Beet and Blue Cheese Salad recipe with a homemade Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing. Topped with crunchy toasted pecans, this is a perfect side salad for dinner - for a family weeknight dinner or a dinner party.
The easy homemade citrusy dressing is amazing - people always ask me for the recipe!
This Beet and Blue Cheese Salad is my signature salad. Whenever I ask what I can bring to a family dinner party, I am always told to bring ''one of those fancy salads you make, you know the one with the beets and stuff."
Well alright, I can do that!
I am so glad to share this salad recipe with you. You might want to make it your signature salad after you try it! And I will be OK with that.
Beets and blue cheese
Whoever first decided to pair beets and blue cheese together is a genius.
They are both ingredients that people don't eat that often, but they are just so perfect together. Sweet, juicy beets pair perfectly with pungent, stinky, salty, creamy blue cheese. If you've never had them together, trust me, the combination works and makes an amazing addition to salad.
I recommend roasting or cooking the beets in the Instant Pot to really get the full flavor.
To roast beets, take 2 small beets (they roast faster!), cut them in half (or cut 1 large beet into quarters), wrap them in foil, and roast at 375F for 35 minutes, or until a fork easily pierces the beets. Wait for them to cool, peel the skin off, and slice them into bite size pieces.
To cook the beets in the Instant Pot, slice them in half and cook on high pressure for 12 minutes.
But if you don't have time to cook beets or don't want to bother, opening a jar or can of sliced beets will be just fine!
What kind of blue cheese to get: Honestly, unless you're a blue cheese connoisseur, any blue cheese or Gorgonzola will work for this recipe. I like to buy it in blocks instead of crumbled and them crumble it myself because it's a little cheaper that way, usually.
Homemade citrus vinaigrette dressing
As good as the salad toppings are, this citrus vinaigrette is really what people are always raving about whenever I offer to bring a salad to dinner. It has a combination of orange juice and lemon juice, plus some honey to make it not so sour.
It's light, citrusy, not too vinegary, and just adds a nice touch of flavor and sweetness to the salad without being overpowering.
The citrus dressing goes really well with creamy blue cheese and beets. If you have an orange on hand, juice half of it to get fresh squeezed orange juice for this dressing recipe - it will taste so fresh and citrusy! But it's totally OK to use bottled orange juice for this dressing.
The salad greens
Any greens will work for this salad - chopped romaine lettuce, baby spinach, or baby kale. I like using packaged mixed greens just to make the salad prettier. And also those are always organic and triple washed, so I am being extra healthy and saving myself time. Win-win.
Sometimes I add a little thin-sliced radicchio for a pop of color and nutrients.
I do not recommend using iceberg lettuce for this recipe because (1) it has absolutely no nutritional value and (2) it just doesn't look so fancy, and this salad is meant to look fancy. 🙂
Other salad toppings
There are lots of variations you can make with this salad. Try any or all of these toppings and add-ins:
- Toasted or candied walnuts
- Toasted or candied pecans
- Sliced red onion
- Minced shallot (add it to the salad or the dressing!)
- Sliced cucumber
- Sliced bell peppers
- Dried cranberries
- Sliced seedless grapes
- Sliced strawberries
- Pomegranate seeds
- Thin-sliced radicchio
- Fresh herbs, such as parsley, dill, or tarragon
You can pick and choose your favorite toppings, but promise me you'll give this salad a try!
Other recipes you might enjoy
- Russian beet salad with feta and walnuts
- Roasted eggplant dip with beets (beet baba ganoush)
- Cheddar herb stuffed mushrooms
- Crostini with whipped blue cheese and roasted grapes
And make sure to share it on Facebook and save it for later on Pinterest:
Beet and Blue Cheese Salad with Citrus Vinaigrette Dressing
- 5 oz mixed greens (baby spinach, baby lettuces, or mesclun mix)
- 1 pint grape or cherry tomatoes cut in half
- 1.5 cups cooked sliced beets (from 1 15-oz can, or about 2 small/medium beets)
- 1/2 cup pecans (or candied pecans)
- 4 oz blue cheese crumbled
- If using regular not candied pecans, toast the pecans over medium heat in a dry skillet (no oil) until they start to brown and are nice and fragrant.
- If using a block of blue cheese, roughly chop 4 oz to crumble it.
- Toss all the salad ingredients together in a bowl.
- Combine all the dressing ingredients in a small bowl or jar, and mix well. Pour over salad immediately before serving.