Tossed in a tempting homemade basil vinaigrette, this wholesome Goat Cheese Roasted Beet Salad features chewy orzo pasta, creamy avocado slices, juicy corn kernels and more. It’s a fresh, feel-good side dish that comes together with ease.
Healthy Orzo Pasta Salad With Roasted Beets
Stop cycling through the same three salads – it’s time to treat yourself to something that excites you. This colorful roasted beet salad is anything but boring! From the vibrant veggies and the creamy orzo to the tangy vinaigrette that ties it all together, each bite will have your taste buds on cloud nine.
The dressing comes together super quickly in your blender or food processor, and the rest of the salad is pretty much just as easy. All you have to do is roast the beets, boil the orzo, then toss everything together in a big mixing bowl. You could even make the vinaigrette and get the cooking out of the way a day ahead of time!
Are Beet Salads Good for You?
Beets are naturally low in calories and loaded with vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and potassium. They also contain a decent amount of fiber and protein – so it’s safe to say beet salads are healthy. In this case, the beets are just one of many good-for-you ingredients. And because they’re roasted in the oven, they retain more nutrients than their boiled counterparts.
What You’ll Need
Let’s discuss exactly what you’ll need for each component of this salad. The amounts are included in the recipe card beneath this post.
For the Basil Vinaigrette
- Fresh Basil
- Olive Oil
- Lemon Juice: Freshly squeezed.
- Red Wine Vinegar
- Garlic Clove
- Crushed Red Pepper Flakes: Added to taste.
- Kosher Salt
For the Roasted Beet Salad
- Red Beets: Or yellow beets, sliced in half.
- Olive Oil
- Salt & Pepper
- Orzo Pasta: Use a certified gluten-free brand if needed.
- Soft Goat Cheese: Crumbled.
- Zucchini: Or yellow squash, trimmed and cubed.
- Fresh Corn Kernels: Removed from the cob.
- Avocado: Cut into slices or chunks.
How to Make Goat Cheese Roasted Beet Salad
Ready to roast some beets? Your entire salad will be on the table before you know it.
- Make Vinaigrette: Blend all of the dressing ingredients together in a blender or food processor until the mixture is smooth. Taste the vinaigrette and adjust the amount of salt if needed, then set it aside.
- Heat Oven: Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Season Beets: Toss the beets together with the olive oil and a good pinch of both salt and pepper.
- Roast: Spread the beets out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast them for 25-30 minutes, or until the beets are tender with charred edges.
- Cook Orzo: Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the orzo pasta until it’s al dente, then drain out the water and transfer the pasta to a large serving bowl.
- Add Goat Cheese & Some Vinaigrette: Add the goat cheese and a couple large spoonfuls of your vinaigrette to the hot orzo. Toss well until the goat cheese coats the pasta completely.
- Add Zucchini, Corn & Arugula: Add in the zucchini, fresh corn and arugula, tossing to combine.
- Add Roasted Beets & Avocado: Top the pasta with the roasted beets and the sliced avocado.
- Enjoy! Serve your roasted beet salad with the remaining basil vinaigrette on the side.
Tips for Success
Review these helpful recipe tips to make sure your beet salad exceeds your highest expectations.
- Prepare the Dressing, Orzo & Beets in Advance: Want to get a head start on this salad so you just have to combine the ingredients once you’re ready to enjoy it? Make the dressing a day ahead of time and refrigerate it in an airtight jar. Cook the beets and orzo a day in advance as well, letting them cool completely before refrigerating them in separate airtight containers.
- Add the Cheese While the Pasta is Hot: It’s important to add the crumbled goat cheese to your orzo immediately after you drain it – even if you’re making the pasta in advance. You want the cheese to get melty enough to coat the orzo, so it has to be added (along with two spoonfuls of the vinaigrette) while the orzo is steaming.
- Serve the Dressing on the Side: I recommend serving your vinaigrette on the side or adding it to individual servings instead of tossing it with the entire salad at once. If you end up with leftovers, they’ll keep better with the dressing stored separately.
Don’t be afraid to switch things up with the alterations of your choice. This salad is extremely versatile!
- Use Spinach or Watercress Instead of Arugula
- Add Toasted Pecans or Walnuts
- Substitute the Basil Dressing for Balsamic Vinaigrette
- Add Raisins or Dried Cranberries
- Use Farro or White Rice Instead of Orzo
- Swap Out the Goat Cheese for Gorgonzola or Mascarpone
- Add Diced Apples
Looking for a stellar main dish to serve alongside your orzo salad? Say no more.
- Pair With Pork Chops: These tender Roasted Pork Chops will go so well with your creamy beet salad. They’re slathered with a tangy balsamic glaze and finished off with roasted red onion.
- Serve With Crusted Salmon: Flaky baked salmon is covered in a crunchy pistachio breadcrumb topping in this crave-worthy main course! Everyone will want a second helping of Pistachio Crusted Salmon.
- Pair With Turkey Soup: This cozy Potato Bean Turkey Soup provides a wonderful contrast to this fresh side salad. Plus, it’s packed with protein and low in calories.
Leftover roasted beet salad should be kept in an airtight container in the fridge. It will stay fresh for up to 3 days. The dressing should be refrigerated in a separate airtight container and will last for 4-5 days.
More Wholesome Salad Recipes
- Healthy Potato Salad With Ginger Sesame Vinaigrette
- Arugula Blackberry Radish Feta Salad
- Fennel Zucchini Blueberry Salad
Goat Cheese Roasted Beet Salad
For the Basil Vinaigrette
- 2 cups fresh basil
- 1/2 cup olive oil
- 2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1 tbsp red wine vinegar
- 1 clove garlic
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper flakes or more to taste
- 1 tsp kosher salt
For the Roasted Beet Salad
- 2-3 small red or yellow beets halved
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- kosher salt & pepper
- 1 lb orzo pasta gluten-free if needed
- 4-6 oz soft goat cheese
- 2 small zucchini trimmed and cubed, or yellow squash
- 2 ears fresh corn kernels removed from the cob
- 1 large bunch arugula
- 1 avocado sliced
- In a blender or food processor, blend all ingredients together until smooth. Taste and adjust salt as needed.
- Preheat the oven to 400°F.
- Toss the beets together with the olive oil and a good pinch of both salt and pepper.
- Spread the beets out in an even layer on a baking sheet. Roast for 25-30 minutes or until the beets are tender and charred on the edges.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Boil the pasta until a dente. Drain and add the pasta to a large serving bowl.
- To the hot pasta, add the goat cheese and couple large spoonfuls of the basil vinaigrette, toss well until the goat cheese coats the pasta completely.
- Add the zucchini, fresh corn and arugula and toss to combine.
- Top the pasta with the roasted beets and avocado.
- Serve the remaining vinaigrette on the side.