This roasted Beet Salad with arugula and balsamic vinaigrette is the perfect salad for Fall or Winter. It is the perfect blend of fresh arugula with sweet roasted beets, crunchy pecans, and creamy cheese. (P.S. You can use goat cheese or feta!) You’ll want the balsamic vinaigrette on all of your Autumn salads!
If you like robust salads, this roasted red Beet Salad is going to be a Fall favorite for you- it’s loaded with healthy and flavorful ingredients. This is our go-to balsamic vinaigrette – it’s drizzled over our Autumn Chopped Salad and Cobb Salad, which are reader favorites.
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Roasted Beet Salad Recipe
My friend Nataliya shared the idea for this beet salad with arugula with me and it was an instant hit! It tastes fancy but wait until you see how EASY it is to make. This show-stopping salad really is the best beet salad recipe!
We brought this to my sister’s house for dinner and it disappeared quickly with rave reviews from everyone. The balsamic vinaigrette will totally win you over. You will love that this salad is:
- Easy to make – especially if you make Instant Pot Beets and even cook them ahead.
- Colorful– the gorgeous Fall color palette adds festive beauty to your table
- Customizableable– you’re in control of what goes into your salad to meet your taste and dietary needs
- Good for you – Packed with essential nutrients
Ingredients for Beet Salad
Everything about this beet salad is good – rich in flavor and super healthy thanks to the fresh ingredients.
- Beets – the stars of this salad, you will need 6 medium red or golden beets or a combination of the two
- Baby arugula – rinsed and spun dry
- Feta cheese (or Goat Cheese)- use crumbled cheese or dice up a block yourself
- Pecans – toasted
- Dried cranberries – add a sweet and tangy layer of flavor
Ingredients for Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Extra virgin olive oil – a flavorful base for your dressing
- Balsamic vinegar – its well-rounded sweet flavor pairs perfectly with leafy salad greens
- Dijon mustard – we use Grey Poupon brand
- Garlic – 1 clove, pressed or finely minced
- Salt and pepper – to taste
Variations and Substitutions
This salad is totally customizable to your taste. I love the bright colors of the red beets, but you can add gold beets or sliced apple, add red onion or shallots, or even use different lettuce varieties. You can also change up the cheese and nuts.
- Goat cheese (our recent favorite!)
- Gorgonzola cheese
- Grated parmesan
- Mixed greens
- Baby spinach
- Red leaf lettuce
How to Cook Beets
Wash and trim the beets so that the stems are about ½-inch long and the roots are no more than about 2 inches long.
- Instant Pot Method: Cooking beets in your Instant Pot is the quickest and easiest way to cook tender beets. If you have one, follow the steps on my Instant Pot Beets tutorial.
- Oven-Roasted Beets: If you don’t have an Instant Pot yet, don’t fret. Preheat your oven to 400°F. and line the bottom of a rimmed baking sheet with foil. Tightly wrap each beet in aluminum foil to seal and arrange the beets on the baking sheet. Bake for 1 hour or until the largest beet is easily pierced. Unwrap the beets.
You can pre-cook beets up to 3 days in advance, cover, and refrigerate them until ready to use.
How to Make Beet Salad
- Cool and Prepare Beets – No matter how you cook the beets, allow them to cool to room temperature, and then trim the roots and peel the skins- they should peel right off, super easy. Slice them into wedges.
- Toast Pecans – In a dry skillet, toss frequently until golden and fragrant.
- Combine Ingredients – Rinse and dry your arugula and transfer to a large salad bowl. Add the sliced beets, and sprinkle the feta cheese, toasted pecans, and dried cranberries on top.
- Balsamic Vinaigrette – Make and drizzle over the top just before serving. Toss to combine.
Be sure to wear gloves when working with beets. The juices are bright red and stain everything, including your hands. Now you can make all of your favorite beet recipes (including Borscht) without staining your hands.
How to Make Balsamic Vinaigrette
- In a mason jar, combine extra virgin olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dijon mustard, garlic clove, salt, and pepper.
- Seal with the lid and shake well to combine. I use about 3/4 of this recipe for this salad. Leftover dressing to use on your next salad is never a bad thing.
Salad Serving Tip:
To ensure the salad doesn’t get soggy or wilted, drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over your salad just before serving. You can toss to combine or serve without tossing, just be sure to evenly drizzle and set a pair of tongs next to the salad along with the the extra dressing. The salad is prettier if it’s not tossed.
Red beets have a more dense texture and slightly bitter taste that is enhanced when roasted. Both varieties work well in recipes calling for beets, but golden beets tend to be a bit sweeter and have a milder (less earthy) taste.
Beets are typically in-season late summer to early fall. They should be firm to the touch, and not have bruises, cuts, or soft spots. Smaller beets tend to be sweeter and more tender, while large beets tend to taste more earthy. I try to select beets about the size of my fist for perfect taste and texture. Bonus if the store is selling them with the green tops still attached, you can tell they are fresh because the leaves have not dried out or turned brown.
Beets have several health benefits. They are high in fiber and antioxidants and low in fat and calories. They also have anti-inflammatory properties. You can even use the Beet Greens for Superfood Borscht.
- Assemble ahead – With the exception of adding the dressing, you can fully assemble this salad ahead of time. Just save the jarred dressing on the side until just before serving so your greens do not get soggy. This also makes it easy to store leftover salad and dressing.
- Pre-cook beets – You can roast the beets up to 3 days ahead of time. Allow them to cool before storing them in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- Store any leftovers in a container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days.
What to Serve With Beet Salad
This stunning salad is hearty and satisfying enough to be a meal on its own, or it makes the perfect side dish. Pair it with:
The arugula’s peppery taste provides a fresh contrast to the sweetness of the beets. Tossed in the best balsamic vinaigrette, this salad is not only delicious, but it hits so many textures with the crunch of the toasted pecans and the creaminess of the cheese. This Roasted Beet Salad shows up at every holiday buffet in our family and it always disappears fast.
More Fall Salad Recipes
If you love this Beet Salad recipe, then you won’t want to miss these amazing Fall salad recipes.
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