Wondering how to use beet greens? They’re not a common “vegetable” but they’re perfectly edible! Here are some ways to use them, along with links to some tasty beet greens recipes.
I pulled the first beets out of the garden the other day.
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I cut off the beet greens and headed to the compost pile when it occurred to me that hey, these are edible too! I’m not big on cooked greens, so I did a little playing around with how to use beet greens.
What to do with beet greens
Beet greens can be harvested when they’re young and used as “baby greens” in a salad. At this stage they’re quite mild.
Full grown beet greens have a characteristic beet flavor and can be sautéed much as you’d prepare any greens. They can be used in other ways, too!
Add them to a smoothie
Make your favorite smoothie, but sneak in four or five beet leaves.
Beet greens disappear beautifully; this a perfect way to incorporate more veggies into the diet. I made a banana-blueberry-pineapple smoothie with beet greens and my then 15-year-old said, “Ooh, that’s a good one.”
Success! If your people are super sensitive, start with just one or two leaves.
Make chips out of your beet greens
I figured, if it can be done with kale, why not beet leaves?
Clean the leaves and tear them into large pieces, removing the ribs. Dry thoroughly and toss with a tiny bit of olive oil.
I used about a teaspoon of olive oil on greens from four beets.
Place in a single layer on a baking sheet and sprinkle with coarsely ground salt. Bake at 350 degrees for 20-30 minutes or until the greens are crispy.
The beet leaves turn brownish fairly quickly; they are not a pretty snack (they look more like crispy fall leaves than something edible), but they’re tasty.
- Early Greens: The Edible Sweet Potato Vine
- Radish Greens from the Garden: Transform them into Pesto!
- Fermented Beet Kraut
What to do with beet stalks if you like pickles
While I didn’t pickle an entire batch, I cooked some stalks until they were crisp tender and tucked them into a jar of my dilly green beans.
Cheating, yes, but I think you could use the dilly green bean recipe replacing the beans with beet stalks and it would work out just fine.
Toss them into a salad
The leaves of the beet are surprisingly mild and tender, making them a great addition to a salad – with homemade salad dressing, of course!
Give this strawberry & beet green salad a try if you’re wondering what to do with beet greens!
Stir fry the stalks
I have to admit, I didn’t like them this way, but neither do I like Swiss chard.
My husband, who is a fan of Swiss chard, thought the stir fried stalks were great and very similar to Swiss chard.
How to use beet greens — recipes to try:
- Sauteed Beet Greens
- Beet Greens and Feta Pasta
- Rustic Beet Tart and Wilted Greens
- Cooking Beets and their Greens
- Beet Greens Pesto
Do you have any clever ways to use beet greens?
This post was originally published in June of 2011. Updated March 2018.