The etiquette rules on how to serve and eat beetroot. Tips to be the ideal host or the perfect guest and avoid any embarrassment.

What beetroot etiquette is

Beetroot etiquette is the set of rules to properly serve and eat beetroot. Such rules help avoid behaviors that can disrespect your hosts or guests, or make you look unpolite.

If you are hosting, follow the etiquette to serve beetroot to your guests appropriately.

As a guest, respect the etiquette rules to properly eat beetroot at the dining table and avoid offending your hosts or embarrassing yourself.

how to serve and eat beets

What you should know about beetroot

Beetroot, also known as beets, are a root vegetable that are commonly consumed for their sweet and earthy flavor, as well as their vibrant red color.

Beetroot typically have a round or oblong shape, and their skin is usually a deep red or purple color. The flesh inside is also typically a deep red or pink color. The texture of beetroot is firm and slightly crunchy when raw, but becomes soft and tender when cooked. The flavor is sweet and earthy, with a slightly bitter aftertaste.

Etiquette rules to serve and eat beetroot

1) How to store beetroot

It is best to store beetroot in a cool, dry place. Ideal storage temperature is between 0-4°C (32-39°F). In the pantry, beetroot can last up to a week. In the fridge, beetroot can last up to 2-3 weeks if stored in a plastic bag or airtight container. You can also freeze beetroot for up to 8-10 months. To freeze them, cook, peel, and chop them into small pieces.

Store sliced or cooked beetroot in the fridge in an airtight container or plastic bag. They can last up to 5 days.

2) How to clean beetroot

To clean beetroot, rinse them under cold running water and scrub gently with a vegetable brush to remove any dirt or debris. There are no significant risks to cleaning beetroot. It is best to wear gloves to avoid staining your hands.

Signs that beetroot have turned bad include a soft, mushy texture, discoloration, and a strong, unpleasant odor.

3) How to prepare & cook beetroot

Beetroot can be eaten raw or cooked. Some common ways to cook beetroot include roasting, boiling, and steaming. Beetroot can also be pickled or fermented.

Popular dishes with beetroot include borscht (a traditional Eastern European soup), beetroot salad, and roasted beetroot.

Beetroot is great in salads and sandwiches. You can also prepare beetroot juice, smoothies, jam, and preserves.

4) How to serve & present beetroot

Beetroot is appropriate for all occasions, from formal to informal meals. You can serve it as a side dish, main course, appetizer, or even dessert.

It is best to serve beetroot at room temperature or slightly chilled. You can present it in a variety of dishes, such as a salad bowl or a small plate. Present it with regular serving utensils, such as a spoon. No specific serving tools are required.

5) Food and wine to pair beetroot with

Beetroot pairs well with walnuts, and balsamic vinegar. It is also great with herbs such as dill, thyme, and rosemary. Beetroot pairs well with carrots, apples, oranges, and other root vegetables. It should be avoided with bitter vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and bitter greens.

Beetroot goes well with goat cheese, feta cheese, and blue cheese. It is not recommended to pair it with overly strong or pungent cheeses.

Beetroot pairs well with beef, lamb, and pork. It also goes well with salmon and other oily fish. It should be avoided with delicate fish such as cod.

Beetroot pairs well with light red wines such as Pinot Noir and Beaujolais. It also goes well with white wines such as Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc. It can also be paired with Rosé wine, sparkling wine, beer, and spirits.

6) How to eat beetroot

It is polite to eat beetroot with a knife and fork. It is not recommended to eat beetroot with your fingers. The peel can be eaten, but it is recommended to peel it before eating.

Beetroot etiquette: the worst mistakes

The Rude Index identifies and ranks negative behaviors. 

A high score (8-10) means that the behavior has the potential to trigger a conflict with others. A medium score (4-7) means that the behavior risks making you look inelegant and unsophisticated. Read more about the Rude Index and its methodology here.  

Avoid the most common beetroot etiquette mistakes:

  • 8/10. Not properly cleaning the beetroot.
  • 7/10. Serving beetroot with the skin still on.
  • 5/10. Not cutting beetroot into bite-sized pieces before eating it.
  • 5/10. Not providing utensils to eat beetroot with.

Additional information for properly serving beetroot

How many calories per serving?

Counting calories is important to stay healthy and correctly planning a menu.

Beetroot contains about 44 calories per 100 grams. A single beetroot contains about 35-40 calories, depending on its size.

How to buy the best beetroot

A crucial factor in beetroot etiquette is serving your guests the best product possible.

Season and availability 

Beetroot is available all year round, but the best season to buy it is from late summer to early winter, when it is in peak season.

Choose the best

Beetroot can be found in commerce in various forms, including fresh, canned, pickled, and dried.

The most popular varieties of beetroot in commerce include red beetroot, golden beetroot, and chioggia beetroot. Red beetroot is the most common and most prized variety.

When buying beetroot, look for firm, smooth, and unblemished beetroot with a bright color and healthy-looking leaves. Avoid beetroot that is soft, wrinkled, or has soft spots.

Alternatives to beetroot

Some common alternatives to beetroot include turnips, carrots, sweet potatoes, and parsnips. These vegetables have a similar texture and flavor to beetroot and can be used in many of the same ways.


  • The Potential Benefits of Red Beetroot Supplementation in Health and Disease: