Roasted pumpkin and beetroot salad is a beautiful, tasty way to enjoy fall flavors and colors! This recipe uses a simple maple Dijon dressing to enhance the roasted vegetable flavor.
It’s a simple salad to make for any occasion. You can also add a couple ingredients to turn this side salad into a main meal if you like!
The number of servings you’ll get largely depends on what you consider a serving. I like large portions of salad, so for me, this recipe makes about 4 servings. Others may find this recipe makes closer to 8 servings.
Skill: Easy | Time: 60 min | Servings: 6
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Is Pumpkin Beetroot Salad Vegan?
While most of the ingredients in a pumpkin beetroot salad should be vegan, it’s often served with feta cheese or some other type of dairy. It’s also common to include honey (which isn’t vegan) in the salad dressing.
With a couple small tweaks, vegans can enjoy this delicious salad too! I’ve left out feta cheese, but you can certainly prepare some vegan feta to toss on the salad (or use a store-bought option).
Ingredients and Substitutions for This Recipe
This salad’s ingredients are very basic and should be found at any typical grocery store. There’s lots of options for substitutions as well, so use what you like and/or have on hand.
- Pumpkin: While pumpkin is one of the star ingredients, you can replace it with pretty much any type of orange squash (butternut, buttercup, acorn, etc.). You can also use frozen pumpkin or squash if that’s available to you; it’s certainly a time-saver to not have to seed and cube the pumpkin!
- Beetroot: There’s really no replacing beetroot in this recipe! As the star of the show and such a unique vegetable, it’s impossible to replace. However, you can use either fresh or frozen beetroot in this recipe. If you’re cooking it from frozen, adjust the cook time and let it roast fully.
- Olive oil: You can use any oil you like to roast the vegetables and include in the salad dressing. I prefer the flavor of olive oil for this recipe but use what you like.
- Salt and black pepper: Toss some salt and black pepper on the veggies before roasting. You can always adjust these seasonings to your taste, especially in the dressing where you’ll add more of both ingredients.
- Apple cider vinegar: To create salad dressing, I use apple cider vinegar as the main acid source. Use any type of vinegar you like; balsamic vinegar is also a tasty choice that creates an entirely different flavor profile!
- Maple syrup: Balance the acidic vinegar taste with some maple syrup, or any liquid vegan sweetener of your choice.
- Dijon mustard: As this is a maple-Dijon dressing, add some Dijon mustard. This tasty ingredient adds lots of flavor and some kick to the salad. If you don’t enjoy Dijon, skip it or use yellow mustard. Yellow mustard creates a honey-mustard flavored dressing which is also tasty.
- Onion and garlic powder: Add flavor to the dressing with these two tasty spices.
- Salad greens: Your salad base can be any greens (or mixed greens) such as the spinach I use. Arugula (rocket) is also a tasty choice that adds extra “bite” and peppery flavor to the salad.
- Pumpkin seeds and walnuts: All good salads need some crunch. For this recipe I use pumpkin seeds and chopped walnuts, but any nut and/or seed can work. Almonds and sunflower seeds are other great choices as are hazelnuts or pistachios.
- Pomegranate seeds: This optional ingredient adds color and crunch to the salad.
How to Make Roasted Pumpkin Beetroot Salad: Instructions, Video Tutorial and Tips
This recipe is simple to make; to start, just prep the pumpkin and beetroot for roasting. While it cooks, you can prepare the dressing and other salad ingredients!
Step 1: Roast Pumpkin and Beetroot
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Prep a baking tray with parchment paper. Although I typically use a silicone baking mat rather than parchment, when working with beetroot, I recommend disposable parchment paper.
Wash the pumpkin, cut it in half, then remove its seeds. Carefully remove the peel by slicing your pumpkin into long strips, then lay a slice down to cut along the edge and remove the peel.
You can then easily cube the pumpkin into bite-sized pieces. Aim for fairly small cubes as you’ll want them evenly distributed in each bite of salad!
Toss the pumpkin cubes with 1 tsp of olive oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper to taste. Add these pumpkin cubes to one half of your lined baking tray.
Then peel and wash your beets, cubing them into pieces that are slightly smaller compared to the pumpkin. This helps keep the cook time of the pumpkin and beetroot similar (pumpkin cooks faster).
Toss the beetroot with 1 tsp olive oil, a pinch of salt and black pepper. I recommend using glass bowls when working with beetroot since plastic containers may stain. Add this cubed beetroot to the other half of your baking tray.
It’s important to keep the beetroot and pumpkin separate (unless you want pink pumpkin)! I also recommend washing anything that touches beetroot to avoid staining.
Roast your vegetables for 30-40 minutes, until they’re soft in the center. The pumpkin may be cooked before the beetroot. If this happens, simply remove the pumpkin from your baking tray and continue cooking the beetroot until it’s soft through to the center.
Once out of your oven, serve the roasted salad vegetables hot or allow them to cool to room temperature first. You can also refrigerate them to chill and serve a fully cold salad.
Step 2: Make Dressing
While the vegetables roast, prep your salad dressing. Simply add all the ingredients to a small jar. Place the lid on the jar and shake to combine.
You can also whisk all the salad ingredients in a small bowl until combined.
Step 3: Assemble and Serve
While the pumpkin and beetroot roast, prep other salad ingredients if needed.
If you expect to eat the full amount of salad that day, toss all the salad ingredients with the dressing and roasted pumpkin and beetroot. If you don’t plan to eat the full amount, keep your ingredients separate.
Serve by placing a pile of greens on each plate with all the toppings. Drizzle some dressing over each portion.
How to Serve this Recipe: Create a Balanced Vegan Meal
I consider this a side salad recipe. By that I mean it’s intended to be served alongside a larger meal.
As-is, this recipe offers plenty of colorful, nutritious vegetables and healthy fats. There are also carbohydrates in the pumpkin and beetroot. The walnuts and pumpkin seeds offer some plant-based protein too, but a lesser amount than I would aim for in a main meal.
In contrast to a side salad, a main meal salad provides everything you need for a filling and nutritionally balanced meal. For this recipe, you can make it a main meal salad by adding extra protein and possibly extra carbohydrates.
You can add protein with some tofu feta “cheese” or cooked lentils. Pumpkin and beetroot offer some carbohydrates, but if you need an energy boost, just add cooked quinoa or couscous to make a more filling meal!
There are many ways to serve this salad. First, decide what temperature to serve your pumpkin and beetroot. You can serve these roasted vegetables hot from the oven, cooled to room temperature or chilled from the fridge.
You can also add ingredients to the salad base. Some tasty ideas are:
- Red onion (sliced or pickled)
- Vegan feta cheese
- Avocado (cubed or sliced)
- Lentils (cooked or roasted)
Get creative with what you add to make this salad uniquely yours!
How to Store Leftovers
If you think you’ll have leftover salad, it’s best to avoid tossing all ingredients together. Instead, store each component separately refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days.
I hope you enjoy this recipe! If you make it, please rate and comment below so others benefit from your experience.
More Deliciously Vegan Side Dishes
Roasted Pumpkin and Beetroot Salad
- Parchment paper
- Large salad bowl (or mixing bowl)
- Jar with lid (or small bowl and whisk)
Roasted Pumpkin and Beetroot
- 1 ½ C pumpkin , cubed or sliced
- 1 C beetroot , peeled and cubed or sliced
- 2 tsp olive oil , divided
- ½ tsp salt , divided
- black pepper (to taste; optional)
Maple Dijon Dressing
- 6 C mixed salad greens (spinach, arugula, etc.)
- ¼ C pumpkin seeds (raw or roasted)
- ¼ C walnuts , chopped
- ¼ C pomegranate seeds (optional)
Step 1: Roast Pumpkin and Beetroot
- Preheat your oven to 400 °F.
- Prep a baking tray by covering it with parchment paper (I don’t recommend using a silicone baking mat with beetroot).
- Cut the pumpkin in half and remove its seeds. Cut off the peel and cube the pumpkin. Aim for small bite-sized cubes.1 ½ C pumpkin
- Toss the pumpkin cubes with ½ the olive oil and a pinch of salt. Optional to add black pepper.2 tsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, black pepper
- Peel and wash the beets. Cut into small cubes, slightly smaller than the pumpkin cubes. Always wash anything beetroot touches right away to avoid stains!1 C beetroot
- Toss the beets in ½ the olive oil and some salt. Optional to add black pepper.2 tsp olive oil, ½ tsp salt, black pepper
- Place cubed beets on one half of the baking tray and pumpkin on the other half.
- Roast for 30-40 minutes, until your pumpkin and beetroot are soft through to the center. Pumpkin may fully cook before the beetroot. If that’s the case, remove the pumpkin from your tray and continue roasting the beetroot until it’s soft in the center.
- Remove the cooked veggies from your oven. You can serve the roast pumpkin and beetroot hot over the salad, allow them to cool to room temperature before serving, or chill in the fridge for a completely cold salad.
Step 2: Make Dressing
- Add all the dressing ingredients to a small jar. Secure the lid and shake well to combine.3 tbsp apple cider vinegar, 2 tbsp maple syrup, 1 tbsp Dijon mustard, ¼ C olive oil, ¼ tsp salt, ¼ tsp garlic powder, ¼ tsp onion powder, ⅛ tsp black pepper
- You can also whisk the dressing together in a small bowl using a fork or whisk.
Step 3: Assemble and Serve
- If you plan to eat the full salad in one meal, toss the roasted pumpkin and beetroot with the salad greens, dressing, walnuts, pumpkin seeds and pomegranate seeds.6 C mixed salad greens, ¼ C pumpkin seeds, ¼ C walnuts, ¼ C pomegranate seeds
- If you plan to have leftovers, keep salad greens separate from the dressing, roasted pumpkin and beetroot. Serve by placing some greens on the plate with all the toppings and a drizzle of dressing.
- Some other tasty toppings are vegan feta and avocado. For a heartier salad, add cooked quinoa and/or lentils.