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Roasted Beets with Quinoa, Frisée and Queso Fresco
Nathan Congleton / TODAY
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(16 rated)
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I love this salad because it hits on all the textural and flavor elements you want in a great side dish. It has tender braised beets, crunchy quinoa, crumbly cheese and crunchy sunflower seeds. It's a little salty, slightly sweet and each bite keeps you coming back for more.

Technique tip: Use a paper towel to rub the skins off the cooked beets.


    • 2 large red beets
    • 8 baby candy strip beets
    • 8 baby yellow beets
    • 3 sprigs thyme
    • 1 cup red wine vinegar
    • 2 cup white wine vinegar
    • 1 cup quinoa
    • 2 heads frisée
    • 1 cup sunflower seeds
    • 6 ounces queso fresco, crumbled
    • Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste


1. Preheat oven to 300°F. Place washed beets by color in separate roasting pans.

2. Cover the beets with water and place a sprig of thyme in each pan.

3. For the red beets, add 1 cup of red wine vinegar and cover with foil. For the yellow and candied strip beets, add 1 cup of white wine vinegar to each pan and cover with foil.

4. Place the pans in the oven. The red large beets they will need 30-40 minutes or until fork tender and the baby beets they will need 20 minutes. Set aside and cool.

5. Once cool enough to handle peel each beet.

6. Using a mandolin, thinly slice the red beets and shingle them on the place in a circle pattern. Cut the yellow and candy strip beets in half lengthwise.

7. In a medium pot bring 4 cups of water to a boil. Add quinoa to pot and cook until it sprouts, about 25 minutes. Drain if needed, and place in fridge until cool.

8. Cook the quinoa an air fryer, or on a sheet pan in the oven, until it's crispy and crunchy.

9. In a mixing bowl combine frisée, sunflower seeds, baby beets and mix with olive oil and salt. Place on top of red beet slices and sprinkle crumbled queso fresco and crispy quinoa.

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