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Shaved raw carrot salad is crunchy and fresh with a sweet, savory, tangy dressing perfect for Summer (+ all year long) and ready in just 20 minutes!

completed Raw Carrot Salad plated against a white background

As we inch toward the warmest months of the year, simple salads that require minimal effort but provide maximum flavor are perfect additions to your rotation. Like spicy cucumber salad and strawberry kale salad, this carrot salad recipe (loosely inspired by the TikTok carrot salad but with a balsamic twist) is made in minutes with a handful of ingredients.

The combination of ribboned carrots with fresh herbs, apple cider vinegar and balsamic, a hint of maple syrup, and some sesame seeds makes for a light, nutritious, crunchy, vibrant, and super refreshing cold carrot salad!

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Why You’ll Love This Raw Carrot Salad Recipe

  • It’s quick & simple: This recipe for carrot salad is ready with just a handful of ingredients, a vegetable peeler, and under 10 minutes.
  • It’s satisfying: Combining fresh, crunchy carrot with a sweet & tangy dressing makes for a bright, robust, and highly satisfying summery salad, perfect for picnics, potlucks, and BBQs.
  • It’s healthy: Carrots are a good source of fiber, antioxidants, and several vitamins and minerals (including vitamins A & C), with benefits including promoting the immune system, heart health, gut health, and vision. When combined with fresh herbs, heart-healthy olive oil, and beneficial vinegar, this healthy carrot salad is a delicious, nutritious addition to your life.
  • It’s diet-friendly: It’s gluten-free, dairy-free, vegan, and optionally Paleo.
  • It’s versatile: At its most basic, you only need a few ingredients for this raw carrot salad, but boost it further with beneficial add-ins (keep reading for our favorite options!) as well as swapping out the herbs, changing up the carrot shape (aka sliced or shredded carrot salad), tweaking the dressing, and more.

The Ingredients and Substitutes

ingredients for Raw Carrot Salad measured out against a white surface

The Shaved Carrot Salad

  • Carrots: Any carrot will work – regular, no-peel, or organic.
  • Fresh herbs: We use a combination of minced flat-leaf parsley and fresh mint (or dill), though the latter is optional.
  • Red pepper flakes: (optional) to garnish for a spicy carrot salad. You could use regular pepper flakes or Korean chili flakes (gochugaru), which have a milder, slightly fruity, sweeter heat. Tajin may also work if you reduce the salt and apple cider vinegar.
  • Sesame seeds: (optional) Raw or lightly toasted to garnish this simple carrot salad.

The Balsamic Dressing

  • Vinegar: This simple dressing combines apple cider vinegar (or rice vinegar) and balsamic vinegar for a rich, tangy, and slightly sweet vinaigrette packed with robust flavor.

Alternatively, replace the balsamic with lime juice for a different flavor profile.

  • Sweetener: A small amount perfectly balances and enhances the dressing and carrots in this cold carrot salad. We love using maple syrup, but agave or other liquid sweeteners (including sugar-free options) should work, too. Adjust the amount to taste.
  • Salt & black pepper: To season the carrot ribbon salad, to taste.
  • Olive oil: (optional) This ingredient is optional to create a silkier mouthfeel. Alternatively, use a small amount of toasted sesame oil for a rich, toasty, nutty flavor, too.

What Could I Add to Shaved Carrot Salad?

  • Vegan fish sauce: Replace the balsamic with lime juice and add a splash of vegan fish sauce for an umami-rich carrot salad.
  • Ginger: Just a small amount of minced ginger adds flavor depth and heat.
  • Beets: Make an antioxidant-rich carrot and beet salad with shredded beets.
  • Other vegetables: Ribboned, sliced, or match-sticked radishes or cucumber and/or edamame will add extra flavor, color, and nutrients.
  • Avocado: Finely diced for creamy flavor, healthy fats, and extra antioxidants.
  • Fruit: Shredded tart apple or orange segments both pair wonderfully with carrots.
  • Dried fruit: Add raisins, sultanas, or dried cranberries for little bursts of sweetness.
  • Legumes: We love making fiber and protein-dense carrot lentil salad, though white beans or chickpeas complement the carrots too.
  • Nuts/seeds: To garnish the raw carrot salad with crunch (as well as heart-healthy fats and protein). Like walnuts, almonds, pumpkin seeds, or sunflower seeds.

How to Make Shaved Carrot Salad

  • 1) First, wash, then thinly ribbon the carrots. You can use a vegetable peeler, mandoline, or slicing blade in a food processor.
  • 2) In a small bowl (or jar), combine all the dressing ingredients and whisk well.
  • 3) Mince the parsley (and mint if using) and add it to a large bowl along with the carrot ribbons and the dressing, and toss to combine.
  • 4) Finally, optionally garnish the carrot ribbon salad with some red pepper flakes and/or sesame seeds, and enjoy the salad at room temperature or chilled.

For the best flavor, allow the shaved carrot salad to marinate in the fridge for 30 minutes (1-2 hours is even better) before serving.

Recipe Pro Tips

  • Make the slices thin enough: They should be super flexible, not too tough.
  • To speed up prep: A mandoline or food processor slicing disk can get the carrots ribboned in seconds.
  • Adjust the texture: By changing the thickness and cut (aka into slices, spirals, or making a shredded carrot salad).
  • Allow the flavors to meld: If you have the time, leaving the carrot ribbons to ‘marinate’ for at least 30 minutes (1-2 hours is even better) before serving will not only allow the dressing to meld but give it time to start soaking into the carrots.
  • Tweak the dressing: The best method is to allow the flavors to meld and then taste and adjust any of the ingredients. However, if you plan to serve the cold carrot salad immediately, adjust it immediately.

FAQs

Do I need to peel carrots for carrot salad?

If you’re using no-peel varieties, organic carrots, and/or they’re well-scrubbed, then there’s no need to peel them. However, some people prefer to for aesthetic and textural issues.

Can I use canned carrots for this salad?

In this case, fresh carrots will provide the best overall taste and texture for this cold carrot salad. Canned carrots may work in a pinch if you don’t mind a very soft, tender carrot salad.

completed Raw Carrot Salad plated against a white background

Serving Suggestions

Enjoy this fresh and bright shaved carrot salad recipe as part of lunch or dinner on your dining table, at picnics, BBQs, potlucks, and other gatherings with food items such as:

You can also use this cold carrot salad in sandwiches and wraps for crunch and tang.

How to Store Raw Carrot Salad

We highly recommend preparing the dressing (or the entire assembled carrot salad) 1-2 hours before serving – or even overnight – to allow the flavors to develop and the carrots to soak up some dressing.

Once assembled, it’s best to store any leftovers in an airtight container in the refrigerator for 3-4 days. If needed, add a few more crunchy carrot ribbons or a little extra vinegar before serving each time.

More Easy Vegan Salad Recipes

Photos by Alfonso Revilla

Raw Carrot Salad

5 from 46 votes
Prep: 10 minutes
Cook: 10 minutes
Total: 20 minutes
Servings: 2
Shaved raw carrot salad is crunchy and fresh with a sweet, savory, tangy dressing perfect for Summer (+ all year long) and ready in just 20 minutes!

Ingredients 

  • 2 carrots, thinly sliced lengthwise
  • 2 teaspoons of apple cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoons of olive oil (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon of agave or maple syrup
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ teaspoon of crushed red peppers (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons of parsley, roughly mined
  • 1 teaspoon of mint, minced (optional)
  • Sesame seeds, garnish (optional)

Instructions 

  • Wash the carrots, then using a peeler carefully slice thin and long slices. Set aside in a large bowl.
  • In a jar or small bowl, combine the apple cider vinegar, oil, balsamic vinegar, agave or maple syrup, salt and pepper, and mix to combine. Set aside.
  • To the bowl with the carrots, add the parsley and dressing. Toss and serve at room temperature or chilled.

Video

Notes

  • Make the slices thin enough: They should be super flexible, not too tough.
  • To speed up prep: A mandoline or food processor slicing disk can get the carrots ribboned in seconds.
  • Adjust the texture: By changing the thickness and cut (aka into slices, spirals, or making a shredded carrot salad).
  • Allow the flavors to meld: If you have the time, leaving the carrot ribbons to ‘marinate’ for at least 30 minutes (1-2 hours is even better) before serving will not only allow the dressing to meld but give it time to start soaking into the carrots.

Nutrition

Calories: 86kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 1gFat: 5gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 1gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gSodium: 65mgPotassium: 230mgFiber: 2gSugar: 7gVitamin A: 10549IUVitamin C: 11mgCalcium: 37mgIron: 1mg

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: Salad
Cuisine: Asian
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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Recipe Rating




Comments

  1. 5 stars
    I love this raw carrot salad! The texture is amazing, the flavors just right, and the color is so pretty!

  2. 5 stars
    I had some carrots I needed to use up and this was the perfect recipe! Going to have to buy more carrots because it was so good!!

  3. 5 stars
    The best carrot salad I’ve ever had!! Pinned! Will make this again for sure!

  4. 5 stars
    I had to come back and tell you how good this came out. A great salad, the perfect healthy snack.