Festive Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios


Healthy and Colorful Beet and Kale Salad! Paleo and vegan, with red and golden beets, blood orange slices, kale, and toasted pistachios.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

During the dark days of winter, isn’t it refreshing to see festive colors on a plate?

This beet citrus salad includes a mixture of vibrant red, pink, and golden beets, blood and navel oranges, slivers of dark green kale, and crumbles of lime green pistachios.

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It’s like a Christmas tree! That you get to eat.

My friend Katie made this salad for a holiday party last week and I loved it so much I made a version of it for my family for our Christmas dinner.

The recipe makes enough for a small crowd, so scale it back if needed and play with the proportions to your taste. The kale holds up well over time, so the leftovers are good for days.

Festive Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios Recipe

  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 1 hour, 15 minutes
  • Marinating time: 1 hour
  • Yield: Serves 8 to 10

Save time by prepping the ingredients while the beets are cooking.

Because the kale resists wilting, this salad holds up remarkably well, several days in the fridge.


  • 6 - 10 large beets (about 4 to 5 pounds), a mix of red, pink, and golden
  • 2 - 3 blood oranges (or cara cara or navel oranges or a mixture)
  • 1 bunch of kale (lacinato or dinosaur kale if available), center ribs removed, leaves thinly sliced
  • 1 cup roasted pistachios, roughly chopped
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh mint leaves
  • 3 Tbsp chopped Italian parsley


  • 2 Tbsp lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup good quality extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 Tbsp seasoned rice vinegar (or unseasoned rice vinegar plus 2 teaspoons of sugar)
  • Zest of one orange
  • Zest of one lemon
  • 2 Tbsp capers, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper to taste


1 Cook the beets: Scrub the beets clean, leaving the skin on. You can boil or roast the beets to cook them.

If boiling, boil the beets separately by color (otherwise the red beets will run into the the orange, turning the orange beets red). Place each batch of beets in a pot and cover with water by about an inch. Add a couple teaspoons of salt. Bring to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer until you can just pierce easily with a fork, 30 to 60 minutes, depending on the size of the beets. Drain. Let cool. Rub the skins off.

To roast the beets, wrap them in foil and roast them in a 400°F oven for 1 to 1 1/2 hours, until fork tender. Then cool and peel. See our roasted beets recipe.

2  While the beets are cooking, prepare the dressing and prep the rest of the ingredients. Place all of the dressing ingredients into a jar, cover and shake until well blended.

3 Marinate beets in dressing: Cut the beets into 1/2-inch to 1-inch pieces. Separate by color and place in separate bowls and toss with a little of the dressing (use about a third of the dressing). Chill for an hour or up to two days.

4 Sprinkle sliced kale with some dressing: 15 minutes to an hour or two before serving, place the thinly sliced kale in a serving bowl. Sprinkle half of the remaining dressing over the sliced kale and toss to lightly coat the leaves.

5 Serve: Either create a composed salad by placing the beets, citrus, mint, parsley, over the kale, sprinkling with the chopped roasted pistachios, and drizzling with the remaining dressing, OR toss everything together, sprinkling with with pistachios at the end.

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Beet Citrus Kale Salad

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

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3 Comments / Reviews

No ImageFestive Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. Mark Anderson

    I thought that 4 to 5 pounds of beets was too much, but it wasn’t. I thought it would be way too much salad for six, and I was wrong about that too. This is a great salad–clean, crisp, and savory. And the leftovers (if you’re lucky) make a great lunch.


  2. Tushar

    I love how you use Kale in this – we use it with Citrus fruits, Gorgonzola and Walnuts: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ey5usZmw5Y

  3. RosSumiati

    I read this recipe, and find the Roasted Beets with Balsamic Glaze recipe too, perfect twins for me. Thank you, best regards

Beet Citrus Kale SaladFestive Beet Citrus Salad with Kale and Pistachios