For an easy recipe to steam whole beets, use an Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker. Cooking beets (also known as beetroots) in the Instant Pot is a quick way to enjoy them and saves on heating up the oven for a long time to roast them the traditional method. When beets are in season, typically spring and early summer for the more tender and small beets, I cannot get enough of them. This recipe will give you sweet and tender cooked beets every time.
This recipe also yields the best way to remove the skin off of those whole cooked beets. The Instant Pot steams them so well that peeling the cooked beets is easy and not messy. Whether you like golden, red or those with multiple colored rings like the Chiogga Guardsmark, cooking them in the Instant Pot is the way to go. To learn about more varieties of beets, check out TYPES OF BEETS.
How to Buy & Store Beets
When buying beets, look for ones where the beet greens are bright in color and the leaves are not wilted or soggy. The beets or beetroot should be firm and the skin or peel should be intact.
If you do not plan to eat the beets within 1-2 days, remove the beet greens before storing them. You will want to eat the beet greens when fresh. See below for information on how to prepare them and why beet greens are healthy food. Twist off the beet green stems from the beets just above the beetroot as soon as you buy them, otherwise, they will continue to pull nutrients from the beet. Beet greens are best enjoyed fresh as they do not keep well.
Always store raw beets in your refrigerator. They will last about a month if stored properly. If you do cut off the beet greens to eat them right away, make sure to store the beets in a plastic bag or green bag made for vegetables (the ones I love are listed below for purchase) and keep it vented for air to circulate. This will not only keep them fresh longer but they will ensure any beet juice that may leak from the fresh cut area, which can stain, is contained and does not get in your refrigerator drawers or shelves. Also do not wash them as that will bring on mold faster if they are not dried completely and also can cause a blemish which again may cause beet juice staining.
For prepared and cooked beets, store them in the refrigerator or freezer. Cooked and peeled beets can be stored in an airtight container for 3-5 days in the refrigerator. To freeze, seal them in a freezer-safe container or Ziplock bag, and freeze for up to 3 months.
Benefits of Eating Beets & Beet Greens
Beets and beet greens are highly nutritious and healthy root vegetables. This recipe for steaming beets is the best way to retain the nutrition in them. One cup of beets or beetroot has only 75 calories plus nutrition that includes recommended daily amounts of the following: 37% folate, 22% manganese, 15% fiber, & 13% potassium. Beets, like other tubers or root vegetables, are higher in carbs than other vegetables. In one cup of beets, there are almost 17 carbs & 3.4 fiber for a total of over 13 net carbs.
Beet greens are an amazing health food with one cup only yielding 8.4calories and .3 net carbs for a fantastic keto or low-carb vegetable option. In addition, beet greens have the daily recommended allowances including 127% of Vitamin K, 48% of Vitamin A, & 13% of Vitamin C. So do NOT throw out those beet greens. Wash, chop, and save them to saute up as a great side dish.
Keep in mind there are few side effects of eating a lot of beets. One of them includes the fact it may turn your urine a deep pink color if you are eating a lot of red/purple beet varieties. This color change is not harmful but may surprise some people. Also, due to the high in oxalates found in beets and beet green, eating more than a small amount may promote kidney stone formation in those susceptible to them.
How to Cook Fresh Whole Beets
Cooking fresh beets does not have to be complicated and this is a quick and easy recipe. There is minimal prep and by steaming them in your Instant Pot or electric pressure cooker, most of the work is done for you. Once the whole beets are prepped by scrubbing them plus cutting off the stems and roots, they are ready to go into the Instant Pot insert.
Prepare your Instant Pot by making sure the insert is inside, the lid has the rubber ring in place, and the valve is closed on the locking lid. To the bottom of your insert add 1 cup of water and a steamer insert or the trivet rack it came with. Place the whole beets on top as shown below. Lastly lock the lid in place, making sure it is snug and the valve is closed. Press MANUAL and set the Instant Pot time based on the times listed below based on the size of your whole beets.
How Long to Cook Beets in the Instant Pot
The time you will want to set on your Instant Pot to steam whole beets will depend on the size of the beets. you will want to measure across the diameter of the beets. I highly recommend when selecting beets you try and make them as close to the same size as possible so they have an equal cooking time.
Beet Cooking Times Based on the Size of the Beets
When making the batch seen throughout this recipe, I had some lovely large beets from my CSA box so the cooking times in the recipe card at the end are based on that size. All the cooking times below are for the time you will set with manual cooking on your Instant Pot. Keep in mind it will take about 5 minutes to come to pressure, plus the below cook time, and then the natural release. You will want to do a natural release, not a quick release on these. I have never done a manual quick release but I can only imagine if the steam droplets had beet juice in them the stain horror that could happen on walls, counters, cabinets, and clothes!
Small Beets Cooking Times
2"-3" in diameter = 7-10 minutes
Medium Beets Cooking Times
4" in diameter = 8-12 minutes
5" in diameter = 12- 18 minutes
Large Beets Cooking Times
6" in diameter = 18-23 minutes
7" in diameter = 23 - 28 minutes
Jumbo Beets Cooking Times
8" in diameter = 28 - 33
9" in diameter = 33-35 minutes
Even Quicker Cooking Tip - If you have Large to Jumbo-sized beets and need to cook them in a faster amount of time, you can cut the beets in half and measure the new diameter to adjust the cooking time to be less.
How to Peel Beets Easily
Once the beets are done and the natural release is complete, open the lid of the Instant Pot. (be careful steam may still be hot!) Let the beets cool before handling. Once cool, using disposable gloves or a paper towel rub the skin off easily as shown below.
How to Eat Whole Fresh Beets
Fresh cooked beets are great just as they are since they are sweet little earthy nuggets of flavor. I recommend either slicing or dicing them once they are peeled and cooled. This will ensure they are ready to go over the next few days for however, you wish to enjoy them. I love them diced in salads with other vegetables and lettuce.
Recipe Ideas for Fresh Steamed Beets
They are also great sliced by themselves with your favorite dressing and seasonings. One simple way to enjoy them is with some olive oil, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper, and something creamy or crunchy to add texture and flavor. I enjoy my homemade steamed beets sliced this way and topped with shelled sunflower seeds.
PIN FOR SAFEKEEPING & SHARING!
Product Recommendations for this Recipe:
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Instant Pot Steamed Whole Beets
- Instant Pot
- 3 each beets large 6" diameter
- 1 Cup water
- Scrub clean each beet. Cut off the roots and the beet greens from each beet or beetroot.
- Add the insert to the Instant Pot and pour in the water. Add a steamer basket or the trivet to the bottom of the insert. Place the beets in the steamer basket or on the trivet.
- Make sure the rubber seal is in place on the Instant Pot lid and lock it into place. The valve needs to be closed and on seal.
- Press MANUAL on the keypad and then up or down buttons to set the cook time. For 3-4 beets that are about 6" in diameter set it for 20. SEE ABOVE FOR FULL COOKING TIME CHART BASED ON BEET SIZE.
- It will take about 5-10 minutes for the pot to come to pressure. Then it will start the cooking time. Once the Instant Pot beeps that the cook time is done, do not open the seal. Let the beets stay in the pot through the natural release process. (No one wants beet steam and moisture in their kitchen that can potentially stain!)
- Once the natural release is complete, about 10-15 minutes), the pin on the lid will drop. You can now open the lid. CAUTION STEAM MAY BE HOT! Let the beets cool before handling. This can take anywhere from 10-30 minutes depending on the size of your beets.
- Once the beets are cool and ok to handle. Using a paper towel or while wearing disposable gloves, move the beets to a plate or cutting board. Slide off the skins easily with your gloved hands or with a paper towel - image above for reference.
- Slice, dice, or store the cooked beets whole. For best storage, place in an air-tight container and store in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. They can also be stored in the freezer in a Ziplock bag with the air removed, for up to 3 months.
|Amount per serving|
|% Daily Value*|
|Total Fat 0.3g||0%|
|Saturated Fat 0.1g||0%|
|Total Carbohydrate 16.9g||6%|
|Dietary Fiber 3.4g||12%|
|Total Sugars 13.5g|
|Vitamin D 0mcg||0%|
|*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calorie a day is used for general nutrition advice.|
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