Roasted beets and sweet dates, tangy oranges and juicy pomegranate seeds make this quinoa salad recipe festive. It pairs beautifully with turkey or roast pork.

Maria Speck
Source: EatingWell Magazine, November/December 2012


Read the full recipe after the video.

Recipe Summary

1 hr 30 mins


Ingredient Checklist


Instructions Checklist
  • Position rack in center of oven; preheat to 350 degrees F.

  • Trim the root end of the beets and remove any greens (reserving for another use); rinse and pat dry. Wrap individually in foil. Roast until tender, 1 to 1 1/4 hours, depending on size. (Alternatively, place beets in a microwave-safe dish, add 1/4 cup water, cover loosely and microwave on High until the beets are tender, about 10 minutes, depending on size.)

  • Meanwhile, bring broth, water, quinoa and salt to a boil in a large saucepan. Reduce heat, cover and simmer until the liquid is absorbed, about 20 minutes. Transfer the quinoa to a large serving bowl.

  • Zest and juice 1 orange. Place the juice in a medium bowl. Working over another bowl, cut the remaining 2 oranges into segments (see Tips) and set aside. Measure the juice from the first orange--if it isn't quite 1/3 cup, squeeze the juice from the membranes until you get 1/3 cup. Add the zest, vinegar (or lemon juice), salt and pepper to the juice; gradually whisk in oil in a thin stream until well combined. Stir in 1/4 cup parsley.

  • When cool enough to handle, peel and dice the roasted beets. Add to the quinoa along with dates and gently combine. Pour the dressing over the salad and gently toss to coat. Serve garnished with the reserved orange segments, pomegranate seeds and the remaining 2 tablespoons parsley.


Make Ahead Tip: Cover and refrigerate beets (Steps 1 & 2) and quinoa (Step 3) in separate containers for up to 1 day. Prepare the salad up to 2 hours ahead; garnish just before serving.

Tips: Red quinoa, which you can commonly find in stores where white quinoa is sold, gives the dish a stunning color. If you can only find white, that's fine too. Rinsing removes any residue of saponin, quinoa's natural, bitter protective covering. Most quinoa available in the U.S. has been “scrubbed” of its bitter outer coating--check the label to see if you need to rinse it first.

To seed a pomegranate, fill a large bowl with water. Lightly score the fruit into quarters from crown to stem end, cutting just through the skin. Hold the fruit under water, break it apart and use your hands to gently separate the plump seeds from the skin and white pith. Discard the white pith. Pour the seeds into a colander. Rinse and pat dry.

To segment citrus, slice both ends off the fruit. With a sharp knife, remove the peel and white pith; discard. Working over a bowl, cut the segments from their surrounding membranes. Squeeze juice into the bowl before discarding membrane, if desired.

Nutrition Facts

302 calories; protein 8.3g; carbohydrates 50.8g; dietary fiber 7.7g; sugars 20g; fat 8.4g; saturated fat 1.1g; vitamin a iu 370.8IU; vitamin c 35mg; folate 161.1mcg; calcium 59.6mg; iron 2.7mg; magnesium 108.9mg; potassium 625mg; sodium 493.8mg; thiamin 0.2mg.

Reviews (4)

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11 Ratings
  • 5 star values: 8
  • 4 star values: 3
  • 3 star values: 0
  • 2 star values: 0
  • 1 star values: 0
Rating: 5 stars
My new favorite fall side dish Salads and side dishes are usually so boring but ths one really stands out. You can also make all the components a day or two ahead of time and then assemble at the last minute. I omitted the beets because not everyone likes them and added walnuts as another reviewer suggested. Pros: beautiful colors variety of textures and very flavorful Cons: labor intensive but it's worth it Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is a wow dish!!! I followed this recipe to the tee and it turned out great! It will be a wonderful addition to my recipes!! I think I might try adding walnuts. Pros: It is healthy and delish Cons: None Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Great healthy salad to bring to any potluck I have made this salad 3 times now and each time different. I never used the beets but did use butternut squash instead. Made a very nice looking salad. Use the hints on peeling the pomegranate to not make a mess. Pros: Healthy and very pretty presentation Cons: Do allow some extra time to put it all together. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
This is wonderful! Find a pomegranate seeder!!!! They make life MUCH easier and are 1 at Walmart! I also used prepared beets I found in a package at the store all I had to do was dice them! Lastly I used the orange just for juice and zest and cuties for the segments MUCH easier to prepare. This was delicious and great to keep in the fridge and have a bite of for a snack for several days. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
I love this salad! I have been making it for years on Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year that happens each fall (incidentally, around the time pomegranates come in season in the Midwest!). It features several traditional holiday ingredients, including pomegranates, dates, and beets. It's a bit labor intensive and the portion is huge, so I usually reserve it for entertaining and am glad to pull it out the few times a year I make it. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
A showstopper I love making this dish especially for company or for pot-lucks. It's always a showstopper and the flavors blend wonderfully. Even folks who don't tend to eat healthily like eating this. It's somewhat labor intensive and the ingredients can be pricey or hard to find where I live -- not something I can whip up last minute. I brought this to a Christmas luncheon at my gym and it was voted best dish by the members there. Pros: healthy beautiful and tastes fantastic Cons: somewhat labor intensive ingredients can be pricey Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Work intensive but worth it! This is a great recipe and well worth the work of seeding the pomegranate roasting the beets and segmenting the orange. I would leave the dates out in the future - I love dates but in this dish they ended up pasty and the flavor did not mesh well with the other fresh flavors. Will definitely make this recipe again! Pros: Delicious healthy filling Cons: Work-intensive Read More
Rating: 4 stars
Attractive Healthy dish I enjoyed making the dish almost as much as eating it; and telling everyone how healthy it is. I added halved grapes and well and it worked beautifully. Pros: A feel good dish that only gets better as a day or two goes by. Cons: Takes some effort to put together. I did half the prep the night before and that helped. Read More
Rating: 5 stars
Tasty healthy crunchy tangy a hit! I know how can it be too healthy? I made this for Thanksgiving and I give this recipe 5 stars. This crunchy side was the perfect compliment to the mashed potatoes and mushy stuffing that these meals have. Most everyone loved it. Kids not so much. Some felt it was too healthy because of the abundant quinoa which was a new experience for them. But my diabetic sister-in-law requested I bring it back for Christmas dinner. If you have people in your family who aren't so health concious (i.e. never heard of quinoa and think kale is an inedible garnish) then they may not try it but it really tastes great and I ate the leftovers for a snack the rest of the week. Pros: Healthy colorful crunchy Cons: May be too healthy for some Read More