For an easy, delicious and nutritious side, this roasted beetroot recipe might just become your best friend in the kitchen! Happily roasting alongside other dishes in the oven or roasted quickly in the air fryer, these gorgeous beets are amazingly versatile and add a bright pop of colour and nutrition to any meal! Roasting gives these delightful beetroot cubes a crispy outside and a tender inside with concentrated sweetness to counterbalance its intense earthiness. Beetroots are a little like marmite in that people seem to either love them or hate them but once you taste these, you’ll never contemplate speaking ill of beetroots again!
The much-maligned beetroot often suffers a bad press. Years of overcooked boiled beetroot or, even worse, badly pickled beetroot have put people off for life! But when handled properly, beetroot is a wonderful versatile vegetable to brighten up any plate with that fabulous fuscia colour and bringing a wealth of antioxidants and other important nutrients.
This is my absolute favourite way to cook beetroot and it gets bonus points for being incredibly simple and forgiving. I love that I can quickly peel and chop the beetroot, mix it with a little oil, herbs and seasoning then pop it in the oven to roast while I put the children to bed. Then, if we end up reading an extra chapter of the bedtime story or plasters need to be administered delaying my return to the kitchen, the forbearing beetroot will just get a little crispier, a little smaller and a little more concentrated in flavour but will still be utterly delicious!
Speedy Cooking in the Air Fryer
Last night I discovered that, joy of joys, I can get my beetroot fix in a third of the time by simply putting it in the air fryer instead of the oven! I don't know why I'd never thought of doing that. Probably that I usually do this dish as a side to other roasted veggies so I usually need the size that the oven provides. But last night I had an epiphany! I was doing a little fridge clear-out meal just for myself (hubby was out) and I wanted something quick. The beetroots needed to be used up to make way for a new vegetable delivery imminently arriving so I tried doing my normal oven roast recipe in the air fryer instead. It was ready in just 15 minutes! I think, had I been a little more patient, I could have put the temperature down to 180°C and cooked it for 20 minutes instead to get a richer flavour but, quite frankly, the air fryer is used in my kitchen for fast cooking so if it can be ready in 15 minutes, I'll take that! Just enough time to cook some grains, chop some salad and rummage in the fridge for some dips!
Super simple this one!
- Peel and chop the beetroot into chunks.
- Mix in a roasting tin with a little oil, some herbs and salt and pepper.
- Roast in the oven at 180°C for 40 minutes (turning half way through) or air fry at 200°C for 15 minutes, shaking the basket half way through.
- As the juice of the beetroot is well known for staining, I would wear an apron for prepping beetroot and don’t use a favourite chopping board that might end up with a stain that takes a few days to wash off. Likewise, if you don’t want to look like an axe-murderer, some people like to use gloves to handle the raw beetroot. I personally don’t bother with gloves and just make sure that I wash my hands straight away after handling the raw beetroot. In any case, with all the extra hand washing we’ve now become accustomed to, it doesn’t take long to get rid of the purple hands look!
- Try to cut the beetroot pieces to roughly the same size so that they all cook evenly. If you have some pieces that are much larger than others, then you will find some overcooked while others are still undercooked. I sometimes cut them into long crescent shapes (just cutting down into 8 segments like an orange) but also like cutting them into small cubes for perfect little mouthfuls. Just remember that the smaller they are, the quicker they will cook so you might have to adjust the cooking time if you go really big or really small.
This dish is so versatile, it pairs with most things very well. The vibrant colour seems to perk up even the most boring plate of food! That said, I particularly love roast beetroot as part of a roast for Sunday lunch, or as part of a buddha bowl type supper. I will often include it with some kind of rice or quinoa dish (see this herby quinoa salad for a delicious option), a couple of other vegetables or salad, and perhaps some crispy tofu or tempeh, then bring it all together with a dip such as hummus or muhummara. This is such an easy way of eating especially on weeknights when you just want to get something on the table without much fuss and using up whatever vegetables you might have in the kitchen.
You can adapt the herbs and oils used for this beetroot to suit whatever type of dish you’re serving it with. Use simple mediterannean dried herbs for serving with a roast or even just some sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme. For middle eastern meals, add some za’atar or ras al hanout. Experiment with whatever flavours you fancy!
Did I mention how forgiving beetroot is? You can easily prep the beetroot ahead of time and leave it in a covered bowl in the fridge, ready to roast or air fry later in the day.
You'll see that the recipe uses 2 beetroots for 2 servings. It really depends on the size of your beetroots and how many other dishes are being served alongside it. They do shrink in the oven and, if serving for guests, I find people often take seconds as they're pleasantly surprised by how delicious these little roasted beetroot cubes are! So I would suggest going for 1 beetroot per person as I'd always rather have too much than too little.
To re-heat leftovers, either pop them back in the air fryer for a couple of minutes until warm or put back in the oven, perhaps with a little foil over the roasting tin to avoid them scorching.
Alternatively, you could make a double batch of the roasted beetroot and then use the leftovers to make a delicious soup for later in the week. Check out this roast beetroot and walnut soup recipe for an example.
Recipe Card 📖
Roast Beetroot with Herbs (Oven or Air Fryer)
- 2 beetroots peeled and cut into segments or cubes
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ½ tsp dried herbs
- pinch of salt and pepper
- 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C and line a baking tray with baking paper (unless it is non-stick, in which case leave without baking paper).
- Prepare the beetroots. Place the beetroot pieces in the baking tray and mix with the oil, herbs and seasonings.2 beetroots, 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp dried herbs, pinch of salt and pepper, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme
- Put the tray in the oven and roast for 40-45 minutes (depending on the size of your pieces it might need a little less or a little more time) until they are crispy and browned and a knife slides smoothly through the middle of one of the cubes.
Air Fryer Instructions
- Pre-heat the air fryer to 200°C.
- Prepare the beetroots and mix in a bowl with the oil, herbs and seasonings.2 beetroots, 1 tbsp olive oil, ½ tsp dried herbs, pinch of salt and pepper, 2 sprigs of fresh rosemary or thyme
- Pour the mixture into the air fryer basket and set to 15 minutes.
- Shake the basket half way through to ensure even cooking.
- Try to cut the beetroot into similar sized pieces to ensure even cooking.
- Adjust the seasonings to suit the style of cuisine that you are pairing this with.
- As for quantities, it depends on the size of your beetroots and how many other dishes are being served alongside it. They do shrink in the oven so I usually go for 1 beetroot per person as I'd rather have too much than too little.
If you like this recipe, you may like these delicious vegan and gluten-free side dishes and other beetroot recipes too:
I’d love to know how you get on with this recipe. Let me know what you think in the comments section below and please give it a star rating too! Thank you!