Harvard Beets with Orange Glaze (gluten free)

This recipe for orange juice glazed and gluten free Harvard beets is easy and healthy, making a great and colorful dinner side for steaks, casseroles, chicken and mashed potatoes and more. These Orange glazed Harvard beets can be made with fresh red beets or from canned and drained beets. The addition of ginger elevates the citrus flavor in the glaze, but is optional. For optimal nutrition I recommend using fresh red beets which can be grown in your garden or purchased from your local farmers market during the summer months.

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Harvard beets in citrus glaze

Harvard Beets with orange glaze (gluten free)

These delicious Harvard beets in a citrus glaze are a crave worthy way to use up beets in the summer time, or any time you come across some cheap beets at the supermarket!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 25 minutes
Course Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 3


For the beets:

  • 3 cups raw red beets (whole) *see note
  • water
  • dash salt

For the Orange Glaze:

  • 1/3 cup Orange juice
  • 1/4 cup distilled white vinegar
  • 1/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 1 tablespoon cornstarch
  • 1/8 teaspoon salt or to taste
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground ginger optional
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons salted butter


  • Place the whole red beets in a 3 quart sauce pan and cover with water. Add a dash or two of salt and cook on medium-high heat for 20-30 minutes until they have softened. Dump the cooked beets into a colander and allow them to drain and cool before peeling and chunking (if needed for larger beets). If using canned red beets you can skip the cooking step.
  • To make the sauce: place orange juice, vinegar and sugar in a medium sized sauce pan and whisk together to dissolve the sugar. Make a slurry with the cornstarch and 3 tablespoons water, then bring the juice, vinegar and sugar mixture to a boil. Whisk in the cornstarch mixture and continue stirring for 30-60 seconds until the mixture thickens and becomes a bit more clear. Remove the glaze from heat and stir in the salt and ginger (optional).
  • Place cooked red beets in the saucepan with the glaze and stir to combine. Return to medium heat and cook for 3-5 minutes, to incorporate the flavors of the glaze, then stir in the salted butter. Cool slightly then enjoy!


You can also use 2 16 oz. cans of drained red beets in this recipe. No cooking is required if using canned red beets. 
If I have smaller, bite sized red beets on hand I simply toss them into the sauce whole after peeling them. For larger red beets you may wish to cube or slice them before glazing them with the citrus glaze. 
Keyword Harvard beets, Citrus glaze, Gluten free
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!

These Harvard beets go well with Crock pot chicken or Swedish meatballs. Some also like to serve it with steak.

Whole smallish red beets from my garden. I like to trim the ends and wash the red beets well before placing into the saucepan.

Harvard beets are served with a warm glaze vs pickled beets that are covered and often canned with a pickling solution, then refrigerated or served at room temperature.

Growing beets is fairly easy and low maintenance. The seeds can be found at green houses or farm bureau, or even from a catalog or Amazon! They are generally planted in spring as they prefer cooler temperatures and prefer well drained and rich, loose soil.

Next time I’ll be adding more water because if they are not covered they don’t cook through as evenly. I prefer to keep the lid only partially on as they tend to cook over easily if they get too hot.

If you are highly sensitive to gluten, be sure to check your cornstarch to see if it was manufactured in a gluten free facility.

Butter may seem to be a strange thing to add to a glaze but it really makes a creamy and soft glaze for these tangy, Orange glazed Harvard beets.

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