Classic Carrot 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.

  • Prep time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: Serves 4


  • 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


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

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  • shareen

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

  • 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!

  • 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.

  • 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.

    • Elise Bauer

      I have a carrot and beet salad with raisins and no mayo (you could just use all carrots and skip the beets):

      • Del

        Great! Could you post that recipe?

        • Elise Bauer

          Click on the link, it will take you to the posted recipe

        • Johann

          Easy , carrots , raisins , fresh pineapple, salt , little grounded black pepper and some orange juice . This go perfect with a pork Boston butt .

    • Jamie McGregor

      I’m not a mayo fan either. I use it very rarely in any of my cooking. But I do often replace it with plain or vanilla organic Greek Yogurt as someone else mentioned. The _vanilla_ yogurt will be sweetened generally, so you may want to add a splash of lemon juice or cider vinegar if that’s not to your taste, or use _plain_ (unsweetened) yogurt which has a nice tang.

    • Teresa

      In a salad bowl, combine the dijon mustard, lemon juice, honey, vegetable oil, olive oil, salt and pepper. Add the carrots, fresh parsley and scallions (or shallots) and toss well. Taste and adjust seasoning if necessary. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.

    • Joanne

      I make a simply carrot salad. It is just carrots and sultana’s I grate the carrots and then just add sultana’s to taste. I find this is juicy enough from the carrot juice. If you find it to dry you could just drizzle some lemon juice over it

    • hilary

      Try with fresh squeezed orange juice instead of the mayo…….and a few orange segments too.

    • Kelly

      I use fresh orange juice. Try soaking the raisins and craisins until plump and then add the carrots

  • Nancee Taylor

    Not a fan of raisins, would dried cranberries work?

  • Bianca

    Adding pineapple and a little juice makes it sweeter! I also replace mayo with daisy sour cream and it’s delicious!

  • Michael

    It was yummy in my tummy.


  • amanda

    BEST. TODDLER. DINNER. EVER. (then best lunch for me, with come curried chicken.) thank you!


  • TinaW

    I’ve never this kind of carrot salad so I made it today. It’s quite tasty! Thanks for another solid recipe!


  • Sue

    It was a hit at our Mother’s Day picnic this last weekend. I used a “lite” mayonnaise to cut down on calories. Also made it the day before so the sweetness of the apple and raisins had more time to blend. My husband has always loved carrot salad from his boyhood days, which was much heavier use of mayo, plus extra sweetening added. He really enjoyed this “fresher” taste. I used organic carrots, which were sweet tasting by themselves. This will now become an updated family favorite. Thanks so much.


  • Verona

    Quick and delicious, tastes as good as my grandmother’s recipe from 40 years ago.


  • didi

    This recipe is great! I recomend it to everyone!


  • Tisha

    Any suggestions on the kind of apple to use??? Which one goes best with the carrots.

    Any apple you like to eat. I like Fuji apples myself. ~Elise

  • anne

    I’ve always loved carrot salad but NEVER made it with mayo. Try plain/low fat/vanilla yogurt instead much better IMO. Cheers!

  • Nicole

    I ate it with nonfat yogurt (since I always try to avoid at any cost mayonnaise). It was sooooo good. I must admit that I was surprised by the taste as I didn’t expect it to be so tasty. I will definitely try the recipe again. Thank you!

  • Janet

    Excellent salad, did not put the apple in and used a bit of pineapple juice to thin mayonnaise. Used salad shooter to grate the carrots.

  • KB

    I make this all the time, but using a splash of orange juice in place of mayo. There should be enough OJ to mix well with the carrots. It’s better for you and prevents the apples from turning brown. With orange juice in place of mayo this easily keeps for a long hike or road trip. I eat it as a mid-morning snack or as a side for dinner.

  • Cheryl

    I have made a variation of this for years, using walnuts, raisins and pineapple, but have used vanilla yogurt in place of the mayo. Sometimes I also use plain yogurt sweetened with a little honey. You can mix the carrots and the fruit together and just before serving add the yogurt. Eat it all up the first day, it’s not good after sitting overnight in the fridge.

  • Diane

    I plan to make this as a side dish for Easter. I will be serving 15. Do you think 3 -4 cups of carrots are enough, or should I double the recipe?

    I would double the recipe at least. ~Elise

  • Leslie Roesch

    Using the poppyseed dressing from Kraft is also a great substitute for the mayo. Unique flavor and compliments the fruit very well.

  • Pat J

    This recipe sounds great… question…do youuse Hellman’s mayonnaise or can you use Miracle Whip??

    • Elise Bauer

      Hi Pat J – Use whatever mayonnaise type salad dressing you like best – homemade, Hellmans, Miracle Whip, or others.

  • Steve Sim

    I just tried the recipe 2 days ago and it taste great.
    Instead of using mayo, I used thousand island dressing. Moreover, I also added some honey tomato into the recipe too.

    It very easy to make =)

  • Josephine

    If liked one can add shredded cabbage and instead of mayo use a vinaigrette.

  • Phyllis

    This just like I use to get from the Farmer’s Market in LA with the exception that they add celery to theirs. Now I can make it myself!

  • Alison

    I make something similar to this, but with toasted slivered almonds and honey mustard dressing…it’s so good!

  • Pam

    Thank you for posting this recipe! I was looking for a recipe for this salad not too long ago but never found one I liked. I grew up on this stuff (just carrots and raisins), but I love the addition of apples…how perfect for some sweetness and ‘fall’ flavor.

  • Brian H

    For a totally different taste replace the apple and mayo with olive oil, red wine vinegar, grated cheese then top with toasted sunflower seeds. Never fails.

  • Nikki

    My version of carrot salad is a combination of grated carrot, freshly squeezed orange juice and fresh (not canned, never canned!!!) pineapple. James, might that be a good substitute for a mayonnaise dressed carrot salad?

  • Carol

    My Mom made carrot salad basically the same way for her catering business. I think she used a ratio of 2 parts sour cream to 1 part mayo for a lighter dressing. Since customers didn’t always like raisins (she stocked white), she would omit the raisins and apple and replace with a small can of crushed pineapple (drained) and a dash of shredded coconut or crushed walnuts. With the coconut, I saw her add an extract bottle cap or two of rum extract to the dressing. It was always good and the coconut brought out the nutty flavor of some carrots. Her variations were based upon other dishes that were served. We have no Trader Joe’s nor CoOp/Organic outlets in my neck of the Redwoods. boo-hoo!

  • Aaron

    I’m sure you could use low fat yogurt instead of mayonnaise.

  • Sassy J

    How long does this keep? Any trick to keeping the apple fresh or does it need to be consumed within a few hours?

  • James

    Is there a dressing besides mayonnaise that work well in this recipe?

  • Donna A.

    I put apples, raisins and walnuts in my carrots salad. Sadly I took it to a 4th. Of July picnic a few years ago and hardly anyone ate it. These people had never eaten carrot salad. And wasn’t interested in tasting it. We always had it as part of our dinner growning up. So it surprised me that others haven’t.
    Donna A.