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Recipe for raw beet, butternut and pecan slaw {vegan, gluten-free}

Raw beet, butternut and pecan slaw.

When I saw a recipe for raw beets and butternut slaw on Apron Strings, the vivid colors grabbed me, and I knew the idea of beets with a maple syrup dressing would grab my husband Ted. Though I've eaten many a raw beet, I was a bit skeptical about the squash. Shame on me for not trying it sooner; crispy, crunchy raw butternut rocked my world. This salad debuted on our Thanksgiving table, and it's been a wonderful low-calorie addition to the meager winter salad repertoire. Squash can be treacherous to break down on a box grater or with a mandoline, so use a food processor fitted with a shredding disc. Remember not to toss the slaw with the dressing until the very last minute, or the beets will turn everything pink.

Raw beet, butternut and pecan slaw, on The Perfect Pantry.

Raw beet, butternut and pecan slaw

From the pantry, you'll need: pecans, balsamic vinegar, maple syrup, Dijon mustard, extra virgin olive oil, cinnamon, kosher salt, fresh black pepper, parsley.

Slightly adapted from this recipe on Apron Strings. Serves 6-8.


1-2 cup chopped pecans
2 large beets, peeled
1 pound butternut squash, peeled
1/4 cup roughly chopped flat-leaf parsley
2 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
1 Tbsp maple syrup
2 tsp Dijon mustard
1/4 tsp cinnamon
Kosher salt and fresh black pepper, to taste


In a small, dry, nonstick frying pan, toast the pecans over low heat for 3-4 minutes, until they are fragrant but not burned. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Cut the beets into chunks that will fit into the feed tube of a food processor fitted with a shredding disc. Shred the beets, and set them in a large stain-proof glass, ceramic or stainless steel bowl.

Cut the squash into chunks that will fit into the feed tube, and shred the squash. Add the squash to the beets, along with the parsley and toasted pecans. Do not toss!

In a small measuring cup, whisk together the oil, vinegar, maple syrup, mustard, cinnamon, and salt and pepper to taste.

Just before you're ready to serve, pour the dressing over the shredded vegetables, and toss gently.

Serve immediately, before the colors have a chance to run.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Red rice salad with roasted beets, sun-dried tomatoes, cherries and nuts
Honey-roasted beets with orange and thyme
Spinach salad with glazed beets and blue cheese
Tomato, beet and basil salad with balsamic vinaigrette
Red quinoa, beet and pecan salad with pomegranate-orange vinaigrette

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
Agave and balsamic glazed and roasted buttercup squash, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Roasted butternut squash and apple, from Kitchen Parade
Farro and roasted butternut squash, from 101 Cookbooks
Kale and roasted beet salad with maple balsamic dressing, from The Shiksa Blog
Spinach pear salad with creamy maple balsamic vinaigrette, from Cole's Kitch

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


Love the colours! Just to let you know in case you want to mention it, some people (like myself) can get a slight but initially scary reaction to raw beets (burning in the throat, swollen tongue, feels like choking kind of..). I didn't know about it until I first tried a raw beet salad, but I guess it's fairly common. It can be avoided by briefly steaming the beets, so I hope to try this salad that way! (Sorry to write a lot.. just thought you might want to know!)

Bookmarked less than halfway through reading! Lydia, this looks so beautiful! I've been stuffing shredded butternut squash into chicken and pizza lately, and just yesterday (for an Inaugural brunch? why not!) made a pizza using shredded beets in the crust. But this salad promises to be a raw way to enjoy this new technique.

I have no more fresh beets to shred, and I'm positive the beets I shredded and froze will make the whole dish pink in a heartbeat, so I've bookmarked this for fall.


Megg, thanks so much for letting us know about possible reactions to raw beets. I've never experienced it, but I know readers will want to be alert to it.

Kirsten, one possible way around the pink problem is to defrost, drain, and pat dry the shredded frozen beets before adding them to this salad. Or, enjoy a pink salad, which will taste great and look very festive!

Thats a great salad recipe. I like that you found a way to make the beetroot more yummy. I would have never had the idea of adding squash. The recipe reminds me a bit of a recipe of our old cook. The locals here used to love it! Thanks for sharing. =)

This is just in time for a gathering of Albuquerque artists! Thanks, Lydia.

Bookmarked!!! This sounds wonderful! I haven't tried raw squash either.

Much as I try, my reaction to beets is similar to yours to cauliflower!! But i will try shredding squash with broccoli to make a colorful slaw--just a different color profile.

You're on a roll with interesting ideas lately. This sounds so good!

Helene, the combination of the beets with squash really works. I love that it's a taste from your memory, too.

Candy, the colors alone remind me of the Southwest!

Pam, you'll be so pleasantly surprised. I was!

Cousin, perhaps we need to work on a beet and cauliflower dish that we can both learn to love. Or not.

Kalyn, I always look to my favorite blogs for inspiration, and this one began with a blog I love (and I know you do, too).

It sounds so delicious Lydia with thd dressing. It would not be as colourful but my favourite yellow sets would enable me to mix in the dressing ahead of time.

WOW WOW WOW - so impressed I never would have thought to try raw shredded squash!Going to make this for my picky vegetarian mom - if she likes then it will really have passed "muster"

Especially in winter, "food with color" really calls to me!

Bellini, the taste is always most important, so yellow beets would work here, too.

Carol, please let us know if your mom likes this salad.

Alanna, I'm the same. I love the bright color (and flavor) of this salad, and it's so needed on these bleak and very cold days.

What a gorgeous salad! I'm on a mission to make beets a bigger part of my life- I love eating them but hate the staining- and although I'm a butternut squash junkie, I've never done anything with it raw. Thanks for the inspiration!

Sarah, this was my first try with raw squash. I love it!

so beautiful love it

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