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Perfectly cooked, no-peel steamed Instant Pot Beets make the perfect addition to your next soup, salad, or smoothie. This simple side dish, steamed without a steamer basket, yields fork-tender beets that you can eat plain or drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
While you may find beets year-round at the grocery store, there is no better time to pick them up than now. Beet season begins in June and produces bright, flavorful beets well into October.
This colorful root vegetable often gets a bad rap for being tough, difficult to cook, and leaving a mess both on the counters and on your hands. However, this easy recipe takes all of the gripes out of cooking beets and leaves you with perfectly cooked fork-tender beets that are both hands- and mess-free.
Say goodbye to boring soups, salads, and smoothies. These tender, juicy beets add a pop of color to every dish they grace. With varied cook times based on your beet size, you are sure to have perfectly steamed beets time and time again.
Reasons to love this recipe
- Hands-free and mess-free – It sounds like a win-win to me!
- Healthiest cooking options – Steaming is better than boiling because the beet’s nutrients are not lost in the water.
- Naturally vegan and gluten-free, making it an easy way to get some healthy veggies into your diet.
- Quick and easy – The cook time is much faster than roasting beets.
- Perfect for meal prep – Steaming up a batch of beets is a quick and easy way to prep for the week ahead.
Beetroot, also known as red beet, table beet, garden beets, or most commonly beets, provides many wonderful health benefits. This low-calorie food packs in nutrients, making them an excellent addition to your diet. A few of the top health benefits include:
- Rich in folate.
- Contains potassium and copper.
- Great source of fiber which aids in digestion.
- Contains Betalains which provide antioxidants to your body.
Read more here about the Health Benefits of Beets for additional information.
Selecting the Best Beets
To ensure fork-tender beets, you will want to start by selecting the best beets in the bunch. When shopping for beets, here are a few things to keep in mind.
- Look for small, firm beets – The smaller the beet, the sweeter and more tender they will cook.
- Unblemished – Check the skin of the beets and avoid the ones with blemished skin.
- Green crisp leaves – If selecting beets with the leaves, look for bright, non-wilted leaves.
How to store beets before using
Once you’ve selected the perfect beets for cooking, it’s best to use them within 1-2 days after purchase. If storing for longer, be sure to:
- Trim the stem – Cut the leaves about 2 inches from the root.
- Store in the crisper drawer – Beets prefer the humidity.
- Leave them loose – Keep them out of plastic bags or wrapped loosely with paper towels.
- Wash the beets only when you are ready to use them.
How to remove beet stains from hands
If you find yourself with stains from the vibrantly colored beets on your hands, my preferred approach to removing the stains is dish soap :-). It’s simple and effective.
Alternatively, you could make a paste of baking soda with water and rub your hands with it. Repeat until the color rinses off.
Want to avoid beet stains altogether? Simply wear gloves while handling the beets.
Here’s what you need to make the recipe
- Beets- Trim any stems or greens from the beetroot and scrub the dirt off the skin.
- No need to peel the beets before cooking.
- Cut the beets in half to reduce the cooking time.
- Get the same size beets for even cooking. If they are not even, chop the bigger ones to match the size of the smaller ones.
- The cooking time will not change if you increase the number of beets.
- Cooking time will vary based on the size of the beets – see the chart below.
- If you don’t want to stain your hands, you can use gloves while handling them.
Cooking time will vary depending on the size of the beets.
- Small beets (5-inch circumference): 15 minutes
- Medium-sized (6-7-inch circumference): 25 minutes
- Large to extra-large (over 8-inches): 35 to 40 minutes
Looking to steam a medley of veggies in your Instant Pot? I have a comprehensive guide – How to steam veggies in your Instant Pot that offers valuable tips to ensure your veggies come out perfectly cooked and tender every single time.
How do you make beets taste good?
With their sweet, yet earthy flavor, there are a number of different ways to season, dress, and serve beets that enhance their taste.
- Serve with unsalted butter.
- Sprinkle with salty cheese such as goat cheese or parmesan.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinegar.
- Top with a little dill and sour cream.
How to use cooked beets
Once you’ve cooked your beets, there are a number of different ways to dish them out and add them to your diet.
- Chop and toss into salads topped with goat cheese and balsamic dressing.
- Blend into a vibrant root vegetable soup.
- Add to smoothies for a boost of color and fiber.
- Blend with tahini to make beet hummus.
How to prep ahead
The best way to prep ahead is simply to cook the beets in the Instant Pot and store them in the refrigerator or freezer for longer storage.
Here’s how you can store cooked beetroots
Refrigerator– Cooled and peeled beets should keep in an airtight container for up to 5 days. For longer storage, I would suggest freezing.
Freezer– Place cooled beets in an airtight zip-top bag and remove any additional air from the bag. These beets should keep up to 6 months. Move to the refrigerator to thaw overnight before using.
Reheat– You can reheat beets by placing them in the microwave, and heating them in 30-60 second intervals for up to about 3 minutes.
Frequently Asked Questions
The size of the beet determines the cooking time.
Small beets (5-inch circumference): 15 minutes
Medium-sized (6-7-inch circumference): 25 minutes
Large to extra-large (over 8-inches): 35 to 40 minutes
Using the Instant Pot is the fastest and easiest way to cook fork-tender beets.
To retain the most nutrients, it’s better to steam beets instead of roasting them.
No. You do not need to soak beets before steaming them in the Instant Pot.
No. Simply steam the beets with their skins on and then remove the skins after they have cooked through.
To steam beets without a steaming basket, put them on the trivet.
Yes, for up to 3 months.
For a pressure cooker like Instant Pot, add 1.5 cups of water.
Other Instant Pot Vegetable recipes to try
- Instant Pot Steamed Broccoli
- Fail-Proof Instant Pot Sweet Potatoes
- Steamed and Sautéed Brussels Sprouts
- Best Instant Pot Corn on the Cob
- Instant Pot Steamed Carrots
Instant Pot Beets
- 1 lb beets
- 1.5 cups water
- salt as needed
- pepper as needed
- Trim off the stems, greens and roots. Scrub and rinse off any dirt from the beets.
Steaming beets in Instant Pot
- Add water in the steel inner pot of the Instant Pot.
- Place a trivet in the inner pot. If using a steamer basket, place it over the trivet.
- Add the beets directly on the trivet or in the steamer basket/steel bowl (if using).
- For beets with a bit of crunch, pressure cook on high for 15 minutes. Cook for 18 minutes, if you prefer soft beets.
- Release the pressure immediately by moving the steam valve to 'venting' as soon as the cooking cycle is complete.
- The beets are done if you can insert a knife or a fork easily. If they are not done, cook for another 1-2 minutes.
- Let the beets cool down for a few minutes before peeling them. For firmer beets, use a peeler. They are easy to peel with your hands as well. To avoid staining your hands use a paper towel or gloves
- Chop them into desired size.
- Serve with salt and pepper or any seasoning of your choice.
Disclaimer: Approximate nutritional information is provided as a courtesy and can vary depending on the exact ingredients/brands used. If you have health issues, please work with a registered dietician or nutritionist.