The usually deep red roots of beetroot are eaten either boiled or roasted as a cooked vegetable, or cold as a salad after cooking and adding oil and vinegar, or raw and shredded, either alone or combined with any salad vegetable. A large proportion of the commercial production is processed into boiled and sterilised beets or into pickles. In Eastern Europe, beet soup, such as borscht, is a popular dish. In Indian cuisine, chopped, cooked, spiced beet is a common side dish.

The green, leafy portion of the beet is also edible. It is most commonly served boiled or steamed, in which case it has a taste and texture similar to spinach.

Beetroot is a rich source of potent antioxidants and nutrients, including magnesium, sodium, potassium and vitamin C, and betaine, which is important for cardiovascular health.