Easy Roasted Harvard Beets are a family favorite passed down from my Grandmother. In my family, we serve warm beets as a side dish at weeknight meals but also for gatherings like Thanksgiving and Christmas. These are the perfect side dish for any weeknight or holiday meal. The tangy sweet and sour sauce makes a great contrast to the meat.
To make Harvard Beets, I start with fresh organic beets I grow in my garden or purchase at the local farmer’s market but you can start with whole or sliced beets in the can or vacuum-packed beets if you prefer. I feel the canned version lacks the added flavor from oven roasting the beets. My Nana always boiled the beets but I prefer them oven roasted. It really brings out the earthy flavor of the beets. Roast them with some extra virgin olive oil, salt, and ground black pepper then wrap them in aluminum foil and roast them in the oven.
You can peel them prior to roasting but if you wait until after the beets are roasted and tender, the peels will slip right off without much need to peel them. I then slice the beets with my egg slicer for thin uniform slices. Next, I add them in a large pot with the vinegar, cornstarch, sugar, and salt. I simmer the beets in the vinegar mixture until the cornstarch thickens.
Once the sauce thickens, they’re ready to serve. I prefer my Harvard Beets warm but they can be served cold as well.
Do you have a favorite or family recipe for Harvard Beets? Share it with me below in the comments!
Easy Roasted Harvard Beets
- 3 pounds fresh beets , stems and roots removed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/2 cup distilled white vinegar
- 1/2 cup water
- 2/3 cup granulated sugar
- 1 Tbsp cornstarch
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
- Coat beets lightly with olive oil.
- Wrap beets in aluminum foil, place on a baking sheet, and roast in the oven until cooked through, approximately 45 to 60 minutes - depending on beet size. When beets are fork tender, remove from the oven and set aside.
- When the beets are cool enough to handle, slip off the skins and cut the beets into a 1/4-inch dice. You should have about 6 cups of sliced beets. Set aside.
- In a medium-sized pot, whisk together the sugar, cornstarch, vinegar, and reserved beet liquid. Bring the mixture to a gentle boil. Whisking constantly, cook for about 1 minute or until the sauce has thickened slightly. Remove from the heat.
- Stir in the sliced beets and cook just long enough to heat through. Season with salt and pepper.