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!
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!
Reading: Roasted beetroot goat cheese salad
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!
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!
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!
- 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.
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
Read more: Watermelon Salad with Feta and Mint
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).
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.
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.
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).
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
- Simple Waldorf salad
- Classic Caprese salad
- Tomato and cucumber salad
- Easy Beet and Carrot Salad
- Massaged kale salad
- Lebanese Fattoush salad
- Easy spinach and blackberry salad
- Herby Watermelon Feta Salad with Cucumber
- Fresh and Fruity Pineapple Cucumber Salad
- Simple Avocado Cucumber Tomato Salad
- Simple Arugula Pomegranate Salad with Parmesan
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!
Read more: List of 17 recipes for german potato salad
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