This Beet Quinoa salad is as beautiful and healthy as it is easy and delicious. Loaded with protein, fiber, vitamins, and minerals, this satisfying and nourishing salad will keep you full for hours. Each serving has 6 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein!
If you love this beet salad with quinoa, you may also enjoy this Arugula Salad With Quinoa, Hazelnuts, and Goat Cheese. Both are made with whole, nutrient rich ingredients, which make these my go-to recipes for the colder months.
Feel free to change things up based on what you’ve got in your fridge or your taste buds. This salad can be served warm or at room temperature either as a side dish or main dish.
Why you’ll love this quinoa beet salad
- High in fiber and slow digesting, quality carbs. A wholesome salad, high in fiber and featuring lots of slow-digesting carbs which means it will keep you full for hours. Each serving has 6 grams of fiber and 10 grams of protein.
- Quick and nutritious. This quinoa salad with beets comes together quite easily with just a few basic ingredients. Using seasonal root veggies is not only healthier but typically more cost-effective.
- Great for meal prep. Prepare this hearty salad as part of your meal prep and store the salad and dressing separately in the fridge for up to 4 days. Dress it just before serving. It’s great for packing work lunches, school lunches, and easy post-workout lunches.
- Can be a hearty side dish or main. Make it a high-protein main dish by adding a filet of salmon, some shredded chicken, or grilled shrimp.
- Quinoa is so versatile! Change up the ingredients based on what you’ve got on hand, throw in fresh herbs, and beet greens, and top with salty feta or crumbled goat cheese, or eat the beautiful salad on top of some peppery arugula, chopped kale, or your favorite leafy green.
Ingredients to make beet quinoa salad
Quinoa – You’ll need a batch of cooked quinoa; about 2 cups or 1 cup uncooked. You can use regular white quinoa, red quinoa or the tri-color blend is pretty too.
Sweet potato – Peeled, cubed, and roasted sweet potato adds natural sweetness to this salad. See my recipe for spicy sweet potatoes to learn to make the perfect roasted sweet potato (and leave out the cayenne if you don’t want the heat).
Beets – Precooked roasted beets, cubed. For faster prep, purchase pre-cooked beets at the grocery store. You can use red beets or golden for this hearty quinoa salad.
Apple – Use a large apple, cubed to add more natural sweetness. Tart apples, like Granny Smith apples, are a lovely balance to the sweet veggies. If you don’t have apples on hand, pears would also be great!
Goat cheese – Crumbled goat cheese adds a nice tangy contrast to the sweetness of the other ingredients.
For a homemade maple vinaigrette:
- Olive oil – Extra virgin olive oil is best.
- Maple syrup – Use real maple syrup for the richest flavor.
- Apple cider vinegar – Apple cider balances the flavors of this maple vinaigrette.
- Lemon juice and lemon zest – You’ll need the juice of about half a lemon, plus the zest, which adds a touch of tartness to the dressing.
- Salt & black pepper – Add salt and pepper to taste.
Step 1: Cook the quinoa according to package directions and place it in a large bowl. – see this post for quinoa cooking tips and other tips. Quinoa, more often than not, does not need to be rinsed ahead of time.
Step 2: Roast the sweet potatoes, and if necessary, the beets too. Dice them to an even size for roasting evenly. ½″ cubes are great for salads. Arrange them on a baking sheet in a single layer and roast at 40 degrees for 20-25 minutes. I have loads more tips and tricks for roasting the perfect sweet potatoes.
Step 3: If not using store-bought, roast the beets. You will need to peel them and dice them to a similar size as the potatoes. You can roast them on an entirely different tray, or if there’s room, use the same one. Roast them together with the potatoes.
Step 4. Mix the dressing ingredients together in a small lidded jar and shake until well incorporated. This should yield 1 serving for this salad, although if you don’t want it as dressed, use half. Save remaining dressing in the fridge for up to 1 week.
Add all the ingredients to a large salad bowl, drizzle dressing overtop, and toss to combine.
What is quinoa?
Quinoa is a nutritious, gluten-free, grain-free pseudo cereal though is often referred to as a whole grain. As a plant-based complete protein, quinoa contains 8 grams per cup, higher than other carbohydrates.
Naturally gluten-free, quinoa is a great source of manganese, magnesium, folate, and vitamin B1. Quinoa is also considered a prebiotic which means it can contribute to gut health as well. For more information on the nutritional benefits of quinoa, check out this article.
Mild and slightly nutty in flavor, quinoa can be used in a variety of ways in both sweet and savory dishes. Whether you want to add it to a salad, soup, stir fry, or eat it as a side dish, quinoa is a great addition to any meal.
It is available in a variety of colors including black and red quinoa though white is the most popular.
Why roasted beets taste best
Roasting beets not only tenderizes them but also enhances their natural sugars and brings out a rich, sweet flavor. You can roast the beets whole and then cut them or roast them already cut. Roasting them cut will allow them to cook faster.
Recipe tips & tricks
- Place a paper towel between the cooked quinoa and the pot lid to absorb excess moisture. See this video for the exact instructions.
- If you are looking to cut down on your prep time and save yourself a bit of a mess, buy pre-cooked beets, which are usually available at local grocery stores, instead of roasting your own.
- The vinaigrette recipe will make a larger portion than needed for this salad. Leftovers are great to store and save for up to a week in the fridge. Dress the salad with the desired amount right before serving.
- If you aren’t a fan of goat cheese, try crumbled briny feta cheese instead.
- To add some crunch and even more fiber to this beet salad recipe, sprinkle with pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, or sesame seeds.
- Swap the sweet potato for butternut squash if you don’t have any sweet potatoes on hand.
- If your quinoa hasn’t been pre-rinsed, make sure to rinse it using a fine mesh colander to get rid of the bitter saponins.
Looking for more nutritious salads?
Beet Quinoa Salad with Maple Vinaigrette
- 1 cup Quinoa cooked; may adjust quantity to 2 cups if you want a larger salad
- 1 large Sweet potato peeled, cubed and roasted. Should yield about 2 cups cooked
- 1 tablespoon Olive oil for roasting the beets
- 8 ounces Beets roasted, store-bought for easy prep
- 1 large Apple cut into 1" pieces
- 5 ounces Goat cheese crumbled
For maple vinaigrette
- ¼ cup Maple syrup
- ¼ cup Olive oil extra virgin
- 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar
- 1 teaspoon Lemon zest
- 2 tablespoon Lemon juice about half of 1 lemon
- Salt & pepper to taste
- Cook 1 cup of quinoa according to package directions. Will yield 2-3 cups cooked quinoa. Set aside and let cool1 cup Quinoa
- While quinoa is cooking, make the sweet potatoes. Peel and cube the large sweet potato and lay on a baking sheet. Toss with 1-2 tablespoon olive oil, salt and pepper. Roast cubed sweet potatoes in a 400 degree oven for 20-25 minutes.1 large Sweet potato, 1 tablespoon Olive oil
- Cut up cooked beets and apple.8 ounces Beets, 1 large Apple
- Make the maple vinaigrette by adding all ingredients to a bowl or lidded jar and whisk/shake till all ingredients are well combined.¼ cup Maple syrup, ¼ cup Olive oil, 2 tablespoon Apple cider vinegar, 1 teaspoon Lemon zest, 2 tablespoon Lemon juice, Salt & pepper to taste
- In a large bowl, add all ingredients. Crumble goat cheese on top, then drizzle on desired amount of dressing. Toss till well combined, and add more dressing to suit your taste preference.5 ounces Goat cheese