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The best carrot salad recipe

The best carrot salad recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Vegetable salad
  • Carrot salad

Toasted coconut, hazelnuts and sultanas pair so well with carrots in this easy salad. The orange and cumin dressing will have you coming back for more!

6 people made this

IngredientsServes: 4

  • 4 medium carrots (about 500g), peeled and cut into matchsticks
  • 60g parsley leaves, chopped
  • 4 tablespoons shredded coconut, toasted
  • 3 tablespoons hazelnuts, toasted, chopped
  • 3 tablespoons sultanas or raisins
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:5min ›Ready in:20min

  1. Place carrots, parsley, coconut, hazelnuts and sultanas in a medium serving bowl.
  2. Combine oil, juice and cumin and stir into salad. Divide salad among individual serving bowls.


Most nuts benefit from toasting before being used in a recipe. The process brings out the flavour. Scatter the hazelnuts onto a high-sided baking tray and roast until browned in a hot oven, about 5 minutes, checking regularly that they aren't burning.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Reviews in English (3)

Carrot Salad

By: Elise Cellucci · Posted: Feb 19, 2019 · Updated: May 18, 2019 · This post may contain affiliate links. Please read my disclosure policy.

This carrot salad is so easy, using everyday ingredients like raisins, oil, vinegar, and sugar! Since it’s made without mayonnaise it’s a perfect choice when making spring and summer salad recipes!

I am THRILLED to have Elise from Elise Cellucci Photography + Film here today, sharing a carrot salad recipe with us! Elise, welcome! We can’t wait to hear to hear from you… so let’s get to it!

Classic Carrot Salad

Linda Xiao for The New York Times. Food Stylist: Monica Pierini.

Maybe your family has made carrot salad forever, or maybe you’ve seen it at potlucks, but if you’re not familiar with this Southern classic, your inner voice might be screaming, “Raisins don’t belong in salad!” But relax: This just might be the only time they do. The soft, sweet raisins complement the crunchy carrots, which are finished with a tangy dressing. Soak the raisins in hot water to give them a different, more plump texture. If you aren’t a fan of mayonnaise or yogurt, use 2 tablespoons avocado oil or olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon lemon or lime juice, and add some chopped fresh parsley. Let the crunchy-sweet flavors roll over your tastebuds as you realize you’ve made a simple, and delicious, dish in less than 15 minutes.

Carrot Salad Is the Greatest Recipe of All Time

You've heard the story before: A young American ingénue moves to Paris and discovers the secrets of French cuisine from an elegant woman with a chignon and deep knowledge of the perfect roast chicken.

This is not that story, although I won't pretend I didn't harbor some of those illusions when I moved to the city as an 18-year-old to work as a nanny. But then I settled in to my basement room in a dreary suburb, where one of my tasks was force-feeding three kids under the age of six a soup of potatoes, carrots, and the green tops—yes, tops—of leeks (this at their mother's request). I eventually quit this job and began working for a new family, where the children were nicer, but the cooking skills equally nonexistent. These children (and their dad) ate frozen chicken fingers and balked when I suggested that a risotto might be nice.

I was broke, lonely, and entirely bereft of a mentor of Parisian cooking. Thus, the first dish that spoke to me in Paris wasn't the fluffiest quiche or the most profound coq au vin. It was a shredded carrot salad from the prepared foods section of the local Monoprix. Available for just a few euros in nearly every supermarket in Paris, it filled a need for nourishment in a way that another stress-eaten jar of Nutella simply could not. Eventually, I started making my own, adding more veg, seeds, and herbs, turning my supermarket snack into a real meal.

This salad is substantial and comforting in a way that belies a base of nothing but carrots, bright and slightly sweet with a satisfying bite that's somewhere between crunchy and chewy. The flavors are delicious without being demanding.

And because I fell in love with the salad in its lowest form—straight out of the grocery store plastic container—when I make it now, there's no longing for some mystical and inimitable taste of French carrots from the farmers' market. This is a recipe that is deceptively simple, for how could something so humble, so simple, emerge as something unforgettable? I guess the Monoprix did teach me about the mysteries of French cooking after all.

Grate a few carrots on the wide edge of a box grater. (If you live up eight flights of stairs in what was formerly the servant's quarters—a.k.a. a garret the size of a walk-in closet with only a mini-fridge and a sink—do this while looking out at the Tour Eiffel.) If you have great knife skills and the counter space for a cutting board, julienned is nice, too. Add some thinly sliced radishes and/or julienned fennel, if you're feeling fancy.

Mix the veg with a vinaigrette of 1 teaspoon grainy mustard, 3 tablespoons lemon juice, a generous quarter-cup of olive oil, and a touch of honey, along with some toasted cumin and fennel seeds (my bathroom may have been down an open hall, but I did have a hot plate to toast the seeds).

Toss in some golden raisins (if you want these are divisive), and top with toasted pistachios and lots of parsley.

This cold creamy salad is sweet and crave-worthy. Not overly sweet, just enough. I find that the bagged shredded carrots are perfect for this. Their thicker cut texture is deal.

Also, if you need to lighten this up and save calories try swapping the mayo for plain Greek yogurt. Just don’t forget to adjust the sugar.

Ingredient Notes

Carrots- I prefer to use the bagged grated carrots for my carrot salad. I think their thick-cut texture is best in the salad. Hand-grating or using the food processor doesn’t produce the same chunky texture. Plus, you get the added convenience!

Crushed pineapple – adds another layer of flavor along with a textured twist that complements perfectly. Be sure to drain it well.

Sugar- I include sugar to round out the flavors in the dish, but I know that added sugar is a no-no for some people. There’s a lot of sweetness already in the pineapple, raisins, and carrots.

Feel free to decrease the amount of sugar, use your favorite sugar substitute, or leave it out altogether.

Salt – Adding just a small amount of salt enhances flavor and sweetness. Plus, it plays well with the lemon juice which is a nice tangy balance for the sweet pineapple.

Nuts –I use nuts for an added layer of flavor and texture. However, if you’re not so nuts about nuts, just leave them out. If you want to try some different combinations, pistachios, almonds, or cashews would all be great alternatives!

Raisins – Grandma always used brown raisins, but there are lots of varieties to experiment with. Golden raisins tend to be slightly plumper than their brown cousins.

Dried cranberries – are another excellent alternative if you want just a hint of tang in the salad. There are tons of different dried fruits and any of them would be fun to try. I think dried dates or apples would be fantastic!

Also- if you find your raisins to be a little shriveled and sad – warm up the pineapple juice and let them soak in it until they plump up a bit. If you’ve already tossed the juice- warm water or other juice works fine too. It just needs to be warm- not boiling. You’ll love the plump, juicy tidbits in your salad!

Mayo- I get asked a lot about lightening this recipe for a healthy salad. One of the most common ingredients people look to change is the mayo. Greek yogurt is the best alternative.

I’d recommend using plain yogurt and adjusting the amount of sugar to your desired level of sweetness. Flavored yogurt will mask the great taste combinations of the dish.

Storing Tips

Your sweet creamy salad will taste best when it’s served fresh. I like to mix it up just before serving time. If you’re not serving immediately, it should be kept covered with plastic wrap in the fridge.

Can You Freeze This?

That’s a negative. This is a mayo-based salad that just doesn’t freeze well at all but it’s so easy to throw together – who needs to freeze it?

Make Ahead Tips

This 5-star salad tastes best when served immediately after preparing. If you must make it on the run or ahead of time, just keep the dressing and the carrot mixture separate until serving time. I like to store my dressing in a mason jar. It makes transport a breeze!

How Long Can You Keep This In The Fridge?

Technically, you can keep this salad in the fridge for a day or two but it tastes best freshly prepared. Really, after a couple of hours, the carrots start to soak up the dressing and the pecans lose their crunch.

This Kitchen’s Best Carrot Salad Recipe

As far as salads go, my favorites are the ones with little or no lettuce. (Hear me out.) I think I’ve had one too many plates of wild greens dressed with good intentions and Calendula petals. I need more. Give me a warm German potato salad or a wilted spinach swimming in bacon drippings and cider vinegar. Is there any better texture and flavor combo than a Waldorf salad?

Another one of my favorite lettuce-lacking salads is all about the carrot. It’s fresh, crunchy, lasts for days and surpringly has no mayonnaise in it. (You read right.) Plus I get to use my favorite kitchen tool, my vintage WONDER SHREDDER PAT. 1,768,462 to grate the carrots into narrow shoe-string strips. (Caution: watch those fingers.) I usually make a big batch as it makes for a great quick, healthy snack all week.

RECIPE: World’s Best Carrot Raisin Salad


  • 2 pounds of carrots
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 small limes
  • 1 T. Sugar
  • 1/2 Cup golden raisins
  • 1/2 zante currants
  • pinch of salt
  • pinch of pepper


Sometimes I add orange zest and chopped candied orange peel or a tablespoon of orange marmalade for an added twist.

There you have it: crunchy carrots, chewy sun-dried fruit, sweet, sour and delicious.

Why This Carrot Salad is Awesome

I absolutely love this salad because:

  • It’s easy to make. You just need to julienne the carrots and add the spices.
  • It's crunchy. Because the carrots are julienned, rather than grated, they retain a wonderful crunch.
  • It pairs with everything. Because this salad is not too sweet like many other carrot salads, it pairs great with any savory dish. It also makes a great topping on sandwiches and burgers.
  • It stores well. This salad will last up to 7 days in the refrigerator.
  • It's very tasty. You have to try it to believe it, but I speak the truth here.

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The Best Marinated Carrot Salad Recipe In The World

This is the best marinated carrot salad recipe in the world! Oh, my gosh, Mark and I were invited for dinner the other night to some friends house and Mark mentioned to them that I am trying to stay clear of meat and dairy products. First of all, I try not to tell anyone about the healthy way of life I am working on. So this darling couple had every vegetable you can imagine on beautiful dishes to munch on and chitty chat around the table, oh how I loved this! They fixed the best salmon on the barbecue for the three of them and I was loving the rice, salads and all the fresh vegetables. Well, I asked if I could share this marinated carrot salad recipe on my blog. She quickly gave me the recipe and then I passed it on to my daughters because I knew this was one they would all love!

Here’s the deal, you can use sliced carrots or baby carrots for this recipe. My mouth is watering just thinking about eating this for lunch. I used my pressure cooker to cook the carrots last night and chilled them to make the salad today. I used my Fagor pressure cooker on high with one cup water and set it for three minutes. I used the quick release and carefully removed the lid and drained the carrots. Any pressure cooker or pan can steam carrots, but I love my Fagor pressure cooker since it saves me precious time. Mark and I eat a lot of carrots so this recipe is a hit at our house! I doubled the dressing ingredients because I knew I would be adding more carrots over the next few days. You can also use this dressing on other vegetables, it’s so yummy! You can use sliced carrots, grated carrots or baby carrots.

You may be asking yourself “why is she using her pressure cooker to cook the carrots?” Well, I always have 10 things going on at once and all I have to do is put the carrots in the pan, add one cup of water, lock the lid and set it for 3 minutes on high. That’s it, set and go do the laundry or whatever. Yes, I could have boiled/steamed them but then I would have had to watch the pot on the stove. Please remember when using a pressure cooker to be sure and check your manual because my two different pressure cookers state “do not fill more than 2/3 full” to allow for the pressure to build up.

Chick-Fil-A served their Carrot and Raisin Salad for four decades. Although it’s no longer available in the restaurants, I was given access to it as a Chick-Fil-A Mom’s Club member.

This is a recipe that is so simple and so obvious. The ingredients are obvious to almost anyone who cooks, but it’s the measurements that one must get just right. It’s a salad that I remember being served at family gatherings, school lunches, and of course I remember it as an option at Chick-Fil-A.

I’m not a fan of Carrot and Raisin Salad, but I’m sure that there are plenty of folks who will enjoy this recipe. I’m not sure how much of it is the raw carrot and how much of it is the mayonnaise thing, but together it equals a big fat NO GO for me! I prefer my carrots cooked and mayonnaise never. Myself, I prefer a green salad or even my own potato salad. What kind of salad do you like best?


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