Beets are famous for their roots, but beet leaves are tasty, too! This sautéed beet greens recipe shows off their delicate texture and sweet, mild flavor.
Just look at those beautiful beet greens! So often, vegetable stems, stalks, and tops like beet greens are written off as scraps and tossed in the trash. But why? Radish greens pulse into a beautiful pesto, carrot tops create a zesty chimichurri, and cauliflower cores blend into ultra-creamy soups and sauces. We might not eat these parts of vegetables every day, but they’re certainly not scraps.
So let’s talk beet greens! They have a mild, sweet, and earthy flavor, and they take on a delicate, silky texture when cooked. Honestly, I think they’re just as tasty as beets themselves. Try them once, and you won’t toss them again.
Below, you’ll find my favorite sautéed beet greens recipe. I cook the leafy greens until they’re just wilted and serve them with lemon juice, walnuts, and golden raisins for extra texture and depth of flavor. It’s a stunningly simple side dish, quick enough for a weeknight, but elevated enough for special occasions, too. The next time a bunch of beets with lush tops catches your eye, seize the day, and try it!
Best Beet Greens Recipe Tips
- Clip them right away. To extend the life of both the beets and greens, clip the greens from their roots as soon as you get home from the farmers market or store. Otherwise, the greens will pull moisture from the beets, causing them to wither quickly. After you clip the greens, wrap them in plastic or a reusable produce bag and store them in the crisper drawer of your fridge until you’re ready to cook them.
- Wash them well. At the store, you’ll rarely find beet greens that are pre-washed and ready-to-eat. In my experience, they’re usually the opposite: covered in dirt! Always, always wash and dry beet greens before you cook them to remove any dirt or debris.
- Use the stems as well as the leaves. Like Swiss chard, beet leaves have crisp, edible stems that add color and crunch to any beet greens recipe. Don’t toss them! Finely dice them and cook them right along with the leaves.
How to Cook Beet Greens
You’ve clipped the beet leaves off the beets, and you’ve washed and dried them. It looks like you’re ready to cook! My favorite method for how to cook beet greens is to sauté them. Here’s how I do it:
Start by removing the leaves from the stems. Then, finely chop the stems and tear or chop the leaves into bite-sized pieces. While you’re at it, go ahead and mince a clove of garlic too.
Then, cook! Heat a splash of olive oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and chopped stems and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Next, toss in the greens, season with salt and pepper, and sauté, tossing, until wilted.
That’s it! Your beet greens are ready to eat.
Sautéed Beet Greens Serving Suggestions
On their own, sautéed beet greens are a delicious side dish. I like to dress them up with a big squeeze of lemon, golden raisins, and toasted walnuts. The raisins bring out the greens’ sweetness, and the walnuts add a delicious crunch. If you’ve been reading the blog for any length of time, you know that I like to squeeze lemon on just about everything, but it really adds a nice bright pop of flavor here. Don’t skip it!
This sautéed beets greens recipe would be a great addition to any fall or winter meal. Pair it with your favorite protein, pasta recipe, or soup, or serve it as part of a holiday dinner alongside classic dishes like sweet potato casserole, green bean casserole, mashed potatoes, and, of course, roasted beets.
Alternatively, skip the raisins and walnuts, and use the plain sautéed beet greens as a component in larger dishes. Here are a few of my favorite ways to use them:
- With eggs. Fold the beet greens into scrambled eggs or an omelet, or add them to your next veggie frittata.
- In pasta. Toss the greens with pasta, walnuts, feta cheese, and red pepper flakes for a quick and easy weeknight dinner.
- In a grain bowl. Start with a grain like quinoa, farro, or brown rice. Then, add the sautéed greens and a protein like baked tofu, lentils, roasted chickpeas, or a hard-boiled egg. Top it off with a tasty sauce like tahini sauce, pesto, or lemon vinaigrette to make a delicious, healthy meal!
How do you like to eat beet greens? Let me know in the comments!
Favorite Beet Recipes
If you make this sautéed beet greens recipe, you’ll likely end up with a bunch of beets on hand. Show them off in one of these easy beet recipes:
- Roasted Beets with Citrus
- Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- Roasted Beet Salad
- Beet Tahini Sauce
- Quinoa Burger
- Or any of these 15 Fresh Beet Recipes!
Sautéed Beet Greens
- 1 bunch beet greens
- 1 teaspoon extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 2 tablespoons golden raisins
- Lemon wedge
- 1 tablespoon chopped walnuts or pistachios
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Separate the stems from the beet greens. Finely chop the stems and coarsely chop the leaves.
- Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the garlic and the beet stems and cook, stirring, for 1 minute. Add the beet greens, a few pinches of salt and freshly ground black pepper, and sauté, tossing, until just wilted.
- Turn off the heat, add the raisins, a big squeeze of lemon, and toss. Transfer to a platter, top with the walnuts and season to taste with more salt and pepper.