Beet Goat Cheese Walnut Salad

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This Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad is topped with a light honey-Dijon vinaigrette. This salad is so quick and easy to make. It’s the perfect addition to the dinner table — it pairs well with so many different main dishes! Or make this into a big dinner salad by adding some grilled chicken or steak.

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad 

We love a good salad recipe — probably no surprise to you there. But with salad recipes, we’re usually in the camp of “more is more.” Got some extra nuts or seeds lying around? Throw ’em in. An avocado? Of course. Dried cranberries or cherries? Why not?!

But the goal with this salad is to be as simple as possible with the concept of “less is more.” Because if you want to make a salad for a big holiday dinner or to accompany a heavier meal like a Crockpot Pot Roast, it’s not practical to be spending loads of time on making the salad. That said, although the goal is simplicity, there still has to be loads of flavor because otherwise, why even make it…right?!

These two goals are the epitome of this salad: easy AND tasty. You’ll be amazed at how quickly it comes together and how much flavor you’ll be enjoying from such simple ingredients. This Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad is definitely getting served at our holiday table this year!

Process shots--make the dressing by adding all ingredients to a jar and shaking; toast the walnuts in a skillet; add greens to a serving platter.

Dressing Ingredients

We’re nothing short of obsessed with this dressing! It’s the perfect balance of tangy and sweet with a robust flavor. Below are all the ingredients in this honey-Dijon vinaigrette, along with our top ingredient tips:

  • Olive oil. The better the olive oil used, the better the flavor of this dressing. We recommend extra virgin olive oil for this recipe. 
  • Dijon mustard. We love Grey Poupon® Dijon best. Make sure to use Dijon, not yellow mustard. There’s a big flavor difference!
  • Honey. For a sweeter dressing, add additional honey, slowly, and to taste. Use a spoon and stir any honey back into the dressing if it has settled at the bottom of the jar.
  • Minced shallot. This ingredient gives the dressing a nice depth of flavor and savoriness without being overpowering like an onion.
  • Red wine vinegar. The vinegar adds tang, sweetness, and is the perfect ingredient to tie everything together.
  • Salt and pepper. No dressing is complete without salt and pepper, and the vinaigrette coating this Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad is no exception!

Process shots--adding all ingredients to the salad; drizzling the dressing over all.

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad Components

  • Beets: To save loads of time here (roasting beets is easy– but time-consuming), we choose already cooked beets from the produce section of the store (We love Love Beets™ the best!). A lot of grocery stores offer flavored/seasoned beets, but we prefer plain for this salad so we don’t end up with competing flavors. Of course, if you’d prefer to roast your own beets, check out the section below: “How to Roast Beets.”
  • Goat cheese: We’re obsessed with the combo of goat cheese and beets, but if you don’t love goat cheese, try feta. Feta is more salty than tangy, but complements the beets nicely.
  • Walnuts: Again, to save time, we use already chopped walnuts. You can get dry roasted and salted, too, for more flavor and no additional work. If you have raw walnuts, we highly recommend toasting them (see “quick tip”), but it’s up to you, since the point of this salad is to be quick and easy!

QUICK TIP

Toasting walnuts brings the natural oils to the surface and intensifies the rich nutty flavors, creates a deeper color, and makes the nuts even crunchier — it’s a game changer for improving the flavor and texture of this salad! To toast: Place the walnuts in a single layer in a heavy skillet (you don’t need to add anything else) and stir them around on medium-low heat. It only takes about 2-3 minutes (sometimes less, depending on how much heat they are getting) until they are toasted and quite fragrant. Make sure you are stirring them around and watching constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn!

Close up of the salad showing the beets

If you’d prefer to roast your own beets for this Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad (instead of buying already cooked beets), here’s our favorite way to prepare them:

How To Roast Beets

Tip: You may want to wear gloves when working with beets because they can stain your hands and fingernails. Also, I recommend a dark plastic cutting board, since beets will stain wood and lighter boards.

  • Trim the beets. Cut the tops off the beets (save the beet greens and use them in one of these recipes!) and trim the root.
  • Peel the beets. Completely peel the beets with a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut. The beets should be in 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes. To get even-sized beet cubes, cut the beets first into 1/2-inch-thick rounds, then cut each round into 1/2 thick strips. The strips can then be cut down into 1/2 to 3/4-inch cubes.
  • Roast. Place the cut beets on a lined sheet pan and toss with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Bake for 15 minutes, flip and bake another 15 minutes. They may need another 5-10 minutes, depending on the size they were cut, actual oven temperature, and how spaced out the beets are.

For best results, I recommend roasting the beets on a 15×21-inch sheet pan. The bigger pan will ensure the beets aren’t overlapping, which gives you perfectly caramelized beets. If the beets are crowded on the pan and overlapping, they will steam instead of roast and end up less flavorful in this Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad.

Fully dressed Beet, Goat Cheese and Walnut Salad

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad Storage

Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad doesn’t sit or store well after it’s made. Once assembled, the salad needs to be eaten soon after; otherwise, the dressing wilts the greens and the walnuts soften.

To make ahead: Prepare everything (make the dressing, toast the walnuts, chop the beets) but store ingredients separately in the fridge. Toss everything together right before serving.

The dressing only gets more flavorful as it sits, so it benefits from being made ahead of time! That said, the shallot flavor gets more intense in the dressing as well, so, instead, we recommend adding the shallot to the dressing right before serving. Dressing can be made 3-4 days in advance (without the shallot). Simply store in a jar and thoroughly shake to recombine before adding to the salad. If the cooled dressing forms clumps, don’t be alarmed; this is just olive oil solidifying, which it does at cold temperatures. Let dressing stand at room temperature for 20 minutes or so, and then shake to recombine.

More recipes using beets

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Beet Goat Cheese Walnut Salad

5 from 1 vote
This Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad with a light honey-Dijon vinaigrette is so quick and easy to make. It's the perfect addition to the dinner table-- it pairs well with so many different main dishes. Or, make it a big dinner salad by adding some grilled chicken or steak.
Print Recipe

Beet Goat Cheese Walnut Salad

5 from 1 vote
This Beet, Goat Cheese, and Walnut Salad with a light honey-Dijon vinaigrette is so quick and easy to make. It's the perfect addition to the dinner table-- it pairs well with so many different main dishes. Or, make it a big dinner salad by adding some grilled chicken or steak.
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American, Healthy, Vegetarian
Keyword Beet Goat Cheese Walnut Salad
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 4 -6 as a side
Calories 316kcal
Cost $9.12

Ingredients

  • 4 oz. store-bought beets Note 1
  • 1/3 cup (49g) chopped walnuts Note 2
  • 1 package (5.5 oz.; 156g) mixed greens Note 3
  • 1/3 cup (49g) crumbled goat cheese (or feta)

Dressing

  • 3 tablespoons (38g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon (20g) honey
  • 2-1/4 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1-1/2 tablespoons (21g) red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons finely minced shallot
  • Fine sea salt & pepper

Instructions

  • DRESSING: Start with the dressing so it has time to chill and get more flavorful. Combine all the ingredients in a wide-mouth jar. Season to taste with salt and pepper (I add 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/8 teaspoon pepper). Shake until well combined. Refrigerate until ready to use.
  • SALAD: On a dark plastic cutting board (beets stain wood boards), chop the beets. Toast walnuts if desired (Note 2) and let cool. Add greens to a large bowl and top with goat cheese and walnuts.
  • ENJOY: Drizzle dressing over salad (Read instruction 4 first). We like all of the dressing on the salad, but you may prefer to use less. Gently toss the salad and serve on plates. Add beets to individual plates. If you toss the beets in the salad they will dye everything pink!
  • STORAGE: Dressed salad doesn't sit well, so if you want to have leftovers or make ahead, store the dressing separately from the salad.

Video

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Beets: To save loads of time here (roasting beets is easy– but time-consuming) we choose already cooked beets from the produce section of the store (We love Love Beets™ plain beets best in this salad!). If you'd prefer to roast your own beets, check out the section in the post "How to Roast Beets". 4 ounces of beets is about 2-3 roasted beets.
Note 2: Walnuts: To save time and effort, we use already chopped walnuts. You can get dry roasted and salted too, for more flavor and no additional work. If you have raw walnuts, you can toast them for more flavor -- place the walnuts in a single layer in a heavy skillet (you don’t need to add anything else) and stir them around on medium-low heat. It only takes about 2-3 minutes (sometimes less, depending on how much heat they are getting) until they are toasted and fragrant. Make sure you are stirring them around and watching constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn!
Note 3: Mixed greens: To make this salad quick and easy, use a medley of lettuce blends. (These mixes are already washed and ready to eat!) We use a baby lettuce blend, baby greens, and baby spinach.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 316kcal | Carbohydrates: 12g | Protein: 7g | Fat: 28g | Saturated Fat: 6g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 11g | Monounsaturated Fat: 11g | Cholesterol: 9mg | Sodium: 166mg | Potassium: 205mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 8g | Vitamin A: 665IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 56mg | Iron: 1mg

We do our best to provide accurate nutritional analysis for our recipes. Our nutritional data is calculated using a third-party algorithm and may vary, based on individual cooking styles, measurements, and ingredient sizes. Please use this information for comparison purposes and consult a health professional for nutrition guidance as needed.

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