This beet and goat cheese salad is healthy, delicious, and seriously impressive. This easy gluten-free, restaurant-quality salad will leave you feeling light yet satiated.
If you're gluten-free, you know that going out to eat at a restaurant can be very challenging. If the menu is not properly labelled, it can be hard to know what's safe for you to eat. When this is the case, I usually find myself gravitating towards a nice, fresh salad that I can confirm with the waiter to be gluten-free.
If it's on the menu, a beet and goat cheese salad variant is always my go-to! I love how fresh and filling it is for a salad, and there are always a variety of toppings that make it fun to eat.
If this also sounds like you, or you're looking to make salads more exciting, you'll love this homemade beet and goat cheese salad! Filled with vegetables such as spring mix, beets, and onion, valuable nutrients from pepitas, and healthy fats from goat cheese and candied walnuts - this salad is both healthy and satiating. Not to mention a delicious homemade vinaigrette and balsamic drizzle. You won't be left hungry!
Want to learn how easy it is to make a delicious restaurant-quality salad at home? Keep on reading to find out!
Ingredients in this beet and goat cheese salad (besides beets and goat cheese)
The great thing about big salads like this is that you can put whatever you want in it really! When I'm going to have a salad I like to make it big and dramatic like this because it's so much more fun with a lot going on. Here are my favourite ingredients:
- Spring mix: I like the variety of lettuce types in a mix like this. I also like to add in spinach if it's not included in the pack I buy. So many vitamins and nutrients here!
- Pre-cooked beets: It is SO much easier to buy pre-cooked. I got this pack (see image below) from Costco and it was a dream! All I had to do was (carefully) chop the beets. I stored extra in the fridge for a few days... and made several more salads.
- Goat cheese: One of my favourite cheeses! Being lactose intolerant, I find that goat cheese is easier for me to digest. It's so creamy, a source of healthy fat, and pairs well with the beet and balsamic flavours here.
- Onion: Love the crunch and flavour this brings.
- Pepitas: I love pepitas! They are little pumpkin seeds and are actually filled with many nutrients. They add a great crunch to salads.
- Candied walnuts: Speaking of crunch, these are the ultimate! These homemade candied walnuts (super easy!) add a delicious sweetness to the salad. I had them on a similar salad from a restaurant in the summer and I was hooked.
- Balsamic glaze: Love the acidity from a thick, reduced balsamic vinegar. You can either buy this, or make it with the instructions below.
- Simple homemade vinaigrette: I like to add a super easy homemade vinaigrette to this salad to balance the vinegar. The combination is so yummy.
How to make this delicious salad
The first things to do when making this salad are to make the balsamic glaze, candied walnuts, and vinaigrette. To speed up the process when you're hangry for a salad, I recommend doing these ahead of time and simply storing them until ready.
How to make balsamic glaze
You can totally skip this step if you have store-bought balsamic glaze. And no, glaze is not the same as the vinegar. In fact, it is balsamic vinegar reduced by about 50%. This makes it nice and thick and perfect for drizzling on this salad, pizzas, vegetables, or pastas.
To make a balsamic glaze, simply add your balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pan and heat on medium to a gentle boil. Then, reduce to medium-low and simmer for 20-30 minutes. It will be done when reduced by about 50% in volume and it coats the back of a spoon. Let cool completely then store in the fridge until ready to use!
How to make candied walnuts
If you're already making the balsamic glaze, it's easy to make the candied walnuts at the same time. Preheat the oven to 325°F. In a bowl, combine the walnuts, maple syrup, vanilla, cinnamon, and salt. Spread into a thin layer on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
Bake for 10 minutes, then stir. Bake for another 10 minutes, then stir. Finally, bake for an additional 5-10 minutes. Allow the candied walnuts to cool completely before breaking them up with your hands. Store in an airtight container at room temperature. Great for snacking as well!
How to make the simple vinaigrette
This quick and easy vinaigrette dressing can be made ahead or with the salad. Simply whisk together the oil, balsamic vinegar, onion, honey, salt, and pepper. Scale up or down the quantity if you wish. Best fresh but can be stored in the fridge. Remember to whisk or shake before use!
How to assemble the salad
Making the previous elements ahead of time means that assembly is quick and easy when you're hungry!
At mealtime, simply fill a large bowl with spring mix, top with beets, onion, goat cheese crumbles, pepitas, and candied walnuts. Mix with the vinaigrette and drizzle with balsamic glaze. Enjoy this healthy and satisfying meal!
This beet and goat cheese salad is not only healthy and gluten-free, but it is delicious and satiating! Once you learn how simple it is to create a restaurant quality salad at home, you'll never turn back.
Have you made this beet and goat cheese salad? Be sure to leave a comment telling me how much you loved it, and tag me on instagram @livglutenfree! I hope you enjoy as much as I do!
More Gluten-Free Mains
Healthy Beet & Goat Cheese Salad
- 1 bowl spring mix
- 1 beet pre-cooked and cubed
- ¼ onion sliced
- 1 sprinkle goat cheese adjust proportion to your liking
- 1 sprinkle pepitas aka pumpkin seeds
- 1-2 tablespoon balsamic glaze purchase or read how to make your own below
- 1 cup chopped walnuts unsalted
- 2 tablespoon maple syrup
- ¼ teaspoon vanilla extract
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- 1 sprinkle salt
- 1 teaspoon chopped onion
- 2 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey
- salt & pepper
Balsamic Glaze (If you're making your own)
- Add 1 cup of balsamic vinegar to a small sauce pot. Heat over medium until gently boiling. Then reduce to medium-low to simmer for about 20-30 minutes until the volume has halved. It should be thick enough to coat a spoon. When done, remove from heat and allow to cool completely, then refrigerate. This will make a few salads worth and will last several weeks in the fridge. You can also use it on pizzas, vegetables, or pastas.
- If you're reducing your own balsamic glaze, you can make the candied walnuts at the same time. Preheat the oven to 325°F and prepare a baking sheet with parchment. Combine all of the ingredients in a bowl and spread in a thin layer onto the baking sheet. Bake for 10 minutes, then remove to stir the nuts around. Bake for another 10 minutes and stir. Bake for a final 5-10 minutes until golden. Remove from the oven and allow to cool completely. Break into clusters with your hands and store in an airtight container until ready to use.
- To make the vinaigrette, simply whisk all ingredients together. This will make enough for about one single serve salad, so if feeding more, increase the quantity.
Assemble the Salad
- Begin by selecting a large bowl. Fill with greens.
- Layer the additional topping: beets, onion, goat cheese, pepitas, and candied walnuts.
- When ready to eat, toss with vinaigrette and drizzle the balsamic glaze. Enjoy this healthy and delicious restaurant-quality salad.