Learn how to make a beet and spinach salad for a healthy meal or side dish. This easy clean eating recipe takes just minutes to prepare. So it’s perfect for busy weeknights for families. This healthy summer beet salad can be made with canned beetroot or roasted beets for a slightly different flavor.
Beetroot and Spinach Salad
I ordered a vegan spinach beet salad from a restaurant a while ago, and it was amazing. It had a unique flavor combination worked well together. Although this is a simple summer beet salad recipe, I experimented at home to create my own simple beetroot salad using canned beets, fresh spinach, tomatoes and walnuts. I then pulled all the flavors together with a simple homemade vinaigrette dressing.
This simple raw beet salad is easy to make. From start to finish, you’ll only spend about 10 minutes preparing this healthy salad recipe. You can even prepare it while you’re waiting on the rest of your meal to cook. This cold beet salad makes a delicious clean eating meal. You can also serve it as a side dish for another main dish as a light side salad.
Keep reading to learn how to make a beet and spinach salad. Plus discover variations for this cold beet salad to make it your own, including how to roast beets to use in lieu of canned beetroot.
What is the Healthiest Way to Eat Beets?
The healthiest way to eat beets is raw. Beets are packed with vitamins, minerals and antioxidants. They have anti-inflammatory properties and several nutrients to fuel your body. In addition, beets are also a good source of fiber. However, cooking beets can cause the nutrients to leach out of the beets and into the water.
Despite raw beets being healthier than cooked beets, you can still roast beets or steam them slightly to enjoy many of the nutrients in beets.
Can You Eat Beets Raw in Salad?
Yes, you can absolutely eat raw beets in this beetroot and spinach salad. I eat it with raw beets sometimes and toasted beets sometimes. Raw beets retain more of the nutrients than cooked beets. However, roasting beets concentrates their flavor and makes them a bit sweeter.
If you eat beets raw, you’ll want to peel the outer skin. It can get tough, so remove it with a vegetable peeler. You can then slice the beet or grate it to add to a cold beet salad. If you are roasting the beets, you do not need to peel them to make a simple beet salad. This is because cooking the skins will soften them so they are palatable.
Can I Use Roasted Beets to Make This Spinach Salad?
Yes, you can absolutely roast beets to make a beet salad with spinach and balsamic vinaigrette. Roasting beets concentrates their flavor and makes them taste sweeter.
You also do not need to peel beets before cooking if you eat them roasted, unless desired. While you may lose some of the nutrients when you roast beets, it’s still a delicious and healthy way to enjoy this vegan spinach beet salad.
What is the Difference Between Roasted Beets and Raw Beets in Salad?
You can use either raw beets or roasted beets in a cold beet salad. However, there are differences between the two.
- Raw beets should be peeled because the outer skin can be tough.
- Roasting beets concentrates the flavor by removing water. The beets will taste sweeter in this beetroot and spinach salad.
- You’ll lose some nutrients when you roast beets, but you don’t lose as much as when you cook beets in water.
How to Roast Beets for Vegan Beetroot Salad
You can roast beets for this simple beet salad if your prefer the flavor of roasted beets.
How to Roast Whole Beets
Here’s how to roast whole beets in the oven:
- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Place a rack in the middle of the oven.
- Cut off the leafy tops of the beets and wash the beets. You do not need to dry the beets before roasting.
- Wrap beets loosely in aluminum foil.
- Place the wrapped beets on a cookie sheet with a lip to catch any drops.
- Roast for 50 to 60 minutes.
Tips for Roasting Beets Whole
- Check your roasted beets every 20 minutes. If they are scorching or look dry, add a tablespoon of water and rewrap them.
- Roasted beets are done when you can easily stick a fork in them to the center. Smaller beets will cook faster than larger beets.
- Once the beets are roasted, let them cook until you can handle them. Then use a paper towel to hold the beet. Use the paper towel to gently scrub away the skin. The skin should peel off easily. If it doesn’t, your beets may need to roast longer.
- You can then store roasted beets sliced or whole in an airtight container for one week.
How to Roast Diced Beets
Alternately, for faster cooking times, you can also dice the beets prior to roasting. To roast diced beets, follow this method:
- Preheat the oven to 425°F. Place oven rack to the center position.
- Wash and peel the beets.
- Then, use a sharp knife to dice the beets into 3/4-inch pieces.
- Drizzle diced beets with olive oil and lightly season with sea salt. Toss to coat.
- Spread the beets onto a baking a sheet.
- Roast beets in the oven for 30-minutes, or until tender, tossing every 10 minutes.
When roasting fresh beets in the oven, don’t forget to save the tops. Beets are one of the vegetables you can regrow from scraps. Learn how to grow vegetables from scraps here.
Beet and Spinach Salad Variations
This simple beetroot and spinach salad is delicious the way I prepare it, but you can also make substitutions to make it your own. Here are some ideas and variations on this healthy salad recipe to inspire you:
- Use blood oranges in place of the tomatoes.
- Use a blend of spinach and arugula.
- Add goat cheese or feta cheese if you are not following a vegan diet.
- Add quinoa on top of this vegan beetroot salad.
- Use raw beets, canned beets or roasted beets to make a cold beet salad.
- If you are not vegan or vegetarian, add bacon or diced grilled chicken to the spinach salad with beets.
- Try a different vinaigrette dressing. This vegan beetroot salad would be delicious with a lemon or orange vinaigrette.
Cold Beet Salad Tips
This simple raw beet salad is super easy to make. However, here are some tips on how to make the best cold beet salad:
- You can roast beets up to a week before you’ll eat them. Since this is a cold beet salad, you can slice them and store them in the fridge until you need them.
- The dressing will cause this beet salad with spinach and balsamic vinaigrette to get soggy. Therefore, if you prepare this summer beet salad recipe ahead of time, don’t add the dressing until it’s time to serve.
- You can make the salad ahead of time and prepare the vinaigrette separately. Then add the dressing as you eat the salad.
Vegan Spinach Beet Salad Ingredients
To make this vegan spinach beet salad, you will need the following ingredients:
- Fresh baby spinach
- Canned beetroot
- Cherry tomatoes
- Olive oil
- Balsamic Vinegar
- Sea salt
- Ground pepper
How to Make Beet and Spinach Salad
Here is how to make cold beet salad with spinach and balsamic vinaigrette:
- Prep the vegetables first. Begin by washing and drying the spinach and tomatoes. Then chop the cherry tomatoes in half.
- Next cut the canned beetroot into bite sized pieces. If using roasted beets, dice the beets if they are whole.
- Now chop walnuts into small pieces. If desired, you can toast the walnuts first. (To toast, add the walnut to a skillet over medium high heat. Stir continuously for 2 to 5 minutes, until walnuts are one shade darker and fragrant.)
- Once you’ve prepared the ingredients, combine the baby spinach leaves, chopped beetroot, sliced cherry tomatoes and chopped walnuts in a large bowl.
- Now mix the olive oil and balsamic vinegar together in a small bowl. Drizzle the balsamic vinaigrette over the spinach and beet salad.
- Mix well, then add salt and pepper to taste.
Serving Size: 1
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 266Total Fat: 22gSaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 19gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 105mgCarbohydrates: 15gNet Carbohydrates: 0gFiber: 4gSugar: 9gSugar Alcohols: 0gProtein: 5g