Quick and Easy: Mastering the Art of Cooking Beets in the Microwave

How to cook beets in the microwave: A Quick and Convenient Method

Sweet and earthy, beets are a versatile vegetable packed with essential nutrients. While traditional cooking methods like boiling can be time-consuming and messy, microwaving beets offers a quick and convenient alternative. This article will walk you through the process of microwaving beets, including preparation, cooking techniques, and serving suggestions.

Benefits of Microwaving Beets

Microwaving beets not only saves time, but also helps retain more nutrients than boiling or other cooking methods. The microwave’s rapid heating process minimizes nutrient loss and ensures that beets retain their natural goodness. In addition, microwaving beets is an easy and efficient way to cook beets, making it an ideal choice for those with busy lifestyles.

Preparing beets for microwaving

Before microwaving beets, it is important to prepare them properly. Follow these steps for the best results:

  1. Select beets: Choose beets that are firm, heavy, and have smooth, blemish-free skin. Dark red beets are the most common variety, but you can also find orange, yellow, white, and red-striped varieties.
  2. Handling stains: Beets can stain your hands, clothing, kitchen towels, and cutting boards due to their bright color. To minimize staining, use the following precautions:
    a. Wear latex gloves when handling beets.
    b. Wear clothing that doesn’t stain or wear an apron.
    c. Clean your knife and cutting board immediately after preparing beets to prevent the color from settling.

Microwaving Whole Beets

Microwaving whole beets is a simple method that produces tender, flavorful results. Follow these steps to microwave whole beets:

  1. Trim and wash: Trim the stems and leaves from the beets, leaving about 1 inch of the stem intact to prevent moisture, color, and nutrients from escaping. Thoroughly wash the beets under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
  2. Create steam vents: Use a fork to pierce the skin of the beets in several places. This step will allow steam to escape and prevent pressure buildup during cooking.
  3. Choose a microwave-safe dish: Choose a microwave-safe dish that is large enough to hold the beets in a single layer. A medium-sized dish with a lid works best. Avoid using very small containers to ensure even cooking.
  4. Add water: Add about 2-4 tablespoons of water to the pot. The water will help create steam, which will help cook the beets thoroughly.
  5. Cover and microwave: Cover the dish and microwave the beets on high for about 10-15 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Cooking time may vary, so it’s important to check the tenderness of the beets.
  6. Test for doneness: To test if the beets are cooked, insert a fork into the beets. If the fork goes through easily, the beets are done.
  7. Allow to cool and peel: Allow the beets to cool for a few minutes before attempting to peel them. Start by cutting off the roots and stems, then peel the skin. The skin should come off easily, and you can use a paper towel or rubber gloves to avoid making a mess.
  8. Enjoy your microwave beets: Once peeled, your perfectly cooked beets are ready to be enjoyed in a variety of dishes or as a nutritious snack on their own.

Microwave sliced or diced beets

Slicing or dicing beets before placing them in the microwave will reduce cooking time and ensure even cooking. Follow these steps to microwave sliced or diced beets:

  1. Preparation and dicing: Wash the beets thoroughly to remove all dirt and impurities. Dry and peel them. Using a sharp knife, cut the beets into 1/2-inch thick cubes or slices of your preferred width.
  2. Choose a microwave-safe dish: Choose a microwave-safe dish that is large enough to hold the sliced or diced beets in a single layer. Avoid overcrowding the dish, which can cause uneven cooking.
  3. Add water: Pour about 2 tablespoons of water into the bowl. The water helps create steam, which helps cook the beets thoroughly.
  4. Cover and microwave: Cover the dish loosely with a lid to allow steam to escape. Microwave the beets on high for about 2 minutes.
  5. Stir and flip: After 2 minutes, stir and toss the beets to ensure even cooking. Return to the microwave.
  6. Continue cooking: Microwave for 1 more minute or until beets are tender. Test for tenderness by piercing them with a fork. If the fork goes through the beets easily, they are done.
  7. Final steps: Carefully remove the dish from the microwave as it will be hot. Let the beets cool for a few minutes before serving or using them in your favorite recipes.

Serving and Storing Microwaved Beets

Microwaved beets can be enjoyed in a variety of ways. Here are some serving suggestions:

  1. Simple Side Dish: Serve microwaved beets as a flavorful and nutritious side dish with your favorite protein or grains. Season with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil for added flavor.
  2. Roasted Beet Salad: Toss microwaved beets with fresh greens, crumbled cheese, nuts, and your favorite salad dressing for a refreshing and colorful salad.
  3. Beet Hummus: Blend microwaved beets with chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, and tahini for a vibrant and delicious beet hummus. Serve with pita bread or fresh vegetables for a healthy snack or appetizer.
  4. Beet smoothie: Add microwaved beets to your favorite smoothie recipe for a nutritious boost of vitamins and minerals. Their natural sweetness pairs well with fruits such as berries, pineapple or banana.

Follow these guidelines when storing microwaved beets:

  1. Refrigeration: Once cooked, store beets in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4-5 days. They are easily reheated in the microwave or served cold in salads.
  2. Freezing: If you have an abundance of microwaved beets, you can freeze them for future use. Place chilled beets in freezer-safe containers or bags, making sure they are tightly sealed. Frozen beets will keep for up to 3 months.
  3. Reheating: To reheat microwaved beets, place in a microwave-safe dish and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through. Be sure to cover the dish to retain moisture.


Microwaving beets provides a quick, convenient, and nutritious way to enjoy this versatile vegetable. By following the simple steps outlined in this article, you can easily microwave beets to perfection. Whether used as a side dish, added to salads, or incorporated into a variety of recipes, microwaved beets are a delicious and healthy addition to your culinary repertoire. So the next time you’re pressed for time but craving the delicious taste of beets, reach for your microwave and enjoy the sweet and earthy flavors of this vibrant vegetable.


Can I cook beets in the microwave?

Yes, microwaving beets is a quick and convenient way to cook them. It helps retain nutrients and produces tender, flavorful results.

How long does it take to microwave beets?

Microwave cooking time for beets can vary depending on their size and whether they are whole, sliced or diced. Generally, it takes about 3-15 minutes at high power.

Do I need to peel beets before microwaving them?

It is recommended that you peel the beets before microwaving them, especially if you plan to eat them as a side dish or use them in recipes. However, if you prefer to keep the skin on, be sure to wash them thoroughly.

Can I microwave frozen beets?

It is best to thaw frozen beets before microwaving them to ensure even cooking. Simply thaw them overnight in the refrigerator or use the defrost function on your microwave before cooking.

How should I store leftover microwaved beets?

After cooking, store any leftover beets in an airtight container in the refrigerator. They will keep for up to 4-5 days. If you have excess cooked beets, you can also freeze them in freezer-safe containers or bags for up to 3 months.

Can I reheat microwaved beets?

Yes, you can reheat microwaved beets. Place them in a microwave-safe dish, cover and microwave on high for 1-2 minutes or until heated through.