Quinoa and Roasted Beet Salad with Crispy Vegan Candied Pecans
4 from 2 votes

This quinoa and roasted beet salad with crispy vegan candied pecans is the perfect, festive winter salad. The tender beets, fluffy quinoa, and super crispy nuts create so much texture. The salad is packed with good nutrition, including fiber, healthful fats, and plant protein.

An overhead image of a round, rimmed white plate, which is serving a vegan quinoa and beet salad with crispy pecans.

This quinoa and roasted beet salad with crispy vegan candied pecans is a perfect vegan salad recipe for the holiday season.

When I originally developed this recipe, it was 2015. I’d was determined to make a salad with beets and quinoa.

Those are two ingredients that I love independently, and I also happen to love them together.

I knew that I wanted a lot of texture contrast in this salad. The beets would, of course, be tender. I thought it would be cool to toast quinoa in the oven, so that it would add a crispy texture.

I tend to believe that no recipe is ever fully done. Recipes are living entities, always growing and evolving as we make them and make them again.

Over the years, I’ve come to prefer using regular cooked quinoa in this quinoa and roasted beet salad; the texture of my attempted crispy quinoa never fully worked for me.

To provide that crispy element, I’ve started adding my crispy baked vegan candied pecans instead. This combination—quinoa, beets, candied nuts, and spinach—is irresistable.

The salad is one that I’ll make for holiday gatherings (and all winter long) for years to come.

Quinoa and roasted beet salad ingredients

This salad features some of my favorite components.

First, there are simple, oven roasted beets.

Red, roasted beets have been meal prepped are are held in a clear, glass storage container.

These beets are so easy to make! No need to peel them; you’ll simply roast them in individual, foil parcels, then slip off the skins under cold, running water after they come out of the oven.

Roasted beets have just had their skins peeled off. The peeled beets rest on a white plate.

There are also those lovely, candied pecans. Aquafaba and powdered sugar give these roasted nuts an incredibly crispy, sweet and savory coating.

An overhead image of a small baking tray, which is covered with vegan candied pecans.
Crispy baked vegan candied pecans lend irresistable crunch to this salad.

Finally, the salad features grains and greens. The whole grain here is fluffy, cooked quinoa, which happens to be an excellent source of plant protein.

The green component is spinach, a source of iron and Vitamin C.

A white bowl is filled with cooked quinoa and baby spinach leaves.
Quinoa and baby spinach leaves add fiber, protein, iron, and Vitamin C to this nutritious salad.

Finally, there’s the dressing. I like to dress this salad in my favorite, simple champagne vinaigrette.

A small, round container of vinaigrette rests on a white surface.

The vinaigrette has an ideal balance of tangy and sweet notes. A touch of Dijon mustard also adds complexity and depth to the dressing.

A white ceramic bowl has been filled with roasted beets, baby spinach leaves, quinoa, and candied nuts.

The salad really has it all: crunch, color, texture, and tons of nutrition.

An overhead image of a round, rimmed white plate, which is serving a vegan quinoa and beet salad with crispy pecans.
4 from 2 votes

Quinoa and Baked Beet Salad with Crispy Vegan Candied Pecans

Author – Gena Hamshaw
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour
Yields: 4 servings




  • Rinse the quinoa in a fine sieve for about a minute. Transfer it to a medium sized pot and add 1 1/3 cups water. Bring the quinoa to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer for 15 minutes, or until all of the water has been absorbed. Fluff the quinoa with a fork, cover it again, and let it rest and cool for 15 minutes.
  • While the quinoa is cooking, cut the simple oven roasted beets into bite-sized pieces.
  • Place the quinoa, beets, baby spinach, and candied pecans together in a very large mixing bowl. Pour the half cup simple champagne vinaigrette over the ingredients and mix well, so that all of the salad is coated evenly in dressing. Taste and adjust salt and freshly ground black pepper as needed and enjoy. The salad can be stored in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3 days.


To save time, try roasting the beets in advance, cooking the quinoa in advance, making the toasted topping in advance, or all three. The salad can then be easily thrown together when you’re ready to eat! Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
An overhead image of a round, rimmed white plate, which is serving a vegan quinoa and beet salad with crispy pecans.

I hope you enjoy it!


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Categories: Recipes, Salads, Side Dishes
Method: Oven, Stovetop
Ingredients: Beets, Quinoa
Dietary Preferences: Gluten Free, Soy Free, Tree Nut Free, Vegan
Recipe Features: Meal Prep

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Recipe Rating

  1. This seems like a lovely recipe, but not sure if it’s missing a step – in the preamble you talk about cooking the quinoa as usual then covering it in something & putting it in the oven, but that’s nowhere to be seen in the instructions…? Be great to know how to get the crispy quinoa!

    • Hi SRH, I apologize for the recipe’s lack of clarity! This is a recipe under construction—it used to have crispy quinoa, but I find that the crispy quinoa has proven to be problematic as I’ve retested and tried to iterate the recipe. So, I’ve been revising it to be a recipe with regular cooked quinoa and crispy candied pecans instead 🙂 I need to update the post body to explain and reflect these changes, and your comment is a good reminder for me to do that soon. I’ll shoot you another reply when I’ve done so. Thank you for reading!

  2. I have been a follower or years, and one of my favorite salad ever is beetroots with your balsamic fig dressing. This dressing is clearly a staple. Also, I think it’s a good idea to change your name. It seems the «raw » period is behind you now… now your cooking perspective is broader and has evolved, I am still a follower, as your comments and attitude are still intelligent and inspiring. I think your blog is different and stand apart among the multitude of vegan blogs, xxxxx

    • Dear Catherine,

      That white balsamic and fig dressing is one of my all-time favorites, too! I am so glad you like it, and your comment actually is a good reminder for me to make it. I also so deeply appreciate your kind words about the name change and my own growth/change. The support means a lot to me.

      Thanks for your compassionate, intelligent engagement with this blog!


  3. I tried your method of roasting beets for the first time after reading this post. It was so easy! Thanks for the tip. And the salad sounds delish!

  4. Such beautiful colours!! What a great seasonal salad. I am trying to love beets because of all the good things that they have to offer. I like them, but don’t crave it yet but with this salad, I may be ringing a different tune.

  5. This recipe is definitely what I was looking for. Especially in the colder month I have a craving for grains and nutty flavors. So I will give this quinoa recipe a try. And I can imagine the salad dressing perfectly on a salad with red endive and different root vegetables. Thanks for sharing!
    Greetings, Hanna

  6. I haven’t tried toasting quinoa after cooking it! I’ve toasted grains prior to cooking (especially millet), but this sounds like it would work really good. And you can’t go wrong with roasted beets.