This Beet Salad is such a hit at parties! You can prepare the beets up to 3 days in advance, so it’s an easy dish to make-ahead for holidays, or for quick packed lunches during the week. The combination of tender steamed beets and this sweet and tangy apple cider vinaigrette is addictive!
How to Make Beet Salad
Making this salad is relatively quick and easy. The main effort involved is steaming the beets, but you can save time by buying them already prepared if you’re in a rush. (Many stores sell vacuum-sealed steamed beets now in the refrigerated section.)
While the beets are cooking, you can assemble the dressing which is as easy and measuring the ingredients and shaking them together in a mason jar. I like the beets to cool at least slightly before serving, so you can prepare the beets and the dressing up to 3 days in advance, if you’d like to.
When you’re ready to serve this beet salad, you’ll just start with a bed of mixed leafy greens, then top them with the beets, chopped red onion, creamy goat cheese, and a generous drizzle of dressing. When I’m serving this for a party, I like to add a few pecans for added crunch, too!
Do Beets Need to Be Peeled Before Cooking?
If you’re making this salad for company or for picky eaters, I recommend peeling the beets so they are as tender as possible, without the texture of the skin getting in the way. However, when I’m only making this salad for myself, I’ll usually skip peeling them because I don’t notice a huge difference in taste or texture.
When you skip peeling the beets, you’ll benefit from their maximum nutrition, and you’ll also save yourself time, with less mess to clean up. (Peeling the beets will stain your hands more than the cutting process will.)
Can You Eat Raw Beets in a Salad?
Raw beets are not for everyone, but I do happen to enjoy them. If you would prefer to skip the cooking process all together, you can use raw beets on this salad. In that case, I would recommend shredding them for an appealing texture that will easily fit on your fork.
You can also marinate the raw beets in this salad dressing before serving them over the mixed greens, for maximum flavor. It will turn the dressing bright pink!
How Long Does Beet Salad Last?
The steamed beets should last up to a week when you store them in an airtight container in the fridge, and the dressing should as well. When making this for company, I usually recommend making it no more than 3 days in advance to ensure that the flavor is as fresh as possible.
Once the salad is dressed, the greens will start to get soggy within a few hours, so be sure to store the dressing separately from the beets and greens for best shelf life.
I don’t usually store chopped onions for more than 3 days in the fridge, either, because I find that they smell more pungent the longer they sit after being chopped. (And according to Cooking Light, there’s no extra risk from storing chopped onions in the fridge– if you’ve been worried about that rumor like I was.)
How to Make Beet Salad (video):
Favorite Beet Salad with Apple Cider Dressing
- 2 pounds beets
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon dijon mustard
- 1 heaping tablespoon honey
- salt and pepper
- 6 ounces mixed greens
- 1/2 cup chopped red onion
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans (optional)
- 2 ounces soft goat cheese (chevre)
- To prepare the beets, peel them (if desired) and then cut them into 1-inch chunks for fast cooking. Fill a saucepan with an inch of water, then add a steam basket over that. Place the chopped beets in the steam basket and bring the water to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, cover the pan with a lid, lower the heat to a simmer, and steam the beets until they are easily pierced with a fork, about 15 to 20 minutes. The smaller you cut the beets, the faster they will cook.
- While the beets are cooking, prepare the dressing. In a 12 ounce mason jar with a lid, combine the olive oil, vinegar, mustard, honey, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Secure the lid on the jar, then shake vigourously until the dressing looks smooth and uniform. Taste the dressing and adjust the seasoning to taste, adding a little more honey if desired.
- When the beets are tender, set them aside to cool. When you're ready to serve the salad, start with a bed of leafy greens and then add the beets, chopped red onion, crumbled goat cheese, and pecans if using. Drizzle the dressing over the top and toss to coat well. Serve right away.
- Leftover dressing, beets, and greens can be stored separately in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. The greens will be soggy if you store them with the beets or dressing, so make sure to keep them dry.
Beet Salad Nutrition (per serving; without nuts): Calories: 272, Fat: 17g, Carbohydrates: 25g, Fiber: 7g, Protein: 7g
- If you practice food combining, this salad is properly combined as an animal protein meal if you omit the pecans. It’s neutral if you omit the goat cheese, as well.
- For a vegan salad, omit the cheese and replace the honey with maple syrup. You’ll probably need to use a little extra maple syrup to compensate, since honey is sweeter than maple syrup.
- You can use balsamic vinegar instead of apple cider vinegar with good results in this recipe.
If you try this beet salad, please leave a comment below letting me know how you like it. And if you make a modification, please share how that works out for you, too. We can all benefit from hearing about your experience.
Reader Feedback: What’s your favorite way to use beets?