Food/ Salads/ Vegan/ Vegetarian

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas

Hello; I am in love. I’d normally drop a joke about this tasty salad demystifying the belief that you “can’t make friends with salad”, but that joke has run its course — especially on this blog. I’m pretty sure I’ve used it in several salad posts, actually. I need a new line; I am just too predictable.

This salad, however, is anything but predictable.

This bowl of goodness is a dream for anyone that harbors a strong love and appreciation for earthy beets. These ruby gems are shredded, then tossed in a citrusy vinaigrette along with creamy chunks of avocado, carrots, edamame, hearty quinoa, and toasty pepitas.

Over the weekend, we hosted dinner for our recently engaged friends. Since I take great joy in hosting and feeding the ones I love, I always want something to be a colorful show-stopper. It’s similar to how Michael Scott from The Office treats the annual ‘Secret Santa’ — “I love you this many dollars worth”; only for me, it’s more along the lines of “I love you this much efforts worth”.

It’s not that this salad is a hassle per se, but between preparing hors d’oeuvres, a veg side and parchment fish packets, grating beets was the last thing I wanted to do. But it was oh-so-worth it. It’s also definitely worth mentioning that the leftovers are fantabulous.

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing Thyme
I’m not the mastermind behind this recipe, though. I adapted this bad boy from Kate over at Cookie + Kate. My tweaks reflect the simple fact that I wanted a salad that celebrated beets and quinoa a little harder than the greens. I love me some greens, but since I just gave you all my (very) green roasted romanesco salad, I wanted to bring you a healthful mix that focused more on the nourishing goodies like beets, wholesome quinoa, edamame, and toasted pepitas.

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing ThymeThe vinaigrette for this is also worth its own little para. Holy cannoli, it is legit. I love whipping up my own vinaigrettes; there is great satisfaction in coming up with an impromptu dressing that boasts a perfect balance of acidity and sweetness. (Or am I just a nerd?) I used Kate’s vinaigrette recipe as a guide, but I changed a few things out of personal preference. I swapped the lime juice for lemon (love lime, but I don’t utilize lemons enough), and I used less cider vinegar. For the fresh herbs, I tossed in some chopped parsley. My sweetening agent was none other than my trusty and beloved pure Canadian maple syrup.

Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing Thyme

Please let me know if you make this recipe! Snap a pic and tag me on Instagram: @Killing__Thyme /#killingthyme. For more delish eats, follow me on INSTAGRAM + PINTEREST.


Bright Beet Salad With Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas

Course Salad
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 45 minutes
Author Killing Thyme


The Salad

  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed
  • Vegetable broth (optional) This is for cooking the quinoa in, as opposed to water; measured amount will depend on package instructions.
  • 1 cup edamame The boiled + salted edamame you can purchase at Whole Foods is perfect for this; otherwise, prepare as per package instructions.
  • 1/3 cup pepitas, toasted
  • 2 medium-sized uncooked beets, peeled
  • 1 medium-sized carrot, peeled and julienned or shredded
  • 1 avocado, cubed
  • 2 cups torn or roughly-chopped supergreens; spinach, chard, arugula, and/or kale You can use one of these or a mix.

The Vinaigrette

  • 2 TBSP extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 TBSP apple cider vinegar
  • 2 TBSP pure maple syrup
  • Juice of one small lemon
  • 1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 tsp kosher salt
  • Cracked black pepper, to taste


The Quinoa

  1. Rinse the quinoa in a fine mesh strainer under running water for a minute or until water runs clear.

  2. Place quinoa in a medium-sized pot or sauce pan along with vegetable broth (or water) — amount may vary, so go by the package directions. Bring the mixture to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce heat to a low simmer, and let it go for 15 minutes.

  3. When the quinoa is cooked, remove it from the heat and let it rest, covered, for approx. 5 minutes, then fluff the quinoa with a fork. Set it aside.

  4. Toasting Pepitas

  5. Place the raw pepitas in a small skillet over medium-low heat. Stir often to keep them from burning. When ready, the pepitas will be fragrant and will turn a light golden color around the edges; a few may even make popping sounds. When done, remove from heat and let cool.

The Veggies

  1. Grate the beets and transfer to a large bowl. To avoid a red mess, do this at the sink and run the beet under cool water every so often while grating. You could also spiralize the beets using a spiralizer and simply chopping the ribbons into bite-sized pieces afterward.

  2. Peel the carrots, and either shred them or julienne them. Toss them into the bowl with the beets.

  3. Once the quinoa has cooled off a bit, add it to the bowl with the beets and carrots, along with the edamame, cubed avocado, greens and toasted pepitas.

The Viniagrette

  1. Place all of the ingredients into a small bowl and whisk until well blended and emulsified. You could also place the ingredients into a jar and shake until well mixed.


  1. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and toss to coat. Give it a taste, and season with S+P if needed. Serve.

Recipe Notes

** I wasn't sure if we'd have leftovers, so I tossed the greens in with the salad and dressing from the get-go. I can report that they've kept well in the fridge as leftovers!

** This recipe is adapted from Cookie + Kate!

Bright Beet Salad with Quinoa + Toasted Pepitas | Killing Thyme

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  • Reply
    March 22, 2017 at 2:08 pm Yumm, this looks and sounds delicious! Love all the colours!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 22, 2017 at 2:12 pm Thanks, Heather!
  • Reply
    March 17, 2017 at 5:25 pm Just made it -- shoveling it in. I had cooked beets that I made the other day so I just chopped them up and put them in. I'm using the dressing liberally on it. This is so good ... and beautiful!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm I'm so glad you love it, Deb! I just made another batch today. I have a feeling this will become a regular in my rotation.
  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 7:52 pm Dana! This salad is GORGEOUS! Love all the fresh colors and flavors!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 16, 2017 at 11:11 am Thanks, Laurel! Totally making another batch tomorrow. I can't help myself — it's just *too good*. I guess being addicted to a healthy salad isn't the worst thing, right? ;)
  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 6:19 pm I think you can never go wrong with starting a post with a classic Simpsons quote, especially when it's a salad recipe. :) And I totally get your excitement for homemade vinaigrette. The first time I made my own, it was like instant shock for what I had been missing in my life. I usually never know what to do with beets, so I'm excited to give your recipe a try.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 16, 2017 at 11:09 am Haha — The Simpsons, forever and always :) And yes, omg. I can't remember the last time I bought bottled dressing. You don't realize how icky it is until you've made you're own fresh batch! Not to sound like a food snob, but man. There's a *huge* difference. Definitely let me know if you give this a go!
  • Reply
    Dylan Cutler
    March 15, 2017 at 3:29 pm What a beautiful recipe! I love the vinaigrette! It reminds me to experiment a little more than just my typical olive oil and balsamic dressing. Thanks!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm Thanks, Dylan! I hear you — I've gotten so comfortable with my usual mix, and it's nice to mess around with flavors when the inspiration hits.
  • Reply
    Isabelle Boucher
    March 15, 2017 at 2:29 pm I love me a big, fat salad full of different colours and textures and flavours, so this beauty is totally screaming my name. Adding this to my must-make list for the weekend. BTW, I totally hear you about the hassle of grating beets. I don't mind nearly as much now that I have a food processor with a grater disc, though... that thing is positively life-changing when it comes to grating vegetables, even if it does mean one more thing to wash at the end of the meal. :)
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 15, 2017 at 5:15 pm YES. As boring as it sounds, sometimes I just crave a big salad with tons of goodies and it's the most satisfactory thing ever. I always loved warm roasted beets in my salad, but this recipe is great since you don't have to deal with roasting times; simply grate it and chuck it in. I contemplated using my spiralizer for the beets, and then just chopping them into bite-sized pieces, but I didn't feel like washing the spiralizing blades and attachment. Haha. It's a choosing game — do I want this to be easier, or do I want to just do it the hard way and clean less later? I usually opt for the latter ;)
  • Reply
    Natalie Browne
    March 15, 2017 at 2:05 pm This is my kind of salad, all colourful, flavourful and with creamy and crunchy bits. It looks perfect to me :)
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 15, 2017 at 5:16 pm Thanks, Natalie! If you love an assortment of textures, this is definitely right up your alley. Let me know if you give it a shot.
  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 1:45 pm What a beautiful hearty salad! That dressing looks amazing! We grow beets in our garden and still have several keeping well in storage, so I'm pinning this recipe to try.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 15, 2017 at 5:17 pm Thanks, Cathy! I'm am super envious of you and your beet growing! I want to grow beets when I have the space to break ground and build a garden. Let me know what you think of this bad boy when you try it, k?
  • Reply
    Ayngelina (@Ayngelina)
    March 15, 2017 at 12:37 pm I just had someone ask me about how I get to eat so many amazing things around the world and I responded that the thing I loved most was a good salad. You've inspired me today to get out the quinoa and my favourite veggies.
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 15, 2017 at 5:19 pm Salads truly can vary so much, especially from region to region. I'm glad you've got a use for your quinoa now — let me know what you think!
  • Reply
    March 15, 2017 at 10:25 am Yum! I love putting edamame in salads!
    • Reply
      Killing Thyme
      March 15, 2017 at 5:20 pm They're basically the best :)

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