Roasted and used in an inventive salad, soup, and more, beets are a sweet taste of the cooler seasons.

While you can find beets in the grocery store year-round, they take on a deeper sweetness and earthy flavor in the winter as they peak in seasonality. The root vegetable that comes in a variety of bright colors is so versatile; whether you roast them whole or quartered for an easy addition to a salad or shred them to add a deep ruby color to a slaw or sauce, beets are a great ingredient to take advantage of during the cooler months of the year. 

Roasted beets can also be used to dye foods that commonly call for red food coloring, like red velvet cupcakes. When used in baking, the root vegetable flavor subsides a bit and leaves you with a more naturally-appearing red shade that isn’t as jarring as red dye 40 (and doesn’t leave a lingering artificial taste). 

Roast off a bunch of beets in advance and store them in the fridge for use in multiple dishes throughout the week. Make the roasted veg into a fresh side salad by grating and tossing them with a little cider vinegar, salt, and oil, or add them to a simple chicken salad for some textural difference between the dandelion greens and rich chicken. 

If you don’t want to take the time to roast them whole, use them raw in dishes like beet horseradish which makes for a great accompaniment for steaks, or toss them onto a baking sheet with bacon, chestnuts, and garlic for a hearty winter side dish. Keep reading for more of our favorite ways to use beets.

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