Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad {Recipe}

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is a quick and easy recipe you can put on top of a bed of greens for lunch or serve as a side dish at dinner.

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is a simple pairing for a quick and easy lunch. Delicious on its own, over a bed of greens, or as a side dish next to your main course. Get the vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

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By now you probably know that I don’t pack my girls the typical school lunch you’d find in most kids lunchboxes. Soynut Butter (no PB allowed in our school) and plain old tuna sandwiches are rarely on the menu, but Lentil Chickpea Vegetable Salad, Smoked Salmon Cucumber Roll Ups, and Tuna Edamame Salad often are. And so is this Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad.

Ever since my girls were babies, the beet and goat cheese combo has been a favorite of theirs. Beets are naturally sweet, which is why many kids like them, although a lot of parents don’t think to offer them early on. Some parents don’t even eat beets themselves! I’m pretty sure the ruby red color of beets is also partly responsible for why my girls like this root vegetable – anything veering close to pink and purple seems to go over well with these girls!

If you want to learn more about beets, my friend Diana, aka The Baby Steps Dietitian, wrote about kids eating beets for her series “What Is It and Will My Kid Eat It?,” where she also shares some family-friendly beet recipes.

As for the goat cheese, well my girls are cheese lovers and the beet and goat cheese pairing is a popular one they were introduced to at restaurants and at home early on. I actually was able to get my husband to like goat cheese over the years (he’s still working on getting me into blue cheese!), so if it’s not your cheese of choice, see below for alternatives.

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is a simple pairing for a quick and easy lunch. Delicious on its own, over a bed of greens, or as a side dish next to your main course. Get the vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Ingredients & Preparation

This Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is super easy to make, especially if you rely on some convenience products like the steamed and peeled baby beets and packaged crumbled goat cheese, both of which I get at Trader Joe’s. Ready-to-eat beets are also available from other brands (e.g. Love Beets) at mainstream supermarkets and the same goes for the cheese.

Quinoa is one of my favorite grains because it cooks up so quickly – 10 to 15 minutes max, depending on how much you make at one time. One of my top meal planning tips is to do advance meal prep and cook in bulk, and quinoa is one of those items that’s perfect for this.

I usually make a larger batch of quinoa over the weekend or early in the week and then use some for dinner, some for lunches, and, depending on how much I make, I’ll store some in the freezer for another day. If you freeze the quinoa in small amounts it defrosts rather quickly and you won’t compromise the texture or flavor. I’ve also seen cooked plain quinoa in the freezer aisle at Trader Joe’s, so that’s another option.

If you cook the quinoa in advance and use ready-to-eat beets, this recipe will take you no more than 10 minutes to put together.You can of course steam or roast beets yourself, but if you do, make sure you account for that cooking time or make them a day or two before you plan to use them.

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is a simple pairing for a quick and easy lunch. A great lunchbox option for meat-free and nut-free schools. Get the vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Because my girls’ school is nut-free and meat-free, I simply mix the beets, goat cheese, and quinoa with olive oil and lemon juice and then add it to their lunchbox with some additional vegetables and fruit. Sometimes I also include some roasted chickpeas for additional protein. Toasted slivered almonds or pecans would be a great addition to this salad if you don’t need to be nut-free. Here are some other ways you can tweak this recipe based on your kids and your preferences:

  • Not a quinoa fan? Try farro, brown rice, or barley instead (just keep in mind not all of those options are gluten-free).
  • Goat cheese isn’t your favorite? Feta and mozzarella are also a great pairing with beets (the small mozzarella balls, aka bocconcini, are a fave of my girls).
  • Need to be dairy-free? Skip the cheese and add some beans to keep it vegetarian (or for a vegan option) or throw in some cubed chicken breast if meat is more your thing.
  • Want to bulk up the salad? Put it over a bed of mixed greens or toss in some arugula. When I add greens to the quinoa salad for my lunch, I also drizzle some olive oil and balsamic vinegar on top.

Once again, there are numerous ways you can make this Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad your own. And although I usually make this for the kids’ lunchbox, this recipe is also a great side dish to add to any meal.

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is a simple pairing for a quick and easy lunch. Delicious on its own, over a bed of greens, or as a side dish next to your main course. Get the vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is a simple pairing for a quick and easy lunch. Delicious on its own, over a bed of greens, or as a side dish next to your main course. Get the vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.
5 from 2 votes
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Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad

The classic and simple pairing of beets and goat cheese is added to quinoa and tossed with olive oil and lemon juice for a quick and easy lunch. Delicious on its own, over a bed of greens, or as a side dish next to your main course. This vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe can be easily modified to fit your preferences and make your own.

Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine Gluten-Free, Nut-Free, Vegetarian
Prep Time 10 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 4 (3/4 cup/svg for lunch)
Author Jessica

Ingredients

  • 1 1/2 cups cooked quinoa (made from ~1/2 cup dry quinoa)
  • 1 cup ready-to-eat diced beets
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper ,to taste
  • 1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese

Instructions

  1. In a medium mixing bowl, toss together cooked quinoa, diced beets, olive oil, lemon juice, salt, and pepper, to taste.

  2. Gently fold the goat cheese into the quinoa mixture.

  3. Serve room temperature or cold.

Recipe Notes

The 3/4 cup serving size is for a lunch portion. If you add greens or serve it as a side dish, you may reduce to 1/2 cup. 

Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad is a simple pairing for a quick and easy lunch. Delicious on its own, over a bed of greens, or as a side dish next to your main course. Get the vegetarian, gluten-free, and nut-free recipe @jlevinsonrd.

Do your kids like beets?

Is this a lunch they would be happy taking to school?

Share with me in the comments section below!

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23 Responses to Beet and Goat Cheese Quinoa Salad {Recipe}


  1. Maria says:

    One of my favorite combos! Love beets and goat cheese 🙂

    • Jessica says:

      So glad to hear that Maria! One of mine too!

  2. Sarah says:

    You had me at beets! I use to eat beets and feta like crazy!!

    • Jessica says:

      Beets and feta are also an awesome combo!

  3. Sienna has been into trying new foods lately. We’ll have to give this a try! It sounds delicious! I love beets and goat cheese together!

    • Jessica says:

      I hope Sienna likes it! So great to hear she’s been into trying new stuff!

  4. Abbey Sharp says:

    Perfect combo. Beets and goat cheese are the pb and j of savoury foods.

    • Jessica says:

      LOL, I said the same thing to someone else in a comment today!

  5. I bet this would be really good mixed with some salad greens. Looks really great!

    • Jessica says:

      Yes! That’s how I like to have it for my lunch 🙂

  6. Tasting Page says:

    I love quick and easy salads like these. And bonus they taste good too!

    • Jessica says:

      Yes! Nothing beats that for lunchtime!

  7. A. Your girls go to a meat- and nut-free school?! I’ve never heard of those restrictions at a school! B. I’m impressed they both like the tastes of beets and goat cheese – how sophisticated their palates must be 🙂 This looks quite lovely. I miss goat cheese – wonder if there’s a vegan replacement out there…

    • Jessica says:

      Haha…christina, it’s definitely a rare situation. The school is “meat-free” b/c it’s a kosher nursery school, so they have to choose between allowing kids to bring meat OR dairy, since the rules of kosher are that you can’t have both together. I can send fish, but no chicken or beef. Makes it a little more challenging to keep their lunchboxes from getting boring. I don’t know of any vegan replacement for goat cheese, although Alisa at GoDairyFree.com probably does!

  8. Liz says:

    Your girls are so inspiring with their daring appetites! I love it! Great recipe – beets are certainly one of my favorites!

    • Jessica says:

      Aw thanks Liz! It’s made it challenging when they’ve become particular about certain foods that they used to love, but beets have been a favorite from the beginning and still are!

  9. YUMMM. This is so easy to make and the beet and feta combo is just perfect together!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks Chrissy! This is beets and goat cheese, but beets and feta is fab too!

  10. Mikki says:

    This looks delicious! Love it that your kids like it too!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks so much Mikki!

  11. jill conyers says:

    The flavor combination sounds wonderful. I love beets!

    • Jessica says:

      Thanks so much Jill! Hope you give it a try for lunch one day soon!

  12. Pingback: Menu Plan Monday: May 22, 2017

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