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.
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.
This salad features some of my favorite components.
First, there are simple, oven roasted beets.
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.
There are also those lovely, candied pecans. Aquafaba and powdered sugar give these roasted nuts an incredibly crispy, sweet and savory coating.
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.
Finally, there’s the dressing. I like to dress this salad in my favorite, simple champagne vinaigrette.
The vinaigrette has an ideal balance of tangy and sweet notes. A touch of Dijon mustard also adds complexity and depth to the dressing.
The salad really has it all: crunch, color, texture, and tons of nutrition.
I hope you enjoy it!