Pumpkin season is here, and what better way to celebrate than with a Roasted Beetroot Pumpkin Salad? This vibrant and flavorful dish is delicious, nutritious, and easy to make, making it the perfect light lunch or side dish for any occasion.
The beets and pumpkin are roasted alongside radishes and red onions until tender and caramelized and then tossed with mixed greens, walnuts, feta, pumpkin seeds, and a tangy balsamic dressing for extra texture and flavor.
Say goodbye to the bland iceberg lettuce and cucumber salads of the past! This beet salad recipe will make you rethink everything you know about salads. And it’s just the beginning. Check out this Spinach Couscous Salad with Feta, Fresh Vegetable Salad with Poppy Seed Dressing, and Green Goddess Salad for even more delicious and satisfying salad recipes.
Why You’ll Love This Recipe
- It’s vibrant and flavorful. The combination of roast beetroot, pumpkin, mixed greens, walnuts, feta, and pumpkin seeds is a brilliant combination of colors, textures and flavors. It’s real food at its best!
- It’s packed with nutrients. All the ingredients in this recipe are excellent sources of nutrients, including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.
- It’s easy to make. Simply roast the vegetables, toss them with the other ingredients, and drizzle with dressing.
- It’s versatile. This hearty salad can be enjoyed as a light lunch or side salad. It’s the perfect addition to a Thanksgiving or Boxing Day spread, and it’s naturally gluten-free.
PUMPKIN BEETROOT SALAD INGREDIENTS
- Beetroot: Roasted beetroot is a fantastic addition to this pumpkin salad recipe. It’s earthy and sweet and has a soft, rich texture.
- Pumpkin: Roasted pumpkin is hearty and nutty. I’m using a sweet culinary pumpkin. Other varieties of pumpkin you might use are white ghost pumpkins and Italian Delica pumpkins. Just avoid the kind of pumpkin that is grown for carving, as they lack flavor.
- Mixed Greens: Greens are rich in vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, making your salad not only tastier but more nutritious too. Baby spinach, arugula (rocket), watercress, or mixed lettuce leaves are all great options.
THE SIMPLE DRESSING
- Balsamic Dressing: A well-made dressing of simple ingredients is essential to bring all the flavors of the salad together. This combination of Dijon mustard, balsamic vinegar, roasted garlic, maple syrup, and extra virgin olive oil creates a tangy, punchy, and rich dressing that perfectly complements the sweet roasted vegetables. And a pinch of salt and black pepper lifts the flavors and makes the whole dish pop!
Toppings: Salad toppings add some personality. The nutty pumpkin seeds and walnuts add crunch, and the crumbled feta cheese adds a creaminess that perfectly contrasts with the subtle sweet flavors of the beetroot. Feel free to experiment with other toppings, such as sunflower seeds, crumbled blue cheese, or sliced avocado.
Making this delicious side dish is so simple! Check it out.
These visual step-by-step instructions provide a quick overview of the recipe. You can find the recipe card with the full list of ingredients and detailed instructions at the bottom of this post. ⇩
HOW TO PREPARE BEETROOT FOR ROASTING
- Trim the beets. Instead of buying pre-cooked beetroot, try preparing your own beetroot at home. First, cut off the tops and roots of your fresh beet.
- Scrub the beets. Use a vegetable brush to scrub the beets under cold running water to remove any dirt or debris.
- Peel the beets. Carefully peel the beets with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife. I think the easiest way to peel veg with minimal wastage is with an OXO Y peeler.
- Slice the beets. Cut the beets into even-sized wedges.
HOW TO PREPARE PUMPKIN FOR ROASTING
- Peel the pumpkin. Peel the pumpkin with a vegetable peeler or a paring knife.
- Cut the pumpkin in half. Make sure the pumpkin is on a stable surface, and use a sharp knife to carefully cut the pumpkin in half lengthwise.
- Remove the insides. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and strings.
- Slice the pumpkin. Cut the pumpkin into cubes roughly the same size as your beets.
MAKING THE SALAD
1: Spread the prepared vegetables onto a baking sheet/s. Then, drizzle with olive oil and season before baking for 25-30 minutes.
2: Meanwhile, toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan.
3: Once the vegetables have roasted, grab the roasted garlic, squeeze out the flesh, and mash in a small bowl. Add the other dressing ingredients.
4: Whisk the dressing together until it emulsifies.
5: Place the roasted vegetables into a large bowl and gently fold in the leafy greens.
6: Drizzle with half the dressing and gently toss.
7: Lastly, top with crumbled feta cheese, walnuts, and pepitas (pumpkin seeds), and serve with the remaining salad dressing.
Even vegetable size. When slicing and dicing the beets, pumpkin, radishes, and red onion, aim for uniform sizes. This ensures even roasting, so all the pieces are perfectly cooked.
Preheat your oven. Make sure your oven is fully preheated before roasting the vegetables. This helps achieve that nice caramelization and prevents sogginess.
Toast walnuts carefully. When toasting walnuts and pepitas, watch them closely. They can go from perfectly toasted to burnt quickly.
Don’t have all the ingredients or want to make some swaps and still have a great side dish to enjoy!? Here are some ideas you might like:
- Beetroot: If you can’t find fresh raw beetroot, you can also use pre-cooked beetroot.
- Pumpkin: Roasted butternut squash, acorn squash, or sweet potatoes are a great alternative to roast pumpkin as they have a similar sweet, nutty taste and texture.
- Walnuts: Any of your favorite nuts can be used in this salad. Try almonds, pecans, pine nuts, or hazelnuts for the same kind of nutty crunch.
- Pumpkin Seeds: Sunflower or sesame seeds make excellent subs for pumpkin seeds.
- Feta Cheese: A fantastic alternative is crumbled goat’s cheese or blue cheese. I also like small cubes of fried halloumi. So good.
Beetroot is rich in dietary nitrates, which may help lower blood pressure and support heart health. [Source]
Pumpkin is an excellent source of vitamin C and beta-carotene, which promote healthy skin and support the immune system. [Source]
Extra virgin olive oil is known for its heart-healthy monounsaturated fats and anti-inflammatory properties. It also helps increase the absorption of the fat-soluble vitamins in the salad, like vitamins A, D, E, and K. [Source]
Walnuts are high in omega-3 fatty acids, which support brain function and may help to reduce anxiety. [Source]
Pumpkin seeds are an excellent source of magnesium, which is important for helping to control blood pressure and regulating blood sugar levels. [Source]
If the dressing has already been mixed into the salad, it’s best eaten within a day.
If you’ve stored the salad components separately, it will last longer. Keep the roasted veggies in one container, the greens in another, and the dressing in a separate container. That way, the salad will stay fresh for 2-3 days. Toppings like feta, walnuts, and seeds should also be stored separately and sprinkled on the salad just before eating to maintain their crunch.
Yes, you can prepare many components of this salad in advance. Roast the beets, pumpkin, radishes and onions, prepare the dressing, and toast the walnuts and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) ahead of time. Store them separately and assemble the salad just before serving to maintain freshness.
Yes, depending on your preference, you can use red, golden, or Chioggia beetroot. Or a combination of each.
Yes, you can try various types of pumpkin, like Delica pumpkin, ghost pumpkin, and Long Island cheese, or even a winter squash, like butternut or acorn squash.
To make this recipe vegan, simply omit the feta cheese or sub with a vegan feta alternative.
Grilled chicken, tofu, chickpeas, or even sliced boiled eggs are great protein options to make this salad more filling to enjoy as a main meal.
More Salad Recipes
Looking for more delicious and nutritious salad recipes? Try these next time…
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Roasted Beetroot Pumpkin Salad with Feta and Walnuts
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- Vegetable Peeler, optional
- 2 Large Baking Sheets, (baking trays)
- Baking Parchment, optional
- Small Bowl and Fork, to mix the dressing
- 3 small beetroot, about 14 ounces (400 grams). Trimmed, scrubbed (or peeled if necessary), and sliced into wedges.
- 1 small sweet culinary pumpkin, about 17½ ounces (500 grams). Peeled if necessary, seeded and diced
- 1 red onion, sliced into 8 wedges.
- 1 small bunch radishes, about 7 ounces (200 grams). Halved.
- 1 fresh garlic clove, skin on, smashed with the side of a knife.
- 10 sprigs thyme
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups (90 grams) mixed greens
- 1 roasted garlic clove, from above
- 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, the thick kind!
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 teaspoons maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt flakes
- ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- ⅓ cup (40 grams) walnut halves, chopped
- ¼ cup (35 grams) feta cheese, crumbled
- 1 tablespoon (1 tablespoon) pumpkin seeds
- Prepare: Gather and prepare your ingredients. Preheat oven to 400ºF/200ºC/Gas Mark 6. Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper or aluminum foil.
- Roast Veg: Spread the beetroot wedges, pumpkin cubes, red onion wedges, halved radishes, and smashed garlic clove onto a lined baking tray in a single layer. You may need two baking sheets for this! Add the thyme, drizzle with extra virgin olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Toss the vegetables so everything is well coated, and then roast for 25-30 minutes or until tender and slightly caramelized. Flip the veg over halfway through cooking. Once cooked, remove the thyme sprigs, and allow the roasted veg to cool slightly (about 5 minutes).
- Toast: Meanwhile, toast the walnuts and pumpkin seeds in a dry frying pan until browned and fragrant. About 2-4 minutes. Set to one side.
- Dressing: Once the vegetables have finished roasting, remove the roasted garlic clove and squeeze the flesh into a small bowl. Mash into a paste with a fork. Whisk in the remaining dressing ingredients (balsamic vinegar, extra virgin olive oil, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, salt, and pepper) until smooth and emulsified.
- Assemble: Place the veggies into a salad bowl and fold through the mixed salad greens. Add half of the salad dressing and toss to combine.
- Toppings: Top with toasted walnuts, crumbled feta cheese, and pumpkin seeds, and serve with the remaining salad dressing.
- Serve and enjoy! I like to serve this delicious hearty side salad fresh and warm in a large serving dish alongside a main course and let everyone help themselves.
Nutrition Information (Per Serving)
Nutrition Disclaimer: Nutritional information is estimated using an online nutrition calculator. For accuracy, we recommend you calculate using the exact ingredients and brands you used.