Arugula Beet Salad
This Arugula Beet Salad is fresh and flavorful with goat cheese, avocado, and candied pecans. Served with a tangy balsamic vinaigrette, it’s the perfect salad for any meal, casual or fancy!
Easy Arugula Goat Cheese Salad
This Arugula Beet Salad with goat cheese is one of my top favorite salad recipes. I always have its ingredients at the ready, so I can enjoy it any time I want – and I’m so happy to finally share it with you!
My dear friend Annmarie first introduced me to this salad many years ago, when she hosted a girlfriends Christmas dinner. I’ve been enjoying it ever since.
Peppery arugula is at the base of this salad, although I do sometimes make it with tender spring greens. And then it’s topped with so many good things – earthy beets, tangy goat cheese crumbles, creamy avocado, and crunchy candied pecans.
And this easy, delicious balsamic dressing brings it altogether!
This arugula salad recipe is perfect any time of year, any occasion. I serve it for casual weeknight meals as well as special holiday dinners.
Or serve it as a larger main course salad, topped with chicken, salmon, shrimp, or steak.
It’s perfection. Absolute perfection!
What You’ll Need
This beet goat cheese salad is made with just 5 ingredients and served with an easy balsamic dressing. See the recipe card below for measurements.
- Fresh arugula – It’s sturdy, with a peppery flavor – perfect with the rest of this salad’s ingredients.
- Beets – Cook them according to the directions below. Or you can use pickled beets or packaged pre-cooked beets.
- Avocado – Cut them into long slices or smaller cubes.
- Candied pecans – I highly recommend my easy candied pecans recipe. Otherwise grab some at the store – I like the ones from Trader Joe’s.
- Goat cheese – I love the flavor and texture of soft, fresh goat cheese crumbles.
Serve this salad with balsamic dressing – it’s the perfect match for all the flavors involved. It’s also super versatile – we have some in the fridge nearly all the time.
How to Cook Beets For This Arugula Salad Recipe
You can boil or roast the beets for this salad, whatever you like. In both cases, you’ll want to trim and wash the beets first and remove any greens. Note that the exact time it takes to cook the beets with either method will depend on the size of the beets.
Beets are easy to cook. Here’s the basics, but find more details in the recipe card below.
- To boil beets: Add the washed beets to boiling water. Cook for 30 minutes, or until a paring knife slides in and out very easily. Transfer beets to a bowl of ice water and then use your fingers to peel away the skins.
- To roast the beets. Cook the beets on a pan in the oven at 400° F for 45 minutes or until very tender. Allow to cool a bit, then peel away the skin with your fingers.
How to Make Arugula Beet Salad with Goat Cheese
This arugula goat cheese salad can easily be assembled in just a few minutes.
- Assemble the salad. Place the arugula in a large salad bowl or low, wide platter. Top with the cooked beets, avocado, candied pecans, and crumbled goat cheese. Crack some black pepper over the top, if you like.
- Add the dressing. Then drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette. Or just offer it on the side.
Tips & Variations
Here are a few tips and variations for making this beet goat cheese salad.
- Add the beets just before serving. To prevent the greens from softening, wait to add the beets until right before serving. The same goes for the vinaigrette – add it just before serving the salad, or offer it on the side.
- Use pre-cooked beets. Instead of boiling or roasting your own beets, can also just buy whole cooked beets – I buy them at Costco and grocery stores. Note that the texture can be a bit softer than if you cook them on your own – but they still taste great, and are quick and easy!
- Use different nuts. If you don’t like pecans, try candied walnuts or pecans. Or just use a good roasted, salted nut that’s not candied.
- Add a little heat. Sometimes I sprinkle the salad with a little dried pepper flakes.
- Swap the cheese. If you like, swap out the goat cheese for shaved Parmesan or feta crumbles.
- Add some holiday cheer! During the holidays and winter months, I like to also sprinkle some pomegranate arils over the top of this salad. Dried cranberries or cherries would be another great option. And fresh orange sections are super lovely!
What to Serve With Beet Goat Cheese Salad
This arugula salad recipe makes a beautiful addition to any table, any time of year.
It adds a pop of fresh color to any holiday table – but also makes a quick, easy, and healthy side dish or main course salad for a casual meal. It can easy flex from fancy Steak Diane to Friday pizza night!
We love to pair it with balsamic vinaigrette but feel free to try your own favorite vinaigrette as well.
How to Store Leftovers
If you plan to have leftover arugula beet salad, be sure to serve the dressing on the side. It will keep in the fridge for about 2 days but note that the beets can “leak” and the arugula won’t stay as fresh and crisp.
You can also prepare the beets in advance and keep them in an airtight container in the fridge until assembling the salad.
More Easy Salad Recipes:
- Winter Apple Salad
- Southwest Salad with Grilled Chicken
- Salad Ramen
- Chinese Chicken Salad
- Strawberry Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Italian Chopped Salad
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- 8 cups fresh arugula
- 2-3 medium beets, cooked (see Notes below), and sliced or cubed - or substitute some pickled beets, drained
- 1 large avocado, peeled, pitted, and sliced or cubed
- ½ cup candied pecans (the ones from Trader Joe's are also good)
- 4 ounces soft fresh goat cheese, coarsely crumbled
- freshly ground black pepper
- balsamic vinaigrette
- Add the arugula to a large salad bowl that's low and wide.
- Top with cooked beets, avocado, candied pecans, and goat cheese. Add freshly cracked black pepper over the top, if desired.
- Drizzle with balsamic vinaigrette - or offer it on the side for individuals to add as much as they like.
To boil beets: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Trim and wash the beets, removing any greens. Add the beets to the boiling water and cook for 30 minutes, or until completely tender. A paring knife should slide in and out of the beets easily. Beets can vary greatly in size, and they are a very dense root vegetable, so size will definitely determine how long you need to cook them. Transfer the beets to a bowl of ice water and then peel away the skins with your fingers (very easy to do!) and cut or slice as desired.
To roast beets: Wash the beets and remove any greens. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil. Bake on a baking sheet at 400° F for 45 minutes, or until completely tender. Again, the size of your beets will determine cook time, as I just mentioned above. A paring knife should slide in and out of the beets easily. Allow to sit for 10 minutes or so, then peel away the skin and cut or slice as desired.
To use packaged pre-cooked beets: I buy a box of whole peeled, cooked beets from Costco, which also works great. Just know that the texture of these beets is usually a bit softer than when you boil or roast fresh beets yourself.
During the holidays and winter months, I like to also sprinkle some pomegranate arils over the top of this salad.
Adapted from a recipe that my dear friend Annmarie likes to make, originally from Giada De Laurentiis.
Nutrition Information:Yield: 6 Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 134Total Fat: 10gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 6gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 164mgCarbohydrates: 7gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 5g
Nutrition information is automatically calculated by Nutritionix. I am not a nutritionist and cannot guarantee accuracy. If your health depends on nutrition information, please calculate again with your own favorite calculator.