Grilled Golden Beet and Chicken Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese

I’ll admit that when I grabbed a bunch of organic golden beets at our local grocery, King Soopers, the other day, I hadn’t a clue what I’d do with them except my main squeeze loves beets and I was bringing them home no matter. They looked all gorgeous, fresh and brightly colored with crisp whole greens attached, despite the healthy dirt around the edges. So whatever happened in that kitchen with those beets, it was going to make him happy. When folks say, “Food is love,” there’s something to it. More on that at the end. Because I regularly make goat cheese spread for our summer appetizers or even lunches while our herbs are plentiful, I always have a big log or two of chèvre (the plain white fresh goat cheese sold in nearly any grocery store) in the fridge. I had no problem considering a riff on the quintessential beet and goat cheese salad made by lots of cooks and in many restaurants worldwide. (Is that something you make or order if it’s on the menu?) What I didn’t like the idea of was turning on the oven for the hour it takes to roast those beets. Boiling them sounded worse, messy, and way too steamy for July. Why couldn’t I grill them in a grill pan on the stove? I thought about grilling them whole or in quarters, but that would take just way too long. Do people grill sliced beets? It seems they do according to google and I thought I’d just do it, too. A quick look-see into the fridge showed a bunch of fresh greens; radishes, scallions, red bell peppers and a single, lonely leftover roasted chicken breast I soon shredded within an inch of its life (always tastier than chopped — try it and see). Soon we were about to feast on one more whole meal salad outdoors. Thank you, summer!

Here are a few ideas about making the salad to get you started:

PREP AND GRILL THE BEETS FIRST; THEY TAKE THE LONGEST…. Shred the chicken and make the vinaigrette while they cook if you haven’t already done those things.

BELOW: Prepping the beets was done in a Denver minute — like a New York minute except with a view of the Rocky Mountains. Scrub well with a brush. Repeat, scrub well! Chop the greens and roots off, peel, and slice. Ta-da!!

BELOW: Grilling the beets isn’t hard in any way, but it does take a while — about 20 minutes. It needs to be done over medium flame or they’ll burn before they’re done as there’s a bit of sugar in these vegetables. Beets fare pretty well in the microwave, so I could have pre-cooked them in a little water there (covered) and my grilling time could have been shortened. You could even go way out on a “I don’t want to cook” limb, shred them and add them raw, but I’d grill them given a choice as it brings out their innate sweetness.

FRY THE GOAT CHEESE NEXT… but don’t do anything else while you’re doing it.

BELOW: Instead of crumbling the cheese as so many people do, I thought I’d slice and FRY IT, garnishing it with crushed red pepper for a little zing. Frying goat cheese doesn’t take long, but requires all your attention so it doesn’t turn into cheese whiz in the pan while you’re checking the baseball scores or trying to figure out why the Cubs let Rizzo go to the Yankees. (Geez.) It’s a tish messy and doesn’t always come out perfectly, but it eats well. I didn’t do this as I was in a hurry, but you’ll get a better crust if you slice the cheese, dip the slices first in beaten egg whites and then in flour or bread crumbs, and last, chill (or even briefly freeze) before frying. Some folks cut goat cheese with dental floss. I can’t be bothered, it seems. Lazy is as lazy does. If the cheese crumbles, pat it back together.


Grab some beets and try this:

Grilled Golden Beet and Chicken Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese

If you've a leftover deli or roasted chicken breast, a little goat cheese, and a few golden —or other— beets, this is your go-to dinner. Filling and beautiful with a lovely combination of sweet and tangy flavors, this salad also offers several differing textures to entertain your palate.


  • 4 medium golden beets, trimmed, peeled, and sliced into 1/4-inch thick coins
  • Olive oil
  • Kosher salt and fresh ground pepper
  • 5 ounces goat cheese (chèvre) sliced into 1/3-inch thick rounds — cold or frozen
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 cups fresh salad greens–your choice
  • 2 scallions, trimmed and sliced thinly
  • 1/2 red bell pepper, sliced
  • 1/4 cup sliced red radishes
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped plus extra for garnish
  • 1 cooked chicken breast–boned, skinned, and shredded
  • Crushed red pepper
  • Sherry Vinaigrette (recipe in notes below)


  • GRILL THE BEETS: Heat indoor or outdoor grill to medium. Toss sliced beets with a tablespoon or two of olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon each kosher salt and fresh ground pepper. Grill beet slices for 8-10 minutes or until browned and well-marked. Turn and cook until tender –perhaps another 10 minutes — covering if necessary. If beets are cooking too quickly, lower heat. When done, taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Remove to a bowl and reserve.
  • FRY THE GOAT CHEESE: Dust the sliced cheese on both sides with a pinch of flour. (Chill again for 15 minutes if you have time.) Heat a small, nonstick skillet over medium-high flame and pour in a tablespoon of olive oil. Add the pieces of cheese to the pan leaving a little space between each. As soon as brown on one side, carefully turn; brown on the other, remove to a plate and reserve. (Work quickly, paying attention all the while here, or you'll have cheese whiz.)
  • ARRANGE THE SALAD/SERVE: Add the salad greens, scallions, red bell pepper, radishes, and cilantro to a large shallow bowl or platter. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Drizzle with two tablespoons of sherry vinaigrette (recipe below) or to taste. Toss. Mound the chicken at the center of the salad and arrange the reserved grilled beets and goat cheese evenly around it. Sprinkle again with salt and pepper and add a few flakes of crushed red pepper to each goat cheese round. Drizzle with another tablespoon of sherry vinaigrette over all or to taste. Serve cool or at room temperature.


 Sherry Vinaigrette*
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
  • 1 shallot, peeled and minced
  • pinch each kosher salt, fresh ground black pepper, and crushed red pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Dijon-style mustard – or to taste
  • 9 tablespoons Extra-virgin olive oil    
In a small bowl, whisk together vinegars, shallot, salt and peppers, and mustard. Let rest 3 or 4 minutes.  Drizzle in oil, whisking, until well-combined.

Do buy whole chickens or at least bone-in chicken breasts for this recipe. They taste so much better among many other things.  Read all about it under TIPS:  “The More Boneless, Skinless Chicken Breasts I Sell, the Worse I Feel.”
Copyright Alyce Morgan, 2021.  All rights reserved. 

Beets provide some impressive health benefits. Not to mention, they are low in calories and a great source of nutrients, including fiber, folate and vitamin C. Beets also contain nitrates and pigments that may help lower blood pressure and improve athletic performance.





  • If you make this for one or two people, you’ll have leftovers and they’ll eat. They’ll eat better if you don’t dress the next day’s salad until the next day. Which will make you want to eat them more instead of tossing them in the compost pile or garbage.
  • Extra vinaigrette should be refrigerated and will keep several days in the fridge. (It would keep longer without the shallots.) Shake well before using again and add more vinegar or oil to stretch it if need be.
  • As noted above, sauté the chopped beet greens and stems to add to this salad, to another salad, into scrambled eggs, etc. They don’t keep real long, so deal with them quickly, but don’t waste them. They’re good food.
  • Have more goat cheese? Make a cheese spread. Add it to pizza, tacos, other salads, or frittatas. Otherwise, it’s tasty on crackers or toast with a little jam or honey.
  • Bones from the chicken breast can be frozen and added to the pot when making homemade chicken stock:

I had peaches, blueberries, and blackberries and used 1/2 white and 1/2 wheat flour, along with hazelnuts for this summer’s version of KIDS COOK: BLUEBERRY-PEACH CRISP this weekend. Just takes a few minutes plus about 30 minutes in the oven.


Seriously under the weather and having to do a little real doctoring this week, I had to stay on a clear liquids diet for 3 days. When I could eat again, the hub made my own chicken rice soup to increase my health. I’m much better—no worries— but felt SO much better having someone who loves me cook for me. Don’t underestimate the value of cooking for someone–ever. Food and love are both good medicines. This yummy chicken with rice soup is made with diced boneless chicken thighs and boxed chicken broth (or homemade if you have it) which makes it done in the flashiest of flashes. Made with rice instead of noodles or potatoes, it’s easy to digest, provides new energy, and encourages wellness. Save the recipe to make for the day when a friend is ill and/or, if you live by yourself, make up a potful and freeze some for when you have a grumbly tumbly, a runny nose, or even a rumbly tumbly! (Check the cayenne and salt if need be. Some folks might like to skip the heat and also watch sodium levels.)

Oh-So-Easy Chicken Soup with Rice

Sending love and cyber chicken soup for when you need it,


One thought on “Grilled Golden Beet and Chicken Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese

  1. Pingback: Grilled Golden Beet and Chicken Salad with Crispy Goat Cheese — More Time at the Table | My Meals are on Wheels

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