This beet salad is a delicious salad recipe that is perfect for every season and perfect for entertaining too. Fresh salad greens of your choice - I love a blend with arugula, tossed and topped with roasted, tender, sweet and delicious beets, crunchy pistahios, cranberries, feta, red onion, and finally drizzled with a quick and easy balsamic vinaigrette/dressing. This makes the perfect side dish or a hearty meal with a few extra add ins (recommendations below). Not only are beets good for you - but they are equally delicious in this beet salad. I love roasting my beets for this salad for the best flavour but you can also boil your beets or use store-bought precooked beets for this recipe - details and alternatives below plus some great tips on peeling beets!
Beet Salad Recipe Ingredients:
- Salad Greens: You can literally use whatever salad greens you like - use Romaine lettuce, spring mix, red leaf lettuce, baby spinach or baby kale, arugula or do a blend of a few. My favourite is baby arugula and spring mix - the spicy/bitter arugula is nice with the sweet beets
- Beets: I like to use raw beets and roast them but you can use storebought cooked beets or even canned if you are in a pinch but for best flavour I recommend roasting your beets. Beets are rich source of fiber, manganese, copper, and folate. Beets even offer a surprising amount of protein - a great addition to this salad or any meal
- Dried cranberries & Pumpkin Seeds: Dried cranberries are always welcome in a salad but you can substitute with other dried fruit like dried cherries or even raisins or raisins. Pumpkin seeds add the perfect crunch to the salad - but can be substituted with sunflower seeds, sliced almonds or other chopped nuts. I like to use toasted pepitas or pumpkin seeds but that is optional.
- Red Onion: I think it’s a must to add to the salad but you can substitute with shallots too.
- Feta cheese: feta is the perfect salty briny add in but you can also use your favorite crumbled cheese such as goat cheese, blue cheese or Gorgonzola cheese
- Pistachios: I like using roasted lightly salted pistachios for best flavour - they add a delicious crunch to this salad. Feel free to use an nuts you like if you don’t have pistachios
- Optional Add Ins: Feel free to add extra veggies like red bell pepper, cucumbers, chopped celery, sliced avocado or even broccoli. You can even add in some protein to the salad like adding some chickpeas, or leftover roasted or grilled chicken.
- For the Dressing or Vinaigrette: You will need olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, maple syrup, minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. This combination makes for a delicious dressing for this beet salad recipe. Ofcourse you can swap out the balsamic vinegar for apple cider vinegar or even lemon juice, the maple syrup for honey and dijon mustard for prepared mustard too - switch things up according to taste
Beet Salad Add Ins and Alternatives
- Switch up the greens – if you’re not a fan of arugula, feel free to use your favorite leafy green instead. Spinach to spring mix or a blend of any of them would be a great choice of greens for this salad.
- Make this dairy-free and vegan – simply skip the feta cheese or goat cheese (or use a vegan cheese option).
- Switch up the dressing – Feel free to use your own salad dressing or a storebought one of choice
- Add grains – I love adding grains to my salad for some extra volume and nutrients and heartiness . Toss in cooked quinoa, farro or rice
- Add protein – Add a protein of your choice like chickpeas, or leftover roasted or grilled chicken or some crispy cooked chopped bacon for even more flavour
- Use candied nuts – the ultimate treat. Try adding candied walnuts or pecans
- Swap the nuts or seeds – if you have a nut allergy or if you just prefer seeds you can swap the pistachios for sunflower seeds or pepitas.
- Add roasted veggies – this salad would also be great with Roasted carrots, Roasted sweet potatoes or Roasted butternut squash tossed in.
How to Make This Delicious Beet Salad
- Make Beet Salad Dressing: Whisk all the Dressing ingredients together in a bowl or shake in a jar. We want to make the dressing first so it has time to chill and the flavors to marry
- Roast Beets: Wrap each beet tightly in a sheet of aluminum foil and arrange on lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour until tender. Allow to cool then unwrap and peel. Boiling option in recipe notes below.
- Assemble Beet Salad: Toss Salad ingredients together in a large bowl. Drizzle and toss salad with dressing if you are eating it right away or serve salad with dressing on the side.
Storage & Make Ahead
- Storage: Undressed salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days
- Make Ahead: You can make the the dressing up to a day in advance. Cooked and cooled beets will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container. To further extend the shelf life of cooked beets, freeze them; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
More Salad and Side Dishes You Will Love:
- 4-6 medium size beets stalks trimmed, roasted, peeled and sliced (feel free to use pre-cooked beets)
- 6 cups baby arugula, or mixed greens rinsed and spun dry
- ½ red onion or shallot peeled and diced
- ½ cup feta cheese or goat cheese or crumbled
- ⅓ cup pistachios, ( I prefer roasted and salted)
- ¼ cup dried cranberries or cherries (optional)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
For the Balsamic Vinaigrette
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon dijon mustard,
- 2 teaspoons Maple syrup or honey
- ½ teaspoon dried garlic or 1 minced fresh garlic clove
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ⅛ tsp black pepper
How to Make Beet Salad with Arugula
- Roast Beets: Preheat the oven to 400˚F. Line the bottom of a medium rimmed baking sheet with foil. Wrap each beet tightly in a sheet of foil and arrange lined baking sheet. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until largest beet is easily pierced. Unwrap beets and cool to room temperature then peel the skins and slice into halves and then wedges
- Make Dressing: Place Dressing ingredients in a small bowl or in a jar and shake or whisk well. Adjust to taste - more oil to make it creamier, maple syrup for sweet, vinegar for tart.
- Assemble Salad: Place salad greens in a large bowl with half the sliced beets and all the onion. Drizzle with half the dressing then toss. Scatter over the cranberries, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, remaining sliced beets and feta. Drizzle with remaining dressing. Serve immediately
- Storage: Undressed salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for a couple of days. Dressed salad should be eaten right away as the salad greens will get soggy.
- Make Ahead: You can make the the dressing up to a day in advance and store each in the fridge. Cooked and cooled beets will last for 3 to 5 days in the refrigerator stored in an airtight container. To further extend the shelf life of cooked beets, freeze them; freeze in covered airtight containers or heavy-duty freezer bags, or wrap tightly with heavy-duty aluminum foil or freezer wrap.
- Can I boil my beets instead of roasting them? Yes you can. Boil them in a large pot of water for 20 to 40 minutes until tender when pierced with a knife. Drain and allow to cool then peel and slice.
- 3 Tips for Peeling Beets: Use a paring knife if parts of the beet skin are tough to peel off with your hands. Cover your hands to prevent the beets from staining your hands red with latex gloves or use a paper towel to peel off the beet skin. Peel beets under cold water to prevent staining your hands.