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This Vegan Beet Salad Recipe Shows You How to Cook Beets on the Grill
I don’t have central air conditioning.
So, during the hot days of summer, I avoid as much heat generation from inside my house as possible.
That means I don’t turn on my oven and barely use my stove. My grill becomes my kitchen. And I take cold-ish showers (they’re not so bad when it is 90+ degrees out).
Instead of roasting, I turn to grilling. This recipe for grilled beets will show you how to make beets on the grill to get a similar result as in the oven. Use this grilled beets preparation interchangeably in recipes that call for roasted beets.
This vegan beet salad is tender, earthy, slightly sweet, and easy to eat. It’s perfect for a quick weeknight meal or side dish.
Plus, this beet salad recipe is hands off and comes together in no time. I took a shower and got ready for a relaxing weeknight while the beets blackened on the grill.
But my personal favorite thing about this beet salad recipe? It keeps my house cool.
Health Benefit of Grilled Beets
Beets are super healthy. Some experts even consider them a “superfood”.
Beets are packed with fiber, folate, and antioxidants that aid in digestion. According to Medical News Today, studies show beets may reduce blood pressure, improve digestion, reduce the risk of diabetes, and increase athletic performance.
It seems like we should all be eating more beets.
How Long Will This Grilled Beets Salad Keep?
This grilled beet salad will last 4-5 days, covered in the refrigerator. It is great eaten cold, room temperature or warm.
If I’m eating this for leftovers, I like to just take them out of the refrigerator for 20 or so minutes. This takes some chill away.
Storing Grilled Beets
These OXO glass containers are really nice. You can store, cover, reheat (if needed), and serve all in one container. And you won’t have to worry about the lid coming off or leaking.
For a cheaper option, I also love these deli containers. They’re cheap, versatile, and all sizes use the same lid. They are what restaurants use.
Do I Have to Peel the Beets?
Well, yes and no.
You can just toss the beets right on the grill without peeling. But, once they’re done cooking and steaming, you need to peel the skins off.
Beet skins are edible, but bitter. With this grilling method, the skins will get really charred. So, you don’t want to eat it in this case anyway.
How To Buy Fresh Beets
Beets are generally available with their leafy tops on or off.
If their tops are still on, inspecting these will be your best bet. It means they were dug up within the past week or so. Look for greens that are perky with no shriveling.
If their tops are removed, look for beets with tight, firm skins. You should not be able to squish them at all.
What Type of Beets Should I Buy?
Any and all beet varieties work great for this salad. Even better if you use a mix of beets.
You may see a few different varieties of beets at your grocery store. Most likely you will see a red (or purple) variety and gold variety.
Red beets are the most common. They are versatile, earthy, keep well in the refrigerator, and are the most commonly used. They’ll also stain an entire dish pink, so keep that in mind when using.
Golden beets are also widely available. They are less sweet than red beets, but also less earthy. Golden beets make for an easier cleanup since they don’t stain everything like red beets do.
If you are shopping at the farmers market, then you may see even more varieties than these.
Read more about the varieties of beets here on the SpruceEats
How Can I Avoid Beet Staining with Red Beets?
Red beets stain much more than golden and other types of beets. They are beautiful, but their color does rub off on whatever they come in contact with.
So, your hands and cutting board will get stained.
Wash your hands with soap and water once your done working with the beets. The sooner you can do this, the better.
I like to use a separate small cutting board that can be easily cleaned and tossed in the dishwasher like this one. That way, your kitchen and main cutting board won’t have streaks of purple.
If you don’t have another cutting board like this, just wipe off the one you use with hot water. Again, the sooner you can do this before the stain penetrates and dries, the easier it will be to get out.
Grilled Beets Preparation Tips
Here are some tips to remember when preparing grilled beets:
You want the skins to be black and charred. Don’t worry, the insides will be nice and tender. They are done when you can easily pierce with a fork or knife.
Dress the beets while they are still warm. You want to do this for all root vegetables and potatoes. They more easily absorb the acidic dressing and gain flavor.
Use a paper towel to peel the beet skins off. It will more easily grab onto the skins. Plus, it will help protect your hands if the beets are still hot.
When choosing beets, try to get ones that are all about the same size. This will ensure they cook around the same amount of time. If your batch of beets range widely in size, just remove the smaller beets from the grill a few minutes before the larger ones.
Variations to this Grilled Beets Salad
This grilled beet salad is super simple. It’s hardly even a salad. It’s more like a bowl of deliciously cooked beets. That means it is a perfect canvas for adding flavors.
Use this grilled beet preparation interchangeably with roasted beets.
Here are some ideas to change up this salad:
Add avocado and sunflower seeds – Make this roasted beet and avocado salad except grill the beets instead of roasting them.
Add some chicken – Turn this beet salad into a filling meal by adding a protein like this buttermilk roasted chicken.
Make into a beet and bean salad – Drain a can of chickpeas, cannellini, or other bean and add to this salad. Season with more salt and olive oil.
Want More Beet Recipes?
Beets are awesome. They flavorful, versatile, and healthy. They really are one of the most perfect foods. Here are some other recipes to check out:
Grilled Beets Salad with Lemon and Herbs
- 2 pounds beets, greens tops trimmed about 1 inch above bulb and reserved for another use
- 1 lemon, juice only
- 1 tsp kosher salt
- 3/4 cup lightly packed herbs such as parsley, cilantro, chives, mint, or a mix, torn or roughly chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- Place beets on a hot grill. Grill, turning every 10 minutes or so until skin is blackened all over and you can slide a fork into flesh, 40-45 minutes. Remove beets from grill and place in a bowl. Cover for about 30 minutes to let the beets steam.
- Use a paper towel to rub the skins off each beet. Cut into 1/2” wedges and add to a large bowl. Add the lemon juice and kosher salt. Toss and let sit to soak in the lemon juice while you prepare your herbs.
- Add herbs and olive oil. Toss. Serve.
- Beet salad will keep 4-5 days covered in the refrigerator.
Ready to Fire Up the Grill?
If there is anything not having central cooling has taught me, it’s that you can pretty much cook anything on the grill.
Think about it…
When your grill is closed, it bakes just like your oven. When it is open it acts just like your stove. I have cooked everything from grains, beans, pasta, eggs, and pizza with great success.
Give it a try by starting with this grilled beets recipe. Your house will stay much cooler in the summer months.
Now that you have this recipe you’ll need some beets.
But, I know it’s not always easy to make it to the grocery store to buy fresh produce. So, I made this list of the best places to buy produce online.
You’ll be surprised at how easy it is to get fresh produce delivered right to your doorstep with the click of a button.