Make this fantastic Arugula Beet Salad with Goat Cheese for a delicious lunch or as a side dish. Spicy arugula leaves are balances with sweet beet cubes, tangy goat cheese, and a creamy balsamic dressing. Add toasted pecans for a crunchy texture contrast.
I am always looking for easy and nutritious lunch or dinner side salads. This winter the arugula in our greenhouse exploded and we always have an abundance of the spicy green leaves.
At the same time, we had our best ever beet harvest too. It seems like here in growing zone 10a winter is the perfect time for them. We use the beets to make Borscht all the time. But we had more than enough to also make quick pickled beets.
This yummy recipes combines two of our most abundant winter produce into a delicious, healthy salad.
Spicy, peppery arugula leaves are nicely balanced with the sweet and earthy flavor of cooked beet. Goat cheese crumbles add smooth creaminess, while toasted pecan halves add the crunch factor. All ingredients are tied together with a creamy balsamic dressing. To round out all the flavors, Everything Bagel Seasoning quickly adds salt, onion and garlic granules, and sesame seeds.
- Beet cubes (cooked, roasted, or pickled)
- Goat cheese crumbles
- Toasted pecan halves
- Creamy balsamic dressing
- Everything bagel seasoning
See recipe card for quantities.
Making this salad requires just a few steps. Prep all the ingredients first, including toasting pecans, and mixing up the dressing, before assembling everything.
Toast the pecan halves in a dry skillet until fragrant
Add all ingredients for the balsamic dressing to a jar and shake to combine
Toss arugula leaves with the dressing
Assemble: add beet cubes, goat cheese crumbles, toasted pecans, seasoning on dressed arugula
Hint: For a prettier presentation at a potluck, don't toss all the ingredients together until you are ready to serve the salad. For the most beautiful look, assemble the salad in individual bowls and drizzle with dressing, but don't toss.
Substitutions and Variations
Like most salads, this recipe is very easily adjustable to what you like or have on hand
- Arugula - you can also use a green leaves mix that includes arugula among other tender greens
- Beets - if beets aren't your thing, try roasted butternut squash or fresh pear slices
- Goat Cheese - other cheese like feta cubes or shaved Parmesan are great too. Use vegan cheese crumbles or omit to make dairy free
- Pecans - other nuts like walnuts or toasted almonds
- Everything Bagel Seasoning - store-bought or homemade this is a quick way to add some salt and savoriness (onion/garlic granules) but you can also season individually with salt, garlic powder, etc. to taste
Arugula leaves don't hold up well after being tossed. Ideally the entire salad is consumed shortly after assembling.
The salad is technically safe to eat for 2-3 days if refrigerated. However, the arugula will be limp and not as appealing looking.
There are several options for the beet part of this recipe. The quickest are store-bought ready to eat cooked beets. Or cook your own beets (Instant Pot or oven roasting is recommended). Take it even further by making quick pickled beets first for slightly salty, acidic and sweet beets. Yum!
This beet salad is great served during a BBQ cookout. It's a delicious way to balance meats with greens and vegetables. If you want to make this arugula beet salad for a filling lunch meal, try adding grilled chicken breast for added protein.
Any crumbly fresh cheese like goat cheese, feta, queso fresco/queso ranchero will be great in this beet salad. Blue cheese or shaved Parmesan are delicious too.
I recommend grilled chicken breast or steak slices as proteins to add to this beetroot salad in order to make it more filling.
Looking for other salad recipes like this? Try these:
Arugula Beet Salad with Goat Cheese Recipe
Creamy Balsamic Dressing
- 2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon Dijon mustard or brown mustard
- 1 tablespoon plain Greek yogurt or mayonnaise
- ½ tablespoon maple syrup or honey; optional
- ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
- Start by toasting your pecan halves in a dry skillet on medium-low heat until they are fragrant and lightly browned. Keep a close eye and toss frequently to keep from burning the nuts.
- To a small glass jar add all the ingredients for the creamy balsamic dressing: balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, Greek yogurt, maple syrup, olive oil. Close the jar and shake vigorously until well combined.
- To assemble the salad toss the arugula leaves and the creamy balsamic dressing in a large bowl. Add the remaining ingredients (beet cubes, pecan halves, goat cheese crumbles, and everything bagel seasoning) on top.Or divide the dressed arugula leaves into 4 individual plates and top with ¼ each of the other ingredients for a prettier presentation.
- Serve and consume shortly after assembling.