This beet and goat cheese salad recipe is tantalizing and zingy with great textures and taste. I roast pears, beets, and onions with a touch of rosemary until they’re tender and bursting with sweet-meets-savory flavor. The unique combination works so wonderfully well with soft goat cheese, honey-balsamic dressing, and crunchy pine nuts!

overhead photo of a serving platter of beet and goat cheese salad.
Photo Credits: Elana Lepkowski 

In this beet and goat cheese salad, the sweetness of pears plays with the saltiness of goat cheese and savory rosemary. Balsamic adds tang, and Dijon, arugula, and olive oil add a nice peppery touch. Earthy undertones from the beets add depth, while pine nuts lend a delightful crunchy texture. Creamy goat cheese brings all the flavors together! 

If that wasn’t enough to make you salivate, all the elements can be prepared a day in advance and assembled just before serving. This is far from your average beet and goat cheese salad recipe. It’s colorful, looks sophisticated enough for the holidays, but is easy enough for a healthy weeknight dinner. It’s the perfect fall meal. 

Table of Contents
  1. All About Beets
  2. Ingredients for this Beet Salad Recipe
  3. How to Make Beet and Goat Cheese Salad
    1. Roast the Fruits and Vegetables
    2. Finish the Salad
  4. Tips, Swaps, and Substitutions
  5. Getting Ahead 
  6. You'll Also Like: Show Stopping Salad Recipes
  7. Roasted Beet Salad with Pears and Goat Cheese Recipe


All About Beets

From the rainbow varieties to the ruby red beets, this sweet, earthy vegetable is as stunningly beautiful to look at as it is delicious to eat! What’s more, it’s a modest veggie that can be prepared and eaten in many ways- steamed, boiled, pickled, roasted, grated, juiced, raw, you name it, you can probably do it!

Beets are one of those vegetables that have an amazing color. They make everything from kale salad to hummus look pretty, but they’re good for so much more than that. Beets are a powerful superfood filled with nutrients: did you know the USDA specifies that a beet has as much potassium by weight as a banana? 

Beets are also easy to grow. My hubby (who is the green thumb in our home) loves to plant beets because he gets a good reward for his gardening labors: you can eat the whole vegetable from top to bottom without any waste. We eat the bulb in countless ways and blanch the leaves.

I simply toss the softened greens in a lemon and olive oil dressing! I use arugula in this recipe, but if your beet greens look good, go ahead and chop them up and add them. Okay, enough said, let’s get to that beet salad. Trust me, you'll return for a second helping!

ingredients for beet and goat cheese salad including beets, pears, onion, rosemary, salt, pepper, pine nuts, arugula, crumbled chevre cheese, dijon mustard, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and honey.


Ingredients for this Beet Salad Recipe

While this beet and goat cheese salad is made of easy-to-find ingredients, it’s best in late summer to early winter when pears are at their most flavorful. To make it, grab: 

  • Beets: Choose small to medium size beets that are firm when pressed. Do not buy beets that are rock hard as they will be difficult to cook.
  • Pears: Bosc, Bartlett, or Anjou pears are best as you need a crispy variety that holds its shape when cooked. Remember to keep the skins on for color and crunch. 
  • White onion: Add a lovely savory note—a great balance to the sweet pears and honey dressing. You can substitute with yellow onions.
  • Olive oil: Extra virgin olive oil is always my preference to add body and richness to salads. The better the quality the better the result—you can browse our favorite Mediterranean olive oils at our shop
  • Rosemary: Adding rosemary during roasting adds a great aroma and flavor to the vegetables. You can omit this element if you don’t enjoy rosemary. 
  • Salt and pepper: Enhance the flavor.
  • Dijon mustard: To see the beautiful seeds, taste, and texture of seeded Dijon. 
  • Balsamic vinegar: Adds a rich notable sweetness balanced by acidity. If the flavor is too strong you could halve the amount. Red and white vinegar would be too sour for this salad.  
  • Honey: Gives the sweetness to the dressing and a lovely coating and stickiness to the beets and pears. 
  • Chèvre cheese: French cheese made with goat’s milk (often labeled "goat cheese") is best for this salad. Depending on the age of the cheese, it can be soft and creamy (without rind) or hard and crumbly on a wheel (sometimes coated in an edible ash). Use the soft variety for this salad. 
  • Pine nuts: Toasted pine nuts add a great creaminess, nuttiness, and crunch.
a plate of beet and goat cheese salad and a fork in front of a serving platter with the salad.


How to Make Beet and Goat Cheese Salad

This beet and goat cheese salad is simple, the beets just require some time to get nice and tender. To get started:

Roast the Fruits and Vegetables

  • Get ready. Position one rack in the oven toward the middle top and one rack toward the middle bottom. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line two large sheet trays with parchment paper. 
  • Prep the pears. Cut the pears in half lengthwise and remove the core, leaving the skin intact. Place the pear upright and slice from stem to bottom into 5 to 9 slices depending on how large your pears are. Place the slices in a single layer onto one of the lined sheet trays and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and set aside.un-roasted pear wedges on a line baking sheet.
  • Prep the beets and onions. Trim the ends of the beets, peel, and slice into 8 even wedges. Trim the ends of the onion, peel, and slice into 8 wedges. Add the beets and onions to the second prepared sheet pan and drizzle with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with 2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Use your hands to toss everything together to make sure it’s evenly coated in oil and seasonings. Spread into a single layer. un-roasted onion and beet wedges on a lined baking sheet.
  • Roast the onion, beets, and pears. Place the sheet pans in the oven, one on each rack. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, flip the pear slices over and toss the beets and onion (you can keep them separate or toss them together). Rotate the sheet pans so the one that was on the top is now on the bottom and the one on the bottom is now on the top. Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until the pears are tender but still hold together. roasted pear wedges on a lined baking sheet.
  • Finish the beets. If the pears are ready, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. Continue roasting the beets and onions until the beets are fork-tender, about 15 minutes more. In the end, the pears will roast for about 30 minutes, and the beets and onions for about 45 minutes.roasted onion and beet slices on a lined baking sheet.


Finish the Salad

  • Toast the pine nuts. While everything roasts, add ½ cup of pine nuts to a small dry pan and set on medium heat. Swirl the pan and toss frequently until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.pine nuts toasting in a skillet.
  • Make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, balsamic, honey, remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, and salt to your liking. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. honey balsamic vinaigrette in a bowl with a whisk.
  • Dress and serve. Remove the roasted beets and onions from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Spread the arugula on a serving platter. Spoon the slightly cooled beets and onions over the arugula, and pour the dressing over the salad. Tuck the pear slices into different places around the platter, nestling some into the beets. Scatter the chèvre cheese over top and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately.
beet and goat cheese salad on a serving platter with a wooden serving fork surrounded by various table settings.


Tips, Swaps, and Substitutions

This beet and goat cheese salad is incredibly versatile. You can tweak things according to your taste and what you have on hand. Here are some ways to make this beet salad recipe your own:

  • Buy pears that are firm when pressed. Soft pears will not hold their shape and will become too mushy. 
  • Walnuts can be substituted for pine nuts. Roast and roughly chop the before adding. 
  • For a nut-free salad, substitute with sunflower seeds.
  • If you prefer less sweetness, decrease the honey by half.
  • To avoid beet stains, submerge the beets in water when peeling. Otherwise you can also wear disposable gloves.
  • Maple syrup can be used instead of honey. To make this salad vegan, swap the honey for maple syrup and leave off the cheese.
  • Chèvre cheese cannot really be replaced in terms of flavor. A substitute for the texture would be fresh ricotta cheese. Or, if you like a salty cheese use a Greek feta.
a beet and goat cheese salad on a serving platter next to a small bowl of pine nuts.


Getting Ahead 

If you’re preparing this beet and goat cheese salad for a dinner party and want to get ahead, you can start the day before. All the elements can be readied a day in advance and assembled just before serving.

  • Beets and pears: Roast them the day before serving. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. When ready to serve, place on a serving platter, add the dressing and scatter over cheese and nuts. 
  • The salad dressing: Can be made a day in advance and kept in a sealed jar.

You'll Also Like: Show Stopping Salad Recipes

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5 from 9 votes

Roasted Beet Salad with Pears and Goat Cheese

photograph of author Ruth Bardis.Ruth Bardis
overhead photo of a serving platter of beet and goat cheese salad.
In this elegant salad recipe, beets, onions, and pears roast until their flavors concentrate and they become sweet, savory, and luxuriously tender. If you’d like to reduce the oven time (say, for Thanksgiving dinner when your oven is in high demand), you can par-boil the beets for 25 minutes. Simply toss the simmered beets with the onions and roast everything at the same time.
Prep – 10 minutes
Cook – 1 hour
Total – 1 hour 10 minutes
Cuisine:
American/Mediterranean
Serves – 6
Course:
Salad

Ingredients
  

For the Salad

  • 3 medium Bosc or Bartlett pears
  • ¼ cup plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt
  • 5-6 medium beets
  • 1 large white onion
  • 2 tablespoons minced rosemary leaves
  • Ground black pepper
  • ½ cup pine nuts
  • 4 ounces arugula
  • 3 ounces crumbled chèvre cheese

For the Honey Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • ¼ cup olive oil

Instructions
 

  • Get ready. Position one rack in the oven toward the middle top and one rack toward the middle bottom. Preheat your oven to 350ºF. Line two large sheet trays with parchment paper.
  • Prep the pears. Cut the pears in half lengthwise and remove the core. Do not remove the skin. Place the pear upright and slice from stem to bottom into 5 to 9 slices depending on how large your pears are. Place the slices in a single layer onto one of the lined sheet trays and drizzle with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Sprinkle with a big pinch of salt and set aside.
  • Prep the beets and onions. Trim the ends of the beets, peel, and slice into 8 even wedges. Trim the ends of the onion, peel, and slice into 8 wedges. Add the beets and onions to the second prepared sheet pan and drizzle with ¼ cup of the olive oil. Sprinkle with the rosemary and a big pinch of salt and pepper. Use your hands to toss everything together to make sure it’s evenly coated in oil and seasonings. Spread into a single layer.
  • Roast the onion, beets, and pears. Place the sheet pans in the oven, one on each rack. Roast for 15 minutes, then remove from the oven, flip the pear slices over and toss the beets and onion. Rotate the sheet pans so the one that was on the top is now on the bottom and the one on the bottom is now on the top. Roast for an additional 15 minutes, or until the pears are tender but still hold together.
  • Finish the beets. If the pears are ready, remove them from the oven and set aside to cool. Continue roasting the beets and onions until the beets are fork-tender, about 15 minutes more. In the end, the pears will roast for about 30 minutes, and the beets and onions for about 45 minutes.
  • Toast the pine nuts. While everything roasts, add the pine nuts to a small dry pan and set on medium heat. Swirl the pan and toss frequently until the nuts are golden brown and fragrant, about 5 minutes.
  • Make the dressing. In a medium bowl, whisk together the mustard, balsamic, honey, remaining ¼ cup of olive oil, and salt to your liking. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed.
  • Dress and serve. Remove the roasted beets and onions from the oven and set aside to cool for a few minutes. Spread the arugula on a serving platter. Spoon the slightly cooled beets and onions over the arugula, and pour the dressing over the salad. Tuck the pear slices into different places around the platter, nestling some into the beets. Scatter the chèvre cheese over top and sprinkle with pine nuts. Serve immediately.

Notes

  • The beets and pears can be roasted one day before serving. Allow to cool, then store in the refrigerator in an airtight container. The salad dressing can be made a day in advance and kept in a sealed jar.
  • If you have a smaller oven, roast the pears and onions/beets on two separate rows, switching halfway through.  
  • Visit our shop to browse quality Mediterranean ingredients including olive oils, honey, jams, and spices.

Nutrition

Calories: 389.2kcalCarbohydrates: 30.3gProtein: 6.4gFat: 29.1gSaturated Fat: 5.2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 6gMonounsaturated Fat: 16.1gCholesterol: 6.5mgSodium: 118.4mgPotassium: 504.6mgFiber: 5.8gSugar: 21.1gVitamin A: 663.1IUVitamin C: 11.6mgCalcium: 78.7mgIron: 2.1mg
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Ruth Bardis is an international award-winning cookbook author, food stylist, publisher, and photographer passionate about all thing’s Greek food.  She was born in Australia to Greek parents. Her strong ethnic heritage and love of nourishing food facilitated her switch from fashion designing to cooking, photography, and writing. 
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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This salad was delicious! I did not have arugula on hand, so I used baby spinach instead and added some fresh ground black pepper over the spinach to get that peppery flavor that arugula has. I look forward to making it again soon with the arugula. Even my husband who doesn't care for trying new dishes, really liked it.

    1. Hi, Amber. If you hit the "Print" button right under the recipe's title at the top of the page, you should be taken to a printer-friendly version of the recipe. No copy and pasting necessary :).

  2. 5 stars
    Yummy! The salad is a beautiful presentation (very colorful) and is tasty! I made it all in one day. Next time, I might do the pears, beets, and onions a day in advance. This is a lovely salad to serve guests.