How to Freeze Beets, Blanched or Roasted

How to freeze beets, with tips for choosing and storing fresh beets

Fresh Beets
Diana Rattray

Beets, with their strong earthy flavor, are an easy root vegetable to grow and can be cooked and frozen for up to 8 months.

Red beets are the most common, but you will likely find other colors in many grocery stores and farmers markets. Besides the yellow-orange golden beets, you might find white beets or multicolored beets. The Chioggia beet is a striped variety, an excellent choice for salads

Below the instructions, you'll find tips for using beet greens and some additional preparation and cooking tips.

How to Freeze Beets

  1. Cut the greens from the beets, leaving about 1 to 2 inches of stem. 
  2. Trim the long root ends, leaving about 1 to 2 inches.
  3. Wash the whole beets and scrub with a vegetable brush.
  4. Fill a large bowl with ice and water; set aside.
  5. Fill a large stockpot with water; bring to a boil.
  6. If the beets are all of a similar size, put them all in the boiling water at the same time. Otherwise, stagger them according to size. Large beets will take about 1 hour to cook, medium beets, about 45 minutes, and small beets, about 25 minutes.
  7. When the beets are tender, drain them in a colander and immediately immerse them in the ice-water to stop the cooking.
  8. When the beets are cool, trim the stems and root ends and slip the skins off. If they don't slip off easily, use a vegetable peeler, but use a light touch. The beet juice should be easy to wash off, but you might want to wear gloves for the preparation steps.
  9. Slice the beets (about 1/4-inch thickness), cut in quarters, or dice. Leave small (1-inch) beets whole, if desired.
  1. Pack the beets into freezer containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, label with the name and date, and freeze for up to 8 months. 

How to Freeze Roasted Beets

  1. Follow instructions 1 through 3, above.
  2. Heat the oven to 400 F (200 C/Gas 6).
  3. Arrange the beets in a large rimmed baking or roasting pan. Add about 1 cup of water, or to a depth of about 1/2-inch.
  4. Cover the pan tightly with foil. 
  5. Roast the beets for about 45 minutes to an hour, depending on size, or until tender. If the sizes are varied, take smaller ones out as they become fork-tender.
  6. Continue with steps 8 through 10, above.

Tips for Selecting and Using Beets

  • Choose fresh beets with their greens attached. If you aren't going to cook them within a day or two, remove the greens, leaving a few inches of the stems attached. Store them loose in the refrigerator for up to 1 week.
  • If the greens are fresh, don't throw them away! Saute or steam the greens like spinach and drizzle with a little vinegar. Or shred them and add them to a salad.
  • When freezing vegetables in freezer bags, get as much air out as possible. A vacuum sealer is an excellent investment if you do a lot of freezing. Less air in the bags means less chance of freezer burn and loss of quality.
  • If you don't have a vacuum sealing system, use a straw to get most of the air out of the freezer bag. Zip the bag, leaving an opening just large enough to insert a straw. Use a straw to suck out the last of the air, and then remove the straw and quickly seal the bag.
  • To keep the beets bright red and reduce "bleeding," add a tablespoon or two of lemon juice or vinegar to the cooking water.
  • Use a pressure cooker to cook the beets in less time. Follow the instructions for your pressure cooker.