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This quick & easy carrot raisin salad recipe is sweet, savory, a little tangy, and made without mayonnaise for a lighter, brighter, vibrant addition to any gathering/meal and ready in under 30 minutes!

completed Healthy Carrot Raisin Salad in a. white bowl

Recipes for carrot salad with raisins have been around since the mid-1900s, and while most ‘traditional’ versions of this Southern classic (including the Chic-fil-A version) are made with a creamy mayonnaise dressing, we love lightening it up by ditching the mayo entirely for more of a citrusy version inspired by a German carrot salad recipe (karottensalat)!

The resulting healthy carrot raisin salad relies on citrus juice, olive oil, and mustard as the base of its dressing, just 10 ingredients (pretty much all pantry staples), takes less than 10 minutes to throw together and is loaded with fiber and several vitamins and minerals. It’s also naturally gluten-free, dairy-free, and vegan.

With the sweetness from the raisins and brown sugar (or maple syrup) and tartness from lemon and orange juice, this vibrant, crunchy, child and adult-pleasing salad is perfect for bringing to potlucks, BBQs, picnics, and other large gatherings to serve alongside pasta salads, sandwiches, grilled vegan proteins and veggies, and more.

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The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Healthy Carrot Raisin Salad measured out against a white surface

The Carrot Raisin Salad Ingredients

  • Carrots: You can use organic or regular (optionally, ‘no peel’) carrots. We don’t recommend using prepared carrot sticks, as they’re too thick.
  • Raisins: We used golden raisins. However, regular raisins, sultanas, or even cranberries would also work.
  • Nuts: Use raw or lightly toasted nuts like walnuts, pecans, or almonds (chopped or slivered). Sunflower seeds would also work.

 

The Citrus Dressing

  • Orange juice: You can use a fresh orange or store-bought orange juice.
  • Lemon juice: Fresh works better than bottled. Alternatively, use apple cider vinegar.
  • Brown sugar: We love the caramel-like flavor of brown sugar, though maple syrup would also work. Use a sugar alternative, if preferred, and adjust the amount to taste.
  • Salt: To balance the sweet flavors and enhance the overall flavor.
  • Garlic powder: (Optional) for an enhanced savory flavor.
  • Mustard: We used Dijon mustard, but regular mustard would work, too.
  • Olive oil: Provides the raisin carrot salad recipe with a silky mouthfeel but is technically optional.
  • Fresh parsley: To add a burst of freshness. Fresh mint would work, too.

What Could I Add to Raisin and Carrot Salad?

  • Orange: Peel (and optionally halve) the segments from 1-2 oranges.
  • Apple: A carrot apple salad made with shredded (or diced) Granny Smith apple will add a tangy, tart flavor to contrast the sweetness.
  • Pineapple: Add up to ½ a cup of finely chopped pineapple (or canned pineapple tidbits) for a sweet and tangy carrot raisin pineapple salad.
  • Ginger: Just a small amount, grated, for the zingy heat.
  • Cinnamon: Just a dash of cinnamon, added to taste, is the perfect flavor enhancer in this cold carrot salad. + optionally, a pinch of nutmeg.  

How to Make Carrot Raisin Salad

  • 1) First, wash, dry, and shred the carrots using the medium holes on a box grater (or a grating disk in a food processor).

Alternatively, thinly shave the carrot with a vegetable peeler or mandoline.

  • 2) Then, juice the lemon and orange (if using fresh oranges) and mince the parsley.
  • 3) In a large bowl, mix the parsley, olive oil, mustard, lemon juice, orange juice, garlic powder, brown sugar, and salt. Mix well.
  • 4) Then, add the grated carrot, raisins, and nuts and mix well.

For super crunchy nuts, add them just before serving the raisin carrot salad.

  • 5) Leave it to sit/ marinate in the refrigerator for at least 15 minutes, then serve and enjoy!

Before serving, taste the carrot raisin salad and adjust any of the ingredients to your liking.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • To speed up prep: A mandoline or food processor slicing/shredding disk can get the carrots ribboned or shredded in seconds.
  • For softer raisins: Some people prefer to soak the raisins in warm water or apple/pineapple juice for 30 minutes.
  • Adjust the texture: Depending on how you prepare the carrots (ribbons vs. shreds) and their thickness.
  • Leave the flavors to meld: Once assembled, leave the salad for at least 15 minutes (1-2 hours will be even better) before serving for the flavors to properly meld and soak into the carrots and raisins.
  • Tweak the dressing: Before serving, taste and adjust any ingredient to your liking.
completed Healthy Carrot Raisin Salad in a. white bowl

Storage Instructions

After assembling the shredded carrot salad with raisins, we recommend leaving it at least 15 minutes to rest so the flavors can meld and marinate (1-2 hours is even better).

Any leftovers will store covered or in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 2-3 days. However, it’s best to only add the nuts when serving to avoid them becoming soggy.

More Easy Vegan Carrot Recipes

You might also like our complete guide to carrots!

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

completed Healthy Carrot Raisin Salad in a. white bowl

Healthy Carrot Raisin Salad

5 from 32 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Refrigerate: 15 minutes
Total: 25 minutes
Servings: 4 – 6 servings
This quick & easy carrot raisin salad recipe is sweet, savory, a little tangy, and made without mayonnaise for a lighter, brighter, vibrant addition to any gathering/meal!

Ingredients 

  • ¼ cup of parsley, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon of olive oil
  • 1 ½ teaspoon of dijon mustard
  • Juice of ½ a lemon
  • 3 tablespoons of orange juice
  • 1 teaspoon of garlic powder
  • ½ teaspoon of brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon of salt
  • 1 pound of carrots, grated
  • 1 cup of golden raisins
  • 1 cup of nuts of choice, chopped

Instructions 

  • In a large bowl, mix the parsley, olive oil, dijon mustard, lemon juice, orange juice, garlic powder, brown sugar, and salt.
  • Then add in the grated carrot, raisins, and nuts. Mix well, making sure all the dressing is mixed in with the grated carrots.
  • Let the salad sit in the fridge for 15 minutes and serve.

Video

Notes

  • To speed up prep: A mandoline or food processor slicing/shredding disk can get the carrots ribboned or shredded in seconds.
  • For softer raisins: Some people prefer to soak the raisins in warm water or apple/pineapple juice for 30 minutes.
  • Adjust the texture: Depending on how you prepare the carrots (ribbons vs. shreds) and their thickness.

Nutrition

Calories: 417kcalCarbohydrates: 53gProtein: 9gFat: 23gSaturated Fat: 3gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 14gSodium: 401mgPotassium: 922mgFiber: 8gSugar: 29gVitamin A: 19293IUVitamin C: 25mgCalcium: 92mgIron: 3mg

Disclaimer: Although plantbasedonabudget.com attempts to provide accurate nutritional information, kindly note that these are only estimates. Nutritional information may be affected based on the product type, the brand that was purchased, and in other unforeseeable ways. Plantbasedonabudget.com will not be held liable for any loss or damage resulting for your reliance on nutritional information. If you need to follow a specific caloric regimen, please consult your doctor first.

Additional Info

Author: Toni Okamoto
Course: Appetizer, Salad
Cuisine: American
Method: No cook
Diet: Vegan
Tried this recipe?Please tag us at @PlantBasedOnABudget! 🙂
About

Toni Okamoto

“They say you are what you eat, so I strive to be healthy.
My goal in life is not to be rich or wealthy,
‘Cause true wealth comes from good health and wise ways…
we got to start taking better care of ourselves ” – Dead Prez

More about Toni Okamoto

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Comments

  1. 5 stars
    This is such a great way to add for carrots into my lunches! Love the raisins, mustard and sweetness … it’s so perfect!