If you’re looking for a simple-to-make salad that looks stunning and tastes restaurant-quality, this Beetroot Feta Walnut Salad is it. The roasted beets get sliced and served with a toasted walnut vinaigrette then topped with more walnuts, a bit of salty feta and some fresh parsley for a pop of color and freshness. And while all of the components are delicious, the nutty vinaigrette that coats the sweet, earthy beets is a true delight. 

An Elevated Version of a Classic

Beets, feta and walnuts just go together. This might be a classic to you, or maybe it’s brand new. Whichever the case, there’s no argument that these flavors are meant to go together. But then the question is, how can you take a classic and make it brand new and a bit more elevated? My answer is simple—make a nutty walnut vinaigrette by grating some toasted walnut into the oil and vinegar mixture. It’s a simple step that pays tenfold in flavor. 

Roasted beets set on foil with ingredients set around it—a bowl of salt, olive oil, Dijon, honey, vinegar, walnuts, feta, parsley, and pepper mill.

Ingredients Needed

The full recipe with ingredient measurements and instructions can be found in the recipe card below. 

  • Beets: you can use red, yellow or a combo of beet colors. I like the sweet earthiness of red beets. You’ll need 2 pounds which will either be 4 medium-sized beets or 2 large beets.
  • Walnuts: I recommend using walnut halves, not pieces, because they are easier to grate on a microplane. You’ll also need to toast the nuts—either in the oven of on the stove top—ahead of time. 
  • Olive Oil: use a good quality, bold-flavored olive oil here. 
  • Red Wine Vinegar: feel free to use white wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar if you don’t have red wine vinegar on hand. 
  • Dijon: a dollop of good Dijon mustard adds a punchy heat and emulsifies the vinaigrette. 
  • Honey: just a dash is needed to balance out the flavors. Also helps with emulsification.
  • Feta: you can also use fresh goat cheese. Feta will be more salty and briny while goat cheese will be more savory and melt into the dressing as it’s spooned/mixed around.
  • Parsley: a bit of chopped fresh parsley adds color, freshness and some texture. A great way to bring it all together!
Beetroot salad with crumbled feta, parsley, and walnuts in a yellow ceramic bowl with two silver serving spoons.

Easy Way to Cook Beetroot

There are tons of ways to prepare and cook beetroot, but I like to roast them whole. Wrapping the beets in foil and roasting them whole makes for easy peeling and cutting. 

  1. Trim the greens from the beetroot and save them for use in a salad or sauté. Wash and dry the beets then wrap them individually in foil. 
  2. Roast the beets, right on the rack in the oven, at 400ºF until a pairing knife slides in and out of the beets with little resistance. Depending on the size of the beets you are cooking, this can take anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 hours.
  3. Allow the beet to cook slightly before carefully unwrapping the foil. Allow them to cool again until cool enough to handle. 
  4. To peel the beets, I like to place a beet on a piece of paper towel and use the edges of the paper towel to pull the skin off. The paper towel grips the skin and slides it off easily. This will also keep your hands from getting overly stained.  

Making the Salad

  1. This salad is very easy to make, though the beets do take a bit of time to roast. Get the beets roasting right away, or better yet, roast them ahead of time and keep them in the refrigerator until you’re ready to make the salad. And since the oven is already hot, be sure to toast the walnuts alongside the roasting beets—they will only need 8–12 minutes. 
  2. While the beets are cooling, make the vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl by whisking together the oil, vinegar, Dijon, honey and grated walnut shavings. Season to taste with salad and pepper. 
Toasted walnut vinaigrette in a gold mixing bowl.
  1. Peel and slice the beets.
Roasted beets on a sheet pan with one beet on a wood cutting board getting sliced.
  1. Add the beets to the vinaigrette and toss to coat.
Roasted beets tossed in a walnut vinaigrette in a gold mixing bowl with a white rubber spatula.
  1. Add half of the chopped walnuts, feta and parsley to the salad and toss to combine then use the remaining to sprinkle over top right before serving.

Substitution Tips 

Nuts: pecans can be used in place of the walnuts. 

Cheese: fresh goat cheese (chevre) is a great substitute for the feta. 

Red wine vinegar: use white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white balsamic. 

Parsley: basil, tarragon and cilantro are all great options. Chives would also add a nice onion flavor. 

Honey: sugar, maple syrup and agave are all great substitutes for honey. 

Beetroot salad with crumbled feta, parsley, and walnuts in a yellow ceramic bowl with two silver serving spoons.

Serving Suggestions

Serve this salad as a side dish to any number of grilling recipes. I particularly love it alongside chicken. Here are a few meal ideas for serving with this feta, beetroot and walnut salad. 

Storage Information

Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. 

I do not recommend freezing this salad. 

Beetroot Feta Walnut Salad Recipe

5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes
Yield 6 servings (6 cups)
Category Salad/Side dish
Cuisine American

Description

Roasted beets tossed in a flavorful walnut vinaigrette and finished with fresh parsley and salty feta.

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds red beets, trimmed, washed and dried
  • ¾ cup walnut halves
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons red wine vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 2 teaspoons honey
  • Kosher salt and pepper
  • 3 ounces crumbled feta or fresh goat cheese
  • ¼ cup chopped parsley

Instructions

  • Heat oven to 400ºF (204ºC) with racks set in upper-middle position and lower-middle position.
  • Wrap beets individually in foil then place directly on upper-middle oven rack. Roast until a thin knife blade slides into beets with little resistance, 1—2 hours*.
  • Add walnuts to a sheet pan and transfer to lower-middle oven rack; toast until fragrant and golden brown, 8–12 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  • Transfer beets to a sheet pan or cutting board and let cool until cool enough to unwrap. Allow beets to cool for about 15 minutes before peeling.*
  • In a large mixing bowl, combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard and honey. Using a microplane, grate 6 walnut halves into vinaigrette; whisk to combine then season with salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cut peeled beets into quarters then slice crosswise into ¼-inch thick slices.
  • Add beets to vinaigrette and toss to coat.
  • Roughly chop remaining walnuts. Add half of chopped walnuts, half of crumbled feta and half of parsley to salad and toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  • Transfer salad to a serving bowl or platter and top with remaining walnuts, feta and parsley.

Notes

*Roasting time: roasting rate will vary greatly due to size of beet. If you’re using large beets, it will likely take about 2 hours. If you’re using multiple smaller beets the roasting time can take as little as 45 minutes.
*Peeling Beets: I have found the best way to peel roasted beets is to place one on a paper towel and use the edges of the towel to grip the skin and peel it away. The skins should peel very easily.
Substitution Tips
  • Nuts: pecans can be used in place of the walnuts. 
  • Cheese: fresh goat cheese (chevre) is a great substitute for the feta. 
  • Red wine vinegar: use white wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar or white balsamic. 
  • Parsley: basil, tarragon and cilantro are all great options. Chives would also add a nice onion flavor.
  • Honey: sugar, maple syrup and agave are all great substitutes for honey.
Storage: Store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 4 days. I do not recommend freezing this salad.

Nutrition

Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Beetroot salad with crumbled feta, parsley, and walnuts in a yellow ceramic bowl with two silver serving spoons.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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