Balsamic Beets & Greens (vegan & gluten-free)

Historically, I have never liked beets. This is not the first time I’ve had to come clean about this on the blog… but this is the first time I can honestly say… I think I have overcome my beet-phobia. I could just never get past the “earthiness” (AKA – overwhelmingly strong dirt taste), but I have persevered. I’ve been stubborn about finding a way to like them #TaurusProblems. So I’m excited to introduce you to the dish that changed that all for me: Balsamic Beets & Greens!

My first beet recipe on the blog was a beet & feta dip, and while I was proud of myself for that (hey, it was a milestone for me, OKAY?!) how impressive is it to like something chock-full of feta? I would probably eat feta with anything. Time to kick it up a notch. So a friend of mine introduced me to slathering beets with balsamic vinegar. How could such a simple combo make such a big difference? I don’t know… SCIENCE? Well, all I know is, it did… and now I can AND WANT to eat these by the fork-load. I jazzed it up by making it with a balsamic reduction because the extra effort is SO WORTH IT (See dramatic pouring photo below to see what I mean) and some raw pepitas for crunch. Also… the greens, THE. GREENS. – They are so good! I had no idea what I was missing out on, they’re delicious. And highly nutritious (high in Vitamins C, K, and A) – so save those greens!

Are you a beet-lover or hater? Let me know below, but promise me you will make this recipe either way… because it will beet anything else you’ve tried.

– Drops mic –

Balsamic Beets & Greens Recipe


serves 3-4 sides depending on size of beets

  • 2-3 fresh whole beets with greens attached
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
  • 2 tsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp raw pepitas
  • sea salt
  • pepper

Balsamic Reduction (to drizzle):

  • 1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon (optional)
  • pinch of clove powder (optional)


  1. Chop stems off beets, leaving a couple of inches attached to the beets. Rinse off any dirt and add to a large pot (leaving them whole).
  2. Cover beets with cool water, add 1 tsp white vinegar and 1 tsp salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Once boiling, leave them at medium heat for approx. 45 mins (large beets may take an hour, you’ll know when poking with a fork and they’re tender).
  3. Prep the greens by snipping the stems and discarding (you can leave an inch or so on the ends of the leaves). Rinse greens and let dry. Set aside.
  4. Once beets are done, remove them from the water and place on a cutting board.
  5. Add the greens to the hot water over low heat to blanch for 2-3 minutes, then set aside. You can discard the pink water now!
  6. Meanwhile, get some kitchen gloves on and peel the outer layer off beets, set aside.
  7. Make the balsamic reduction which should take approx. 5 minutes: add all ingredients to a skillet over medium heat, stirring occasionally with a spoon. You need to watch this so it doesn’t burn, so be careful multi-tasking!
  8. Keep stirring until you see tiny bubbles form and you start to feel the vinegar get thicker. Once it’s thick (almost like a syrup, but not quite) – pour into a cup and save it for drizzling on afterwards.
  9. In that same skillet with the vinegar glazed on it, add 1 tsp olive oil and heat over low-medium. Add your greens and start sautéing them with tongs or a wooden spoon.
  10. After 2-3 minutes of this, add in minced garlic, sea salt and pepper to taste- and keep stirring. Once greens are dark and look like cooked spinach almost, you can remove from the heat (grab all that leftover vinegar on the pan too!). Plate the greens.
  11. Chop your beets into wedges and place on top of greens, add remaining olive oil and 1 tsp balsamic vinegar and lightly mix together to sit.
  12. Now is the decadent part… Drizzle your thick-syrupy balsamic reduction over top and sprinkle pepitas over top. Add a little pinch of more sea salt and VOILA.


Hope you enjoy!
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  • CakeSpyNovember 10, 2015 - 1:23 pm

    Beets are one of my FAVORITE foods. I even love the abstract-art print they leave on white plates. These sound just perfect. I could make a meal of them!


  • Sarah @ Drool-WorthyNovember 12, 2015 - 9:18 pm

    I’ve never liked beets either! Until I started messing around with them and figured out what works. Love this recipe – it’s a great break from all the sweet I’ve been seeing 🙂 Pinned!


    • Alison MarrasNovember 13, 2015 - 1:29 am

      Woot woot!! Thanks, girl! Yes… Beet struggles are real. But it’s all about finding what works.


  • jaime | the brinyNovember 13, 2015 - 4:09 am

    i love beets, but i’m sensitive to their sweetness. so annnnything acidic or pungent (like a garlicky dressing) helps majorly with that earthy, beet sweetness. i can only imagine balsamic pairs incredibly with beets! this looks super delicious! xo


  • MollyNovember 15, 2015 - 1:58 am

    It took me a while to appreciate beets, but now I know their deliciousness. I just made an awesome beet hummus and I can’t stop eating it!


  • […] Balsamic Beets and Greens from Food By Mars. […]ReplyCancel

  • SunritaNovember 17, 2020 - 4:16 pm

    I recently started trying beets in different ways. This was so deliciously easy! ReplyCancel

    • Alison MarrasNovember 21, 2020 - 11:46 pm

      I’m so glad you enjoyed it! I’m the same way, I need new beet recipes!ReplyCancel

  • StephanieNovember 17, 2020 - 4:27 pm

    I love balsamic anything, so I knew we needed to give this a try. The bold flavors even got my picky boys to eat a bit of this!ReplyCancel

  • TraciNovember 17, 2020 - 4:49 pm

    So yummy and beautiful! Great way to utilize the whole beet. Thanks!ReplyCancel

  • Kathryn DonangeloNovember 17, 2020 - 5:05 pm

    So delicious, fresh and easy to make! We loved this and I plan to make this again next week for Thanksgiving!ReplyCancel

hey thereI'm Alison

I believe your healing journey with real food can be a stress-free lifestyle, filled with joy and flavor.