Roasted golden beets with horseradish, walnuts, and arugula is a show stopper of a side dish for any fall or winter gathering! The beets roast for an hour with olive oil, salt, and pepper — that’s it! Once you gently peel the skin, there’s no additional prep work for the beets. Pair them with roasted chicken to make a more filling meal.
Let’s take a walk together back in time. In March of 2018, my family and I spent 10 glorious days in Paris. Unfortunately, my husband came down with something and opted to stay in and rest a few nights while I wined and dined solo amidst the locals. One of my favorite spots was a restaurant around the corner from our apartment in the 9th Arrondisement (Saint-Georges area) — Buvette Paris.
What’s funny (to me, at least) is that Buvette has a sister restaurant in NYC, our backyard, and I’ve never been. C’est la vie.
Anyway, while sitting at the bar solo, I ordered an appetizer of roasted beets with horseradish creme fraiche. It was surprising in the most wonderful way. Roasted red beets, a spicy, creamy, tangy sauce, and something crunchy on top, though I can’t quite remember what. I savored every bite, and I’ve been thinking about it ever since.
Fast forward to today. I’m happy to report that my own version — roasted golden beets with horseradish — is every bit as delicious, though sadly I wish I were enjoying this in Paris.
How to roast beets
There are a number of different ways to do this.
- If you’re beets are large, you halve or quarter them leaving the skin on (as seen here), place cut side up in a roasting dish, then drizzle with olive oil, kosher salt, and pepper. Cook at high heat until tender, about 60 minutes at 400 F. Let cool about 5 minutes before gently rubbing the skin off with a paper towel or kitchen towel.
- Place whole or halved beets on a square of aluminum foil, then top with olive oil, salt and pepper. Fold the aluminum foil up and over the beets, sealing them completely. Place on a baking sheet and roast for 45 minutes – 1 hour. Let cool 5 minutes, then remove skins as directed above.
I prefer the first method as it’s more roasting and less steaming. But either is fine. When I worked in restaurants, I used to make a beet salad every single day. The chef would have my place them whole in a large pot of boiling water and cook until a cake tester pierced through them easily, about 45 minutes.
Can I use other types of beets?
Totally! The same cooking method applies whether you’re roasting golden beets, red beets, candy cane beets (these are gorgeous, by the way), or any other kind you get your hands on.
How long to roast
When roasting, cook at a high temperature — at least 400 F, but higher is fine. Cooking time varies depending on size of beets and whether they’re cut, but typically 1 hr is perfect. It’s hard to overcook beets!
What to serve with roasted beets
Here’s my simple mathematical equation for creating a delicious beet recipe:
Roasted beets + something creamy + something crunchy + fresh herbs or mixed greens + quality extra virgin olive oil + flaky sea salt.
You can interpret this in any way!
- creamy: horseradish cream sauce, creme fraiche, herb aioli, whipped ricotta, goat cheese
- crunchy: walnuts, pistachios, marcona almonds, homemade croutons, rye crackers
- greens: arugula, tarraon, oregano, mint, dill, baby lettuce, swiss chard greens
- high quality finishing oil: EXTRA VIRGIN!
- flaky sea salt
Speaking of flaky salt, let’s discuss more…
Why flaky salt?
LOVE THIS TOPIC. Okay, there are many different types of salt, but here is a run down on the major ones:
- Table salt: the most common, but I literally never use this — don’t even keep it in my house! Contains iodine. Dissolves quickly. If a recipe calls for table salt, do not substitute with other salt unless you adjust the ratio. 1 Tbsp of table salt is way more pungent than 1 Tbsp kosher salt.
- Kosher salt: my go-to all-purpose salt. It’s flakier than table salt, but dissolves easily when cooking or baking with it. Does not contain iodine.
- Flaky salt: these are your large, course flakes that are PERFECT for finishing dishes such as grilled meats, any and all crostini, and of course baked goods! Nothing beats (beets? hah!) a chocolate chip cookie fresh out of the oven with flaky sea salt generously sprinkled on top. I keep Maldon Sea Salt by my stove at all times.
There are of course other varieties, but those are the main ones you’ll see used in recipes. Phew, glad we got that out of the way!
Can I use frozen beets instead?
The short is answer is yes. You can pretty much always substitute frozen vegetables when roasting, but I highly recommend using fresh. The water content in frozen veggies makes them more likely to steam than roast. Having said that, as long as the beets (or other frozen vegetables) are in a single layer in your roasting dish, not touching, they should be fine. You may need to add 5 minutes or so to the cook time below.
I am obsessed with this recipe. Seriously, the combination of tender beets with their naturally sweet flavor pairs SO well with the spicy horseradish. And while recipe testing the thing that took this dish over the top? Crunchy walnuts, super fresh and nutty extra virgin olive oil, and flaky sea salt. Promise you won’t regret this, not one single bite!
If you make my Roasted Golden Beets with Horseradish, please let me know by leaving a review below!
Looking for more restaurant-worthy meals? Check out the following recipes!
Weeknight slow baked salmon with herb-shallot butter
Accidental vegan roasted vegetable salad
Creamy sun-dried tomato chicken with mushrooms and white wine sauce
Weeknight chicken milanese with fennel salad
Roasted Golden Beets with Horseradish
- 3 lbs beets any variety and color
- 2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 tsp kosher salt
- 1/4 tsp freshly ground black pepper
For the horseradish cream
- 1 cup sour cream
- 2-3 Tbsp prepared horseradish
- 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 cup arugula microgreens or other greens / fresh herbs, such as dill, tarragon, or chervil
- 1/4 cup walnuts roughly chopped
- 1 tsp flaky sea salt
- high quality extra virgin olive oil for drizzling
To roast beets
- Pre-heat oven to 400 F. Cut beets into small wedges about 1" thick (either halved or quartered), then place in a large roasting dish. Drizzle with olive oil, salt, and pepper, then cover with foil and roast for 1 hour. Beets are fully cooked when a knife cuts them with no resistance. If not done, cook for an additional 15-20 minutes.
- Let cool slightly, then use a kitchen towel or paper towel to gently rub off the skin. Set aside. Meanwhile, make the horseradish cream.
To make horseradish cream
- Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, then whisk to combine. Set aside.
- Spoon a thin layer of horseradish cream on the bottom of a serving bowl or platter, reserving additional sauce on the side. Layer roasted peeled beets on top.
- Top beets with arugula microgreens, walnut pieces, and a sprinkling of flaky sea salt. Finish with a generous drizzle of high quality extra virgin olive oil. Serve immediately or at room temperature.