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This roasted beet salad is savory, sweet, salty, and crunchy. It's packed full of color, fiber, nutrients, and healthy fats to be enjoyed as a side dish or the main course.
When I lived in Denver, there was an Italian restaurant that served a roasted beet salad. One weekend when my mom was visiting, we both got the salad and added crispy prosciutto to it.
It was a complete game-changer. And I knew as soon as I got home, I needed to do a homemade riff on that amazing roasted beet salad.
The crispy, salty prosciutto, the toasted macadamia nuts, the sweet roasted beets, the refreshing crunch of the leafy greens... it all works so well together. Whether you choose to eat it as a side dish or a main, it’s full of healthy fats, protein, and fiber, to keep you satiated.
Roasted Beet Salad Ingredients
- Beets (also called beetroot) - roasting them helps release their natural sugars, and removes their earthiness, making them taste sweet.
- Kale - you can use either curl or dino/lacinato varieties.
- Romaine - adds a refreshing crunch and helps break up the denser texture of kale.
- Prosciutto - it's the lighter, crispier version of bacon when cooked.
- Macadamia nuts - add a nice textural element to the salad.
- balsamic vinaigrette - the sweetness of the balsamic pairs really nicely with the saltiness of the prosciutto
How to Make Roasted Beets
Beets can be roasted a couple of ways, but regardless of which way you choose, start here:
- Cut off the greens and stems, and trim off the tough bottoms.
- Run the beets under running water and give them a little scrub (a veggie brush works well here or just use your hands) to remove the dirt.
Now, you have the choice of roasting them whole or cutting the beets into small cubes.
- Put the beets (whole or cubed) on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. Toss/rub with avocado or olive oil and season with salt.
- Bake at 400ºF for about 50-60 minutes if whole (this will depend on the size of your beets) and 25-30 minutes if cubed. They're ready when a knife or fork easily glides through them.
The Difference Between Whole Roasted Beets vs. Cubed
Whole Roasted Beets
Roasting beets whole basically steams the beets inside their skin. Once roasted, the skin becomes browned and wrinkly, and when slightly cooled, you can easily peel the skin away by running it under cool water.
When you peel away the skin, you'll be left with a bright ruby hue and tender flesh.
Cubed Roasted Beets
Cutting the beets into cubes gives them a slightly crispier, chewier texture with a sweet flavor. They won't have as bright of a hue, but the flavor will still be delicious. If you're short on time, go with the cubed option.
You don't need to peel the skin if your beets are organic. Just wash, chop, season, and bake.
Prepare the Salad
While the beets are roasting, get the other ingredients ready.
- Toast the nuts in a dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally so they don’t burn. When they’ve started to turn a golden brown color, remove them from the heat and set them aside.
- Wash & chop the kale. Remove the stems from the kale and cut all the greens into bite-sized pieces.
- Make the dressing. Make the balsamic vinaigrette and set it aside.
- Crisp the prosciutto. Lastly, add the prosciutto to a pan over medium heat and cook until it's crispy, but not burnt.
Make It Your Way: Substitutions & Variations
Please remember that recipes are just a starting point.
How can you make this roasted beet salad using what you already have? Here are some ideas…
- Not a fan of beets? - golden beets have a sweeter taste and less earthy flavor than red beets.
- No kale? - sub arugula (slightly spicy), spinach, or any other leafy green you enjoy.
- Out of romaine? - use, bibb (also called butter lettuce), green leaf, or red leaf lettuce instead.
- Plant-based? - omit the prosciutto.
- No macadamia nuts? - sub for walnuts, pumpkin seeds, pistachios, or hazelnuts.
- Variations? - use another dressing such as smoky mustard vinaigrette, lemon honey vinaigrette, or poppyseed dressing.
- Choosing beets. Get beets that are firm in your hands and don't feel squishy. You can buy them in a bunch or sometimes just the beets themselves (with the greens and stems removed).
- Food waste tip. Buying just the beets is a great option to reduce your food waste if you don't think you'll actually use the (edible) stems and greens.
- Make ahead. To make this salad even easier, you can roast the beets, toast the nuts, and make the homemade balsamic vinaigrette a couple of days in advance.
- Using multiple beet varieties. If using golden and red beets, work with your golden beets first. This will prevent the red color from bleeding into the gold.
- How to get rid of pink hands. Your hands and cutting board will likely become stained with a bright pink hue. It does eventually go away, but to speed things up, use lemon juice to remove the stain.
- Substituting greens. Each head of romaine lettuce and small head of kale is about 4 cups each. If substituting greens, keep in mind you want around 12 cups chopped in total.
- Keep the beets cold. If using other, more delicate greens, keep in mind that warm beets will wilt the greens. So, this salad is best served when they're cold.
More Salad Recipes You'll Love
Roasted Beet Salad
- avocado or olive oil
- 3 med-large beets see notes
- 2 heads romaine, chopped about 8 cups
- 1 head kale (stems removed), chopped about 4 cups
- ⅓ cup + 2 tablespoon macadamia nuts, toasted
- 4 oz proscuitto, crisped
- balsamic vinaigrette
- salt, to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Cut off the greens and stems, and trim off the tough bottoms. Then, run the beets under running water and give them a scrub (a veggie brush works well here or use your hands).
- Put the beets (whole or cubed) on a large baking sheet lined with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat and toss/rub with avocado or olive oil and season with salt.
- Bake for about 50-60 minutes if whole (this will depend on the size of your beets) and 25-30 minutes if cubed. They're ready when a knife or fork easily glides through them.
- While the beets are roasting, get the other ingredients ready. Toast the nuts in a small dry pan over medium heat for a few minutes, stirring occasionally until they're starting to turn golden brown. Set aside.
- Rinse the kale and romaine. Remove the stems from the kale and cut all the greens into bite-sized pieces.
- Add the prosciutto to a hot pan over medium heat and cook until crispy but not burnt. While the prosciutto is cooking, make the balsamic vinaigrette and set aside.
- Now, assemble the roasted beet salad and enjoy!
- Save time by roasting the beets, toasting the nuts, and making the homemade balsamic vinaigrette a couple of days in advance.
- If using golden and red beets, work with your golden beets first. This will prevent the red color from bleeding into the gold.
- Each head of romaine lettuce and small head of kale is about 4 cups each. If substituting greens, keep in mind you want around 12 cups chopped in total.