This roasted beet salad topped with dollops of ricotta cheese sweetened with honey and orange is a fast to make salad that is delicious served chilled, or at room temperature.
Roasted Beet and Ricotta Salad
I’m not the only person to add tangy, creamy cheese to a roasted beet salad and call it heaven. “If there’s a recipe that wouldn’t benefit from clouds of lightly sweetened, citrus-kissed ricotta dolloped generously over the top, I haven’t met it yet,” is how my friend, blogger and cookbook author Erin Clarke of Well Plated describes this most delicious beet salad. She should know, she created this easy salad recipe.
This beet salad recipe comes from Erin’s cookbook, The Well Plated Cookbook: Fast, Healthy Recipes You’ll Want to Eat—and eat and eat and eat. Loaded with easy, family friendly recipes that make weeknight cooking quick and lightened up, this is the type of cookbook you’ll turn to for making dinnertime memories any time of year.
After making a batch of my roasted beets, I was flipping through Erin’s cookbook and this beet salad recipe caught my eye. The ying and yang of earthy beets combined with tangy cheese is one of my love languages, and shows up in six beet salad recipes here on the blog—making this one number seven. What can I say? I’m a fan. But while I love making salads like my goat cheese and avocado beet salad, the fact that this cheesy ricotta topping is so quick and easy to whip up is what moved my salad-making needle.
What’s In This Roasted Beet Salad
Sweet roasted beets are the perfect compliment for this ricotta topping with honey and orange zest and adds a Mediterranean slant thanks to the snips of sprinkled mint on top. With the components stored separately, the salad is easy to prep ahead of time then assembled before serving at room temperature, or chilled.
Here’s what you’ll need to make this beet salad:
- Fresh beets. Choose red, orange, yellow, or a combination.
- Ricotta cheese. Full fat is creamier, but if you’re being watchful, part-skim saves on the fat and calories and still tastes delicious
- Orange. Use it for both the zest and juice.
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- White wine vinegar. Or, golden balsamic or rice wine vinegar works well.
- Fresh mint
How to Make Roasted Beets
Roasted beets cooked in the oven bring out the caramelized sweetness inherent in this humble root vegetable. Even better, it’s the easiest way to cook them.
Click here to learn more about how I roast beets, or check out my abridged cheat sheet below:
- Pick beets that are about the same size so they cook evenly. Also, no matter the color, beets have the same flavor, so feel free to choose the rainbow.
- There’s no need for peeling beets before roasting. Simply trim the greens and ends, scrub them clean and dry them well. The skin acts as a protective jacket and helps steam the beets as they bake.
- Toss the beets in olive oil, then bake at 450°F. Instead of wrapping beets individually in foil, toss in oil, season with salt, and cook them together in one baking dish wrapped in foil. The beets are done when a sharp knife easily glides though the middle of the biggest beet. Plan on 45 minutes to 1 hour cooking time.
- Use paper towels to wipe the peel from the beets. Instead of using a knife, grab two paper towels (one for each hand) and gently scrub the skin away from the perfectly tender beet. If the skins don’t pull away easily, the beet isn’t done cooking.
Because this simple beet dressing has few ingredients, it’s easy to make on the fly. Whisk the orange juice, extra virgin olive oil, and vinegar with the salt and pepper before drizzling over the roasted beets, which will absorb the dressing as they sit.
This recipe calls for the mellower bite of white wine vinegar, but a golden balsamic or rice wine vinegar subs in nicely too.
Fresh mint imparts a bright, Mediterranean flavor Or, try fresh basil, tarragon, or thyme leaves instead.
To save time the day of, make the dressing ahead of time, up to a week ahead.
The Honey Orange Ricotta Cheese
Dollops of sweetened ricotta cheese dot this savory salad. To make, whisk fresh orange zest and sweet honey together until combined. Add a pinch of kosher salt to heighten the sweetness.
To make in advance, prepare the ricotta mixture up to 1 day ahead of time.
How to Prepare this Roasted Beet with Ricotta Salad
Dress the beets with the dressing. If using varying colors of beets, dress them in separate bowls so the red beet juice doesn’t overwhelm the golden hues of yellow or orange beets.
Divide the mint for both the dressing and garnish. Sprigs of fresh herbs dress up any salad.
Spoon mounds of the ricotta mixture over the combined beets. Add more grated orange zest for color and sprinkle with extra kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. For even more sweetness, give a quick, extra drizzle of honey if desired. Alternately, slather the bottom of the dish or plate with the ricotta mixture and top with the dressed roasted beets.
What Goes Well With This Roasted Beet Salad
- 30-Minute Creamy Mushroom and Leek Chicken Breasts
- A Healthier Meatloaf With Tomato Glaze
- Easy Chicken Piccata
- How to Make the Best Grilled Salmon
- Juicy Roast Turkey Breast
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Roasted Beet Salad with Ricotta
Honey and orange zest flavor ricotta cheese dolloped on sweet roasted beets in an easy, flavorful dressing that makes a healthy side dish beet salad that tastes great warm or at room temperature.
For the Roasted Beets
- 2 pounds medium size fresh beets
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- kosher salt
For the Salad
- 1 cup ricotta cheese
- 2 tablespoons orange zest , divided
- 2 tablespoons orange juice , divided
- 1 1/2 teaspoon honey
- 1 1/2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh mint
For the Roasted Beets
Preheat the oven to 450°F. Cut the greens from the tops of the beets, saving for another use, then trim the bottom of the stems, and discard. Scrub the beets under cold water, pat dry with a paper towel, and place in a bowl. Toss with the olive oil and generous amount of salt and pepper.
Place the beets in a baking dish and cover tightly with foil. Bake for 1 hour for large beets, or about 45 min for medium. The beets will be done when you can easily slide a sharp knife into their tender centers. Set aside to cool enough to handle.
To peel, trim the ends and use a paper towel in each hand to rub off the skins. If you don't want your hands to get red, wear plastic gloves.
Slice the beets into wedges, thick rounds, or half moons. If using two colors of beets, place the cut beets in separate mixing bowls. If using the same color, add to the same mixing bowl.
To make the honey ricotta mixture, in a small mixing bowl stir together the ricotta, 1 tablespoon of the orange zest, honey, and 1/4 teaspoon of the salt. Set aside.
Make the dressing in a small mixing bowl. Whisk together the orange juice, extra virgin olive oil, vinegar, freshly ground black pepper, and 1 tablespoon of the mint with 3/4 teaspoon salt. Drizzle over the beets and toss, dividing the dressing if using two different colors beets.
Plate the dressed beets on a platter or in a serving dish. Top with dollops of the honey ricotta and the remaining mint and orange zest. Sprinkle with a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Enjoy immediately or refrigerate until ready to serve.
More Beet Salad Recipes
- Roasted Beet, Avocado And Goat Cheese Spinach Salad With Chicken
- Beet, Carrot And Pomegranate Salad
- Green Salad With Shrimp, Beets, Sweet Pecans And Goat Cheese
- Shaved Brussels Sprouts Salad With Roasted Beets, Pecans And Goat Cheese
- Beet, Avocado And Fried Goat Cheese Salad
Get The Well Plated Cookbook: Fast, Healthy Recipes You’ll Want to Eat and more of Erin’s recipes online at Well Plated.
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