by Olena

Beet Salad with Arugula and Feta

by Olena

5 from 1 reviews

Beet Salad with zesty arugula, simple candied pecans, crumbled feta and easy balsamic dressing. If you are looking for an easy way to eat more beets, this beet salad recipe is the one.

It will win you over, even if you don’t love beets!

Beet Salad with Arugula and Feta

Beet Salad

I make this beet salad strictly for adults because my kids are not fans of beets. Good thing is it comes together in minutes even on a busy night. You can cook beets and prepare dressing in advance and then refrigerate for up to 5 days.

When ready to enjoy arugula beet salad, just toast some pecans and combine them with greens and crumbled feta. So kids won’t be in the way of enjoying health benefits of this miracle vegetable.

Or make it for Thanksgiving or any celebration table. So easy and yet fancy!

And now thanks to magical Instant Pot powers (I am absolutely in love, if you are new here 🙂 ) cooking beets takes 30 minutes without any smell or mess.

Beet Salad with Arugula and Feta in a glass bowl

Ingredients You Will Need

What I love about this beet salad recipe how simple and yet flavorful its ingredients are. I am always trying to use less ingredients because “busy life”. But honestly, because you don’t have to complicate the obvious – real food is delish!

  • Small box of arugula: I think this zesty green complements sweet and hearty beets the best. Baby spinach would work as well, just not the same.
  • 2 lbs of beets: Red or golden beets are both great.
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans: Walnuts, almonds or pine nuts can be used. My last preference would be walnuts cause they taste least tasty when toasted.
  • 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese
  • Simple balsamic olive oil based dressing

arugula, cooked beets, pecans, feta cheese, balsamic dressing

How to Prepare Beets for Salad

Cook Beets in Instant Pot:

Follow this Instant Pot beets recipe. One thing I can tell you that cooking beets in an electric pressure cooker is way easier than on the stove.

All you do is cook whole beetroot for 20 minutes and quick release. Even with pressure build up it takes 30 minutes max.

Cook Beets on the Stove:

Growing up in Ukraine my grandma always boiled beets which seemed like hours haha. “Oh, beets? Right! Will be ready tonight.” 🙂

Main tip is to place beets in large enough pot so they are completely covered with water. Any sticking out in the air part will not get cooked. Then boil for 50-60 minutes or until fork tender.

Some beets take longer. It depends on a beetroot. So, just check.

Roast Beets in the Oven:

The best advice I can give you is not to roast beets in aluminum foil. When heated, aluminum leaches harmful chemicals into your food.

Instead, line a Dutch oven with parchment paper and roast beets in it covered for 50-60 minutes in preheated 400 degrees F oven. This way you avoid destroying your Dutch oven coating with bright purple colours and beets cook.

And again, I use unbleached parchment paper because I don’t want chlorine in my food either.

knife poking beetssliced beets on a cutting board with a knife

pecans in white skillet with yellow spatulabalsamic dressing in a glass bowl with a fork

How to Toast Pecans and Make the Dressing

Now, if you do candied pecans my healthy way your mind will be blown. I have been making them this way forever.

  • Just add pecans to a large skillet and toast on medium heat for 5 minutes, stirring often.
  • You know nuts are aready when they are fragrant and brown sides appear.
  • Turn off heat and add maple syrup.
  • Stir until nuts are all coated.

Hot skillet will caramelize maple syrup sugars and you won’t be able to stop yourself from sneaking a few.

arugula beet salad

This balsamic dressing is embarrassingly easy. Just whisk in a bowl with a fork or shake in a jar:

  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder and pepper.

Freshly cracked black pepper goes so well in this salad. And I like how garlic powder adds garlick-y flavor without overpowering the salad. It can be a potluck salad or office lunch. 🙂

Storage and Tips for Best Beet Salad

Refrigerate leftover salad covered for up to 6 hours. Arugula wilts, so it is best consumed same day.

Make ahead: You can refrigerate salad ingredients without pecans and dressing (both covered) for up to 24 hours and combine everything before serving.

Enjoy this salad cold or with warm beets. Either way it is delightful!

beet salad recipe with tongs in a white bowl

More Hearty Healthy Salad Recipes

beet salad garnished with crumbled feta

Print

Beet Salad with Arugula and Feta

5 from 1 reviews

Beet Salad with zesty arugula, simple candied pecans, crumbled feta and easy balsamic dressing. If you are looking for an easy way to eat more beets, this beet salad recipe is the one. It will win you over even if you don’t love beets!

  • Author: Olena of ifoodreal.com
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 35 minutes
  • Total Time: 50 minutes
  • Yield: 6 (side dish) 1x
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Instant Pot + Stove + Crumble
  • Cuisine: North American
Scale

Ingredients

Beet Salad:

  • 2 lbs beets
  • 5 oz arugula
  • 1 1/2 cups pecans or walnuts
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup or honey
  • 1/2 cup feta or goat cheese, crumbled

Balsamic Dressing:

  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • Ground black pepper, to taste

Instructions

Cook Beets in Instant Pot: 

  1. Wash beets and trim off the root part and the leafy and top part. I used medium to large beets. To make sure they cook evenly, I cut large beets in half.
  2. In Instant Pot, add 1 cup water. Place beets into a steamer basket and inside the Instant Pot. If you don’t have a basket yet, add trivet and place beets on top.
  3. Close the lid, turn pressure valve to Sealing and cook on High Pressure for 20 minutes.
  4. Release pressure immediately using Quick Release method and open the lid.
  5. Test beets for doneness by poking with the knife. If the knife pierces flesh without much resistance, beets are ready. It should feel like cutting soft butter. If not, close the lid and cook for 10 more minutes.
  6. Cool off beets under cold running water for a few seconds right in the basket. And then a little bit more until safe to handle. If not using steamer basket, use tongs and remove into a bowl. The goal is to remove beets from hot Instant Pot to cool off faster.
  7. To peel beets, use paper towel or parchment paper and scrub beets with it. Peel should slide off. I am not a fan of using plastic gloves for environmental reasons.

Cook Beets on the Stove:

  1. Wash beets and trim off the root part and the leafy and top part. I used medium to large beets. To make sure they cook evenly, I cut large beets in half.
  2. Add beets to a medium pot, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to low, cove with lid and cook for 50-60 minutes or until fork tender.
  3. Drain beats and let cool until safe to handle.
  4. To peel beets, use paper towel or parchment paper and scrub beets with it. Peel should slide off.

Roast Beets

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Wash beets and trim off the root part and the leafy and top part.
  2. Line cast iron pan or Dutch oven with parchment paper, place beets on top and cover.
  3. Roast for 50-60 minutes or until fork tender.
  4. Let cool until safe to handle.
  5. To peel beets, use paper towel or parchment paper and scrub beets with it. Peel should slide off.

Make Beet Salad with Arugula and Feta

  1. Cut cooked beets into desired size and shape slices. I like mandarin type of slices.
  2. In a large skillet, add pecans and toast on medium heat for 5 minutes or until fragrant, stirring often. Turn off the heat and add maple syrup. Stir until nuts are all coated.
  3. In a small bowl, add olive oil, balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, garlic powder, pepper and whisk with a fork until well combined.
  4. In a large salad bowl, add arugula, beets, pecans, crumbled feta and dressing. Mix gently with tongs until well combined.
  5. Serve immediately.

Store: Refrigerate leftover salad covered for up to 6 hours. Arugula wilts, so it is best consumed same day.

Make Ahead: You can refrigerate salad ingredients without pecans and dressing (both covered) for up to 24 hours and combine everything before serving.

 Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating in the comments.

olena osipov in the studio

Hello and welcome to iFOODreal.

My name is Olena Osipov. I'm a mom to 2 boys and a wife to Alex. And this is our healthy family recipes blog. I grew up in Ukraine on real food. As an adult, I tried many diets without results. Now for over 10 years, I cook quick and easy healthy meals for my family. I can help you with “What’s for dinner?” too.

What You Will Find Here

Healthy family recipes with simple ingredients. Many are inspired by my Ukrainian heritage. I share mostly dinner recipes because it just never ends... I’m obsessed with healthy freezer meals. And more than in love with my Instant Pot.

A Little More About Me

Originally from Ukraine, I now reside on magic Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada with my family. I started this blog in 2012 when I ended up at home with 2 small kids unemployed and a wee bit chubby.

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