This delightfully moody salad is made with just 5 ingredients plus dressing. Top this beet goat cheese walnut salad with a homemade balsamic vinaigrette or use store bought. Great for meal prep or serve as a side dish.
This beet and goat cheese salad with balsamic vinaigrette recipe is inspired by a delicious salad at a restaurant in Philadelphia.
It's very easy to make at home and even incorporates a homemade dressing!
★ Why You'll Love this Recipe ★
This salad is made with just 5 main ingredients and very minimal chopping is needed so it's super quick top prepare and it tastes like something you'd order at a restaurant.
Made with healthy mixed greens, pickled beets, goat cheese, walnuts and red onion slivers, this salad is a great side dish or you can add a chicken, or a protein of your choice, to make it a complete meal.
This salad is so moody. You'll love the vibes. It fits with the flavor.
You can expect a smooth rich, creaminess from the goat cheese balanced out by tangy pickled beets, mixed greens, crispy raw red onion slivers, and Earthy walnuts. It's so simple. Just 5 main ingredients plus the dressing. But it's heavenly!
★ Ingredients You'll Need ★
Here's everything you'll need to make this salad plus the dressing.
Feel free to use store-bought dressing to save time. Just look for a balsamic vinaigrette.
- Pickled beets. Be sure to drain the juice. You can buy them already slice to save time. Slice smaller if desired.
- Mixed greens. I like a blend that includes arugula because it adds a nice peppery flavor but you can choose whatever blend you like.
- Chopped walnuts. You can use other nuts if you prefer but walnuts have a nice Earthy flavor that goes well with the beets and goat cheese.
- Goat cheese. You can get this crumbled, ready to just sprinkle on. Bigger chunks are a bit easier to eat with a fork.
- Red onion. Sliced into slivers. Leaving them raw adds a nice crunch and spice but you can quick pickle them if you'd prefer them soft and more mild. To quick pickle, simply soak them in vinegar for 5 minutes. Alternatively, you can replace the red onion with a shallot for a more garlic-like flavor.
- Balsamic vinegar. Choose a good quality for the best flavor.
- Grape seed oil. You can also use olive oil or avocado oil.
- Dijon mustard. You can use a whole grain for more bite or a smooth variety for a more subtle layer of flavor.
- Honey. Add more or less to taste depending on the level of sweetness you prefer. You can also use maple syrup in place of honey if you prefer.
- Sea salt and pepper. Add these to taste.
★ How to Make this Recipe ★
This salad is simple to prepare.
Here's a look at how it comes together:
- Combine dressing ingredients in a jar and shake.
- Slice beets (if needed).
- Slice red onions.
- Layer greens, beets, goat cheese, red onion and walnuts.
- Pour over dressing and serve.
★ Tips & FAQs ★
Can I toast the walnuts?
Toasting walnuts enhances their flavor so it's a great idea if you want to add flavor.
To toast the walnuts: Place them in a dry skillet over medium heat, stirring frequently until they become fragrant and slightly browned. Be cautious not to burn them, as this can give a bitter taste.
Can I make the balsamic vinaigrette ahead of time?
Yes, you can prepare the balsamic vinaigrette ahead of time and store it in the refrigerator. Shake or whisk it well before using to re-emulsify the ingredients. A handheld frother works well for this.
What greens work best for this salad?
Use a mix of greens for a well-balanced flavor and texture. Arugula, spinach, or a spring mix are excellent choices, but feel free to customize based on your preferences.
You can also add microgreens which make a nice garnish and are also rich in nutrients.
Store any leftover salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
Keep the vinaigrette separate to prevent the greens from becoming soggy. Consume within 2-3 days for the best freshness.
Can I add protein to make it a complete meal?
Absolutely! Grilled chicken, salmon, steak or plant-based meat alternatives can be excellent additions for those looking to add more protein to the salad.
What's a good way to incorporate more flavors?
Consider adding sliced apples, pears, peaches or avocado for additional flavors and textures that complement the sweetness of the beets and the creaminess of the goat cheese.
Is there a substitute for goat cheese?
If you're not a fan of goat cheese, feta or blue cheese can be good alternatives, providing a tangy and creamy element to the salad.
How can I make the salad more festive for special occasions?
For special occasions, consider garnishing the salad with pomegranate seeds or adding a drizzle of honey for an extra touch of sweetness. This will elevate the presentation and flavor profile.
★ More Recipes You'll Love ★
Want more salad ideas?
Browse all my easy salad recipes and be sure to Pin your favorites.
Beet Goat Cheese Walnut Salad with Balsamic Vinaigrette
- 6 oz sliced pickled beets (about half a can, drained)
- 10 oz mixed greens (including arugula)
- ¼ cup chopped walnuts
- ¼ cup crumbled goat cheese
- ¼ cup red onion slivers
- ¼ cup balsamic vinegar
- ¼ cup grape seed oil
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon honey
- sea salt and pepper to taste
- Slice beets into quarters. Thinly slice red onions and chop into 1" strands.
- Mix and shake ingredients for vinaigrette dressing.
- Combine greens, beets, onions, goat cheese and walnuts in a large bowl.
- Toss with dressing and serve.