Too often dairy-free folks have to settle for less than desirable cheese substitutes. Not anymore! This roasted beet and vegan “goat cheese” salad hits ALL the notes you remember from this classic pairing.
Zingy, tangy vegan “goat cheese” pairs with sweet, juicy beets and peppery, nutrient-packed microgreens. Just 10 ingredients required for this delicious, wintery salad perfect as an appetizer or side. Let’s do this!
This beautiful salad comes together with four components: 1) tender roasted beets, 2) homemade (or store-bought) vegan “goat cheese”, 3) a simple balsamic dressing, and 4) nutrient-packed microgreens.
An optional fifth component: pistachios or walnuts.
Let’s focus on the most exciting element: the vegan “goat cheese”! It starts with the ultimate base for DIY cheese substitutes: cashews, which are rich, creamy, and neutral in flavor.
When cashews combine with lemon juice, water, refined (odorless) coconut oil, salt, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard, the result is a zingy, tangy, rich, spreadable “cheese” that reminds us of goat cheese!
It not only works beautifully on salads, but any leftover “goat cheese” can be used in frittatas or on sandwiches, vegan “charcuterie” boards, or sliced apples or pears.
To finish the salad, add dollops of “goat cheese” to the sliced roasted beets. Then top with microgreens for a pop of color, pistachios or walnuts for crunch, and a balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and sea salt dressing to bring it all together.
We hope you LOVE this roasted beet salad! It’s:
Sweet & savory
& FULL of antioxidants!
It’s a beautiful side that pairs well with our Caramelized Shiitake Mushroom Risotto, 30 Minute Cashew Alfredo, or Balsamic Portobello Burgers with Caramelized Onions & Garlic Aioli.
More delicious beet recipes
If you try this recipe, let us know! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo @minimalistbaker on Instagram. Cheers, friends!
Servings 6 (Servings)
VEGAN “GOAT CHEESE”*
- 1 ½ cups raw cashews
- 1/3 cup lemon juice (fresh squeezed for best flavor)
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 Tbsp refined, odorless coconut oil, melted
- 1 ½ tsp sea salt
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp Dijon mustard
- 4 medium-large beets (4 medium-large beets are ~1 lb or 454 g)
- 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 2 Tbsp olive oil (extra virgin, high-quality for best flavor)
- 1 pinch sea salt
- 1-2 cups loosely packed microgreens
- 1/4 cup roasted shelled pistachios (or chopped walnuts // optional)
In a medium bowl, soak the cashews in very hot water for 20-30 minutes, or overnight in cool water. Then drain, rinse, and set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F (204 C). Trim the greens, tops, and stems from the beets. Wash and wrap each beet loosely in aluminum foil (see notes for an alternative to foil).
Place the wrapped beets on a baking sheet and bake until beets can be easily pierced with a knife — 45 minutes to 1 hour, depending on size. Remove beets from the oven, carefully open the foil packages to allow the steam to escape, and leave to cool for about 20 minutes.
Meanwhile, make the vegan goat cheese. To a food processor, add cashews, lemon juice, water, coconut oil, sea salt, garlic powder, and Dijon mustard and blend for 5 minutes, scraping down the sides as needed until the cheese is as smooth as possible. You may need to add up to 1 Tbsp more water, but try to avoid it if possible.
Taste and adjust as needed, adding more lemon for acidity, salt for saltiness, or Dijon mustard for more punch. It should be quite salty and tangy to balance out the sweet beets.
Transfer the vegan goat cheese to an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving. This will help the cheese firm up a bit and the flavors to develop further. (Note: Cheese can be made several days in advance!)
Once the beets are cool enough to handle, use your fingers or a paper towel to remove the skin. It should slide off easily. Slice the beets into 1/8-inch thick rounds. Place the beets into a bowl to chill for at least 30 minutes.
While everything is chilling, make the dressing. In a small bowl, whisk together balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Set aside.
To serve, place beets onto a serving dish, sprinkle microgreens on them, and spoon dollops of goat cheese mixture on and around the beets (you won’t need all of it — we used about half). Top with nuts (optional) and finish with a drizzle of dressing just before serving.
Components are best stored separately. Vegan goat cheese, roasted beets, and dressing will all keep for up to 5 days in the refrigerator. Leftover “goat cheese” can be frozen for up to 1 month or used in frittatas or on sandwiches, salads, vegan “charcuterie” boards, or sliced apples or pears.
*To avoid using aluminum foil to cook the beets, you can place whole beets in an oven-safe baking dish. Place about 1 inch of water into the pan, then cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid or another baking sheet.
*Prep time includes cooling the beets after roasting and after slicing. It also assumes you’re soaking the cashews while the beets are cooking and making the “cheese” and dressing while the beets are cooling.
*Nutrition information is a rough estimate calculated with half of the vegan goat cheese (the recipe makes extra!) and without optional ingredients.
Serving: 1 serving Calories: 183 Carbohydrates: 11.8 g Protein: 4.1 g Fat: 14.1 g Saturated Fat: 4.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat: 1.9 g Monounsaturated Fat: 7.3 g Trans Fat: 0 g Cholesterol: 0 mg Sodium: 358 mg Potassium: 312 mg Fiber: 2.2 g Sugar: 5.6 g Vitamin A: 3 IU Vitamin C: 5 mg Calcium: 23 mg Iron: 1.9 mg