I'm so excited to bring you this vegan Roasted Beet and Kale Salad - the perfect combination of flavors for fall! With earthy roasted beets, savory leeks, and kale tossed in a light lemon tahini dressing, it's sure to become your go-to recipe.
Not only does this nutritious salad look beautiful on your table (you know presentation matters!), but each bite offers a unique flavor profile that is both bold and comforting.
The earthy flavor of roasted beets and kale makes for a delightful combination, while the spiced lentils offer a savory depth. Tahini lemon dressing adds a bright tanginess, vegan feta contributes creamy saltiness, and pumpkin seeds provide a crunchy texture. Just describing this salad makes me want to make it again!
All these beautiful flavors combined turn this hearty salad into pure deliciousness and make it a real crowd-pleaser! There's nothing like a fabulous salad you can count on for the perfect side dish for your holiday table. That said, we really enjoy this salad as a main dish!
With a complementary blend of flavors and textures, this salad is satisfying enough to be a main dish. It's a great way for beet lovers to enjoy sweet beets!
This flavorful combination of roasted beets and sauteed leeks tossed in a lemon tahini dressing topped off with vegan feta cheese and pumpkin seeds is one of the tastiest salads you’ll ever try - really!
It's hearty, wholesome, and nutritious, plus it's gorgeous with its vibrant colors!
Whether you're a seasoned home cook or someone starting to explore plant-based meals, this roasted beet and kale recipe is a versatile and accessible option that's sure to up your salad game.
Here are the simple ingredients you need to make this tasty roasted beet salad with kale:
- Fresh kale - I used curly green fresh kale - I love the taste and the wavy edges. You can use any type of kale, such as lacinato kale (dinosaur kale or Tuscan kale) or red kale - tear it into bite-sized pieces. If you use baby kale, you don't need to massage it because the leaves are tender already.
- Red fresh beets - No need to remove the skins before baking; they taste better when you roast them with the skins on. After roasting, you can slip off the skins once the beets have cooled. You can use golden beets or Chioggia beets instead. Feel free to purchase pre-cooked beets like Love Beets to save time. You can use 4 small beets or 3 medium beets.
- Fresh leeks - the flavor and texture enhance this salad!
- Radishes - for their lovely color and bite.
- Organic sprouted green lentils because they are easy to digest and cook quicker than regular lentils. I used the TruRoots brand.
- Pumpkin seeds - you can use roasted or raw pumpkin seeds.
- Spices - I cooked the lentils with ground turmeric, ground cumin, and ground smoked paprika.
- Vegan feta - optional for the additional creamy texture and flavor. I used Violife vegan "Just Like Feta."
- Tahini lemon dressing with fresh lemon juice and garlic cloves - I recommend using a not-too-thick tahini; otherwise, you must add more water to your dressing.
See the recipe card for quantities.
How to make a Roasted Beet and Kale Salad
It's easy to make this tasty salad, even if it is your first time.
To save time, roast the beets (or buy pre-cooked beets), cook the lentils, and make the dressing a day or two in advance.
Roast the beets
Preheat the oven. Wash and scrub the beets and trim the ends. Wrap each prepared beet tightly in aluminum foil. Depending on the size of the beet, roast on a sheet pan for 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool, remove the foil, and let cool further so you can easily peel off the skins if desired. Slice the beets into wedges or cubes.
Cook the lentils and leeks
While the beets roast, prepare the leeks. Wash the leeks because they're muddy, then trim the ends, leaving the white and light green parts. Make one lengthwise cut, leaving two long halves. Then, fan each leek half under cold running water to rinse between the layers thoroughly. Then chop into ½-inch pieces.
Cook the lentils and saute the leeks, as shown below.
Add rinsed green lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, and pink salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, simmer for 5 minutes uncovered, then let sit for 10 minutes with lid on. Set the lentils aside to cool.
Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat for a few minutes. Add olive oil. Add chopped leeks and a pinch of pink salt to the pan and saute for several minutes, stirring occasionally, until golden brown. Set aside to cool.
If using regular green or brown lentils, follow the package directions for cooking. I cook 1 cup of regular lentils with 2 cups of water or vegetable broth for 25 minutes. Drain the excess liquid or save it for another use.
Make the tahini lemon dressing
Whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, lemon zest, and pink salt in a small bowl until smooth.
Add kale to a large bowl with a couple tablespoons of tahini lemon dressing and massage with your clean hands for a minute or two to soften. Distribute the kale among 4 plates.
Divide the roasted beets, leeks, and green lentils among the plates. Drizzle additional tahini lemon dressing. Top each salad with vegan feta, sliced radishes, and pumpkin seeds.
Serve this salad at room temperature.
Hint: To prep the raw kale leaves, soak them in cold or ice water for 10 or 15 minutes. Drain and dry them with clean kitchen towels, and strip the leaves from the stems by grabbing the kale at one end and pulling the leaves toward you, tearing them into bite-sized pieces.
Here are substitutions you can try; this beet salad recipe is versatile, and you can easily customize it!
- Sprouted green lentils - use brown or green lentils or French Puy lentils.
- Red beets - If you do not like beets, use roasted sliced delicata squash, cubed sweet potatoes, or butternut squash. Or try roasted Brussels sprouts.
- Pumpkin Seeds - try sunflower seeds, hazelnuts, crunchy walnuts, or a sprinkle of hemp seeds.
- Tahini lemon dressing - try a simple balsamic vinaigrette instead.
Here are some variations you can try:
- Add red chili pepper flakes or Kashmiri chili powder while cooking the lentils to imbue heat into the dish, or add garlic powder for extra flavor.
- Add dried cranberries, orange segments, or pomegranate arils.
- Add thinly sliced red onion for more bite.
- More protein - add more lentils or add garbanzo beans (chickpeas).
- Oil-free - omit the oil and replace it with water. When cooking the leeks, add small amounts of water when the leeks start sticking to the pan. Adding a pinch of salt helps release water from the leeks.
You need basic kitchen equipment to make this recipe:
- Baking sheet for roasting the beets
- Medium saucepan to cook the leeks
- Small saucepan to cook the lentils
- Cutting board
- Chef's knife
- Colander to drain the lentils
Refrigerate leftovers for up to three days. Keep the dressing separate in an airtight container.
Thin the dressing with a splash of water if it thickens up.
My husband and I will eat half of this salad for dinner, keeping the other half for a meal the next day. I recommend storing the beets, leeks, kale, and lentils separately in airtight containers. The leftover components come together quickly for a tasty meal on a busy weeknight!
Choose beets that are the same size so they roast evenly.
No, it's not necessary. I prefer to peel the beets after cooking - the skins slip off easier after cooking, and the beets have more flavor than peeled before cooking.
You can eat roasted beets with the skin on; they are safe to eat. Beet skins add additional fiber and nutrients. Be sure to thoroughly clean the beets under cold running water before cooking them, and use a potato scrubber to help get the dirt off the beets.
Roasted beets taste earthy and slightly sweet. They have a unique flavor. Avoid overcooking them, which can cause bitterness from the burnt sugar.
I hope you enjoy this recipe as much as we did! If you make this recipe, please take a moment to ★★★★★ star rate it and leave a comment below. Follow me on Instagram and Facebook, and share your creation with me! Tag me @resplendentkitchen and hashtag #resplendentkitchenrecipes.
Are you looking for more delicious recipes like this? Try these recipes:
These are my favorite dishes to serve with roasted beet and kale salad:
Roasted Beet and Kale Salad
- 3 medium beets or 4 small beets rinsed clean, dried, and trimmed
For the green lentils
For the leeks
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 2 medium leeks ends trimmed, sliced lengthwise then chopped, thoroughly rinsed, and dried
- ¼ teaspoon pink salt
For the tahini lemon dressing
For topping the salad
- 4 small radishes, cleaned and edges trimmed sliced thinly
- 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
- 4 oz vegan feta optional
Roast the beets
- Preheat oven to 350℉. Wrap each prepared beet tightly in aluminum foil. Depending on the size of the beet, roast on a baking sheet for 45 to 60 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes, slip the beet skins off, then slice the beets into wedges.3 medium beets or 4 small beets
Cook the green lentils
- Add rinsed green lentils, vegetable broth, cumin, turmeric, smoked paprika, and ½ teaspoon pink salt to a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes uncovered. Let sit off the heat for 10 minutes with the lid on. If using regular green or brown lentils, follow package directions for cooking. Set aside.1 cup sprouted green lentils, 2 cups vegetable broth, ½ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon ground turmeric, ½ teaspoon smoked paprika, ½ teaspoon pink salt
Cook the leeks
- Heat a medium saucepan on medium heat for 3 minutes. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add chopped leeks and ¼ teaspoon pink salt to the pan and saute for 5 - 8 minutes, stirring occasionally until golden brown. Set aside to cool.1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, 2 medium leeks
Make the tahini lemon dressing
- In a small bowl, whisk together the tahini, water, lemon juice, olive oil, maple syrup, garlic, lemon zest, and pink salt until combined and smooth.¼ cup tahini, 4 tablespoon water, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, fresh, 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 cloves chopped garlic, ½ teaspoon lemon zest, ½ teaspoon sea salt
Assemble the salad
- Add kale to a large mixing bowl with 2 tablespoons tahini lemon dressing and massage with hands for a minute or two to soften. Distribute the kale among 4 plates.1 bunch kale
- Divide the roasted beets, leeks, and green lentils among the plates. Top with additional tahini lemon dressing.
Add salad toppings
- Top each salad with 1 oz vegan feta, 1 sliced radish, and 1 tablespoon pumpkin seeds.4 oz vegan feta, 4 tablespoons pumpkin seeds, 4 small radishes, cleaned and edges trimmed
- Makes 4 main dish salads or 8 side dishes. The calorie count is for main dish and includes the whole dressing; simply use less tahini lemon dressing to decrease the fat content and calories.
- Leftovers keep for 3 days. Keep the dressing separate from the salad components. Add a splash of water thin the salad dressing.
Resplendent Kitchen offers nutritional information for recipes contained on this site as a courtesy. Although resplendentkitchen.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information from online calculators, these figures are estimates.