Top-down view of sliced beets on in plate

How to Cook Beets in the Microwave Using Parchment Paper

While the “earthy” flavor of beets is often interpreted as “dirt-like,” we promise the root vegetables are actually delicious. When cooked, the crunchy vegetables turn tender and sweet, making them an incredible accompaniment to your dinner. Roasting is a great way to add flavor to beets, bringing out the naturally honeyed side of the vegetable. But as delicious as the method is, it can take over 40 minutes, which isn’t ideal when you want to quickly pull a meal together. 

Although the air fryer is often seen as the next best option compared to ovens, look to your microwave instead. The device produces delicate, juicy beets that are done in a fraction of the time it takes to roast them. However, the real secret to maintaining their beloved texture is parchment paper. The paper stops the beets from drying out, keeping their juiciness and flavor intact. 

After cleaning and removing the stems and leaves from the beets, pierce each one with a fork or knife to allow the steam to escape. Then, wrap them up in microwave-safe parchment paper and place them on a plate. Heat them for around five to six minutes, checking to see if they’re tender enough to be easily cut or pierced. If not, microwave them for five minutes more and wait for them to cool before removing the skins.

Serve microwaved beets with these quick recipes

Top-down view of beets, arugula, walnuts, and cheese on plate

Microwaved beets work best with other meals that are just as fast and easy as they are. Use them as a topping in this sweet and savory Italian salad pizza. While the pizza dough is in the oven, you can set to work microwaving your beets. Then, while they’re cooling, toss the rest of the salad ingredients together. Chopped up, the beets simultaneously complement the juicy nectarines and balance out the slivers of salty prosciutto with their homey undercurrent.

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You can also fold sliced beets into roasted curry carrots and mint vinaigrette. Being even sweeter and earthier root vegetables, carrots naturally pair well with beets. Tied together with warm curry powder and a cool, uplifting mint vinaigrette, both carrots and beets get a lot more interesting. To bring even more depth to these delicious root veggies, sprinkle in allspice with a touch of cumin.

Or, toss your microwaved beets in a honey-balsamic dressing to serve with cedar plank-baked salmon. The tangy, sweetened flavor of the dressing brings a rich balance to the smoky, woody salmon. While the beets are in the microwave, mix the honey, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and black pepper together. Then, toss the beets and dressing with kale and feta and serve with the savory, sweet salmon.

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