Simple Beet Greens
Published Oct 18, 2021, Updated Oct 04, 2022
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Make the most of your beet greens with this simple recipe. Beet greens are sautéed with garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, salt and pepper and cooked until tender for a healthy and tasty side dish.
I’ve spent far too many years chopping the greens off of beets and tossing them. I’m embarrassed to admit that but know I’m not alone! Did you know you could eat beet greens? It’s kind of like broccoli stems… once you know, you know!
I’m so glad I finally learned that beet greens are edible because they are now one of my favorite leafy greens. I love following this recipe to quickly sauté them – it takes the bite off and the end result is a delicious, bright side dish. Mix into bowls or pair with just about any main dish for extra nutrients and flavor.
What Are Beet Greens?
Did you know that beets have long, leafy greens attached to them? Some stores cut them off so you never see them (insert sad face). You might not realize that they are edible and incredibly delicious! Beet greens are packed with vitamin A, potassium and fiber and contain antioxidants that have been linked to the reduction of certain eye disorders. (Source)
When shopping for beets and beet greens, you want to make sure the beet is firm and heavy for its size. It should have smooth, firm skin without wrinkles or bruising. The beet greens should be bright and vibrant with minimal damage. When you bring the beets home, cut the leaves off about 1/2 inch above the beetroot right away. Otherwise the leaves will pull moisture from the beets which will result in the greens wilting quicker.
How to Store Beet Greens For Later
If you’re not going to cook your beet greens right away, you can keep them fresh in your fridge for about 5 days. After removing the greens from the beetroot, wash and dry them then wrap the greens in a dry paper towel and place them in a reusable bag (I love my Stasher bags) or Ziploc bag and store in the veggie or crisper drawer of your fridge.
Here’s What You Need
- olive oil – to coat the pan before cooking the vegetables. Avocado oil would work as well.
- beet greens and stems – the star of the show! Make sure you’re using bright colored, healthy looking greens that only have minimum damage. Clean your greens and stems really well before using.
- garlic clove – just one garlic clove adds a ton of flavor to this dish!
- crushed red pepper flakes – add a hint of spice to this side dish.
- lemon juice – it may sound weird but a squeeze of lemon juice brightens the flavors of this dish and brings them all together.
- sea salt and pepper – to taste!
tip! Make sure to clip the beet greens from their roots as soon as possible! Otherwise, you'll end up with wilted greens.
How to Cook Beet Greens
First things first, you need to clean your beet greens! Add the greens and stems into a big bowl of water and wash them well. Remove from the water and gently shake to dry. Chop the greens and the stems into 2-inch pieces. If there are any really thick or tough stems you can toss those.
Heat the olive oil in a sauté pan and then add the garlic clove, cooking until the garlic is fragrant. Add the beet greens and stems and toss until the greens are wilted and tender. It usually only takes about 5-8 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and lemon juice at the end of cooking and toss. Season with salt and pepper and enjoy!
How to Serve Beet Greens
Beet greens can be served just like any other side vegetable dish. They are delicious paired with eggs for breakfast or you can pair them with a grain and protein for a well-rounded meal. Need more ideas? Here are some favorite pairings:
- Baked Egg Muffins
- Vegan Power Bowl or Pesto Salmon Bowl
- Grilled Chicken and Quinoa
- Maple Turmeric Chicken
- One-Pan Roasted Chicken and Vegetables
- Vegan Tempeh Tikka Masala
- Maple Mustard Tempeh Meal Prep Bowls
- One Pan Tempeh Butternut Squash Bake
- Baked Peanut Tofu
- Vegetarian Sheet Pan Dinner with Tofu
How to Store Leftovers
This recipe is best served fresh but if you have leftovers, you can store them in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. I recommend reheating in a sauté pan for the best texture but you can reheat in the microwave if you’re short on time.
More Beet Recipes to Try
- Sautéed Beet Greens with Roasted Beets
- Beet Salad with Arugula and Balsamic Dressing
- Beet Hummus
- Pear and Beet Salad with Ginger Hemp Dressing
- Beet Power Salad
- Easy Roasted Beets
- Instant Pot Beets
Be sure to check out all of my side recipes here on EBF!
- ½ Tablespoon olive oil to coat pan
- 1 bunch beet greens and stems
- 1 clove garlic minced
- ¼ teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
- 2 teaspoons lemon juice
- sea salt to taste
- ground pepper to taste
- Add the beet greens (including the stems) into a big bowl of water and wash them well. Remove from the water and shake dry. Chop the greens and stems into 2 inch pieces, discarding any thick or really tough stems.
- Heat a medium saute pan and add olive oil. Once warm add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add beet greens and stems, toss until greens are wilted and tender, 5-8 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes and lemon juice to the pan and toss. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.