This Baked Beetroot and Feta Pasta Salad is a super quick and easy, delicious light vegetarian meal that comes together in as little as 30 minutes! Serve warm or chilled.
Beetroot takes a while to cook and I always think that some of its goodness is lost during cooking even when it’s boiled whole. So for this baked beetroot and feta pasta salad I decided to prepare the beetroot differently.
Prepping the beetroot
It’s important to slice the beetroot quite thinly (approx. 5 mm in thickness) for this pasta salad recipe. This really doesn’t take very long and the slices don’t have to be identical (my advice is to wear rubber gloves though as the beetroot will stain your hands). Baking sliced beetroot is not only quicker than cooking whole beetroot it also minimizes the loss of nutrients. Plus baked beetroot has an intensely sweet, rich flavour which is fantastic paired with tangy feta and almost neutral tasting pasta.
See also my Roasted Beetroot Zoodle Salad with Tahini.
What pasta to use
I chose orzo pasta for its small, delicate shape. I didn’t want the pasta to take over the dish and I felt the bigger, more robust pasta types might do that. Instead the pasta is there to provide a little more substance and tone down the sweetness of the beetroot.
I also used orzo in this Easy Pesto Chicken Pasta Bake Recipe.
Salad with feta
Feta cheese is an important ingredient in this recipe as it complements the sweetness of the beetroot. Baked feta is also not as sharp and acidic as raw so it doesn’t overpower the dish. The only drawback of using feta is that once opened it spoils quickly. Normally I would try to use up leftover feta within 1 or 2 days of opening (not always with success I must admit), but this time I decided to freeze it!
Last week was #EatitCookitFreezeit week raising awareness about food safety and food waste. It made me realise that I could waste less food if I was more organised and made more of a conscious effort to try to prevent it. In my search for new ideas of how to be more efficient in the kitchen I came across a useful site which gives helpful tips on freezing foods I never thought were suitable for freezing.
I learned for example that I can freeze my leftover feta! So I have!
If you can’t eat or cook it – freeze it!
Warm pasta salad or cold pasta salad meal
This beetroot and feta salad is super versatile! It can be served warm as well as chilled. If you prefer it warm cook the pasta while the beetroot is in the oven so you can combine these mixtures as soon as the beetroot is ready. If you are planning to serve it cold you can cook the pasta, as well as the beetroot (and feta) ahead and refrigerate these until you are ready to make the recipe. Then simply combine these ingredients, stir in some freshly chopped arugula, season to taste, drizzle with oil and enjoy!
Baked Beetroot and Feta Pasta Salad
- 4 medium beets
- 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
- 150 g feta cheese, cubed or crumbled
- 1 cup arugula leaves, roughly chopped
- 2.5 cups cooked orzo pasta, cook according to package instructions-use a little less than 1 cup raw orzo
- 6 tablespoons olive oil
- Sea salt and black pepper to taste
- Preheat the oven to 400 F/ 200 C/ gas mark 6. Peel the beetroot, cut in half and slice thinly, then toss into a large baking tray. The slices can overlap each other. Crumble the feta over the beetroot. Combine the garlic with 4 tablespoons of the oil and drizzle over the whole thing. Bake for 30 minutes.
- In the meantime boil the pasta, drain and combine with the arugula and the remaining oil. Season to taste. Combine with the beetroot, drizzle with a little more oil if you like and enjoy!
- Serve hot or cold, as a main or side dish.
Pin Baked Beetroot and Feta Pasta Salad
KEEP IN TOUCH!
RECIPE LINK PARTIES
I am bringing this easy beetroot and feta pasta salad recipe to Meat Free Mondays hosted by Tinned Tomatoes, Pasta Please hosted by Thinly Spread and Cook Once Eat Twice hosted by Searching for Spice.