This easy roasted beetroot walnut and feta salad with a balsamic vinaigrette packs a punch when it comes to texture, color, and flavor. Roasted beetroot, creamy feta, and crunchy walnuts are combined in a delicious vinaigrette. Sweet, salty, earthy, and fresh flavors make it a perfect side for Summer BBQs, picnics, Fall dinners, or seafood dishes. A simple make-ahead salad that can be served warm or cold.
Why you’ll love this recipe
- Can be made with roasted, raw, or pickled beetroot.
- Serve it warm or cold.
- It stores well.
- Beetroot – This salad can be made with raw, roasted, or pickled beetroot. See below for the different options.
- Feta – I use cows’ milk feta cheese but sheep, buffalo, or goats’ milk feta are other good options.
- Walnuts – Toasted walnuts give this salad extra flavor and texture. You can omit them for a nut-free side, or substitute them with toasted almonds or pecans. Sunflower or pumpkin seeds work well too.
- Olive oil – I recommend using extra virgin olive oil for the dressing as well as roasting the beetroot. You can substitute it with other vegetable oils if needed.
- Thyme – Thyme complements the earthy notes of the beetroot and walnuts. You can use fresh parsley or chives as well.
- Maple syrup – Maple syrup gives the dressing some rich sweetness but you can use honey or brown sugar if needed.
- Balsamic vinegar – The acid in the balsamic vinegar balances the sweetness of the maple syrup and the richness of the olive oil. You can use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar as alternatives. Fresh lemon juice is another acidic alternative.
- Dijon mustard – The mustard adds spice and extra flavor to the dressing and is a key component. You can use other types of mustard instead if needed.
- Salt & Pepper – I suggest seasoning the beetroot and dressing with sea salt and freshly ground pepper.
You can make this vibrant salad with roasted, raw, and pickled / tinned beetroot and all versions add a unique flavor to this recipe.
Roasted beetroot: When beetroot is roasted, its natural sweetness intensifies, and its texture becomes tender and slightly caramelized. Roasted beetroot salad can also be served warm as an extra benefit.
Raw beetroot: The distinct earthy flavor of beetroot is at its strongest when using raw, grated beetroot. In this form, it offers the highest concentration of essential vitamins and minerals, making it a nutritional powerhouse. Additionally, raw beetroot has a bold, vibrant color that can add visual appeal to any dish.
Pickled / tinned beetroot: Making this salad can be made much more convenient and less messy by using canned or pre-cooked beetroot. However, when using these options, it is important to keep an eye on the ingredient list to avoid any unnecessary additives or preservatives.
- Remove the walnuts from the pan immediately once they are toasted or they will burn as the pan remains hot.
- Roast the beetroot and prepare the dressing ahead of time which makes this side an easy throw together salad.
- The roasted beetroot can be added warm or cold, whichever way suits your menu.
Beetroot and pumpkin salad
1 cup of roasted butternut pumpkin adds sweetness and extra color to this salad. A perfect variation of this tasty salad. Make sure to double the dressing.
Beetroot rocket and feta salad
A handful of rocket or arugula leaves creates a pungent, peppery flavor to the salad.
Beetroot and lentil salad
Turn this salad into a main by adding 1 cup of cooked lentils to the roasted beetroot. Again, double the dressing in that case.
This roasted beetroot walnut and feta salad is perfect as a side dish for a BBQ, schnitzel, meatballs, crumbed chicken, and smoked salmon.
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Once the dressing is tossed through it, the salad stays fresh in the refrigerator for 1 day. You can easily meal prep the salad by roasting the beetroot, preparing the dressing, and toasting the walnuts ahead of time and simply assemble everything just before you’re serving it.
Yes, cooked beetroot can be frozen for up to 4 months in a freezer-proof container.
Roasted Beetroot Walnut and Feta Salad
- 2 cups beetroot cubed
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp ground pepper
- 1/4 tsp salt
- 1/4 cup walnut pieces toasted
- 1/4 cup feta
- 2 stalks fresh thyme optional
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- salt and pepper
- Preheat the oven to 200C/392F.
- Wash the beetroot thoroughly and cut it into 2x2cm cubes. Toss in olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast for 35-40 minutes and set aside to cool down.2 cups beetroot, 1 tbsp olive oil, 1/8 tsp ground pepper, 1/4 tsp salt
- To toast the walnut pieces, simply heat them in a small pan on medium heat while continuously stirring to ensure they brown evenly. Remove them from the pan immediately once toasted.1/4 cup walnut pieces
- To make the maple balsamic dressing, add the maple syrup, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, and Dijon mustard into a small lidded container. Shake until all ingredients turn into a homogeneous dressing. Season with salt and pepper to taste.1 tbsp maple syrup, 1 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar, 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard, salt and pepper
- To assemble the salad, add the roasted beetroot to a large bowl. Stir through some of the balsamic dressing and crumble the feta on top of the beetroot. Garnish the salad with the toasted walnut pieces, fresh thyme, and freshly ground black pepper. Drizzle with the remaining dressing. Enjoy!1/4 cup walnut pieces, 1/4 cup feta, 2 stalks fresh thyme