Roasted Beets with Avocado Habanero Crema

Roasted Beets with Avocado Habanero Crema

  • Author: Nicole Gaffney (
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: side
  • Method: roasted
  • Cuisine: Mexican


This simple recipe for Roasted Beets with Avocado Habanero Crema comes from the Hartwood cookbook, written by the owners of Hartwood restaurant in Tulum, Mexico. It’s a uniquely delicious way to enjoy this rustic root vegetable, and surprisingly easy to pull off. These roasted beets with avocado crema are so good they’ll make a beet lover out of just about anyone!



For the Beets

  • 4 large beets, scrubbed
  • 8 basil sprigs
  • Olive oil for drizzling
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • Ground allspice for finishing

For the Avocado Habanero Crema

  • 1 ripe Hass avocado, halved, pitted, and peeled
  • 1/22 habanero chilis, seeded (leave the seeds in for more spice)
  • 1 cup sour cream
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1/2 teaspoon honey
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, or to taste

Chile Lime Salt, for garnish (optional)

  • 4 dried árbol chilies
  • 2 tablespoons kosher salt
  • Grated zest from 3 limes


  1. Preheat the oven to 375°F.
  2. Place the beets and basil in a baking dish and fill with water about 1/3 way up. Cover tightly with foil, then bake for approximately 1 hour or until a knife can easily pierce all the way. Remove the beets from the liquid and let cool. Increase the oven temperature to 425°F or prepare a charcoal grill with a few wood chips.
  3. Slice the beets in half, then place in a large cast iron skillet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast or grill for about 20 minutes, or until crisp and starting to char.

Make the Avocado Habanero Crema

  1. Add the avocado, habanero, sour cream, olive oil, honey, salt and pepper to a blender and blend on high for about 10 seconds. Stop to scrape down the sides with a rubber spatula, then repeat until a smooth cream forms—this will take several minutes. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. Transfer to a bowl, cover, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes so the flavors can meld. Sauce can be made several hours in advance, but will start to discolor after a day.

Make the Chile Lime Salt

  1. Toast the chiles in a dry heavy-bottomed skillet over medium-low heat until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Let cool. Pulse the chiles in a spice grinder or food processor to a fine powder, then mix with the salt and lime zest. Store in a tightly sealed jar in a cool place. This will make more than you need for this recipe, but can be used to season a wide variety of other dishes.

To Serve

  1. Serve the beets warm, topped with a generous dollop of crema, then dusted with a pinch of allspice and chile lime salt.

Keywords: beets, avocado, habanero, crema, Mexican, side, grilled, roasted, Tulum, Hartwood