Recipe: Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas and Orange

Recently I had this salad from Cookbook (thanks, Ali!) that lingered in my mind for weeks. Couscous with chickpeas, roasted beets and bitter frisee. I was particularly excited because I’m very picky about beets and we’re always getting them in our CSA. I did a little digging on ye ol’ internets to see if any recipes out there were similar until I decided on one to try. Not only did it work out once, but I’ve made it three times since – sometimes as a side, sometimes as a main dish when I’m feeling particularly in need of a healthful meal.

This recipe uses quinoa instead of couscous, which is great because I try to eat as little wheat as possible as my body prefers it. And with the exception of the quinoa and chickpeas, I used all veggies from our CSA, so no frisee for me, but the greens used in this recipe can be substituted for really anything – this recipe I worked with called for spinach and I’ve used kale, chard and arugula. Also, the first time I made this I used a little bit of sweet potato as I had one little guy on hand. It’s delicious but not necessary. The recipe I found also includes oranges, which I think is the biggest winner in this salad. We had just been sent these incredible sweet pink Cara Cara oranges in the CSA the first time I made this that made the salad downright pretty. But regular navel or mandarins are great as well.

Let’s get to it:

Quinoa Salad with Roasted Beets, Chick Peas and Orange
adapted from Gluten Free Goddess
3 cups cooked quinoa
2 beets, peeled and quartered
optional: 1 small sweet potato
Olive oil
Sea salt
1/4 cup olive oil
1/4 cup fresh squeezed orange juice
2 teaspoons tamari or soy sauce
1 teaspoon balsamic vinegar or rice vinegar
1 tablespoon honey or agave
1 cup drained rinsed chick peas
2 big handfuls of dark greens – spinach, kale, chard, frisee, arugula, etc. (I sauté the kale or chard a bit first)
Sea salt and ground pepper, to taste
1 fresh orange, peeled, trimmed, cut into bite sized pieces


Preheat the oven to 375ºF. Toss the beets (and sweet potato if you’ve using it) with olive oil and sea salt and spread on a baking sheet. Bake until tender – roughly 30-40 minutes. While the beets are baking, make your quinoa. 2 cups of water to 1 cup of quinoa on the stove or rice cooker.

To make the dressing, combine the olive oil, orange juice, tamari/soy sauce, vinegar, and honey/agave in a small bowl or measuring cup and whisk. Set aside.

Combine the warm, cooked quinoa in a mixing bowl with the chick peas and greens. Pour in the salad dressing and toss lightly. Season with sea salt and pepper, to taste.

Gently add in the roasted beets and orange pieces. The beets will stain everything red if you mix too vigorously!

Optional: top with slivered almonds or goat cheese.

Photo by Kate Miss, taken with Mamiya 645AF with Kodak Portra 160 film. 


  1. says

    We recently signed up for our very first CSA and have been getting a ton of beets in our boxes. I never really cared for them but have come to, at times, enjoy them in certain recipes. Can’t wait to try this one out — looks delish.

  2. says

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  3. says

    I love your blog, so thanks! When you say that you avoid wheat, are you allergic to gluten? I just found out that I have celiac disease so no more wheat for this ballerina! This recipe looks perfect (except for the soy sauce, which apparently has wheat! who knew!?)

    • says

      I’m not allergic to it, but it’s the first thing that makes me gain weight/makes me feel bloated/tired if I eat too much of it, and my dad swears it makes seasonal allergies worse (along with sugar) so I just try to avoid it when I can – at least when I’m cooking at home. I just think that not all bodies can tolerate it as well as others, and hate that it’s considered such a fad to not eat it, but it’s just what makes my body feel better! When I avoid it, I eat more veggies, and that is always a good thing. Also, try tamari instead of soy sauce!

  4. says

    Thanks for your response and the tamari tip- I just tried this recipe yesterday and it was delicious! I’m trying to convince my family and boyfriend that it’s possible to join me in gluten-free meals that don’t taste like punishment and get my own enjoyment of food and cooking back up. This one helped both causes. Really appreciate it!

  5. says

    This sounds seriously fantastic! I have been looking for an inventive way of combining beets and quinoa (for a friend who’s just starting to explore healthy cooking/ beets, in particular) and this will fit the bill perfectly. Making tomorrow night. For sure. Thanks!

  6. says

    Great recipe! I made some adjustments based on what I had in the kitchen. Instead of doing it warm, I prepped this as a cold ‘salad’ with pre-made quinoa and it turned out super delicious. (I’ve taken to making a batch of quinoa on the weekend so I can throw together various concoctions during the week.) Instead of olive oil, I used peanut oil (pretty strong flavor) and instead of tamari, I used Bragg’s. I used golden beets which looked lovely against the arugula and didn’t ‘stain’ the rest of the ingredient the way the red beets do. And I did add the slivered almonds which adds that awesome crunch I love in a salad. Thanks for the inspiration!


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