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Thanksgiving Salad with Beet, Pear & Apple Cider Vinaigrette

November 3, 2020 (Last Updated: November 12, 2020)

This roasted beet and pear Thanksgiving salad is sprinkled with feta, cranberries, crushed walnuts and thinly sliced shallots. It’s also drizzled with a sensational sesame apple cider vinaigrette! A perfectly seasonal and colorful salad recipe for Thanksgiving!

The beets take just a half hour to roast, while you prepare the other ingredients, making this a nice and simple vegetarian side dish for your holiday gathering.

A salad with colorful vegetables, pears, berries and nuts on a lace table cloth with plates and forks in the background.

I’m having a very tiny Thanksgiving with just my husband this year, so I want the few things I make to be extra special and easily made for 2. I’ll be making us a roasted duck instead of a big turkey, and I’ll also make this incredible pumpkin risotto and probably a few more veggies like this crispy roasted cauliflower.

And for dessert? My very favorite Thanksgiving dessert! Pumpkin flan with chai whipped cream! It’s tricky to make for big groups but for just my husband and me, it will be perfect!

2 varieties of raw beets on a wooden cutting board.

The holidays are all about color for me! I want bright flowers in my vases (or pumpkins), bright table settings and bright vegetables. I decided to use 2 different kinds of beets in this recipe because it just makes the salad look so pretty. I was also incredibly pleased to find these red and white striped beets at my farmer’s market! I’ve never seen them before!

Striped beets on a wooden cutting board beside a knife.

The apple cider vinaigrette is also bright, in a flavor sense. Apple cider vinegar with sesame, honey dijon, a little soy sauce and a little honey to sweeten makes this salad positively shine! It’s always extra special to mix your own salad dressing that’s perfectly tailored to the veggies.

Not to mention, store bought salad dressings are often loaded with preservatives and artificial flavors and sugars, so it’s nice to ensure your salad is as chemical-free as can be.

Here’s the Process!

  1. First, we’ll peel, roast and cool the beets.
  2. Next, we’ll prep the other ingredients
  3. Then, we’ll make the vinaigrette
  4. Finally, we’ll assemble all the goodies into a salad!

A Few Tips!

1. To ensure the pears look extra pretty:

Slice them nice and thin so you can fan them out. It looks so pretty! Also, to prevent browning, dip them in a little lemon juice. That will keep them nice and bright!

2. It’s all about the slicing!

The way the fruits and vegetables are cut make a big difference in the loveliness of the salad. You don’t want beets that are too big or pears that are too thick. Since all beets vary in size, I would suggest cutting your beets into pieces that are the size of large, halved strawberries.

And for the pears, slice them nice and thin. I sliced mine as whole top to bottom slices to be decorative, but you can also slice them in half.

A salad with colorful vegetables, pears, berries and nuts on a lace table cloth.

A Few Common Questions:

1. What kind of beets should I get?

Any beet will do! Red beets, yellow beets, white beets, stripped beets, big ones, small ones! This recipe isn’t specific to any one kind. However, if you get red beets, be aware that they will stain your pears, so if you want to keep them bright, just go for golden, white, red striped or lighter red varieties.

2. Can this salad be made ahead of time?

Yes. Although I would leave the dressing and sprinkle of feta till just before serving. Otherwise the salad and cheese will get soggy.

3. What do I need to make it?

  • apple peeler
  • sharp knife and cutting board
  • mixing bowl
  • foil-lined baking sheet
  • container for dressing

How to Make Thanksgiving Salad with Beet, Pear & Apple Cider Vinaigrette – Step by Step

A collage of 4 numbered images showing how to prepare beets for roasting.

1. Pre-heat oven to 400 F. (200 C.) Peel 16 oz. (453 mL) of beets (about 2 small-medium bunches).

2. Slice bigger ones in quarters and smaller ones in half. If you have large beets, aim for a size of a large strawberry, halved.

3. Toss sliced beets in a bowl with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Don’t season with salt or pepper.

4. Lay beets onto a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Once done, cool beets in a refrigerated container for 20-30 minutes.

A collage of 4 numbered images showing how to slice vegetables, make vinaigrette and assemble salad.

5. Once beets are cool, slice ½ small shallot thinly, and separate the rings.

6. Slice sides off of 1 firm Anjou pear, then thinly slice from top to bottom.

7. Mix vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. sesame oil, 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. honey dijon mustard and ½ tsp. honey to a jar and mix.

8. Assemble the salad. Add 5 oz. (141 mL) arugula (a standard package) to a bowl, then add 2 oz. (56 mL) crushed walnuts, 2 oz. (56 mL) dried cranberries, sliced shallots, sliced pears, roasted beets and a sprinkle of crumbled feta. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve!

A beet and pear salad on a plate, on a lace table cloth.

I hope you and your family love this salad as much as I do!

And for more Thanksgiving inspiration, help yourself to these delicious recipes!

And for even more inspiration, follow me on INSTAGRAM @shekeepsalovelyhome, on PINTEREST and FACEBOOK! And if you ever make any of my tasty drinks or treats, take a picture and tag me. I want to see!

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A beet and pear salad on a plate, on a lace table cloth.
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5 from 2 votes

Thanksgiving Salad with Beet, Pear & Apple Cider Vinaigrette

This roasted beet and pear salad is a perfectly seasonal and colorful salad recipe for Thanksgiving! 
Prep Time15 mins
Cook Time30 mins
Cooling time20 mins
Total Time1 hr 5 mins
Course: Salad
Cuisine: International
Keyword: Beet salad, Thanksgiving salad
Servings: 5 people
Calories: 343kcal

Equipment

  • Apple peeler
  • Sharp knife and cutting board
  • mixing bowl
  • Foil-lined baking sheet
  • Container for dressing

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 16 oz. beets - about 2 bunches small beets, any variety
  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • ½ shallot - small
  • 1 anjou pear - firm
  • 5 oz. arugula
  • 2 oz. walnuts - crushed
  • 2 oz. dried cranberries
  • 2 oz. feta - crumbled

For the Apple Cider Vinaigrette 

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tbsp. sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tsp. soy sauce
  • 1 tsp. honey dijon mustard 
  • ½ tsp. honey

Instructions

  • Pre-heat oven to 400 F. (200 C.) Peel 16 oz. (453 mL) of beets. Slice bigger ones in quarters and smaller ones in half. If you have large beets, aim for a size of a large strawberry, halved.
  • Toss sliced beets in a bowl with 2 tbsp. olive oil. Lay beets onto a foil-lined baking sheet, and bake for 30 minutes. Once done, cool beets in a refrigerated container for 20-30 minutes.
  • Once beets are cool, slice ½ small shallot thinly, and separate the rings. Slice sides off of 1 firm Anjou pear, then thinly slice from top to bottom.
  • Mix vinaigrette. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil, 1 tbsp. sesame oil, 2 tbsp. apple cider vinegar, 1 tsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp. honey dijon mustard and ½ tsp. honey to a jar and mix.
  • Assemble the salad. Add 5 oz. (141 mL) arugula (a standard package) to a bowl, then add 2 oz. (56 mL) crushed walnuts, 2 oz. (56 mL) dried cranberries, sliced shallots, sliced pears, roasted beets and a sprinkle of crumbled feta. Drizzle with vinaigrette and serve!

Notes

If making ahead of a party, you can prep the salad, but leave the dressing and sprinkle of feta till just before serving. Otherwise the salad and cheese will get soggy.
Nutrition facts are an estimation.

Nutrition

Serving: 6ounces | Calories: 343kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 6g | Fat: 25g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Cholesterol: 10mg | Sodium: 267mg | Potassium: 499mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 19g | Vitamin A: 751IU | Vitamin C: 10mg | Calcium: 130mg | Iron: 2mg

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4 Comments

  • Reply
    Giulia
    November 13, 2020 at 8:58 pm

    Hi! Am planning a dinner party for a few close friends and one of them eats no meat, dairy or eggs before Christmas (sort of like Lent). I’ve been drawing inspiration from your website (will definitely do the mushroom pate) and I was wondering if you think this salad would pair well with salmon? It looks pretty and delicious and I was thinking of adding it to the menu.

    • Reply
      Genevieve Morrison
      November 13, 2020 at 9:26 pm

      It’s always a puzzle putting together a dinner party with food restrictions. Yours sound harder than mine. I just have to avoid soy milk and all seafood except shrimp this year. I think this salad will absolutely pair nicely with salmon! Especially if you use lighter beets like yellow or white. They’re less “rich” than red beets, so your salmon will be the star of the show, and they won’t stain the pears, so the colors will be nice and bright. Have a lovely Thanksgiving!

      • Reply
        Giulia
        November 22, 2020 at 10:08 pm

        5 stars
        Unfortunately, after raiding the biggest farmer’s market in town, I could only find red beets. It seems like the coloured kind is rarely grown here (I live in Romania) but the salad came out amazing and my friends loved it with the baked salmon 😊 I also made canapés with your recipe for mushroom paté and they were a hit! Have a happy Thanksgiving!

        • Reply
          Genevieve Morrison
          November 22, 2020 at 10:15 pm

          Aww! So sorry you couldn’t find other beet colors, but I’m so happy the salad and paté were a hit! Thank you for letting me know!

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