Cook Beets in Minutes With This Genius Hack
How to Microwave Beets
At Cooking Light, we're big fans of beets. Once an underdog vegetable boiled into submission (and occasionally used as a form of childhood punishment), the gorgeous ruby veg now shines as a star ingredient in flavorful recipes like Beet Salad with Bacon and Onion, a Tricolored Beet Tart, or this Can't Be Beet Goat Cheese Pie.
There's just one caveat with beets: They're way better fresh, and roasting beets can be a pretty involved, time-intensive process. Cooking Light's Executive Editor (and apparent keeper of all beet secrets), Ann Pittman, has a brilliant, time-saving solution—she microwaves her beets.
Ann's clever trick yields perfect, fork-tender beets in a fraction of the time as the oven. This helpful guide breaks down each step so you can prep and cook a delicious batch of beets for dinner in no time.
Prep the Beets
If possible, buy several smaller beets instead of one large beet. Next, trim the stems and leaves, but don't throw them away—they can be pickled, roasted, sauteed, or baked!
Pierce the Beets
Place the beets on a sheet of microwave-safe parchment paper and pierce them several times with a sharp paring knife. This allows steam to escape while they cook.
Tip: Make sure you're using microwave-safe parchment paper, as some types will spark when microwaved—Ann uses Reynold's Premium Parchment Paper.
Wrap the Beets in Parchment Paper
Next, wrap the beets in the parchment paper (this prevents them from drying out in the microwave). It doesn't have to be as tidy as the bundle pictured above—just make sure the beets are sealed inside the parchment.
Microwave the Beets
Next, microwave on HIGH—allow 5 to 6 minutes per medium-sized beet, or 10 to 12 minutes per pound of beets.
Tip: Place a paper towel or a dish underneath the wrapped beets in the microwave (their juices can bleed through the parchment paper while they cook)
Unwrap the Beets
When cooked, the beets should feel slightly squishy to the touch, but still a bit firm. Carefully remove the beets from the microwave, as they'll be very hot. Let cool for several minutes before unwrapping them.