Spicy Beets

Spicy Beets

Spicy Beets are an unusual side dish combining sweet, heat, and a tangy flavor adding a special dimension to dinner or a party

Spicy Beets are one of our more distinctive recipes with an unusual combination of sweet beet flavor and a flavorful sauce with a kick of heat. I’d serve it just as a side dish or it would be great at a game day pot luck gathering.

This actually started when I brought home some beautiful red beets. It’s rare that I cook beets, so I spent some time exploring recipes on the web and ended up adapting one I found. After tweaking the sauce a bit, I ended up with a very interesting, tangy sauce. It gets even more interesting when combined with beets as it’s not a sweet sauce at all. We ended up eating them as a side dish with dinner. These are good served with pork or a good steak; they might overpower chicken or compete with a spicy chicken dish.

We had a small amount left over that I ate a few days later. That was a memorable experience – it had lost its heat; you could hardly tell it had jalapeños in it. This is a natural effect when jalapeños (or other chiles) are combined with dairy products or an acidic juice. In this dish there are both – the yogurt and the lime juice. So if you tweak this dish to the desired heat by adjusting the amount of jalapeño, you’ll want to serve it within a few hours.

I’m expecting to do some more experimenting with similar combinations. It’s an unusual and memorable dish, and I think I could get addicted to it. I hope you try it and enjoy it!

Spicy Beets
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Cuisine: Southwestern
Serves: 8 servings
  • 1¾ pounds beets
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • ½ tsp kosher salt or to taste
  • ¼ tsp freshly ground pepper
  • ½ tsp ground mustard
  • ½ tsp ground cumin
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 1-2 garlic cloves, pressed
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 small or ½ large jalapeño, seeded and minced (~ 1 tbsp)
  • 1 tsp grated fresh ginger
  • 1-2 tsp lime juice (to taste)
  • Chopped fresh cilantro or parsley for garnish
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Peel the beets and chop into ½ inch chunks. Mix the salt, pepper, mustard, cumin, and coriander. Toss with the oil, spread evenly on a large baking dish or cookie sheet; then sprinkle evenly with the spice mixture.
  2. Roast about 40 minutes, pricking with a fork to check tenderness.
  3. While beets are roasting, prepare the dressing: Place the yogurt in a bowl, and stir in the garlic, jalapeño, ginger, remaining ¼ tsp salt, and lime juice.
  4. Remove beets from oven and dump into a bowl; stir in the dressing.
  5. Garnish with the cilantro or parsley and serve either warm or cold.


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