Beet Salad

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Here’s our favorite Beet Salad, complete with perfectly caramelized roasted beets, fresh citrus, creamy goat (or feta) cheese, and sweet, candied almonds. Add a drizzle of our favorite tangy citrus-balsamic vinaigrette to perfectly finish everything off! 

We love Beet Salad so much that we made a variation of it with pistachios, avocado, and a lemon-orange vinaigrette — check out that Beet and Goat Cheese Salad next!

Beet Salad overhead view

 

The BEST roasted beets ever!! Salt roasted beets coated in balsamic vinaigrette and tossed with arugula, easy (2-ingredients) candied almonds, mandarin oranges, and goat cheese. I Delicious roasted beet and goat cheese salad! via chelseasmessyapron.com

Beet Salad

Roasted beets are one of my favorite veggies (especially if they’re paired with roasted sweet potatoes) so we add ’em to a salad with a citrusy balsamic dressing and it’s become a new favorite!

The sweetness of the orange pairs perfectly with the tangy balsamic dressed beets, the goat cheese adds a nice creaminess, and the crunchy almonds add the perfect finishing touch.

There are a few components to this salad, but a lot can be prepared ahead of time and then tossed together right before serving– making it a great salad to bring to an event or serve to company. And the beauty of this salad is it can easily serve as a side dish or be converted into a main dish with some added protein — more on this below!

Process shots: making candied almonds

Candied Almonds

The candied almonds add a nice crunch and additional sweetness to Beet Salad. They’re also quick and easy to make– only two ingredients and one skillet — no oven necessary!

Because they are made in a skillet, they do require constant supervision; the candied almonds can go from perfect to burnt in a matter of seconds. My biggest tip here is to stir them constantly and watch carefully. As soon as the sugar begins to get sticky and wet, remove the almonds from the burner and continue to stir until the sugar is completely absorbed into the almonds.

If you don’t want to make your own candied almonds, I’d recommend picking up some at the grocery store; these honey-roasted almonds are our favorite. They’re usually found with other salad toppers or in the end caps of the produce section of the grocery store. 

And if you’d like to enjoy this Beet Salad with less sugar, add plain toasted almonds instead; see the “quick tip” box below!

QUICK TIP

Place the almonds 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 smelling quite fragrant. Make sure you are stirring them around and watching constantly so they don’t have a chance to burn!

Process shots: supreming the oranges

Supreming Citrus

If you are unfamiliar with the term supreming citrus it’s a simple technique to remove the membrane from citrus fruit. Not only does it elevate the presentation in this Beet Salad, but it also ensures the citrus is free of rind or pith. Supreming does take a little more time, so it’s not entirely necessary, but if you’re serving this salad for an event or holiday, it does add that extra touch.

To supreme citrus:

  1. Use a very sharp knife (otherwise this can be frustrating!).
  2. Cut off the top and bottom of the fruit and then set the fruit on a cutting board, with the flat edge down.
  3. Working around the fruit, slice the peel and pith off in sections. Follow the shape of the fruit cutting from the top down to the bottom.
  4. Repeat until all the peel and pith have been removed.
  5. Now, thinly slice (and halve the slices for smaller orange bites).
  6. Add the beautiful cut citrus to the Beet Salad!

QUICK TIP

Don’t want to supreme the citrus? Simply peel and break apart into segments for this salad.

Process shots: dressing for Beet Salad

Beet Salad Dressing

This dressing has a very intense, tangy, and mildly sweet flavor. Here are a few tips:

  • Use good quality, extra virgin olive oil: The better your olive oil, the better the flavor of the dressing will be. Here are a few tips when trying to find good olive oil and a list of chefs’ favorite olive oils. Cobram Estate® Extra Virgin Olive Oil is a current favorite of mine in this dressing.
  • Squeeze the orange juice yourself: Already prepared (store-bought) orange juice is typically concentrated or has added ingredients that affect the flavor and sweetness of the dressing. Use freshly squeezed juice instead.
  • Toss some of the roasted beets with the dressing. After the beets have roasted, toss with a little dressing while they’re still hot. This gives the beets a chance to marinate and develop more flavor as they cool down for the salad.
  • Use kitchen tools to make the dressing preparation easier. Use a microplane (like this one) to zest only the very outside bright orange part of the clementine. Avoid the white pith below the peel. This citrus juicer makes juicing the clementines a breeze!

Process shots: adding ingredients to the salad

Converting Beet Salad Into A Main Dish

We love Beet Salad with thinly sliced grilled chicken or shredded rotisserie chicken added in.

We’ve also enjoyed it on the side with grilled flank steak (check out this Grilled Flank Steak recipe).

Make this Beet Salad in Advance

Beet Salad has components that can be made ahead and tossed together right before serving. Here’s what you can do ahead of time:

  • Prepare the dressing 1-2 days in advance and store it in a Mason jar. Don’t be concerned if the dressing separates or forms clumps — this is just the olive oil solidifying, which it does at cold temps. Take the vinaigrette out of the fridge about 20-30 minutes or so before you need it to bring it back up to temperature; then shake it up to remix.
  • Candy the nuts. The candied almonds can be made up to a week in advance. Let them fully cool and then store in an air-tight container at room temperature.
  • Prepare the toppings. The beets can be roasted and stored in the fridge up to a day in advance. The citrus can be prepared a few hours before serving; keep in the fridge in an air-tight container (some juice will leak out).
  • To assemble: Toss the lettuce, beets, citrus, and dressing together. Add in the cheese and almonds. Gently stir everything to combine and enjoy!

QUICK TIP

Short-cut: Use pre-roasted beets: A lot of stores have already-roasted beets in their produce section; pick the plain variety and simply chop those up for Beet Salad. In a pinch, you can use canned beets; make sure to drain them thoroughly.

Process shots: roasting the beets

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 and trim the root. (Save the beet greens and use them in one of these recipes!) 
  • Peel the beets. Completely peel the beets with a vegetable peeler.
  • Cut. The beets should be in 1/2-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-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, the 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 larger pan ensures the beets aren’t overlapping– and will give you perfectly caramelized beets. If the beets are crowded on the pan and overlapping, they will steam instead of roast. If you don’t have an extra-large sheet pan, divide the beets onto 2 smaller sheet pans. 

QUICK TIP

I highly recommend roasting beets on parchment paper! They roast more evenly and won’t leave behind a mess on your pan.

Overhead image of the Beet Salad

Beet Salad Storage

Beet 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 almonds soften. To make ahead: Prepare everything, but store ingredients separately in the fridge. Assemble the salad right before eating.

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Beet Salad

5 from 4 votes
Here's our favorite Beet Salad complete with perfectly caramelized roasted beets, fresh citrus, creamy goat (or feta) cheese, and sweet candied almonds. Add a drizzle of our favorite tangy citrus-balsamic vinaigrette to perfectly finish everything off! 
Print Recipe

Beet Salad

5 from 4 votes
Here's our favorite Beet Salad complete with perfectly caramelized roasted beets, fresh citrus, creamy goat (or feta) cheese, and sweet candied almonds. Add a drizzle of our favorite tangy citrus-balsamic vinaigrette to perfectly finish everything off! 
Course Main Course, Vegetarian
Cuisine American
Keyword Beet Salad
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Servings 6 as a side
Calories 430kcal
Author Chelsea
Cost $7.12

Ingredients

Beets

  • 2-4 (1 lb 4 oz; 560g)  red beets trimmed, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes
  • olive oil, salt, & pepper, for roasting

Dressing

  • 1/4 cup (57g) good quality balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 cup (53g) extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons (10g) Dijon mustard
  • 2 clementine (cuties) oranges, (2 tbsp (33g) juice and 2 teaspoons zest)
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Fine sea salt & pepper

Almonds (Optional)

  • 1/2 cup (47g) sliced almonds
  • 3 tablespoons (40g) white sugar

Salad

  • Goat cheese (or feta), add to preference (we add ~1/3 cup (40g))
  • 2 clementine/mandarin (cuties) oranges
  • 3 tangelo oranges (or more clementines)
  • 7 cups (6 ounces; 170g) mixed greens lettuce (we use 50/50 blend spinach and spring mix leaves)

Instructions

  • ROAST BEETS: Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Line a large (15x21-inch) sheet pan (or 2 smaller ones) with parchment paper and set aside. (See Note 1) Remove the tops and stems of the beets and peel with a vegetable peeler. Cut into 1/2-inch cubes; you should get a packed 3 cups of beet cubes. Add beet cubes to the prepared sheet pan. Drizzle on 1 tablespoon oil plus salt and pepper to taste. (I add 1/2 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.) Toss to coat the beets and spread in an even layer so beets have plenty of room and aren't overlapping. Bake for 15 minutes, remove and toss, and bake for 15 more minutes. If needed, toss again and bake for another 5-10 minutes or until crisp-tender (a fork easily pierces through a beet). Remove from the oven.
  • DRESSING: While the beets are roasting, prepare the dressing by combining all the dressing ingredients in a wide-mouth jar. Season to taste; I add 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Put the lid on the jar and shake vigorously to combine; you may need to stir the honey in if it settles at the bottom. Toss the chopped beets with 1 tablespoon of the dressing, cover, and place in the fridge to marinate while preparing the rest of the salad.
  • ALMONDS: While the beets cool, prepare the candied almonds. In a large skillet, add the sliced almonds and white sugar. Turn the heat to medium-high and stir near constantly. The sugar will begin to melt and become a sticky liquid and then stick to the almonds. This takes about 3-4 minutes -- watch carefully and stir near constantly to avoid burning the nuts. As soon as the sugar begins to melt, remove from heat, keep stirring for another minute and then spread the candied almonds onto a sheet of parchment paper and let harden. Once hard, break apart.
  • SUPREME CITRUS: Either peel the clementines and break into segments for this salad or use a sharp knife to cut off the peels and thinly slice ("supreme" the citrus). Either works great!
  • SALAD ASSEMBLY: Add lettuce to a large bowl or platter. Top with the diced cooled beets, citrus, sliced and candied almonds, and goat cheese. (See Note 2.) Drizzle dressing on to your preference; you may not want it all (we use about 3/4 of it. Leftover dressing stays good for up to a week in the fridge and is great on veggies/other salads.) Gently toss to combine, taste for any additional seasoning or if you want to add more dressing, and enjoy immediately.

Recipe Notes

Note 1: Beets can stain your hands, nails, cutting board, and pan. I recommend using a dark plastic cutting board, lining the pan with parchment, and if desired, handling beets with gloves on. (If you wash your hands often and quickly after handling beets, the color usually washes out well.)
Note 2: Once dressed, this salad needs to be eaten and enjoyed promptly. The dressing wilts the lettuce wilt and softens the fruit. I’d recommend only dressing what you will enjoy the same day. Store the dressing and salad components separately.

Nutrition Facts

Serving: 1serving | Calories: 430kcal | Carbohydrates: 58g | Protein: 11g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 1g | Sodium: 169mg | Potassium: 1305mg | Fiber: 14g | Sugar: 41g | Vitamin A: 1840IU | Vitamin C: 112mg | Calcium: 200mg | Iron: 3mg

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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5 Comments

  1. Oh my gosh this salad combines all of my favorite things.
    By the way, I heard you on the FoodBloggerPro podcast this morning, and you were so inspirational! Great story and I hope that someday my blog will take off like yours. 🙂

    1. Thank you so much for your kind words Samantha; I really appreciate it! 🙂 And your blog is lovely!!

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