Sautéed beet leaves with coconut milk & capers

Beet greens are the leaves and stalks attached to beetroots. Have you ever eaten them? In case you didn’t know, they’re edible, delicious and nutritious!

Because beetroots are mostly sold in the supermarket without their leaves attached, many don’t know that these gorgeous leaves can be eaten and are highly nutritious (since they’re greens!). You are most likely to find beet greens (attached to their beets) at organic grocery stores and farmers’ markets. And it’s also an economical way to get some greens (basically they’re ‘free’ when you buy the beets).

About a month ago, I found myself inundated with beet leaves (and beets). I couldn’t resist buying them at the organic store where I shop. They looked so beautiful and fresh – both the beets and the leaves, so I bought a bunch. Then my parents popped by on the weekend and brought me a large bunch from their home garden. (By the way, their home garden is their whole back yard!)

Since beetroot leaves don’t keep fresh for too long after harvesting (up to a week or so), I needed to make something quick smart so I would not waste these gorgeous, luscious leaves. Plus I needed more room in my refrigerator. This got me thinking of different ways to cook up beet leaves. I came up with seven:

  1. use it in a curry with the beets
  2. add it to a frittata, like you would silverbeet
  3. use it instead of spinach in a spinach and fetta pie
  4. juice them (younger beet leaves are best because of lower oxalic acid than older leaves)
  5. eat in a salad (again, younger beet leaves are best)
  6. add it to soups, like you would spinach, kale or silverbeet
  7. just sauté them with some garlic and herbs to have as a side, or try variation I came up with below


beetroot-leaves-with-capers-coconut-milk_resizedServes ~ 3 people, as a side

  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 small brown onion, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, finely diced
  • 5 cups (~500g) shredded beet leaves & chopped stems
  • 2 tbsp salt-crusted capers
  • ½ cup coconut milk
  • sea salt to taste
  • squeeze of lemon

In a wide and deep fry pan, heat oil and sauté onion until translucent. Add garlic and sauté briefly before adding the beet leaves. Stir continually.

Once the leaves have wilted add the capers and coconut milk. Saute for a couple more minutes, then turn off stove. Season and squeeze over some lemon juice.

(Note: the dish is not meant to be saucy — the milk evaporates off. But if you would like it to be, just add more coconut milk.)

Serve as you would  side of greens — I ate mine with pan-fried fish on one occasion, and with some rice and dhal on another.

What other ways have you used beet greens?


47 thoughts on “Sautéed beet leaves with coconut milk & capers”

    1. I am new to growing my own veg. Have a wonderful show of beet root this year and my husband commented on how great the leaves are looking and would it be possible to find out if we can eat them. Went on to your website and will be trying some of your recipe suggestion over the next few weeks. Thank you

  1. I like them steamed like spinach and served hot or cold with lemon juice and a little olive oil squeezed over. If I have a lot of leaves, I’ll do a big batch and have some hot and the rest cold — like the Greeks do with the mixed leaves dish they call ‘horta’. Delish.

    I also use beetroot leaves and stems in risotto — they make the rice a delicate pink. Just rice, beetroot leaves and snipped up stems, garlic, a little butter and parmesan. It’s simple but yummy.
    And my favorite way to use the beets themselves is to bake them in with the roast dinner.

  2. I recently moved to Sydney from another country. I am not too familiar with the shops in Australia yet. Where perhaps could I find the salt-crusted capers? Would they sell these at Woolies or Coles or do I need to go to a specialty type shop? Thank you very much.

    By the way, I recently found your site and I am loving it a lot. I am really trying to start cooking more and I plan to make a lot of your recipes. Thank you.

    1. Hi Serena, you can probably find it in a deli type store. Some IGA supermarkets may have it too. I bought mine in an organic store {the capers were not organic though}. If you cannot find it, capers stored in brine will work just as well. I particularly like this side dish – I hope you do too!

  3. Thanks. I found them at a health food store. I made this over the weekend and it was delicious. My two year old daughter even loved it. Thank you.

  4. I tried your recipe Lesh, with a slight variation, used pickled green olives instead of capers as I did not go to shop them.
    It came out good.
    Thanks for your recipe.

  5. We love the beet greens chopped and sauteed in butter or olive oil, and sprinkled with onion powder and garlic salt, and pepper. I could sit and eat them right from the pan with nothing left for my family! YUMMO!

  6. I steam them then sauté them in olive oil and garlic and oregano serve with white cannelli beans and
    Of course the steamed beets on the side yum

  7. Googled how to use beet greens as they were so pretty, but I’ve always tossed them. Just sautéed chard as a side and thought that I could possibly do the same with the beet greens. Stumbled across your recipe “Beet Leaves with Coconut Milk and Capers” and am going to give it a try. Thank you so much for sharing this recipe.

  8. I’m always looking for new and interesting ideas for beet greens. I started out just using them in my juicing regimen, but there is so much more that can be done with them. What a waste for all those people who rip them off of the beets in the supermaket and just leave them sit there.

  9. So fantastic, thank you for sharing this. I bought beetroots the other day, just to try and make beet juice (good for hypertension). I saved the greens, because I didn’t know if they could be used. Now I know I can :D. SO excited to make dinner tomorrow!

  10. Hi Lesh,
    I love your blog and recipes…so nourishing, healthy and yummy!
    I tried the sautéed beetroot greens today (minus the capers, not my thing) and I loved it. Never knew you could eat the greens…
    Thanks for sharing your holistic approach to food 🙂

  11. Excelente, esto me servirá de mucho, la verdad que es bueno conseguir cosas asi, ahora mismo trataré de comenzar un trabajo del cual este tema me va como anillo al dedo.

  12. I’d never cooked or eaten beet greens before, this was so easy and delicious. Thank you for sharing this recipe!

  13. I am so going to try these. have been wasting free food for years. It was only a passing comment from a friend about eating beet leaves that I have now decided to see if it is true. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

  14. Just tried your recipe, minus capers, which I didn’t have on hand. It was lovely! It’s going to be a favorite from now on.

  15. I just made your sauteed beet leaves recipe. Very nice addition to my Sunday lunch, thank you! I didn’t use as much coconut milk as you recommended, to reduce the liquid.

  16. Thanks for sharing the information. I suspected the beetroot greens and stalks could be eaten but was sure how to incorporated them into dishes.
    I also needed to check that I hadn’t confused the edible beetroot greens and stalks with those of the rhubarb leaves (only) which I understand are toxic to eat.

  17. Goodness gracious, how have I not stumbled upon your site before! I had an beet greens were taking over my fridge (back-to-back css basket while kiddos and man are away.) Last week I just sautéed, topped with feta, and served with runny over-easy eggs. Delish. Anyhow, today I’ll be dining on greens, coconut, etc. Yay!

  18. It’s interesting I just came across your website today and found this recipe. Just this morning I picked some beets out of my garden. My husband had told me beet greens from mature beets weren’t very good, so I always pitched them, including the ones from the store. Ugh! But for lunch, I cooked those greens in some water with a little cut up onion and garlic til tender and most water gone, then added a cube of butter and some salt and omg, they were so delicious I ate them right out of the pan all day long. What a treat. Never again will I toss those wonderful green leaves and stems into the compost pile. Like someone else commented, free food. Think I will try this other recipe too. Love coconut milk and am excited to see what beet greens and coconut milk taste like. Thanks!

  19. GREAT RECIPE! THANK YOU. INCREDIBLY GOOD! I followed your recipe and since cooking is all about what tastes good to you, I added more minced garlic than is allowed, cause I love it, probably 5 Tbsp. or more and sauteed it in Olive Oil. Added fresh delicious tomatoes and poured the garlic over when done, as you would spinach. AWESOME! Lots of sea salt too. I gotta get your book!!!

  20. Lesh; thank you so much for this blog. I purchased some organic beets today and there was quite a bit of greens attached. While communicating with a friend by phone, I asked her if I could use the greens in my smoothies. Well, she frowned on the idea and said that it would be too bitter. So I threw them out. Well, I decided to take a look online, and I found your blog. Needless to say… I immediately went to my trash bin and removed each and every stalk LOL! I’m going to certainly try a lot of these recipes and I want to thank you and everyone else for their contributions.

  21. Thank you, Lesh, so much for sharing all those wonderful ways to use beet greens (leaves). I have been using them to make green smoothies, as they are delicious with kale, celery, carrots, tomatoes, cucumbers, and radishes.

    I’m going to try your Sautéed Beet Leaves With Coconut Milk & Capers recipe for dinner this evening. Thanks again.

  22. Hi Lesh:
    Thank you for answering my first question, “are they edible?”. The next question is, can I blanch and freeze beet greens?

    I recently discovered smoothies with greens and I’m not terribly fond of kale (cooked or raw) though Kale is ok in my Vitamix (no ROUGHage)! Kale’s a little too chewy for me. I’m excited to try my beet greens in tomorrow’s smoothie and now as a side dish!

  23. Grow my own beets, love to roast the root and make smoothies with the green leaves, just add 1ice water, blue berries, strawberries,Greek yorgurt, protien power, flax seeds

  24. beet greens= recipe if you have ever made cabbage rolls you can replace the cabbage with beet greens and wrap the filling with the beet greens and then add 1/2 and 1/2 cream over and bake in oven for about one hour. moderate oven.or if you are watching you weight you can add some vinegar mixed with water about 1/2 to 1 cup so it won’t burn .But the 1/2 and 1/2 is the best.

    . .

  25. Glad I found your website now I don’t have to wonder what to do with the young leaves and roots when I thin my rows of beets. What a helpful information I have gathered. Thank you all.

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