Sautéed Beet Greens

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.

golden beets and beet greens

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!

what to do with beet greens

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.

beet greens on a cutting board

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.

Sautéed beet greens in a skillet

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 recipe

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:

How do you like to eat beet greens? Let me know in the comments!

beet greens

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:

Sautéed Beet Greens

rate this recipe:
5 from 15 votes
Prep Time: 3 mins
Cook Time: 2 mins
Total Time: 5 mins
Serves 2 to 4
This simple sautéed beet greens recipe is a delicious, nutritious side dish!

Ingredients

  • 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

Instructions

  • 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.

 

21 comments

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Rate this recipe (after making it)




  1. Caroline
    10.03.2022

    5 stars
    Loved this, thank you! I’ll definitely be making this again, and again.

  2. Shawna
    08.21.2022

    5 stars
    I found this recipe a few years ago, and I use it ALL the time to cook not only beet greens, but chard and kale as well.
    Simple yet extremely delicious! And fast too!!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.26.2022

      I’m so glad you’ve enjoyed so many greens!

  3. Christopher
    08.17.2022

    5 stars
    These greens were unbeetable,
    What are your thoughts on freezability of leftovers AND whether these could be prepared using greens zip-locked and frozen right after harvest?
    Sure, they’d be wilted once thawed, but they’re going to be wilted anyway.
    Two cents?

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      08.19.2022

      I think you can cook them from frozen – they might be a little more watery, I would maybe let them thaw in a strainer over a bowl to let excess water drip out.

  4. Crystal
    08.04.2022

    5 stars
    Terrific recipe! Thank you! I chopped a sm pack of trail mix (walnuts, almonds, and dried mango, and cranberries) then sauteed all together as you recommended (along with fresh lemon juice). Wonderful!

  5. MARY
    07.26.2022

    Question: why is it important to dry the greens? (I’m doing it, just curious!)

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.28.2022

      Hi Mary, if they’re wet they’ll be kind of watery after you cook them, since they’ll release moisture as they cook too.

  6. Bobbie
    07.03.2022

    5 stars
    This recipe was terrific. Omitted the raisins and walnuts. Added extra garlic and hot pepper flakes. Served with the roasted beets and some chevre. An outstanding solution for all those beautiful greens! Thank you.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      07.04.2022

      I’m so glad you loved it!

  7. Gabrielle
    06.28.2022

    5 stars
    This was one of the best vegetable creations I’ve ever eaten. I added green onion to mine and omitted the nuts but it was SO delicious!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      06.29.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed them!

  8. Dieta
    06.11.2022

    5 stars
    Quick and delicious, skipped the raisins (no fan) and added hot pepper flakes, doubled the garlic….love it.

  9. Ruby
    05.29.2022

    5 stars
    I hate beet greens. So bitter. But oh so healthy. So I didn’t want to waste these beautiful organic farmer’s market greens after I was done with the beet root. I followed this recipe and served it underneath Sunnyside up eggs and it was sooo yummmm! Made me feel like I have a staple for these healthy bitter greens now. I did add butter and red pepper flakes though. <3

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      05.31.2022

      I’m so glad you loved the beet greens!

  10. Leonie
    03.11.2022

    5 stars
    Thank you. Love your recipes and love lemon too Beet greens recipe worked a treat.

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.13.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

  11. Lisa
    03.06.2022

    5 stars
    Omg amazing!!!! And to think that we almost threw the greens away. We roasted the golden sliced beets in the oven, which was also yummy. But the greens and stems were the show stopper!

    • Jeanine Donofrio
      03.07.2022

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the greens!

  12. Debbie
    11.22.2020

    5 stars
    Delicious and easy. My husband was asking for more. We will definitely make this again.

A food blog with fresh, zesty recipes.
Photograph of Jeanine Donofrio and Jack Mathews in their kitchen

Hello, we're Jeanine and Jack.

We love to eat, travel, cook, and eat some more! We create & photograph vegetarian recipes from our home in Chicago, while our shiba pups eat the kale stems that fall on the kitchen floor.