Classic Carrot Salad

Kid-friendlyGluten-FreeVegetarianPicnic Salad

Try this traditional grated carrot salad with carrots, raisins, chopped apple and mayonnaise! It's one of the easiest salads to prepare, as well as being kid-friendly and good for you. Fantastic for Mother's Day, Easter, or picnic outdoors.

Photography Credit: Elise Bauer

Grated carrot salad has to be one of the easiest dishes in the world to prepare, as well as being pretty kid-friendly and good for you!

The trick is to start with the best carrots you can find. Here is where buying organic or from a farmer’s market really makes a difference in taste.

Carrots, being root vegetables, are not only tastier when they are grown in compost-rich soil, but they are more nutrient-rich as well.

A Flexible Recipe

The proportions of this recipe are flexible, depending on what you have on hand. Many traditional carrot salad recipes also call for crushed pineapple, but I think with the apples, raisins, and carrots, it’s sweet enough.

By the way, you can often find carrots of different colors at the market — deep red, purple, bright orange, and bold yellow. The taste differences are subtle (they’re all delicious!); the main difference is in their mix of nutrients. For example while orange carrots have lots of beta-carotene, red carrots have lycopene (what you find in tomatoes). (More on rainbow carrots here.)

How to Make Carrot Salad

Make-Ahead Salad

This salad — a cousin to coleslaw — can be served right away, but also keeps well in the fridge for an hour or two if you want to get your dinner side dish prepped and crossed off the list.

If you want to make it further ahead, grate the carrots and prep the apples, then toss them with a bit of lemon juice or apple cider vinegar to prevent browning. Wait to combine with the mayo until closer to serving.

Don’t Like Mayo? Try This!

A lot of readers have tried mayo-free versions of this recipe over the years and shared their success with us in the comments. Here are a few of their ideas:

  • Greek yogurt with a bit of honey
  • Lemon juice and honey
  • Splash of fresh-squeezed orange juice
  • Salad dressing, like thousand island or poppyseed
  • Vinaigrette with red wine vinegar and olive oil

More Carrot Salad Recipes!

Updated April 5, 2019 : We spiffed up this post to make it sparkle. No changes to the original recipe.

Classic Carrot Salad Recipe

Print
  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 3 to 4 cups freshly grated carrots (from 4 to 6 medium-sized carrots)
  • 1/2 to 1 cup raisins (regular, golden, craisins or a mix)
  • 1 large apple, (peeled or not, your preference) cored and chopped
  • 1/4 to 1/3 cup mayonnaise

Method

Gently combine all ingredients in a medium sized bowl. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

Hello! All photos and content are copyright protected. Please do not use our photos without prior written permission. If you wish to republish this recipe, please rewrite the recipe in your own unique words and link back to Classic Carrot Salad on Simply Recipes. Thank you!

Print

This post may contain links to Amazon or other partners; your purchases via these links can benefit Simply Recipes. Read more about our affiliate linking policy.

If you make this recipe, snap a pic and hashtag it #simplyrecipes — We love to see your creations on Instagram, Facebook, & Twitter!

Elise Bauer

Elise Bauer is the founder of Simply Recipes. Elise launched Simply Recipes in 2003 as a way to keep track of her family's recipes, and along the way grew it into one of the most popular cooking websites in the world. Elise is dedicated to helping home cooks be successful in the kitchen. Elise is a graduate of Stanford University, and lives in Sacramento, California.

More from Elise

44 Comments / Reviews

No ImageClassic Carrot Salad

Did you make it? Rate it!

  1. shareen

    I used a store bought coleslaw dressing which had more vinegar in it which I thought was good.

  2. Christine

    Just made this for the first time. It is wonderful! I added pineapple tidbits and used golden raisins and craisins. Used Greek yogurt and honey for the dressing. So I “borrowed” ideas from others comments! Thanks to all of you!

  3. Erin P

    I use vanilla Greek yogurt with great results. The Greek is preferable to the regular yogurt because it is quite a bit thicker. For 6 big carrots I used 2 cups of yogurt. I prefer to use the pineapple tidbits instead of the crushed. The crushed is just too runny. I then do a little bit of chopping on the tidbits and the size is perfect.

  4. Del

    I grew up on carrot raisin salad but my mom didnt like mayo so she never used it. Does anyone know of a recipe without it? I didnt get the recipe before she passed away.

    Show Replies (6)
  5. Nancee Taylor

    Not a fan of raisins, would dried cranberries work?

    Show Replies (1)
View More
Classic Carrot SaladClassic Carrot Salad