Roasted beet and arugula salad with maple balsamic vinaigrette, pecans, goat cheese, and dried cranberries is a flavorful and healthful salad recipe that will get even the biggest beet naysayers to eat those beets!
Check out these beet wedgies!
This isn’t exactly the first, second, third, or even forth beet salad I’ve shared with you…Beet salad is kind of a revolving thing ’round these parts. But you guys, this salad is meaty.
For this easy nutritious salad recipe, I like serving the beets warm – fresh out of the oven! – with peppery arugula, goat cheese, dried cranberries, maple candied pecans, and balsamic vinaigrette.
The beets are so juicy, sweet, and meaty that they make the salad feel filling – plus, they are packed with flavor.
Toasted maple pecans and dried cranberries add all sorts of warmth and oomph to the arugula salad, making this plate a legit entrée salad.
A homemade Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette is the perfect dressing for this warm beet salad. It’s tangy, sweet, and ties all of the ingredients together famously!
You can always add animal protein to the salad to make it a more filling meal, or keep it as a side dish to make any meal special.
And the beets…
Have you noticed how amazing beets are when they are in season?
First off, they are HUGE! Secondly, they are juicy and sweet. And finally (here’s the kicker), they taste far less earthy than usual. In-season beets are absolutely incredible. Plus, I am CONVINCED they’re an aphrodisiac.
Health Benefits of Beets:
Beets are LOADED with Vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and enzymes. They contain (in order of abundance) folate, manganese, potassium, copper, magnesium, vitamin C, iron, vitamin B6. This nutrient profile elevates your vitamins and replenishes your nutrient tank. They are also a natural anti-inflammatory, which helps calm your cells and brings them back to a state of balance (homeostasis).
Beets are full of betalains, which are antioxidants that help cleanse your system of damaged cells. Beets are full of natural sugar. Because the sugar is coupled with fiber, your body recognizes it as an incredible source of fuel. The fiber helps the body process the sugars efficiently and slowly, which provides sustained energy to your system. For you athletic souls out there, beets are a marvelous source of carbohydrate.
How to Roast Beets:
There are many ways you can roast beets. You can roast them the same way you do a whole potato by poking them with a fork, wrapping them in foil and roasting at 400 degrees F for about 90 minutes.
I personally prefer to chop the beets before roasting them, then wrap the chopped wedges in a foil packet. Place the foil packet on a baking sheet and roast for 35 to 40 minutes. The result is still nice soft, sweet, juicy beets, but in half the time.
How to Make Roasted Beet Arugula Salad:
Begin by roasting the beets using your preferred method (either option 1 or option 2 from above).
While the beets are roasting, make the vinaigrette and toast the pecans.
Once the beets are out of the oven, simply arrange all of the salad ingredients on a plate and drizzle with the maple balsamic vinaigrette. BOOM! salad!
As an alternative, you can toss everything together in a large serving bowl until everything is well coated in dressing.
- Use spinach or green of choice instead of arugula.
- Use any type of cheese you would like – blue cheese and feta are amazing too!
- Replace pecans with walnuts or almonds.
- Keep the pecans raw or roasted and skip the candying step.
- Add salmon, roasted or rotisserie chicken for protein.
For those who aren’t in love with beets, this is the perfect time of year to revisit them, since they are in season. If you’re new to beets, Cooking Light has a great Guide to Beets article, which tells everything you could want to know about beet picking, storage, and prep.
More Delicious Beet Recipes:
- Roasted Beet Salad with Whipped Ricotta and Citrus Dressing
- Roasted Beet and Herbed Vegan Ricotta Crostini
- Beet Pesto Pizza with Kale and Goat Cheese
- Broccoli Beet and Kale Brown Rice Bowls with Pesto
- Roasted Beet and Garlic Hummus
Get your beet wedge on!
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Roasted Beet Salad with Goat Cheese and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette
For the Salad:
- 16 ounces baby arugula
- 3 large beets peeled and roasted
For the Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:
Maple Toasted Pecans:
- 1/2 cup goat cheese crumbles or feta cheese
- 1/2 cup dried cranberries juice-sweetened recommended
- Fresh cracked pepper
Roast the Beets:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Scrub the beets and wrap each in aluminum foil. Place beets on a baking sheet and roast until very soft when poked with a fork, about 90 minutes. Allow beets to cool enough to handle. Unwrap them from the foil, peel them using a potato peeler or paring knife, and chop them into wedges.
Make the Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette:
- Add all ingredients for the vinaigrette to a small blender and blend until smooth.
Toast the Pecans:
- Add the ingredients for the maple toasted pecans to a small skillet and heat over medium-high. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the pure maple syrup comes to a full boil, begins to burn off, and the nuts become toasted and sticky. Be careful to keep a watchful eye on the nuts, and constantly stir to avoid burning them!
Prepare the salad:
- Add the arugula to a large serving bowl and toss in desired amount of Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette.
- Serve salad with roasted beet wedges, toasted pecans, dried cranberries, and goat cheese.