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The beauty of this vibrant beet and goat cheese salad is in the medley of contrasting textures and flavors. The crisp fresh greens meet the creaminess of the goat cheese, which mingles with the sweet and earthy beets, the crunch of the walnuts. And guess what? It's not just delicious, it's also healthy! We've decided: you SHOULD make friends with salad!
As far as dynamic duos go, goat cheese and roasted beets are a foodie power couple. The perfect culinary harmony they create lies in their ability to balance each other out: on one side, you have the delicious beets – earthy, sweet, and slightly caramelized from the oven's warmth. On the other, the goat's cheese's creaminess, tang, and slightly crumbly texture. Earthy meets lush – it's both comforting and elegant.
For the beets and goat cheese salad:
- The beets: We use both golden beets and red beets for vibrant color. You can opt for small beets, or larger ones cut into quarters. The peel has lots of good nutrients but peeling them is personal preference.
- Mixed greens: Arugula or spring mix, or perhaps some baby spinach, creates a crisp, varied base.
- Walnuts: For a nutty flavor and crunch.
- Goats cheese: Also known as chevre.
The maple balsamic dressing:
- Olive oil: provides a smooth, rich base.
- Maple syrup: The sweetness of the maple syrup highlights the earthy beets and creamy, salty goats' cheese beautifully! You can always add another tablespoon if you prefer a sweeter dressing.
- Balsamic vinegar: Adds depth and acidity.
- Dijon mustard: For a little zing.
- Salt and black pepper: Season to your liking.
How to make beet and goat cheese salad
(Before we tell you how to make this, remember that the beautiful color of beets can stain, so skip wearing white today!)
- Roast beets: Pop the beets in a baking dish, coat them in oil, cover them with foil, and bake until tender.
- Make dressing: Combine dressing ingredients in a jar, seal, and shake, shake, shake!
- Assemble salad: Put the mixed greens in a large salad bowl and drizzle with the vinaigrette. Add the roasted beets, walnuts, and goat's cheese on top. Voila! (we recommend topping the beets on instead of tossing the salad, as the color of the red beets will turn everything pink!)
Depending on what you have left in the pantry, or what you might be craving, it's super easy to mix up this salad:
- Herbs: fresh basil adds an aromatic, slightly peppery flavor. Finely chopped chives give a mild onion flavor and taste great next to the goat cheese, or throw in some fresh dill for a refreshing, citrusy note.
- Fruits: a handful of cranberries, orange segments, or thinly sliced apples or pears add an extra burst of freshness and flavor
- Nuts and seeds: substitute the walnuts for whatever nuts you have on hand. We love pecans, almonds, or a sprinkle of pine nuts.
- Croutons: add another level of crunch. They can be store-bought, or if you're doing homemade try these lemon pepper croutons.
- Dressing: You can substitute the maple syrup with honey if in a pinch, or add a squeeze of lemon juice.
What to serve with beet and goat cheese salad
This can be eaten as a standalone dish if you'd like a lighter meal. It's perfect for entertaining and makes a stunning fall or winter side dish – and can bring freshness to your thanksgiving spread.
- Roasted Eggplant Soup
- Easy Risotto
- Bourbon Steak
- Salmon with Crispy Potatoes and Asparagus
- Pistachio Chicken
Can I use precooked beets from the store?
Pre-cooked beets CAN save you time and effort, however, be aware that the texture and flavor may vary compared to freshly roasted beets. They can be softer and a bit less intense in flavor. One thing you can do is toss them in a little maple syrup. As they are packaged in liquid, it can also dilute your salad, so it's a good idea to wash them under cold water and pat them dry with paper towels.
You also wouldn't want to roast them if they're pre-cooked. Instead, warm them up in the microwave.
Can I use another type of cheese?
If you would prefer another type of cheese instead of goat's cheese, our top picks are feta, parmesan, or a dairy-free alternative. A creamy blue cheese also works well.
How do I store this salad?
To avoid the salad getting soggy, store the salad and dressing separately. Keep the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for four days.
Is this gluten-free, dairy-free, or vegan?
This salad is gluten-free, just be sure to double-check the labels of the goat cheese, as some brands have added flavors or ingredients that could potentially introduce gluten.
To make this salad dairy-free or vegan, substitute the goat cheese for your dairy-free alternative of choice. A ripe avocado does the trick of adding a creamy element to the salad!
- 2 medium golden beets (peeled and cut into wedges)
- 2 medium red beets (peeled and cut into wedges)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 pinch salt and pepper
- 5 ounces mixed greens
- ½ cup roasted walnuts (chopped)
- 4 ounces goat cheese (crumbled)
- Preheat your oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Place the beets into a medium-sized baking dish and coat them in the oil. NOTE: If you're making red and yellow beets, separate them in the baking dish if you don't want the color to transfer. Cover the dish with aluminum foil and bake for 25-30 minutes, or until the beets are tender.2 medium golden beets, 1 tablespoon olive oil, 2 medium red beets
- Add the dressing ingredients to a jar, seal with a lid, and shake to combine.2 tablespoons olive oil, 1 tablespoon maple syrup, 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, 1 teaspoon dijon mustard, 1 pinch salt and pepper
- Add the greens to a large salad bowl and toss with the dressing. Mix in the beets and walnuts and then top with the goat cheese. NOTE: This salad looks beautiful served on a platter. If going this route, toss the greens with the dressing and then arrange the beets, walnuts, and goat cheese on top of the dressed greens.5 ounces mixed greens, ½ cup roasted walnuts, 4 ounces goat cheese
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.