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Roasted Beetroot and Pumpkin Salad (with feta)

This roasted beetroot and pumpkin salad is the perfect vegetarian addition to your fall or winter holiday side dishes. The vegetables are roasted in the oven and tossed with spinach, arugula, and crumbled feta. Walnuts and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) add a lovely crunch, while a generous drizzle of a vibrant maple vinaigrette completes it. A beautiful and festive salad that is sure to impress!

Roasted beetroot and pumpkin salad in a plate with a fork. A small jug with vinaigrette above it.

Just look at this pretty salad ablaze with the warm colors of fall. Aren’t the reds, oranges, and greens a treat for the eye? I love how all the hues come together so naturally to make one wholesome dish.

It has some interesting flavors and textures going on as well. Sweet, savory, and ever so slightly piquant. Soft but also crunchy. The roasted beets and pumpkin are juicy and add a pleasant sweetness, but the fresh greens and a sprinkling of feta save it from being bland and one-dimensional.

Finally, the vinaigrette or the dressing ties it all together as it has the same delicate balance as the salad. Maple syrup, olive oil, dijon mustard, and balsamic vinegar are whisked together and drizzled over the salad for a flavor explosion!

The obvious choice is to serve the salad as an an elegant side to go with your main course. However, it is hearty enough to become the main meal along with a bowl of piping hot soup to give it company. Pair it with a simple Irish vegetable soup for the perfect salad + soup combo.

Pumpkin and beetroot salad in a plate with a hand pouring vinaigrette over it.

Salad Ingredients

Note: exact amounts are mentioned in the recipe card further down in the post

  • Beets – choose small, red, and firm beets for maximum taste
  • Pumpkin – small sugar pie pumpkins are best when in season. If not in season, you can easily use any variety of squash like Kabocha squash or even butternut squash.
  • Sea-salt, black pepper, and olive oil to use as seasoning for roasting the vegetables.
  • A mix of baby greens like spinach and arugula (rocket) – these can often be found in one bag in the produce section of the supermarket.
  • Feta cheese – crumbled feta adds a soft texture and salty flavor to the salad. Blue cheese would also work well instead of feta, but omit the cheese if you you want a strictly vegan salad with no dairy.
  • Walnuts and pepitas (pumpkin seeds) – I did not roast the nuts and seeds, but if you want them super-crunchy, toss them in olive oil, salt and pepper, and put them on the same baking tray as the veggies at about 15 minutes into the roasting time. You can also add pine nuts into the mix if you wish to or substitute the walnuts with them.

Dressing Ingredients

  • Maple syrup – can be substituted with honey or brown sugar. Though I must add, I personally like maple syrup best of all.
  • Olive oil – extra-virgin for the best flavor.
  • Dijon mustard – adds slightly spicy notes and balances the sweetness of the maple.
  • Balsamic vinegar – also balances the sweetness of the maple.
Roasted pumpkin and beetroot salad in a bowl with a fork.

Instructions

1. Roast the beets and pumpkin

  • Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
  • Halve the beets and wrap the halves in some aluminum foil. Cut the pumpkin into two halves, and halve one half again. Scoop out the seeds. There is no need to peel the vegetables or chop or slice them further before cooking them.
  • Line a baking tray with some wax or parchment paper and place the beets and pumpkin (cut side down) on it.
  • Spray the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on them.
  • Bake for 25 minutes. The vegetables should be tender but not mushy.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool down.
  • Unwrap the beet halves and peel the skins. Slice them thinly. Peel the pumpkin too and cut it into thin slices or cubes.

2. Make the dressing

  • Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a clean glass bottle and shake until well mixed.

3. Assemble the salad

  • Arrange the spinach and arugula leaves in a shallow platter or bowl and top with the sliced beets and pumpkin cubes.
  • Top with the rest of the ingredients – crumbled feta, walnuts, and pepitas.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad when ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

  • I mentioned this before, but don’t bother peeling and chopping the beets and pumpkin all the way before they are cooked. It’s too much effort and it’s not needed. It is far easier to do it after they are cooked. The skins are easy to remove and the knife goes through them like butter!
  • The beets are wrapped in foil to retain the moisture and juiciness.
  • You can serve this salad warm or cold. It tastes good both ways.
  • If you want to make it ahead of time, roast the vegetables a day earlier and keep them in a sealed container. Assemble the salad and dress it with the vinaigrette only when ready to serve.

What to do with the leftover pumpkin?

Good question. You are not going to use all that pumpkin in the salad unless you are feeding a crowd. Even a small sugar pumpkin is too much, so what to do with the leftover pumpkin?

Make pumpkin soup. Since you are already roasting the pumpkin, roast all of it in one go. Keep aside the amount you require for the salad and use the rest to make the soup.

If you don’t want to use up all that pumpkin at once, make pumpkin puree and freeze it for later. Pumpkin puree is great not only for making soup but also pies, muffins, and even pancakes. Here is a helpful post from Love and Lemons on how to make pumpkin puree.

Roasted pumpkin and beetroot salad in a plate with fork.
roasted beetroot and pumpkin salad in a plate

Roasted Beetroot and Pumpkin Salad

Saima Zaidi
This roasted beetroot and pumpkin salad is the perfect addition to your fall or winter holiday side dishes. A beautiful and festive salad that is sure to impress!
5 from 1 vote
Prep Time 5 mins
Cook Time 25 mins
Assembling time 5 mins
Total Time 35 mins
Course Salad
Cuisine American
Servings 4
Calories 374 kcal

Ingredients
 
 

Salad Ingredients

  • 2 cups beets sliced (small beets)
  • 3 cups sugar pumpkin cubed (one quarter of the pumpkin)
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • ½ tsp sea salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper ground
  • 2 cups baby spinach
  • 2 cups arugula or rocket leaves
  • 1 cup feta cheese crumbled
  • ½ cup walnuts crushed
  • ¼ cup pepitas pumpkin seeds

Dressing Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 1 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tbsp Balsamic vinegar

Instructions
 

Roast the beets and pumpkin

  • Preheat the oven to 400 Fahrenheit.
  • Halve the beets and wrap the halves in some aluminum foil. Cut the pumpkin into two halves, and halve one half again. Scoop out the seeds.
  • Line a baking tray with some wax or parchment paper and place the beets and pumpkin quarter (cut side down) on it.
  • Spray the vegetables with olive oil and sprinkle some salt and pepper on them. Bake for 25 minutes. The vegetables should be tender but not mushy.
  • Remove the tray from the oven and allow it to cool down. Unwrap the beet halves and peel the skins. Slice them thinly. Peel the pumpkin too and cut it into thin slices or cubes.

Make the dressing

  • Put all the ingredients for the dressing in a clean glass bottle and shake until well mixed.

Assemble the salad

  • Arrange the spinach and arugula leaves in a shallow platter or bowl and top with the sliced beets and pumpkin cubes.
  • Top with the rest of the ingredients – crumbled feta, walnuts, and pepitas.
  • Pour the dressing over the salad when ready to serve.

Notes

  1. You can serve this salad warm or cold. It tastes good both ways.
  2. If you want to make it ahead of time, roast the vegetables a day earlier and keep them in a sealed container. Assemble the salad and dress it with the vinaigrette only when ready to serve.
  3. See recipe post for substitutions and what to do with leftover pumpkin.

Nutrition

Calories: 374kcalCarbohydrates: 25gProtein: 12gFat: 27gSaturated Fat: 8gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 9gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 33mgSodium: 824mgPotassium: 798mgFiber: 4gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 9238IUVitamin C: 17mgCalcium: 278mgIron: 3mg
Keyword beetroot and pumpkin salad, vegetarian salad
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