Raw Beet Salad with Walnuts and Goat Cheese

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This sweet, savory and earthy raw beet salad recipe with walnuts and fresh goat cheese comes together in about 15 minutes and looks gorgeous at the table.

Raw Beet Salad 780 | Umami Girl-2


Raw beets have a milder flavor than their cooked counterparts, plus a pleasing crunch. The combination of earthy, sweet, tangy, and savory flavors in this recipe gets the balance just right.

A beautiful and nourishing raw beet salad

Having just spent the past half hour reading about the passing of Edward Kennedy and the deep and sprawling Kennedy family legacy, the question of whether I liked beets as a kid does not register as particularly profound. I didn’t. But now I do. Even raw beets. So does my four-year-old, now that she’s tasted this beet salad. But that’s all I plan to say about that.

I have a feeling you’ll like it, too — especially if your summer, like mine, has been at least as much Kennedian excess as it has been civil rights activism. At least as much. This sweet and savory salad, which comes together in a flash but tastes of depth and complexity, offers all the health benefits of unadulterated beets plus a surprisingly long-burning source of energy. You know, in case you decide to work a little harder on your legacy come autumn.

Raw Beet Salad 780 | Umami Girl-2

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Raw Beet Salad

Beets vary widely in size, but three cups of julienned or shredded beets will come from about two medium beets. You can use beets of any color, but a mix of red and golden looks gorgeous.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Serves Serves 4


  • 3 cups julienned raw beets from 2 to 3 beets, depending on size (see instructions)
  • 1/2 small red onion, peeled
  • 1/2 cup chopped walnuts
  • Zest of 1 orange
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon sherry vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
  • A few good grinds black pepper
  • 2 ounces fresh goat cheese
  • Microgreens to garnish, optional


  1. Trim and peel the beets. Cut beets and onion on the julienne blade of a mandoline slicer, or grate them on a box grater if you don't have a mandoline. 
  2. In a small, dry frying pan, toast the walnuts over medium heat for a few minutes, tossing occasionally, until fragrant and lightly browned in spots.
  3. Place beets, onion, walnuts, and orange zest in a medium mixing bowl. Add the oil, vinegar, orange juice, mustard, salt, and pepper, and toss to combine. 
  4. Plate salad in a large serving bowl or individual bowls and top with crumbled goat cheese and microgreens.

Nutrition Information

Amount Per Serving:

Calories:: 222 Total Fat:: 16.6g Carbohydrates:: 14.2g Fiber:: 4.2g Protein:: 6.9g

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  1. Raw and crunchy beet salad is great with goat cheese. Great recipe

  2. Thank you! It’s hot, I have beets in the fridge, and I don’t feel like cooking… this is perfect.

  3. ziege

    I really love goat cheese it is really delicous. Most of the time I eat it as a dessert or use it to make a salsa.

  4. Syrie

    Lovely. I really like the flavour combinations you’ve got going. I’m going to email this recipe to a raw beet devotee friend of mine. She’ll love it!

  5. BigGirlPhoebz

    I love the ode to Teddy via beet salad. But you’re right–they do seem to be the key to a long and healthy life. I’ve been a beet-phobe for most of my life, but now I seem to be making up for lost time. I prefer when, like this salad, they are not the main event, but merely an accent or a garnish to the meal’s center piece. Here is a beet and red onion relish to top a turkey burger I made last week. Come to think of it, your salad might have been the perfect side complement as well!

  6. Oh, Layla, I’m so glad you liked it! My mandoline came with a guard, which I use religiously when the pieces get even remotely small. I think even a box grater could send me to the E.R. if it came to it (a serrated butter knife and some rice krispie treats once did, in fact), so I tend to just go for it and say a silent little prayer when I cut. Or step on the treadmill. Or into the shower, really.

    Happy birthday to the little one! I can’t believe he’s turning four already.

  7. Layla

    Carolyn, this one was a big hit with friends yesterday! I will make it again, and maybe I will even buy a mandoline so I can do it right (but will I wind up in the emergency room?). Sadly, no luck pushing it on my own (soon-to-be — tomorrow!) 4-year-old.

  8. Jill

    well C,
    for the first time… eva… I actually think I might willingly try beets… well… if you prepare them! LOL!
    they look gorgeous and sound delicious (which is an amazing feat … considering I normally don’t even like to look at them, let alone think about eating them!)

  9. maggie

    Yum! I always order a raw-beet salad from one of the places near my office. It has a sweet basil dressing, but this one sounds more refreshing!