These slightly healthier Lazy Beet Rolls are straight from my Ukrainian granny’s recipe box and are the best way to use up fresh beet leaves from the garden! They are also gluten free … and insanely delicious!
Our granny was known for a few things, but by far her claim to fame was her beet rolls (Jilly started an Instagram account called @beetrollqueen ages ago – a well-deserved title). Jillian and I shared the bread dough version in the cookbook (bread dough rolled in beet leaves and baked in a casserole dish with cream – so decadent). This was the other version that she made.
What are Beet Rolls?
Traditionally these beet rolls were painstakingly rolled up, using a rice filling, to form many little rolls (similar to dolmades), nestled in a casserole dish and drowned in whipping cream before baking them. Sadly life is a bit too busy for me to be doing all that work, so my mom created a lazy version out of granny’s recipe. They are just as delicious and the best part? You can make them even healthier and cram in so many more beet leaves!
Charles built us some raised garden beds this year, which has made SUCH a difference to my veggie garden! The beet leaves look impeccable! My mom said that granny was looking over our garden this year: the beet leaves look perfect, she would be so proud.
How to use Beet Greens
Most people throw out the beet greens and just use the beet, but our family absolutely worships those greens. It’s a big deal when we can get our hands on some nice beet greens, and growing your own is the best. They are so easy to grow and we don’t use any spray or pesticides of course.
The greens are the leafy tops of the beet plant and can be cooked similar to spinach. Beet greens are loaded with vitamins (ie: vitamins A, C and K), fibre and minerals (potassium and magnesium). Look for greens that are still young and not tough if you can. You can remove leaves from your beet plant without damaging the beet, just don’t take all of those leaves off (leave the smaller ones).
I’ve been wanting to share this recipe with you for ages. I made a vegan version of these on Jill’s site a couple years ago that doesn’t use bacon and uses cashew cream. Such a delicious version if you’re wanting to “veganize” them. This version uses far less bacon and cream than the original. It’s still a bit of an indulgence, but nowhere near granny’s original recipe.
I hope you love this recipe as much as we do. It’s such as simple old-fashioned family favourite that instantly takes me back to my childhood. If you want to make these gluten-free make sure to use gluten-free bacon. You can substitute brown rice if you want to kick up the fibre content.
Lazy Beet Rolls
Lazy Beet Rolls
These lazy beet rolls come together so easy and are so delicious!
- 2 cups uncooked rice
- 300g bacon (around 6-8 thick slices, cut into 1cm thick pieces)
- 2 cups finely chopped yellow onion
- 10 cups chopped beet greens, stems removed (loosely packed)
- 1 cup chopped fresh dill (very loosely packed)
- 1 cup 18% cream
- salt and pepper to taste
Cook the rice according to the package directions. Preheat the oven to 350F and grease a 9x13 baking dish.
Heat a large pan over medium-low heat. When the pan is hot add the bacon and let cook until it starts to become slightly crispy and most of the fat is rendered, around 7-9 minutes. Add the onions to the hot pan and cook 3-5 minutes until soft and translucent.
Once the onions are cooked add in the beet greens and cook 3-4 minutes until wilted. Add the dill and the cooked rice. Mix to combine, season with salt and pepper, and transfer to the mixture to the prepared baking dish. Once the rice is evenly distributed in the pan drizzle the cream over top. Bake 20-30 minutes until the top is golden brown and the cream bubbles.