Crispy Smashed Beets with vegan Basil Pesto

Say hello to these utterly delicious Crispy Smashed Beets with melty basil pesto. If you like flavor-packed, colorful, mouthwatering bites of pure food bliss then these crispy smashed beetroot bites were made for you. 

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These vegan golden crispy smashed beets are topped with luxe homemade basil pesto, toasted walnuts, and fresh mint leaves. This crowd-pleaser recipe makes a seriously delicious appetizer or main dish that guests are sure to enjoy. 

Juicy beets turned golden and crispy on the outside, seasoned with fragrant Mediterranean spices, a luscious basil pesto, crunchy toasted walnuts, and fresh herbs. It doesn’t get much better or tastier than these heavenly stacks of grilled beets.

Why you need to make these vegan Crispy Smashed Beets with basil pesto 

  • A luxurious decadent treat 
  • Bright eye-grabbing colors that are sure to impress
  • Amazing and unusual side dish that’s loaded with textures and flavors 
  • Great as a vegan appetizer 
  • Vegan and gluten-free 
  • Healthy and nutritious 

The best bees recipe ever – and it’s vegan

Let me introduce you to the best beetroot recipe ever. My buttery, all vegan, deliciously crispy and golden on the outside crispy smashed beets. It’s like a gourmet version of French fries meets the earthy beets, all coming together in a mouthwatering stack of crispy beet bites topped with melty basil pesto and crunchy toasted walnuts. It’s a mouthwatering flavor explosion that’s also a feast for the eyes. With bright purple beets topped with vibrant green pesto and fresh herbs, this colorful dish makes a very impressive guest recipe…although it’s just as good as a weekend treat all for yourself.

When it comes to smashing the beets there’s no need to be tidy. You want your beets to be slightly mangled with a ruffled surface because all the ruffles will become deliciously crispy and golden. Yum!

Tips to make the best crispy smashed beetroot stacks

If you want a very crispy on the outside but soft on the inside beet: Boil or heat the beets first. This will make the beets extra soft and juicy on the inside.

Do you want a beet with a more fresh and crunchy on the inside bite and a crispy golden exterior?  Then don’t pre-cook the beets. Just drizzle with seasoning and olive oil and bake directly in the oven. 

Smash your beets. Use a potato masher or a fork to smash the beets just enough to create ridges and texture on the surface (note: you don’t want to completely break apart the beets)

Drizzle generously with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and seasoning. The olive oil will help the beets become extra crispy and golden on the outside.

What you’ll need for this crispy smashed beetroot with homemade vegan pesto recipe 

Here’s our short and very tasty ingredients list we are working with today.

  • Beets
  • Balsamic vinegar
  • Oregano
  • Garlic powder 
  • Salt and pepper 
  • Fresh mint or basil
  • Basil pesto 

Let’s talk homemade vegan basil pesto 

You can easily use store-bought pesto if you are in a rush or just don’t want to make your own pesto…but if you have the time then this vegan pesto is so worth it. And it only takes 2-minutes to make.

Tip: to get a FREE guide with more of my favorite sauces and dips just sign up for our newsletter 

How to make homemade vegan pesto in 5 minutes 

To make your own homemade vegan pesto all you need is a blender and a few simple ingredients. 

Pesto ingredients 

  • 1 bunch of fresh basil 
  • 1/2 cup olive oil 
  • 1 cup baby arugula salad 
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced 
  • 1/4 cup toasted pine nuts or any other type of nuts
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds removed

Instructions to make homemade green pesto in 5 minutes or less

Add all the pesto ingredients to a blender and blend until the pesto is smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons extra oil if the pesto is too thick. Scrape the pesto into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

How to make crispy smashed beets – the microwave method 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  • Peel the beets cut them into slices, and place them in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Cook for 3 minutes on high. 
  • Place the beet slices on a lined baking tray and smash them using a fork or potato masher. Mash them, keeping them in one piece. The more ridges they get the more crispy they will become. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar and seasoning.
  • Bake the beets in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crispy on the outside.
  • Place the beets on a plate and generously top with basil pesto. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and toasted walnuts and serve.

How to make crispy smashed beetroot stacks – precooking 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  • Peel the beets cut them into slices (thin slices will cut down on cooking time and make the beets extra crispy, medium slices will be softer on the inside), and boil them for 15 minutes in a pot of boiling water. Drain away the water, being careful not to burn yourself.
  • Place the cooked beet slices on a lined baking tray and smash them with a fork or potato masher, keeping them in one piece. The rougher the surface looks the more crispy the beets will become.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and seasoning.
  • Bake the beets in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crispy on the outside.
  • Place the beets on a plate and generously top with basil pesto. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and toasted walnuts and serve.

Wats to serve Ultra Crispy Smashed Beets 

I would be more than happy to just devour these smashed mouthfuls of deliciousness just as a snack. But they also make an impressive vegan appetizer, as well as a great side to any type of mains. 

They go well with almost all flavors, from vegan roast to portobello mushroom steaks. Try serving them as a side to

More beetroot recipes

Frequently asked questions 

Can I use store-bought pesto for this recipe?

Yes. You can use any type of pesto you prefer.

How thick should beet slices be?

How thick or thin you want your slices to be is a matter of texture preference. Thin slices will cut down on cooking time and make the beets extra crispy, medium slices will be softer on the inside and still crispy on the outside. Both are delicious.

Can I serve smashed beetroot cold?

Yes, but they won’t be as crispy as they are when they are freshly made. The taste is still delicious both hot and cold.

Crispy Smashed Beets with Pesto

Say hello to these utterly delicious Crispy Smashed Beets with melty basil pesto. If you like flavor-packed, colorful, mouthwatering bites of pure food bliss then these crispy smashed beetroot bites were made for you. 
Juicy beets turned golden and crispy on the outside, seasoned with fragrant Mediterranean spices, a luscious basil pesto, crunchy toasted walnuts, and fresh herbs. It doesn’t get much better or tastier than these heavenly stacks of grilled beets.
Course Appetizer, Dinner
Cuisine American
Keyword vegan
Prep Time 8 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Servings 4 people
Author Simone – Munchyesta.com

Ingredients

Smashed Beets

  • 2 medium Beets
  • 2 tbsp Olive Oil
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic Vinegar
  • 1 tsp Garlic Powder
  • 2 tsp Dried Oregano
  • ½ tsp Salt
  • ½ tsp Black Pepper
  • ½ cup Toasted Walnuts
  • 1 handful Fresh Mint Leaves or basil (chopped)

Pesto ingredients 

  • 1 bunch Fresh Basil
  • ½ cup Olive Oil
  • 1 cup Baby Arugula Salad
  • 4 cloves Garlic Minced
  • ¼ cup Toasted Pine Nuts or other type of nuts
  • 1 Jalapeño pepper seeds removed

Instructions

Instructions to make homemade green pesto in 5 minutes or less

  • Add all the pesto ingredients to a blender and blend until the pesto is smooth. Add 1-2 tablespoons extra oil if the pesto is too thick. Scrape the pesto into an airtight container and store it in the refrigerator.

Making the beets 

  • Preheat the oven to 400F and line a baking sheet with baking paper.
  • Peel the beets cut them into slices, and place them in a microwave-safe bowl with a lid. Cook for 3 minutes on high. 
    Place the beet slices on a lined baking tray and smash them using a fork or potato masher. Mash them, keeping them in one piece. The more ridges they get the more crispy they will become. 
  • Drizzle with olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and seasoning.
    Bake the beets in the oven for 20-30 minutes or until they are golden and crispy on the outside.
  • Place the beets on a plate and generously top with basil pesto. Garnish with fresh mint leaves and toasted walnuts and serve.

Notes

Tips to make the best crispy smashed beetroot stacks:
If you want a very crispy on the outside but soft on the inside beet: Boil or heat the beets first. This will make the beets extra soft and juicy on the inside.
Do you want a beet with a more fresh and crunchy inside bite and a crispy golden exterior?  Then don’t pre-cook the beets. Just drizzle with seasoning and olive oil and bake directly in the oven. 
Smash your beets. Use a potato masher or a fork to smash the beets just enough to create ridges and texture on the surface (note: you don’t want to completely break apart the beets)
Drizzle generously with olive oil and seasoning. The olive oil will help the beets become extra crispy and golden on the outside.

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