Shave minutes off the cook time for beets by microwaving them. Traditional cooking methods like baking, boiling, steaming, and roasting can require 45 minutes or longer! To cook about 6 medium beets in the microwave, remove beet greens, leave the roots and a 1 inch stem, and scrub with a brush. Place beets in a microwave-safe 2-quart glass baking dish and cover with 3 layers of damp paper towels. Microwave on high for 10 to 12 minutes, or until tender. Place the beets in ice water for 5 minutes and then drain. All you have left to do after that is remove the root and peel!