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a kale and beet salad in a large white bowl on a dark green cloth with gold serving utensils next to the bowl

Kale Salad with Roasted Beets and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette

  • Author: Whip & Wander
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Cook Time: 40 minutes
  • Total Time: 1 hour
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Salads & Dressings, Sides
  • Method: Oven / Stovetop
  • Cuisine: American
  • Diet: Vegetarian


This Kale Salad with Roasted Beets and Maple Balsamic Vinaigrette starts with a base of tenderized kale tossed with a delicious maple balsamic vinaigrette. Red beets are roasted until fork-tender then tossed with lemon juice to soften any bitterness and round out their earthy sweetness before being added. Maple-toasted walnuts and soft and tangy goat cheese round the dish out, adding a nice balance of crunch and creaminess to this tasty salad.



For the roasted beets:

  • 1/2 lb red beets, trimmed
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice (I love Meyer lemons for this when in season, but a regular lemon is great too)

For the maple candied walnuts

  • 90 g (about 3/4 cup) walnuts, halves and pieces
  • 2 tbsp maple syrup
  • 2 tsp unsalted butter
  • A pinch of Kosher salt

For the maple balsamic vinaigrette:

  • 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp maple syrup
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 1/4 tsp cracked black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil

For the remaining salad:

  • 8 oz (about 1 1/2 large bundles) curly kale with stems removed, chopped
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp Kosher salt
  • 4 oz goat cheese, crumbled
  • Optional: zest or fine peel of 1 lemon


For the beets:

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F / 220 C and reserve a baking sheet to the side.
  2. Scrub the beets under cool water with a vegetable brush to remove dirt, pat dry, and trim the ends off.
  3. Coat the beets in a thin layer of olive oil, rubbing the oil across the beets by hand until they are lightly coated.
  4. Wrap each beet individually in tin foil and transfer to the reserved baking sheet. If you prefer not to use tin foil, you can transfer the oiled beets to a dutch oven with a lid rather than baking them on a baking sheet.
  5. Roast for 40-60 minutes or until a toothpick is easily inserted into the flesh of the beet when unwrapped. Reserve beets to the side to cool slightly.
  6. Once beets have cooled enough that you can safely touch them by hand, remove the foil (if used) and remove their skins. The skin should come off easily now that they have been roasted, but if you find that they need a bit of help, I like to run them under cool water while I push the skins off. It’s important that you remove all of the rough skin because it’s not pleasant to eat. If there is any stubborn remaining skin, it can also be carefully peeled away with a pairing knife if needed.
  7. Dice beets and transfer them to a small bowl. Add the lemon juice and toss to coat. Reserve to the side to continue cooling.

For the maple candied walnuts:

  1. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and reserve to the side.
  2. In a skillet over medium heat, add the butter, maple syrup, walnuts, and a pinch of salt. Cook for about 4–5 minutes, stirring regularly with a silicone spatula or wooden spoon until the butter has melted and emulsified with the syrup and the nuts are starting to toast slightly. Nuts can burn very quickly, so it’s important to transfer them to the baking sheet the moment they have finished cooking.
  3. Using the spatula or spoon, work quickly to separate the nuts before they cool and harden. Reserve to the side to cool.

For the maple balsamic vinaigrette:

  1. In a small mixing bowl combine balsamic vinegar, Dijon mustard, maple syrup, salt, and black pepper, whisk together with a whisk or a fork.
  2. While whisking, slowly pour the olive oil into the mixture. Continue whisking until emulsified. Reserve to the side.

For the remaining salad:

  1. In a large mixing bowl, add the kale, olive oil, and salt. Massage my hand, kneading and gently squeezing the kale, for about 2-minutes. The kale should shrink in volume substantially as it tenderizes and the leaves will darken.
  2. Add the reserved vinaigrette, then toss together with a set of wooden spoons or spatulas.
  3. Add the reserved beets, candied walnuts, and goat cheese and toss together gently. Top with the optional lemon peel or zest and serve cold.



Nutritional information on Whip & Wander is provided as a courtesy and is approximate only. We cannot guarantee the accuracy of the nutritional information given for any recipe on this site.


  • Serving Size: 1/6th of the recipe
  • Calories: 334
  • Sugar: 10 g
  • Sodium: 386 mg
  • Fat: 27 g
  • Saturated Fat: 6 g
  • Carbohydrates: 17 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Protein: 8 g
  • Cholesterol: 20 mg

Keywords: kale, beets, balsamic, maple, walnuts