Whenever I find myself in a cooking rut, I turn to beet recipes. I can always count on ruby red beets—a hearty source of earthy sweetness, potassium, vitamin C, and fiber—to reinvigorate my diet and literally add a little color to my life.
Speaking of which: Red beets, with their eye-catching signature hue, are the most common kind. Other varieties, like golden and pink striped (candy cane), are less easy to find in most places, but are also beautiful in their own right. They’re ideal for when you want to enjoy a more mellow flavor—or avoid getting magenta-colored juice all over the place.
If you’re not quite sure how to eat beets of any color, this assortment of recipes will provide you with a number of creative ways to put the vibrant root veggies to good use, especially when they’re in season during the winter months. Just chop off the leafy stalks, scrub the beets clean—though you can skip that step if you’re peeling them—and get cooking.
One of the most popular ways to cook beets is to chop them up, toss ’em with oil and seasoning, and roast until slightly soft and caramelized—perfect for enjoying on their own or adding to tons of different dishes, like pasta and salad. You can also grate raw beets to add flavor and texture to recipes like veggie burgers and falafel. Or you can cook them whole and purée them for a silky sauce, soup, or dip—including the most gorgeous hummus you’ve ever seen. Beet purée is also surprisingly great in baked goods, providing natural sweetness and extra moisture for tender and tasty treats. Plus, a couple of these recipes will implore you to pick up a can of canned beets, meaning there’s no prep necessary.
And that’s just the tip of the iceberg. These 36 beet recipes will show you how to use the ingredient in all of your meals—breakfast, lunch, dinner, snack time, and dessert.