This beet salad with goat cheese recipe features beets, crunchy pears, walnuts, goat cheese, and arugula tossed in a simple Dijon honey vinaigrette. It’s fresh, flavorful, and super easy to make. It’s the ultimate salad!
During the summer, I constantly find myself craving quick, no-fuss meals. Whenever I have beets on hand, this easy Beet Salad with Goat Cheese is a no-brainer. The earthy flavor of the roasted beets makes for a wonderful companion with a number of foods, but tangy goat cheese arguably has to be among the best.
Over the years, this pairing has become almost as iconic as peas and carrots. Throw in some fresh arugula, juicy pears, and a sprinkle of walnuts, and you have yourself a quick, wholesome, and nutritious lunch. Seriously, it’s one of the best salads. This Arugula Salad if you are a big arugula fan.
One of my favorite things about salads is how versatile they are. You can mix and match the ingredients based on what you have at home and what you’re in the mood for. There are endless combinations that guarantee to result in a beautiful medley of flavors that taste delicious and leave you feeling super satisfied.
You can serve this Beet and Giat Cheese Salad on its own or pair it with a lean protein like grilled chicken breast or salmon. It works great as a healthy lunch option or as a side dish for any of your favorite dinner recipes. This dish is tasty, refreshing, and nutrient-dense. The ultimate trifecta!
To prepare this healthy salad, you’re going to need the following key ingredients:
- Roasted beets: Not only are beets loaded with tons of incredible nutrients, but they’re also beyond delicious when cooked right. By roasting them until they are soft and tender, you can concentrate those beautiful sweet flavors. If you don't have time to roast the beets, you could swap in canned beets or pre-cooked beets from the produce section.
- Goat cheese: The tangy flavor and creamy texture pair wonderfully with the sweet, earthy beets. If you need an alternative, feta cheese would also work well.
- Arugula: For this recipe, I prefer to use arugula as the base. The mild peppery taste provides a beautiful contrast with the rest of the flavors. Feel free to swap it for baby kale, spinach, or another leafy green.
- Pears: The pears add a sweet-tart flavor along with a burst of bright color and a nice crunchy texture. If you don’t have pears, you can replace them with apples. Oranges or mandarin slices are also delicious for a pop of acid.
- Walnuts: I’m a firm believer that nearly every great salad should feature something that provides a nutty flavor and crunch! In this dish, walnuts work great. Toast them for even more flavor. If you’re not a fan of walnuts, pecans, almonds, or almost any nuts would work too.
- Dressing: One of the best beet salad dressing options in my opinion is balsamic vinaigrette. This one of made with balsamic vinegar, honey (or maple syrup), Dijon mustard, kosher salt, and black pepper. Add minced garlic, shallots, or fresh herbs like parsley or basil if you like.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
Looking to switch things up? Here are some of my top tips and tricks to help you get the best beet salad with goat cheese every time:
- Use a different base. Don’t care for the peppery taste of arugula? You can switch things up by using another leafy green for your beet salad like kale, spring greens, or baby spinach.
- Swap out the fruits. You can swap out the pears for another fruit like apples, dried cranberries, or pomegranate seeds.
- Replace the cheese. If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese or don’t have any on hand, you can substitute it with another tangy cheese like feta or blue cheese.
- Play around with the dressing. Now, good dressing is the key to a delicious salad. For this salad, I’ve gone with a simple Dijon honey vinaigrette. However, feel free to swap it out with any bright and tangy dressing you like. For a creamier salad, try my healthy honey mustard dressing or green goddess dressing.
- Add in some protein. For an even more satisfying meal, try adding lean protein like chicken breast, pork, fish, shrimp, steak, chickpeas, or tofu.
- Roast the walnuts. If you’re worried about bitterness from the walnuts, try roasting them first. This can help to release any potential bitterness, so you’re only left with nutty deliciousness.
- Add more vegetables: Boost the nutrients and flavor in this salad with more vegetables. I love adding roasted vegetables like cauliflower or butternut squash. Fresh raw vegetables like cucumbers or red cabbage are also delicious.
What to Serve With Beet Salad With Goat Cheese
This delicious beet salad is extremely easy to whip up and tastes absolutely divine. Whether you plan to serve it as a quick stand-alone meal or the perfect side dish with some grilled meat, you’ll always have a winner.
Looking for some inspiration? Here are some of my favorite ways to serve this dish:
- With some protein. Serve this vibrant salad with your favorite protein for a well-balanced meal. It goes extremely well with my Grilled Salmon with Cajun Seasoning or this delectable Grilled Chicken Breast recipe.
- Soup. Classic soup and salad combo, anyone? There’s nothing that hits the spot quite like serving this salad alongside some Butternut Squash Soup for lunch.
- Pasta. For something heartier, you can’t go wrong with serving this salad with some delicious Zucchini Lasagna. This flavorful and nutrient-rich pairing is perfect for family dinners and dinner parties alike!
How to Store Leftover Salad
If you’re planning to meal prep this salad ahead of time, I highly recommend storing the salad and dressing separately. The beets also tend to stain the goat cheese with a hue of purple, so you might want to store the beets separately as well.
As long as you store the dressing separately, the salad can be stored in the fridge for up to 2-3 days. If you want to roast the beets ahead of time, you can store them in the fridge for up to 5 days. The homemade vinaigrette can be stored in the fridge for up to 7-10 days. Make sure to preserve everything in airtight containers!
Frequently Asked Questions
Here are the answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about this beet salad recipe:
Some of my favorite proteins to add to this salad include grilled chicken and salmon. For a vegetarian option, try adding chickpeas or tofu.
If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese or simply want to try something else, I recommend opting for another tangy cheese like feta or blue cheese. For a vegan beet salad, feel free to leave out the cheese entirely or swap it for a plant-based cheese.
Yes. Raw beets are incredibly nutritious, however many people find the flavor to be a bit too earthy and bitter when raw. I recommend roasting beets before adding them to salad, because this caramelizes them and concentrates the natural sweetness.
This is completely up to personal preference, but I love serving this salad with the beets slightly warm. The warm beets with the crisp, cool greens is delicious. With that said, it is also delicious with cold beets.
To save time, roast the beets in advance and then simply store them in the fridge. The vinaigrette can also be prepared in advance and stored in the fridge for up to a week.
Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
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- 6 fresh beets
- 1/4 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 tsp honey (more to taste)
- 2 tsp Dijon mustard (or whole grain mustard)
- Salt and pepper
- 6 cups arugula
- 1 pear, sliced (or apple)
- 1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
- 1/4 cup walnuts, chopped
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Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Scrub the beets well and remove the tops. Wrap each beet in aluminum foil and place it on a baking sheet. Bake for 45-60 minutes (depending on size) until you can easily insert a knife. Let cool until easy to handle. You can also use canned beets or refrigerated cooked beets for a quicker option.
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
The Nutritional Values provided are estimates only and may vary based on the preparation method.
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