This bright beet dressing is a delicious addition to any of your favorite salad recipes! It’s a little sweet, a little tart, and a little earthy – which makes for a fabulous blend of flavors. Plus, the incredibly vibrant pink-purple hue is just gorgeous on any salad.
How to make homemade beet dressing
This recipe is really easy – you only need a handful of ingredients:
- Olive oil
- Lemon juice
- Apple cider vinegar
- Salt & pepper
Once you measure everything out (proportions in the recipe card below) you’ll just blend everything together, and it’s ready to use!
Now this recipe calls for cooked beets. I like to roast off an extra beet whenever I’m making them with dinner, so that I can make this dressing the next day to use on salads for lunch.
If you’ve only got raw beets on hand right now, though, it’s very easy to roast them to then use in this recipe. First, trim any greens from the top, then rinse and scrub the beets. Place them on aluminum foil on a baking sheet. Drizzle a little olive oil on top, then wrap the foil up to enclose the beets. Bake ‘em at 375 degrees for 45 to 60 minutes until they’re tender (smaller beets will be done around the earlier end; longer beets towards the end of the range).
Nutrition benefits of beets
Beets are an awesome choice for active women. They contain certain vitamins and minerals, like folate and potassium. And their bright red color is courtesy of a plant compound called betanin, which may have antioxidant activity and health benefits.
But perhaps one of the reasons I love beets most is that they’re a natural source of dietary nitrates. While we often hear about nitrates as a “bad” ingredient with regards to processing, the dietary nitrates in vegetables are actually really good for us. For example, some research shows they may improve blood pressure regulation.
And for athletes in particular, those dietary nitrates are a precursor to nitric oxide in the body. Nitric oxide acts as a vasodilator – or in non-sciencey terms, it helps open up the blood vessels a bit and allows for easier blood and oxygen flow to the body.
There has been ample research showing that beet consumption (typically in the form of beet juice or supplements) before exercise may improve endurance performance. In fact, a 2017 review article concluded that beet juice supplementation can:
- Improve endurance by increasing efficiency
- Improve performance at various distances
- Increase time to exhaustion during moderate intensity exercise
- Improve performance at anaerobic threshold intensities
Now, you’re not getting the same dosage of beets in this dressing or in a beet salad as you would with a concentrated juice shot. But it’s certainly plausible to think that regular beet consumption might still be helpful for athletes, and this dressing is a great way of getting more beets in!
If you’ve made this beet dressing, you might be wondering what kinds of salads to make to go with it! Here are a few suggestions:
- Beet and Strawberry Salad – I’ll have a link up to this one shortly, but I love beets enough to double up and use them in the salad and the dressing! This salad consists of green leaf lettuce, roasted beets, strawberries, almonds, and blue cheese.
- Arugula Salad with Figs and Feta – I love the idea of combining peppery arugula with sweet figs and savory feta cheese. Topping it with beet dressing would add another layer of flavor that would work really well.
- Kale Mango Salad – While I normally top this with a homemade mango dressing, I think changing it up with this dressing would be wonderful. I love the combo of kale, mango, and avocado in this salad.
- Arugula Apple Salad – This is a classic go-to in our house – arugula, apples, pecans, and blue cheese. We usually go with Panera’s Fuji Apple dressing on here, but again – beet dressing would be amazing too.
- Cucumber Noodle Salad – Cucumbers and beets are a classic combo, so a simple spiralized cucumber salad topped with the dressing here (rather than the typical tahini dressing) might be just lovely.
- Summer Chicken Salad – This recipe is awesome for the summertime, combining protein-rich chicken with greens, avocado, goat cheese, and berries.
I hope you enjoy this homemade dressing. If you get a chance to try it, I’d love for you to leave a recipe rating or comment below.
Homemade Beet Dressing
- 1/2 cup chopped cooked beets
- 1/3 cup olive oil
- 2 1/2 tbsp lemon juice
- 1/2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
- 2 tbsp honey
- 1/8 tsp salt
- 1/8 tsp pepper
- Place all ingredients in a blender. Blend about 30-60 seconds, until smooth and creamy. Store any leftovers in the fridge for up to 4 days.