Simple Beet Greens



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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.

A plate of beet greens.

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.

Ingredients measured out to make beet greens: beet greens with stems, olive oil, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper, salt and pepper.

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!
Make sure to clip the beet greens from their roots as soon as possible! Otherwise, you'll end up with wilted greens.
Side by side photos of beet greens in a skillet before and after being cooked.

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!

A plate of beet greens with a few lemon wedges and red pepper flakes.

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:

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

Be sure to check out all of my side recipes here on EBF!

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4.15 from 7 votes

Beet Greens

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.
Prep Time: 2 minutes
Cook Time: 8 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Servings: 2 people


  • 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.
    A bowl of beet greens in a bowl with water.
  • 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.
    Freshly sautéed beet greens in a sauté pan with a spatula.


Serving: 1cup beet greens | Calories: 49kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 2g | Sodium: 1266mg | Potassium: 340mg | Fiber: 2g

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Side
Cuisine: American
Keyword: sautéed beet greens
Did you make this recipe?Mention @eatingbirdfood and tag #eatingbirdfood!

About Brittany

Hey there, I’m Brittany, the creator of Eating Bird Food, cookbook author, health coach and mama of two littles. Here you’ll find quick and easy recipes that make healthy fun and enjoyable for you and your family!

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