Introducing Beet Greens — The Gateway Green

by Dorothy Reinhold on May 1, 2013

Print This Post Print This Post Beet Greens on Shockingly Delicious

Attention all you juice lovers out there, when you buy beets for your red juice, what do you do with the green tops you cut off?

I hope you save them for a sauté, because beet greens are one of the most nutritious parts of the vegetable!

They’re also delicious, and I call beet tops the “gateway green” because people (even kids!) who think they don’t like greens are likely to adore them. Beet greens are often the best greens to introduce to children or others who might be wary of the flavor of more assertive or bitter cooking greens. Start with beet greens, and when they are accepted, work your way to spinach, and then kapow, move on to kale, mustard, turnip and collards.

Beet Greens on Shockingly DeliciousAnd I’m here to personally attest that even people who don’t like cooked beets love the greens.


  • They’re naturally delicate, surprisingly sweet and mild, and will appeal to people who love spinach or chard.
  • High in vitamins and minerals: A, C, K and fiber, iron and potassium.
  • Easy to clean (a quick wash and a spin dry), and cook.

Beet leaf on Shockingly DeliciousCooking

  •  Beet greens wilt quickly (they cook as fast as spinach), so take care not to overcook them. We like to sauté them for a mere 2-3 minutes, and stop cooking while they are still bright green.
  • The natural sugars in the plant slightly sweeten up the finished dish.
  • You can sauté beet greens in a tiny splash of olive oil and sliced garlic (they may not need salt), or add a pinch of crushed red pepper for some heat.
  • Green up any soup you are making by tossing in beet greens during the last 3-5 minutes of simmering.
  • Taste the beet greens before adding salt. They naturally contain a bit more sodium than other greens.

It’s easy to be green when you start with beet greens. Just ask my kids!

{ 15 comments… read them below or add one }

David March 5, 2023 at 9:47 pm

I’ve never been a fan of spinach as a green (it’s good as an herb, and it can be all right in some heavily spiced Indian dishes). Chard isn’t much better. But beet greens (a botanical cousin of those two, all amaranthaceae) are delicious. Lamb’s quarters (also amaranthaceae) are pretty good too.


Dorothy Reinhold March 19, 2023 at 11:04 am

I like all the greens, but beet greens are utterly delicious, all the time, in every way I’ve used them. You and I can be in the Beet Greens Club!


jeannie November 4, 2013 at 9:27 pm

Thanks for this! I was juicing beets when I thought there had to be something about the greens on the net! Will definitely saute them up 🙂


Dorothy Reinhold September 28, 2013 at 4:37 pm

Oh yes, please do! My favorite green!


Stephanie Pearson August 8, 2013 at 12:01 pm

I usually buy beets from the can. This will be something different for me, to buy fresh beets. I’m curious to taste the beet greens being that my family are green fans. I’m glad I found this article.


Dorothy Reinhold August 8, 2013 at 4:36 pm

If you are greens fans, you are going to LOVE beet greens!


JANE ELLEN July 13, 2013 at 3:10 pm

Recipes look yummy. What kind of organics did you feed that chard?


Dorothy Reinhold July 14, 2013 at 6:19 am

I don’t fertilize. Once a year, before I plant anything, I turn some organic compost or something into the soil.


Jeanne @JollyTomato May 2, 2013 at 8:52 am

Hi Dorothy – I love beet greens too, but this has me wondering: Do you cook carrot greens? I don’t; but I always feel like I should be doing something with them instead of just tossing them in the compost.


Dorothy Reinhold May 2, 2013 at 12:08 pm

I haven’t cooked carrot greens, but I have heard that you can and I should try it!


Britastina May 1, 2013 at 4:36 pm

Beet green are simply the most delicious of all the greens. I adore every green but can’t get enough of these. Problem is, I would have to purchase more beets than I could eat in order to get all the greens I want. I’ll have to try the farmer’s market trick!


Gisele aka LA2LAChef May 1, 2013 at 9:22 am

Hmmm… maybe I shouldn’t say anything, but my local farmers’ market vendor gives me beet greens for free, because of all the silly people who ask them to remove the greens from their beetroots before they stick them in their bags.


Dorothy Reinhold May 1, 2013 at 9:33 am

I used to have the same perk from a local farmers’ market vendor! People are crazy to NOT use the greens!


kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts May 1, 2013 at 8:18 am

Swiss chard was my Gateway Green, but I was a kid eating what my mom put in front of me after I picked it from the garden, so I didn’t know any better. However, ever since I tried Alanna’s Greens ‘n All Beet Soup at A Veggie Venture, using my CSA farm share beets and greens, I was a fan.

I also like to sneak beet greens into a blueberry smoothie, and my kids aren’t reading the comment so I am safe. I think.



Dorothy Reinhold May 1, 2013 at 9:19 am

That’s funny about chard. My daughter announced the other day (after countless times I have served sauteed chard to her) that it is disgusting! WHAT? So I served these beet greens the next night and she said, “That’s more like it.” Love your blueberry smoothie idea, since the beet greens will contribute to the color, as well.


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