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Beets, Beet Greens, and Bacon (or Butter)

By March 24, 2019Recipes
Reading Time: 3 minutes
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It is so nice to cook up all of one purchase of fresh vegetables in one recipe. Often with vegetables, we use some and some is left for another day — and then forgotten. It gives me a terrible feeling when I see valuable organic produce becoming compost in the vegetable bin of my refrigerator.

Fresh beets look so beautiful in a bunch. When you buy beets in a bunch, it is best to use both the beets and beet greens right away. Even though the beetroots keep well, the beet greens do not. It is best to use those greens while they are still crisp and vibrant.

By the way, beets are getting good press in the medical literature. Those bright attractive colors are a hint that there are plenty of good nutrients in that food.

Here’s what a 2015 research review had to say about beets:

“Beetroot is a rich source of phytochemical compounds, that includes ascorbic acid, carotenoids, phenolic acids and flavonoids. Beetroot is also one of the few vegetables that contain a group of highly bioactive pigments … betacyanin pigments that are red-violet in color and betaxanthin pigments that are yellow-orange in color.”

So, next time you are at the farmer’s market, pick up one of those nice colorful bunches of new beets with the beet greens still attached. Because the recipe I’m sharing with you today will turn that whole bunch into a satisfying vegetable side dish.

Beets, Beet Greens, and Bacon (or Butter)

P.S. You really do want to add the bacon or butter to this recipe. Fat increases the absorption of vitamins from vegetables. A fascinating study in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition stated, “Essentially no absorption of carotenoids was observed when salads with fat-free salad dressing were consumed. A substantially greater absorption of carotenoids was observed when salads were consumed with full-fat than with reduced-fat salad dressing.”

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Beets, Beet Greens, and Bacon (or Butter)

Not sure what to do with those beet greens? This recipe turns your whole bunch into a delicious side dish.

Category Bacon, Side Dish, Vegetables
Compliance Level Kickstart, Lifestyle
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Servings 4
Author Nancy Teas-Crain


  • 6 small beets with tops
  • 4 pieces bacon or 4 Tbsp butter
  • 1/4 cup water


  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  2. Wash the beets and greens carefully, removing all dirt and sand.
  3. Separate greens from the roots.
  4. Coarsely chop the greens.
  5. Cut each beet into halves or quarters.
  6. Cut the bacon into 1-inch pieces (or the butter into 12 pats).
  7. In a Dutch oven or covered casserole, place the water, then the greens, then the beets, then the bacon pieces or butter.

  8. Cover and bake for 30 minutes or until the beetroots are tender.

Nancy Teas-Crain on Instagram
Nancy Teas-Crain
Nancy Teas-Crain lives in Alpine, California. She is a nutritionist and Weston A. Price Foundation chapter leader.

After many years on a low-fat vegetarian diet, she made a complete turn-around after studying the work of Dr. Weston A. Price. She is now an enthusiastic supporter of the nourishing benefits of traditional foods and fats, especially butter.

Currently she is writing a cookbook integrating her love of cooking, gardening, and home remedies. When not writing, she is enjoying her family of two boys, six ducks, four chickens, two cats, and her chiropractor husband, Darrel Crain.