Grilled beats with a garlic balsamic marinade and delicious rosemary is the best way to enjoy this uncommonly cooked root vegetable as a side.
If you are unfamiliar with beets as a side, let me turn you on to something. Beets are a vibrant earthy vegetable that is most commonly used for an addition to salads. That being said, grilling beets in foil packets make adding them as a unique side dish an option for those sick of the same old roasted potatoes (not that I am complaining) and simple broccoli dishes.
Beet lovers typically understand that these plants taste a bit like soil and bringing them up to an edible, if not incredibly tasty beet side dish, can be a real challenge. The bitter taste of a beet is offset by the Balsamic vinegar and the sweet evergreen aroma of fresh Rosemary, so if you are considering beets as a side, this is a great recipe to start with.
Rosemary and Balsamic Beets
Before getting started, make sure you have all ingredients on hand. Once verified, scroll through the recipe to see step by step recipe instructions or head to the bottom for a condensed easy to print recipe version.
- 3 Whole Raw Beats – in my local produce section, typically beets come in a set of 3 together. Choose raw beets that are not too small, a good medium to medium/large size. Each beet represents one foil packet (one serving) so choose as many as you need for the amount of people being served
- Balsamic vinegar
- garlic cloves – this is equal to 2 tsp minced garlic
- olive oil
- herb seasoning blend (like Mrs. Dash)
- Fresh Rosemary – do not skip out on the fresh here. Fresh rosemary smells amazing and really brings the dish together well in color, taste, and smell.
Prepping & Cleaning Beets
Typically beets from the store look like tehy have just been pulled out of the ground. Because they have been. Beets need a really good scrub to make sure all the dirt is off the bulb prior to cooking.
While beets are already earthy in flavor, no one really wants to actually eat dirt.
- Rinse with Cold Water and scrub down with a vegetable brush.
- Alternatively, if working with vegetables a lot, keep vegetable wash on hand.
- Slice tops off beets and bottom root. Please note that beets are VERY pink and dye pretty much everything they touch as soon as you slice, so make to use a cutting board and keep paper towels on hand for fingers.
- Slice beets (not too thin!) into about 5-6 pieces (depending on size of beet).
Balsamic Vinegar Marinade for Beets
- Add Balsamic Vinegar, sliced or minced garlic, and herb seasoning to a bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Place sliced beets into marinade and set aside for 15 minutes, rotating half way through so beets get marinade on both sides.
- Taking one large sprig of fresh Rosemary, remove leaves and chop.
- Heat grill to medium heat.
- Pull out three large square of aluminum foil. Spray with nonstick cooking spray.
- Once raw sliced beets are done marinating, using tongs, divide beets into the foil evenly, sprinkle freshly diced rosemary on top of beets and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
- Seal foil on all sides. NOTE: Make sure to completely seal up the sides so no steam escapes, as this is important to softening and cooking through beets.
- Place foil packets on grill and close lid.
- Heat beets (in foil packet) over grill for about 20-22 minutes.
- Once beets are fork tender (they should be easy to slice but not soggy), remove, transfer to a cutting board, and carefully cut into chunks.
- Serve with extra marinade sauce.
Avoiding Grill Burns
Any time vegetables are cooked in a foil packet, there is a risk of the bottom layer sustaining burns or blackening due to the closeness of the heat. Its almost impossible to avoid but making sure heat is not set too high (where the flames are licking the top) is important.
The goal here with grilled beets is to slowly heat or roast in the packet, so medium heat is usually fine. About 15 min through sometimes I like to check on mine and VERY CAREFULLY, as to avoid any steam burns, open a packet and see how tender they are with a fork.
My particular grill is a flat top Blackstone so its a cast iron grill and can get very very hot, very quickly. I love it for cooking flat top and grilled recipes both. In the cases of cooking vegetables, I usually start with cooking in the middle where the burners are but towards the end, move the packets off to the side to finish with the heat but not open flame.
I will say that even if the bottom beet is a bit more blacked, I have found that the blackened beet in the foil packet really brings a nice Smokey flavor to the dish and is REALLY good.
So do not just go throwing the bottom beet out without trying it based on looks. They are terribly yummy!
Common Beet Questions
- Do you need to peel a beet? Beets are very hard to peel and super messy. They dye everything! If you are cooking, roasting, oven baking or grilling a beet, there is no need to peel.
- How do I prep beets for cooking? The most important thing about prepping a beet is CLEANING the beet.
- What do beets taste like? Beets are most common referred to as “earthy”.
- Are beets and turnips the same thing? Nope.
- Are beets and radishes the same thing? Nope.
- What other vegetables do beets go well with? They complement turnips, carrots, and potatoes well.
More Balsamic Vinegar Side Dishes
Love the tangy taste of Balsamic Vinegar? Balsamic Vinegar is an amazing way to marinade, glaze and dress up even the most boring meal. A great balance to flavor, this drizzle makes every recipe feel special.
- Nothing is more common to use Balsamic in than Caprese! Try hot Caprese dip, a warm melty cheese dip topped with tomatoes and glaze, a true party time flavorite.
- Pairing with bursting tomatoes and croutons, this recipe for roasted cherry tomatoes takes drizzling to the next level.
- Not just for sides, Balsamic Vinegar is also used in main dish meals like tomato and mozzarella Caprese Stuffed Chicken Breasts, a well loved reader favorite.
- Need a simple and easy meal done in mere minutes tonight? Homemade pizza with balsamic and fresh basil.
- Last but not least, this tried and true strawberry avocado caprese salad is bite after bite delicious.