Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese (Optionally Vegan)

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Enjoy this roasted beet salad with goat cheese as a fresh spring/summer side salad, or boost it into a main. This beetroot salad combines peppery arugula with earthy sweet beetroot, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts with a tangy homemade honey mustard dressing! It’s naturally gluten-free and can be made dairy-free and vegan if preferred!

Roasted beet salad with arugula and walnuts

If you follow me over on Instagram, then you’ll know that this last week (and over this last month, too) I spent time focusing on fun, fresh, and – of course – tasty salads that you can meal-prep and enjoy for days (like this simple avocado cucumber tomato salad, summery Panzanella salad (Tuscan bread salad), Shirazi salad, and Thai green papaya salad). Well, this roasted beet salad with goat cheese also makes the cut. It’s packed with nutrients, flavor, and can be stored in the fridge for 3-4 days!

Even better, the only parts of this recipe that take any effort at all (roasting the beets and preparing the dressing) can be done several days in advance. That way, it’s as simple as chopping and assembling the few ingredients. Once ready, you can serve this beetroot salad as a side dish, increase the portion into a light lunch, or beef it up with extra ingredients (like protein) for more of a substantial meal!

Mixing roasted beet salad with goat cheese in bowl

I love when beets are in season; not only do they look great with their rich purple/red color (perfect for making colored beet pasta and a cheesy beet pasta sauce), but they have a complex earthy sweet taste. They are also packed with vitamins, minerals, and healthful plant compounds – which is why you’ll find me turning them into healthy salads, beet chips, beet hummus, and beet and ginger juice.

Beetroot Health Benefits

Beetroot contains some level of almost all the vitamins and minerals we need and also contains highly beneficial plant compounds called inorganic nitrates and pigments, all while remaining low calorie. The combination of nutrients and compounds means that beets can have a significant impact on lowering blood pressure and improving brain health, digestive health, fighting inflammation, and may even have anti-cancer properties. You can read more about their health benefits, too! I’ve talked about them more in my beetroot juice recipe, too!

Beetroot on a flat wooden surface

Roasting beets is by far my best way to enjoy them, too. The roasting process caramelizes the sugars within for tender, earthy, and wonderfully sweet bites of flavor to add to all kinds of dishes (same with this roasted pepper salad). Oh, and did I mention this salad is also fairly versatile – swap out the goat cheese for a beet salad with feta, halloumi, dairy-free cheese, or even avocado in place of cheese. Swap the nuts, the arugula, and even the dressing based on what you have available – it’s hard to go wrong with this simple summer beet salad recipe!

The Ingredients

  • Beetroot: I’m using a combination of the beet bulb and the beet greens/leaves (to reduce waste). I recommend raw organic beetroot – red and yellow work. However, you could also use pre-roasted beets and omit the greens. Pre-boiled/steamed beets would also work, but you miss out on the extra depth of flavor and caramelization provided by the roasting, so I recommend roasted for the best flavor.
  • Arugula (rocket): the peppery flavor of arugula pairs wonderfully with roasted beets’ earthy, slightly sweet taste. You can substitute arugula with kale (lightly massaged with the dressing or a little oil) or use a combination of mixed baby salad greens (which often contains arugula, spinach, and other greens).
  • Goat cheese: I use homemade goat cheese. Alternatively, a beet salad with feta or grilled halloumi also works well. For a vegan beet salad, use dairy-free feta or omit it entirely and optionally sub with avocado.
  • Walnuts: I use raw walnuts. You can optionally lightly toast them first or even use candied walnuts. Otherwise, substitute them for pecans or even pistachios. For a nut-free version, lightly toasted pumpkin seeds will work well.
  • Shallots: shallots are milder in flavor than onion. Though you can substitute red onion if that’s all you have.
  • Lemon zest: lemon and beetroot pair particularly well, so a little lemon zest really enhances this roasted beet salad.
  • Honey mustard dressing: I make a simple homemade honey mustard dressing. Read below for alternative ideas.
Ingredients for roasted beet salad with goat cheese

Optional Add-Ins and Variations

  • Balsamic vinaigrette: you can replace the honey mustard with a simple balsamic vinaigrette combining olive oil, balsamic, and orange juice.
  • Egg: hard-boiled eggs are creamy and rich and pair wonderfully with this beet and goat cheese salad.
  • Avocado: the creamy texture and flavor of avocado work particularly well in this beet salad recipe – to replace or eat alongside goat cheese.
  • Tomatoes: if I have some cherry tomatoes in my fridge, I’ll often halve them and include them in this beetroot salad.
  • Radish: adds a slight crunch and freshness to the salad.
  • Fruit: there are several types of fruit that pair well with this beetroot salad, including pear, orange segments, raspberries, plums. You could also use dried fruit like cranberries or cherries.
  • Protein: there are several ways you can up the protein in this roasted beet salad. For meat-free protein, you can add cooked beans/lentils/chickpeas, or even tofu. If you eat meat, then a simple roasted chicken would work well.
  • Grains: another way to beef up this salad is to add extra carbs through grains like quinoa, rice, orzo, pasta, couscous, etc.

How to Make Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

Step 1: Clean the beetroot

If you’re using pre-roasted/prepared beets, then you can skip this step.

First, clean the beetroot well. I like to use a vegetable brush and water to properly scrub them clean and remove all the sand/soil. This is especially important as I keep their skins on (especially when organic).

Steps for cleaning beetroot

Step 2: Cook the beets

You can roast or broil the beets, but I prefer roasted (using an air fryer or oven). This will take 45-60 minutes at 375ºF/190ºC., depending on the size of the beets and whether you’re using an air fryer or oven.

I roasted mine whole, but feel free to pre-chop them into quarters, etc., to reduce the roasting time.

Roasting beets this way will produce crisper skins that are slightly chewier as they dry out in the oven. If you’d prefer them more tender, you can wrap the beets in tin foil before roasting and optionally remove the skins after roasting – they’ll peel right off. However, wrapping produces results that are a bit more like steaming, so they won’t be as nicely caramelized.

Before and after roasting beetroot

Step 3: Prepare the vegetables

Chop the roasted beetroot into bite-sized pieces and then prepare the rest of the ingredients by finely chopping the shallots and beet leaves (well washed, of course) and zesting the lemon.

Chopped ingredients for beetroot salad

At the same time, rinse, and pat dry (or use a salad spinner) the arugula.

If you haven’t already, then now is also the time to prepare the honey mustard dressing – it takes just a couple of minutes to mix the ingredients together.

Arugula salad in a bowl

Step 4: Assemble the roasted beet salad with goat cheese

Combine all the prepared ingredients in a large bowl, then add the goat cheese, walnuts, and salad dressing and lightly toss to combine. Then enjoy your beet and goat cheese salad!

Mixing roasted beet salad in a bowl

How to Make Ahead and Store 

Make ahead: to really cut down on prep time, you can prepare both the roasted beets and the honey mustard dressing several days in advance.

Store: once dressed, it’s best to enjoy this salad as soon as possible before it goes too “soggy.” If you know there’s likely to be leftovers, then it’s best to allow guests/family to dress their portion individually. The leftover undressed arugula salad with beets can then be stored, covered in the refrigerator for several days (3-4).

Roasted beet salad with goat cheese in a bowl

FAQs

Should we peel the beetroot for beetroot salad?

There’s no need to peel the beetroot, especially when they’re organic. The skins are papery and not unpleasant to eat. The only time I might peel the beets is if I’m using non-organic, but even then, it’s down to personal preference.

What if I don’t have beet greens?

No problem – you can omit them! I use them to avoid waste when buying beets with the leaves included. If you still want a combination of greens in your beet salad recipe, you can substitute them with other leafy greens like spinach or other mild salad greens of your choice.

How do I make candied walnuts?

If you want to use candied walnuts in this beet salad with goat cheese, you need around 1-2 Tbsp maple syrup. While the beets roast, add the walnuts to a large skillet and heat until toasty. Then add the maple syrup and cook, often stirring, until the nuts are evenly coated. Then leave them to cool, and voila! Simple candied walnuts for this beet and goat cheese salad!

What do beet greens taste like?

Beet greens have a mild but slightly bitter taste which balances against the sweetness of the roasted beets. Plus, they’re packed with extra vitamins, minerals, and fiber. If you have any leftovers, you can even sauté them with a little oil and seasoning to serve as a simple side dish. 

Beetroot and arugula salad

Recipe Notes and FAQs

  • Allow the beets to cool: if they’re still warm when you assemble the salad, they can cause the greens to wilt. So it’s best to allow them to cool first unless you plan on eating the entire salad immediately.
  • Peeled vs. unpeeled beets: you can enjoy them either way. I prefer to keep the skins on for extra nutrients, but only when using organic beets.
  • For vegan beet salad: you can swap out the cheese for a dairy-free alternative or omit it entirely and optionally use avocado in its place.

Other Simple Salad Recipes

If you try this recipe for roasted beet salad with goat cheese, I’d love to hear your thoughts/questions below. Also, I’d appreciate a recipe card rating below, and feel free to tag me in your recipe recreations on Instagram @Alphafoodie!

Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese

5 from 5 votes
By: Samira
Enjoy this roasted beet salad with goat cheese as a fresh spring/summer side salad, or boost it into a main. This beetroot salad combines peppery arugula with earthy sweet beetroot, creamy goat cheese, and crunchy walnuts with a tangy homemade honey mustard dressing! It’s naturally gluten-free and can be made dairy-free and vegan if preferred.
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 45 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour
Servings: 4 sides

Ingredients 
 

  • 1 lb beetroot red or yellow, I recommend organic
  • 2 oz beet greens optional, or replace with more arugula or other leafy greens
  • 3.5 oz arugula or kale (massaged), spinach, or mixed babay greens
  • 4.4 oz goat cheese or feta, halloumi, dairy-free cheese, or omit.
  • 1 oz walnuts or pecans; ¼ cup. For nut-free: pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted (2 Tbsp or more)
  • 2.5 oz shallots or red onions, 1 small
  • 1/2 lemon zest optional but recommended
  • 1/4 cup honey mustard dressing check notes for alternatives

Check the Recipe Notes below for Optional Add-ins and Variations!

    Instructions 

    Step 1: Clean the beetroot

    • If you’re using pre-roasted/prepared beets, then you can skip this step.
      Clean the beetroot well. I like to use a vegetable brush and water to properly scrub them clean and remove all the sand/soil. This is especially important as I keep their skins on (especially when organic).

    Step 2: Cook the beets

    • You can roast or broil the beets, but I prefer roasted (using an air fryer or oven).  This will take 45-60 minutes at 375ºF/190ºC., depending on the size of the beets and whether you're using an air fryer or oven.
      I roasted mine whole, but feel free to pre-chop them into quarters, etc., to reduce the roasting time.
      Roasting beets this way will produce crisper skins that are slightly chewier as they dry out in the oven. If you’d prefer them more tender, you can wrap the beets in tin foil before roasting and optionally remove the skins after roasting – they'll peel right off. However, wrapping produces results that are a bit more like steaming, so they won't be as nicely caramelized.

    Step 3: Prepare the vegetables

    • Chop the roasted beetroot into bite-sized pieces and then prepare the rest of the ingredients by finely chopping the shallots and beet leaves (well washed, of course) and zesting the lemon.
    • Rinse, and pat dry (or use a salad spinner) the arugula.
    • If you haven't already, prepare the honey mustard dressing – it takes just a couple of minutes to mix the ingredients together.

    Step 4: Assemble the roasted beet salad with goat cheese

    • Combine all the prepared ingredients in a large bowl, then add the goat cheese, walnuts, and salad dressing and lightly toss to combine. Then enjoy your beet and goat cheese salad!

    How to Make Ahead and Store

    • Make ahead: to really cut down on prep time, you can prepare both the roasted beets and the honey mustard dressing several days in advance.
      Store: once dressed, it's best to enjoy this salad as soon as possible before it goes too "soggy." If you know there's likely to be leftovers, then it's best to allow guests/family to dress their portion individually. The leftover undressed arugula salad with beets can then be stored, covered in the refrigerator for several days (3-4).

    Notes

    Optional Add-Ins and Variations
    • Balsamic vinaigrette: you can replace the honey mustard with a simple balsamic vinaigrette combining olive oil, balsamic, and orange juice.
    • Egg: hard-boiled eggs are creamy and rich and pair wonderfully with this beet and goat cheese salad.
    • Avocado: the creamy texture and flavor of avocado work particularly well in this beet salad recipe – to replace or eat alongside goat cheese.
    • Tomatoes: if I have some cherry tomatoes in my fridge, I’ll often halve them and include them in this beetroot salad.
    • Radish: adds a slight crunch and freshness to the salad.
    • Fruit: there are several types of fruit that pair well with this beetroot salad, including pear, orange segments, raspberries, plums. You could also use dried fruit like cranberries or cherries.
    • Protein: there are several ways you can up the protein in this roasted beet salad. For meat-free protein, you can add cooked beans/lentils/chickpeas, or even tofu. If you eat meat, then a simple roasted chicken would work well.
    • Grains: another way to beef up this arugula salad with beets is to add extra carbs through grains like quinoa, rice, orzo, etc.
     
    Other notes:
    • Allow the beets to cool: if they’re still warm when you assemble the salad, they can cause the greens to wilt. So it’s best to allow them to cool first unless you plan on eating the entire salad immediately.
    • For vegan beet salad: you can swap out the cheese for a dairy-free alternative or omit it entirely and optionally use avocado in its place.
     
    Check out the blog post for more answers to top FAQs!
    Course: Appetizer, Main, Side
    Cuisine: American
    Freezer friendly: No
    Shelf life: 3-4 Days

    Nutrition

    Calories: 290kcal, Carbohydrates: 18g, Protein: 11g, Fat: 21g, Saturated Fat: 6g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g, Monounsaturated Fat: 9g, Cholesterol: 14mg, Sodium: 397mg, Potassium: 671mg, Fiber: 6g, Sugar: 12g, Vitamin A: 1848IU, Vitamin C: 17mg, Calcium: 134mg, Iron: 4mg

    Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

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