Baby Greens with Goat Cheese, Beets and Candied Pecans

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Beets and creamy goat cheese salad with crunchy, sweet pecans with a honey balsamic vinaigrette is like a symphony in your mouth.

Baby Greens with Goats Cheese, Beets and Candied Pecans

Beets and Goat Cheese Salad

I know beets can be polarizing – people seem to either love them or hate them. I, personally, am a fan. If you’re not sure about beets, this Beet and Goat Cheese salad with Candied Pecans over baby greens is a great place to start. Some people say beets taste like dirt but trust me – once you combine them with sweet, crunchy pecans and creamy goat cheese and then drizzle them with a sweet and tangy dressing, you’ll have a different opinion. For another favorite beet recipe, try this Turmeric Braised Chicken with Golden Beets and Leeks. And see more salad recipes here.

How to Cook Beets

If you’ve never cooked beets before, you have a few options. Whichever method you choose, you’ll need to prep your beets for cooking. Just cut off any green tops and rinse under water.

  • Boil: For this salad, I boiled my beets for 45-50 minutes until tender. 
  • Roasted: To oven roast, wrap the beets individually in foil and bake at 400 degrees for 50-60 minutes.
  • Instant Pot: Put the beets on top of the steam rack and pour in one cup of water. Cook on manual mode for 20-30 minutes for larger beets, quick release.

Cook times all depend on the size of the beets. To check that they’re done, pierce them with a knife or skewer. If it goes through easily, the beets are ready.

Once cool enough to handle, peel the skins off by rubbing a paper towel over them. Be careful – beets stain very easily! You may want to wear an apron while peeling and cutting beets.

Beet Salad Variations:

  • If you’re not a fan of goat cheese, swap it with feta.
  • If you can’t find candied pecans at the supermarket, you can make them at home.
  • Use walnuts instead of pecans.
  • Sub baby greens for arugula. 
  • Use a mix of red and golden beets to make the salad even more colorful.

balsamichoneyBaby Greens with Goats Cheese, Beets and Candied Pecans

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Baby Greens with Goats Cheese, Beets and Candied Pecans
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4.89 from 9 votes
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Baby Greens with Goat Cheese, Beets and Candied Pecans

9
9
9
SP
267 Cals 7 Protein 19 Carbs 19.5 Fats
Prep Time: 10 mins
Cook Time: 0 mins
Total Time: 10 mins
Yield: 4 servings
COURSE: Lunch, Salad, Side Dish
CUISINE: American
Beet and creamy goat cheese salad with crunchy, sweet pecans with a honey balsamic vinaigrette is like a symphony in your mouth. This salad will make you look like a culinary whiz!

Ingredients

  • 4 oz Chavrie goat cheese log
  • 8 cups mixed baby greens
  • 4 small red beets, cooked and cut*
  • 2 oz glazed pecans,

For the honey balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 2 tbsp balsamic
  • 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 tbsp honey

Instructions

  • Make vinaigrette by whisking olive oil, balsamic and honey until smooth.
  • In a large bowl toss greens with vinaigrette and mix well.
  • Evenly divide greens between four bowls. Top each bowl with one beet, 1 oz goat cheese and pecans. (* You can buy cooked beets or cook them yourself. I boiled the beets in water until soft, but they can be roasted in the oven as well, see notes above.)

Nutrition

Serving: 1/4th, Calories: 267kcal, Carbohydrates: 19g, Protein: 7g, Fat: 19.5g, Sodium: 211mg, Fiber: 2g, Sugar: 14g
Blue Smart Points: 9
Green Smart Points: 9
Purple Smart Points: 9
Points +: 8
Keywords: Gluten Free, Under 30 Minutes, Vegetarian Meals

 

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70 comments

  1. Absolutely love this salad. I’ve added to my lunch rotation. Can I ask the weight in beets being used? I have gotten beets the size of golf balls to tennis balls…. is it not a dramatic difference in calories as long as all the other ingredients are exact? Thank you! Your recipes are life saving to keeping me on track.

  2. OMG! This was beyond delicious! I loved it! My DH didn’t want to try it, but when he did he couldn’t believe how good it was. He asked to have it again tomorrow. Thanks, Gina for all you do for us. I’m down 11 pounds since Jan 4, all due to your wonderful recipes. I never even felt hungry once!

  3. I prepared this salad a couple nights ago, yummy. I have some beets(cooked package from Trader Joe’s) and goat cheese left, so we are having it with chicken tenders this evening.

  4. Thank you, excellent

  5. Very good and a nice change, but I think it would be much better with strawberries instead of beets. Didn’t even need the honey.

  6. This salad is delicious! I am from the “beets taste like dirt” camp. If you’ve only had beets from the garden and then boiled they do taster like dirt. You have to leave a bit of the tops on so they don’t “bleed out”. You can never get all the dirt out and it cooks into the beets
    Once I discovered roasting them in foil they’re delicious!

  7. Looks great! Just a quick FYI: it should be 9 points on the purple plan as well. I plugged the ingredients in to WW recipe builder to double check, as I was surprised to see purple be higher than green or blue. Anyway, thanks for all the delicious recipes! 

  8. Can you used canned beets. I grew up with canned beets but would need more assistance in how to prepare the beets to make this. Looks delicious. Thx you

  9. Trying to subscribe but site says email not valid.

  10. I make this all the time! Most recently 2 nights ago. It’s great at holidays too. I got a bag of honey roasted pecans at Walmart, store brand.

  11. I am addicted to this salad.  Eat it probably 3 times a week.  Sweet, salty, crunchy, hits all my favorites.  Being healthy doesn’t hurt either.  Make my own spiced pecans and add a pinch of cayenne for some heat.  Love Gina’s recipes, have all her books, and my favorite way to start my morning with a cup of coffee is to check out her site.

    Thanks Gina, for all your hard work!  We greatly appreciate everything you do for your readers,
    Jill

  12. This salad was part of our Thanksgiving meal and everyone loved it! Used pre-cooked beets, so it was super easy. Also used feta, since one guest is not a fan of goat cheese (can you imagine?!). The dressing is the perfect amount and thickness to coat all the greens, but not make them soggy. Thank you!!

  13. Where do you get candied pecans?

  14. Best salad ever! We served this at Thanksgiving and it was a major hit with EVERYONE. Definitely will be on our dinner table regularly and often

  15. Made this as the salad for a dinner party! Amazing. It will be one of my regular salads now- up there with the salmon cakes, arugula, and grapefruit! Thank you!! And I am now addicted to the pecans:)

  16. Made this last night for dinner! WOW! Fantastic salad! Very easy to make also!

  17. This is my favorite salad! I boiled the beets as well and used baby arugula for the greens. I love how simple the vinaigrette is and how well everything pairs together.

  18. This salad was awesome and so easy to prepare. I will definitely be making this salad again, especially when I have dinner guests. I shared this recipe in my most recent weekly meal plan on my blog rainbowdelicious.com. Thank you!

  19. When I had it at Cheesecake factory it tasted like sesame oil was in it and you don't list that here.

  20. I brought this to Thanksgiving and boy was it a hit! Thanks for sharing. I couldn't find glazed pecans at my local grocer so I did them myself. BTW, I also brought the Phyllo Fruit Tart & the Pumpkin Dip, all from here. Everything was AMAZING and people appreciated the effort of something not so heavy!

  21. are the beets supposed to be served warm?

  22. I made this today and it was yummy! I love the flavor combination. Thanks for reposting.

  23. I don't know why people are saying beets taste like dirt. I guess most of the beets I have eaten were either canned, or prepared in a restaurant. Canned beets are an easy alternative, no dirt taste included, and they're stocked in any grocery store. Soooo delicious!

  24. Made this to go with dinner tonight and it was a huge hit!! Thanks for continuing to make recipes to keep me on track with my points!

  25. Gina, I hope you and your family get your power on soon and "weather" this nor'easter well. I am so impressed that you're still posting with the challenges you're facing – keep up the good work. I get a salad similar to this at the Cheesecake Factory and love it, can't wait to try making it at home!

  26. I make my own candied pecans by heating them in a frying pan with a tsp or so of white sugar. Stir quickly and remove to cool on aluminum foil. Easy.

  27. Keeping you and your family (as well as everyone else affected by Sandy) in my thoughts. Hope you all find comfort and relief soon. PS I wish I liked beets more because this salad looks beautiful!

  28. Oh this looks so good , I can almost taste it. Love your site. Hope you get your power back soon . A Canadian fan.

  29. I have been a fan of your recipes for a while now. I have never been a fan of beets, but recently a coworker of mine told me about the ones they sell in trader joes. I tryed them they are good. I can't wait to try this recipe, my only concern is can you use a differnt cheese besides goat cheese. I don't like the texture or taste.

  30. This salad looks divine & it's perfect timing because I'm in the midst of moving and have a can of beets I need to use up this coming week! 🙂

  31. This salad is AWESOME! My only previous beet experiences were as a child… I had no idea this would be so yummy. We make this salad all the time now with some grilled chicken on the side for extra protein. This one is my second fave ever, second only to your roasted butternut squash salad 😉

  32. Hoping your power is back soon!

  33. Beautiful salad! The dressing sounds incredible!! I adore beets.
    Gina xo

  34. This salad looks wonderful! I cook my beets in my rice cooker. I just place the steamer insert in, add a little water(about a half inch) and place the rinsed beets on top then put the lid on. Twenty or so minutes later they are done! Thanks for your wonderful recipe, and I hope you get your power back on soon. Also, where can I find your apricot banana pastry?

  35. I'm sorry, but I hate beets. Actually, I have no idea whether or not I like beets because I can't get past their smell of dirt.
    Regardless, I have not had a bad recipe from you yet (minus the garlic lovers pot roast because I have NO idea how to cook red meat…I try for the boyfriend :/ ) I'm glad that your family is safe and I'm hoping you get power back asap, as I know it can be difficult to live without. Thanks for posting and I promise to try, the operative word being try, beets and this gorgeous looking salad. Hang in there!

  36. I LOVE beats and my personal favorite way to cook them is in the Crockpot! You get the flavor intensity of roasting with less electricity usage. I just rinse mine, trim off the greens (to be eaten later in a salad), wrap them individually in foil, and place them in the Crockpot. Cook on high for 2 to 4 hours until soft; since the heat is so low you don't really have to worry about burning them. The peels will just slip off and they're like wonderful edible gems!

  37. This recipe looks fabulous! I am going to buy some fresh beets and give this a try. I wish that my son would try some of the healthy recipes that I prepare. The only vegetable that he will eat,willingly, are baby carrots, cold peas out of pods, corn and potaotes. In other words, all the startcy ones! Thanks for your great blog. I hope that your power is restored soon and that you are keeping the faith 🙂

    Sherri

  38. Sorry you're still without power. Love your blog and this is one of my absolute favorite salads! May make this for Thanksgiving!

  39. Sorry to hear you are still without power. This salad looks amazing. I love beets and they are so healthy. Some friends of mine told me about cooking them in the microwave and it's so easy, the peel just falls off with a little help.

  40. Such a beautiful, flavorful fall salad!

  41. I love beets and goat cheese together!

    Hope you get your power back soon! My aunt in Amity Harbor just got hers back yesterday. Slowly but surely…

  42. This salad is beautiful! However, I can't eat goat cheese due to a Danger Girl incident. I would run around town doing crazy stunts and one time I had to milk a goat. My hands smelled like goat teats for a week it was really gross. Then once I tried goat cheese I found that it tastes just like goat teats smell. Haven't been able to eat it. Yeah… kind of an awkward story.Is there any substitute I can use?

  43. This is a great salad! I like to add mandarin orange segments to mine and use the Sahale Snacks Valdosta Pecans. Delicious!

  44. So, until I made this salad today, I had not tried beets since I was like 5 (I am now 38). Being a new vegetarian for health reasons, I thought I would give beets another go before deciding they were not for me. WHOAH! If all beet dishes are as beautiful and yummy as this one, I may be a forever beet convert. I roasted the beets with a light sprinkle of olive oil and a little salt. I think I am in love!

  45. This was a delicious lunch. I saved time by buying precooked beets at fairway. This is a meal I don't mind eating three more portions of myself this week.

  46. Made this tonight and it was amazing! I have never cooked beets before – they are so much better fresh! The flavor combination is delicious! The only thing I altered was agave necter instead of honey. Definately will make this one over and over!

  47. Made this salad for dinner last night. I actually cut the beets up into small pieces and roasted them in the oven for about an hour. This salad is great. I added some sliced roast chicken breast on top. It was a nice hearty salad for the fall. Delish!

    Shannon
    Northern VA

  48. Oh is it! I haven't been to the cheesecake factory in years!

  49. This EXACT salad is at the Cheesecake Factory! They call it a French Country salad, and it's on their sides/appetizer salad list (although it's huge, as is everything at C.F.)

    I absolutely LOVE it! I was so excited to see it here on your blog 🙂

    I just discovered your blog, by the way, and can't wait to get home to cook! Thanks

  50. Some of my favorite foods! Great salad…. I'm thinking the dressing would make a great marinade/glaze for bbq chicken breasts too!

  51. This was great! Glad I came across your site – love it!

  52. I usually boil them for 45 minutes, I'll have to try roasting them next time!

  53. I love these kinds of salads! My favorite! How do you cook the beets? I find that roasting them brings out so much amazing sweetness!

  54. There's nothing more that I love than beets and goat cheese together. Yum.

  55. I love goat cheese. But I hated beets until I tried the baby beets from Trader Joe's.
    Thanks for the recipe and the inspiration!
    ;o)
    – Lee

  56. mmm…looks delicious!! I wrap beets in aluminum foil and cook in the oven, then take them out and rub/peel outer layer off – very easy and tastes great!

  57. This was a BIG hit last night!

  58. I boil the beets for about 50 minutes, let them cool then peel. Just don't wear white while you are peeling and slicing them like I did!

  59. This looks absolutely delicious. If you live near a Trader Joe's, their pre-cooked beets are a great time saver!

  60. I love to roast beets with rubbed with olive oil….mmmmm…..This salad sounds wonderful!

  61. Oooh I adore beets and goat cheese salad but never make them at home…this recipe looks perfect for a summer lunch!

  62. Love the beets. Most people think they don't like them until they try them in a recipe like this!

  63. How do you cook the beets? Steam, roast? I never cook with them so not sure how to prepare them….