Pickled Beet and Quinoa Salad

Pickled beet and quinoa salad is a beautiful and filling salad. The pickled beets are my favourite part because they add an earthy sweet and sour flavour. The caramelized onions add a delicious sweetness. They take some time but they are totally worth it. I added quinoa, walnuts and sesame seeds to this salad for a protein boost and to make it more filling. It makes an excellent side dish or you can make it the main event.

Pickled Beet and Quinoa Salad Recipe by Jesse Lane Lee

Detox Themed January Corporate Cooking Classes and Lunch and Learns

With the new year comes new years resolutions. I want to help your team achieve their health goals. During the month of January, I’ll be teaching virtual corporate wellness lunch & learns and team-building cooking classes that focus on detox. This month’s lunch & learn is Easy Detox Tips which includes practical ways to gently detox on a daily basis. My virtual cooking classes are a great way to bring teams together. My first cooking class option is Eat and Drink your Greens. This one is back by popular demand and we make a Winter Kale Salad and Pear Smoothie. During my UnBEETable Detox cooking class, we embrace the detox properties in beets and make Roasted Beet Hummus and Kale Beet Salad.

Check out my Virtual Corporate Wellness Page for more info or email info@jesselanewellness.com.

Pickled Beet and Quinoa Salad Recipe

gluten-free & vegan

Prep time: 15 minutes | Cook time: 20 minutes | Serves 4


  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • 2 cups water
  • 1 cup uncooked quinoa
  • 4 cups pickled beets, diced
  • 3 cups baby spinach, chopped
  • 2 tbsp sesame oil
  • 2 tbsp apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • 1 tbsp maple syrup
  • ¼ cup walnuts, chopped
  • ¼ cup sesame seeds


  1. Place avocado oil in a frying pan and heat to medium-low. Add the onions and cook until they caramelize, roughly 20 minutes. Then set aside to cool.
  2. To cook the quinoa, bring water to boil in a large pot. Add quinoa and bring back to a boil. Reduce heat to simmer for 10 minutes, fluff and let sit for 5 minutes.
  3. Make the sesame dressing by whisking together olive oil, sesame oil, apple cider vinegar and maple syrup.
  4. Assemble the Pickled Beet and Quinoa Salad in a large bowl by mixing together the cooled quinoa and caramelized onions, beets and spinach and toss with the dressing.
  5. Right before serving sprinkle with walnuts and sesame seeds.

NOTE: If you don’t like pickled beets, roasted beets are also delicious in this recipe. You can also top my Pickled Beet and Quinoa Salad with feta cheese or goat cheese.

The story behind my Pickled Beet and Quinoa Salad

Years ago (before I had kids) my mom and I decided to treat ourselves to a weekend away at a B&B run by a chef. I honestly can’t recall the name of the chef or the B&B but the chef was wonderful and made such delicious meals. He was also super accomodating because at the time I followed a gluten-free and dairy-free diet. We ate so well for the two days we were there. Of all the meals he made for us, this salad was my favourite and it inspired this recipe.

I made changes to his original recipe, but whenever I eat my Pickled Beet and Quinoa Salad I am reminded of the lovely weekend with my mom. We did a lot of hiking that weekend. I will always remember stopping to lie down on the forest floor and watching the trees swaying in the wind. It was mesmerizing watching the trees dance to the sound of the wind.

Sunshine Quinoa Salad from Jesse Lane Wellness Cookbook Healthy Fresh Salads

Looking for more healthy salad recipes?

I love salads and I have lots of salad recipes that I would love to share with you. Salads are my favourite lunch but I often make them as a side dish or even the main dish for dinner. They are nutrient-dense and such a great way to get a variety of veggies into your daily meals. Here are some quinoa salad recipes that are similar to this one that I think you will like.

  • Sunshine Quinoa Salad (pictured above) is a crunchy burst of sunshine and flavour! It contains hydrating cucumber, crunchy carrot, spicy radishes, sweet cranberries, and detoxifying coriander. The flavours come together really well over a bed of quinoa and arugula. Get the recipe here. 
  • Quinoa Bean Salad is the perfect salad to bring to your next picnic or potluck, it is bursting with flavour, colour and nutrients. This salad is super filling because it contains protein-packed quinoa, edamame and pine nuts. Watch a video of me making this quinoa bean salad. 
  • Asian Quinoa Salad is fresh, delicious and can be thrown together in minutes. The Asian inspired dressing can be made with organic soya sauce, or you can use Tamari to make this a yummy gluten-free salad. I love to bring Asian Quinoa Salad to potlucks because you can whip it up in under 30 minutes and it is always a crowd-pleaser. Learn how to make my Asian Quinoa Salad here. 
  • Mediterranean Quinoa Salad makes a refreshing vegetarian side dish or main event. The roasted red peppers are bursting with flavour and are complemented by cilantro and green onions. Embrace the Mediterranean diet and try this yummy recipe.

More quinoa salad recipes

  • Sleep-Supporting Salad is perfect for those late-night summer dinners. Its simple nutrient-rich ingredients will help calm the mind and support better sleep. The avocado, walnuts, and olive oil in this salad are all high in omega-3 fatty acids, which are vital to deep, satisfying and restorative sleep. Get the recipe for this salad which contains quinoa here. 
  • Curry Kale Quinoa Salad is a vibrant meal bursting with exciting flavours. The kale in this salad is massaged with Creamy Curry Dressing that gets its curry flavour from turmeric and cumin.  The marinated onions and sundried tomatoes add a tangy element that is offset by sweet raisins and carrots. The celery, pumpkin seeds and sesame seeds add a satisfying crunch and the optional goat’s cheese adds a luxurious creaminess. Get the recipe for this vibrant salad. 
  • Mood-Boosting Blueberry Quinoa Salad will fill your tummy and boost your mood. The star of this recipe is the blueberries that are on the salad and in the dressing. Blueberries are jam-packed with phytonutrients that act as both an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant. They may help manage the inflammation associated with depression. Learn how to make this quinoa salad here. 

Do you want even more healthy salad recipes?

Everyone knows they need to be eating lots of veggies, but the thought of eating another salad made with lettuce from a bag and store-bought dressing makes everyone want to yawn with boredom. That is why I created Healthy Fresh Salads. It contains over 30 exciting and fresh gluten-free salad recipes. The cookbook is full of “fresh” recipes. Not only are they created using fresh veggies, but they are also inspired, creative and anything but boring. Get my cookbook for only $8.

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