that has always stayed with me.

To this day when I see a bundle of beets, my mind spins through the possibilities: a dense dark chocolate cake, a vibrant dip, a comforting soup, an earthy lentil dish…Every recipe made all the more appealing by the affordability of beets.

Read on for ten of my best recipes for this beautiful root vegetable. Then stock up and dive in!

The Versatile Beet

For buying and cooking this vegetable, first read my introduction in this post Spotlight Ingredient: Beets.

Used in everything from soup to salads, beets are a versatile bunch. You’ll see this demonstrated in the recipes in this post – all of which have my kid’s approval!

Use the tried and true recipes below as a place to begin exploring beets as an exciting ingredient. Then branch out on your own.

Use the beet greens in this leek and sweet potato frittata. Try adding raw beets to smoothies. (You can also find countless recipes online for pickling beets, but I have never been a fan of beets in brine.)

Don’t be deterred from beets because of their lengthy cooking time. I’ve learned to roast off three or four when I’ve got the oven on. and in January, my oven is almost always on for baking! Well-wrapped in foil, they are tender in about an hour. They are also delicious steamed.

Beets for Breakfast

Add these to your Valentine’s Day brunch menu, because who doesn’t love a pretty pink pancake? Naturally sweetened and oh so fluffy, these pancakes are a winter breakfast treat.

The earthiness of the beets complements the nutty buckwheat flour. Maple syrup brings all the flavours together and a dash of cinnamon only enhances their appeal.

Beets as an Appetizer

This vibrant dip has been a staple at my gatherings for years now and it’s a hit every time. If you’re looking to add more vegetables to your diet, or trim the grocery bills a bit, skip the cheese boards and add this dip to your appetizer line-up.

Beets in Soup

A winter staple, this veggie-filled soup is pure comfort for our family. Pair it with Pampushky, our beloved Garlic Buns, for a true Ukrainian meal.

Beets in Salad

A chef’s tip: beets need acidity to balance out their earthiness. This is why they work so well in salads; there’s almost always a sharp vinaigrette that finishes the dish.

For something different, try this salad for one heck of a delicious winter lunch. The creamy, salty feta is one of the best pairing for the sweet, earthy beet that ever exists.

Any winter greens would be wonderful in this salad; try arugula, endive or radicchio in place of the celery leaves.

Power Bowl Beets

This is another salad of sorts, and one I love to make in early spring, when spinach is popping up, but we are still relying heavily on root vegetables.

Feta makes another appearance with the beets, but equally delicious is crumbled goat cheese or a dollop of sour cream.

We enjoy this one as brunch, lunch or a light dinner. Round it out with a side of Simple Skillet Cornbread or our favourite Quinoa Power Bowl Base to make it a bigger meal.

Beets in a Sandwich

You’re probably thinking ‘beet sandwich’ is a stretch, but, hear me out. Try pairing a crusty bread with a soft, spreadable cheese and thinly sliced roasted beets, lightly sprinkled with salt, and you’ll be convinced!

Here I layer crispy beet chips in my ultimate vegetarian sandwich. It delivers on flavour, texture and nourishment, even if it looks a little crazy.

Beets as a Main

Here’s a recipe from deep in the Simple Bites archives that deserves to be back in the spotlight. It’s kid-friendly, packed with nutrients, and absolutely cravable winter comfort food.

Leave out the ricotta to keep it vegan or go crazy with cheese for a luxurious bowl of pasta.

Beets as a Side Dish

Lentils and beets were made for each other. Both of them are a humble ingredient, yet when slow cooked with fresh thyme and finished with a splash of vinegar, they transform into a remarkably complex and wonderful dish.

A true pantry meal, this one can stand alone or accompany a dinner of pan-seared pork chops.

Beets in Dessert

You all know this one by now; it’s a beloved recipe that we all make over and over again during the long winter. One of my best recipe creations, it is without question, my children’s favourite cake. Three cheers for beets!

When you still want that dark and delicious chocolate beet cake, but you need to dress it up for a special occasion. Break out the bundt pan and bake this extraordinary (and rather healthy) cake.

Dark Chocolate Beet Bundt Cake

Which recipe will you make first?

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