Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets and Carrots 

This simple Quinoa Salad features maple roasted beets and carrots, as well as tangy goat’s cheese all tossed with a lovely smoky orange dressing. Can easily be made vegan. 

overhead shot of vegan quinoa salad with roasted beets and carrots

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Carrots & Goat Cheese – unique, delightfully sweet and SO pretty!

There’s just something about the vibrant color of beets in a dish that makes me happy. Look at this Quinoa Beet salad! Just so bold . And while there are other fruits and veggies out there that produce the same color, none of them can match those deep, savory caramel notes of a properly roasted beet.

Now, there are a couple of different schools of thought on preparing beets, but after running what tests I could, one fact really stood out over the others – just don’t boil them. Sure, it’s efficient. But so much of the beautiful flavor and not to mention a lot of the nutrients are being poured down the drain. You also can’t fully activate the sugars present if you boil them. So no dark, delicious, sweet, and sticky bits; and what fun is that?!

overhead shot of two bowls with quinoa beet salad with goat cheese

The key to great beets – roasting them!

No, if you want your little beetsies to be livin’ their best lives – ya gotta get roastin’! There are two major factors to consider while we’re roasting beets. The application of heat, and the surface area being exposed. Getting these two things right will help us make the most of the beets’ natural sugars as well as their lovely earthiness.

Just tossing a dry beet in the oven does work, but it takes for-EVER. Ain’t nobody got time for that. Instead, there are two easy ways to encourage the heat of the oven to penetrate into the beets: tossing them in oil and wrapping it up in foil.

And as you can imagine, cutting them into cubes speeds up the process as well. Since we’re using the cubed beets to garnish our salad in this recipe, I’ve decided to skip the foil. But we are still going to toss them in oil and some seasonings to help ensure we get the best heat transfer.

side view of a plate of vegan quinoa salad with beets and goat cheese

 

If you were to be serving beets as a side by themselves, I’d strongly suggest the foil as a way to lock in all that flavor and to create a moist atmosphere for them to cook in – moist air transfers heat a lot more efficiently than dry air.

How to Make Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets & Carrots

Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).

Rinse the quinoa: Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running cold water for about 30 seconds to a minute. Drain it well. This step is important as it removes any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa.

Step 1 – In a medium saucepan, add quinoa and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer on low heat and cover for 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Add to a large mixing bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

Step 2 & 3 – Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the carrots and beets in a large mixing bowl along with the oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Give them a good toss to ensure that everything is evenly coated then spread them out on the baking sheet. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are caramelized and the beets can be pierced with little resistance. The carrots should have begun to caramelize by now and you should be able to spear the diced beets with little resistance. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the dressing.

a picture collage with a small mason jar with orange dressing and a bowl of quinoa salad

Step 4 – Add all the dressing ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake to combine. You can also use an immersion blender if you have one. Or simply a bowl with a small whisk or a fork.

Step 5 – In a large serving bowl, combine quinoa with the cilantro, the seeds, and the dressing. Now, if you don’t care about your salad being a bit red from the beets, you can stir all the other ingredients in directly and serve it as-is. If you prefer the salad to look like the pics, serve it in individual bowls and kind of layer the quinoa mixture with the roasted veggies and sprinkle delicately with goat cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy!

quinoa salad with beets and carrots

Tips:

  • As far as the quinoa is concerned, rinse it under cold water before you do anything else. Sure, it might be dirty, or dusty like rice, but rinsing is far more important for quinoa because it gets rid of the bitterness that is sometimes present in the grain.
  • If you’re strapped for time, you can speed up the roasting of the vegetables by folding them into a well-sealed foil pouch. Give them at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted roasting time before spearing the pouch to check for doneness.
  • This quinoa beet salad can easily be made vegan by skipping the cheese and adding some more nuts, smoked tempeh, or tofu.
  • The recipe makes enough for 2 mains or 4 side servings.
  • For a spicier dressing add some cayenne pepper.
  • The dressing also works great with lemon juice but you might want to double the amount of maple syrup to balance out the sourness.
  • Fresh orange or blood orange fillets would be amazing on this, so would be chopped pistachios.

 

5 from 5 votes
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Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Carrots & Goat Cheese

This simple Quinoa Salad features Maple Roasted Beets and Carrots Salad, as well as tangy goat's cheese all tossed with a lovely smoky orange dressing. Can easily be made vegan. 

Course main, side
Cuisine American
Keyword quinoa salad recipe, quinoa salad with beets
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 45 minutes
Total Time 55 minutes
Servings 4
Calories 552 kcal

Ingredients

Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa rinsed (any kind of quinoa)
  • 2 large carrots or 3 medium peeled and sliced on an angle
  • 1 large beetroot or 2 small peeled and coarsely diced
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • sea salt and black pepper to taste
  • 1 cup cilantro loosely packed, chopped - you can also use parsley
  • ½ cup pepitas or sunflower seeds toasted
  • 2/3 cup goat cheese crumbled (omit to keep dairy-free and vegan)

Dressing

  • ¼ cup orange juice roughly one large orange
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup optional
  • tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • tsp turmeric
  • sea salt to taste

Instructions

  1. Preheat your oven to 425°F (220°C).

  2. Rinse the quinoa: Pour the quinoa into a fine mesh colander and rinse under running cold water for about 30 seconds to a minute. Drain it well. This step is important as it removes any bitterness on the outside of the quinoa.

  3. In a medium saucepan, add quinoa and cover with 2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Once boiling, reduce to a simmer on low heat and cover for 15 minutes or until the water has been absorbed. Add to a large mixing bowl, fluff with a fork and let cool while you prepare the rest of the recipe.

  4. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Put the carrots and beets in a large mixing bowl along with the oil, maple syrup, salt, and pepper. Give them a good toss to ensure that everything is evenly coated then spread them out on the baking sheet.

  5. Bake for 30-45 minutes or until the carrots are caramelized and the beets can be pierced with little resistance. The carrots should have begun to caramelize by now and you should be able to spear the diced beets with little resistance. Remove from the oven and let cool while you make the dressing.

  6. Add all the dressing ingredients to a small jar with a lid and shake to combine. You can also use an immersion blender if you have one. Or simply a bowl with a small whisk or a fork.

  7. In a large serving bowl, combine quinoa with the cilantro, the seeds and the dressing. Now, if you don’t care about your salad being a bit red from the beets, you can stir all the other ingredients in directly and serve it as-is. If you prefer the salad to look like the pics, serve it in individual bowls and kind of layer the quinoa mixture with the roasted veggies and sprinkle delicately with goat cheese. Serve immediately and enjoy!

Recipe Notes

  • As far as the quinoa is concerned, rinse it under cold water before you do anything else. Sure, it might be dirty, or dusty like rice, but rinsing is far more important for quinoa because it gets rid of the bitterness that is sometimes present in the grain.
  • If you're strapped for time, you can speed up the roasting of the vegetables by folding them into a well-sealed foil pouch. Give them at least 20 minutes of uninterrupted roasting time before spearing the pouch to check for doneness.
  • This quinoa beet salad can easily be made vegan by skipping the cheese and adding some more nuts, smoked tempeh, or tofu.
  • The recipe makes enough for 2 mains or 4 side servings.
  • For a spicier dressing add some cayenne pepper.
  • The dressing also works great with lemon juice but you might want to double the amount of maple syrup to balance out the sourness.
  • Fresh orange or blood orange fillets would be amazing on this, so would be chopped pistachios.
Nutrition Facts
Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Carrots & Goat Cheese
Amount Per Serving (1 /4)
Calories 552 Calories from Fat 306
% Daily Value*
Fat 34g52%
Saturated Fat 9g56%
Cholesterol 17mg6%
Sodium 185mg8%
Potassium 632mg18%
Carbohydrates 48g16%
Fiber 6g25%
Sugar 14g16%
Protein 18g36%
Vitamin A 6033IU121%
Vitamin C 12mg15%
Calcium 125mg13%
Iron 4mg22%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

If you tried this Quinoa Roasted Carrots & Beet Salad Recipe with Thai Peanut Dressing, don’t forget to rate the recipe below and let me know how it went in the comments – I love hearing from you! You can also follow me on InstagramPinterest and Facebook for more deliciousness and behind-the-scenes!

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