Shaved Vegetable Salad

Make this vegetable salad recipe with all the best spring vegetables! Thinly sliced carrots, fennel, radish, and asparagus lend a crunch. Finish it with citrus honey vinaigrette, Parmesan, and walnuts. Swap other vegetables to make this salad your own!

shaved vegetable salad recipe
Alison Bickel

My mom, the cook in our house growing up, was always good with vegetables. But her repertoire was limited, consisting of steamed vegetables topped with pats of butter, green salads with dressing she’d shake up using a Good Seasons Italian Dressing packet, and roasted potatoes.

The Best Way to Make a Vegetable Salad

Today, the methods for preparing vegetables have expanded far beyond what I grew up eating. One of my favorite ways to give vegetables the love they deserve is in simple shaved salads.

In this recipe, I use thinly sliced carrots, fennel, radish, and asparagus, then toss the vegetables in a light citrus honey dressing, and finish it with a little Parmesan cheese. The result is a crisp, fresh salad that's perfect as a light main dish or a healthy side.

If you don’t have one of the vegetables listed, just swap it for something else. This salad is incredibly flexible!

What Is a Shaved Vegetable Salad?

Shaved salads start with raw vegetables that you cut into paper-thin slices and toss with a flavorful dressing. I usually rely on my Japanese mandoline, which makes quick work of slicing vegetables.

This Benriner mandoline is pretty affordable and has served me well for more than 20 years. You can also use a sharp chef’s knife or a food processor fitted with a slicer blade, though the slices may not be as tidy and uniform as with a mandoline.

Once the vegetables are shaved, all that’s needed is a good dressing and any garnishes you like. A variety of herbs, such as mint, chives, basil, and parsley work well in this type of salad, along with nuts, seeds, and crumbled soft or shaved hard cheeses.

Thinly sliced carrot, radish, fennel and asparagus spring salad
Alison Bickel

Which Vegetables Are Best for Shaved Salads?

What’s appealing about shaved salads is that they work any time of year, depending on what’s in season. They’re best made with vegetables that are firm enough to cut very thin and still hold up well once dressed (no soggy salads allowed!).

In spring, asparagus is an obvious choice. Zucchini is ideal for summer. Root vegetables, such as kohlrabi, radishes, carrots, celery, and fennel are perfect any time of year. Even the likes of raw beets and winter squash work when shaved thin enough.

The Best Dressing for Shaved Vegetable Salad

Like any green salad, shaved salads are ideally dressed close to the time you plan to serve them. They benefit from a dressing with plenty of acidity.

You can keep it simple and add a generous squeeze of lemon and drizzle of olive oil, or make a vinaigrette using citrus fruits or vinegar for that hit of acid. Start by piling all the shaved vegetables in a bowl, add the dressing—using less than you think you’ll need—and toss well.

Taste and add more dressing, salt, pepper, or herbs, if needed. I prefer to serve shaved salads on a plate or platter rather than in a bowl, to really show off those vibrant colors.

fresh easy spring salad with carrot, radish, fennel and asparagus
Alison Bickel

Suggestions and Substitutions

The variations on this shaved salad are literally endless. Here are a handful of suggestions:

  • Tinker with the ratio of vegetables. Are you crazy about asparagus? Use more and leave out the carrot, radishes, or fennel.
  • Try a different combination of vegetables entirely. Kohlrabi, celery, and daikon radish are a crisp, refreshing trio.
  • Use favorite nuts such as pecans, hazelnuts, or slivered almonds.
  • Use different cheese, such as pecorino, dry jack, or crumbled goat or feta.
  • Add minced chives or parsley to the mix.
  • Add dried fruits, such as tart cherries or slivers of pitted Medjool dates.

Making This Vegetable Salad Ahead of Time

What’s nice about this and so many other shaved salads is that you can do much of the work ahead of time.

Shave all the vegetables and pile them into a bowl. Chop the mint. Cover and store both in the refrigerator. Whisk together the dressing and set aside. Just before serving, toss it all together, add the shaved Parmesan, and finish with chopped walnuts.

Turn This Vegetable Salad Into Dinner!

This salad is on the light side but can easily be turned into a center-of-the-plate lunch or dinner by adding a protein-rich food. Grill or broil chicken breasts, hard-boil eggs, and slice in half, or cook a lightly seasoned piece of fish such as salmon, and you have a really nourishing supper.

Leftovers can be packed up and carried to work for lunch the next day. The salad won’t be quite as crisp as when it’s freshly made, but it will still be plenty tasty.

More Vegetable Salads to Make 

Shaved Vegetable Salad

Prep Time 15 mins
Total Time 15 mins
Servings 4 to 6 servings

Cutting tender spring vegetables into paper-thin slices and serving them raw is an excellent way to make the most of their flavors, not to mention their nutritional benefits. All that’s needed is a tangy vinaigrette and a few garnishes. Feel free to experiment with the vegetables here. You can do this salad entirely with asparagus, tripling the amount you use, or swap in other vegetables, such as kohlrabi or celery.


For the salad:

  • 8 ounces (about 10 medium) asparagus spears, woody ends snapped off

  • 2 medium carrots

  • 1/2 large bulb fennel

  • 6 radishes

For the dressing:

  • 1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

  • Zest 1/2 lemon

  • 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

  • 1 teaspoon honey

  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

  • 1/4 cup roughly choppped fresh mint

For garnish:

  • 2 ounces Parmesan cheese

  • 1/3 cup chopped walnuts


  1. Shave the vegetables:

    Cut the vegetables into very thin slices using a Japanese mandoline (try to make longer, diagonal slices for the asparagus and carrots). Alternatively, use a chef’s knife or slice them in a food processor fitted with the slicer blade. Pile into a large bowl.

    how to thinly slice vegetables with mandoline
    Alison Bickel
  2. Make the dressing:

    In a small bowl, whisk together the lemon juice, zest, olive oil, honey, and salt.

     citrus honey dressing recipe
    Alison Bickel
  3. Dress the salad:

    Just before serving, add mint and the dressing (a little at a time). Use a vegetable peeler to shave about 20 thin shards of Parmesan into the salad. Toss again.

    Taste and add more salt and dressing if needed. You want your vegetables lightly coated, not swimming.

    sliced, radish, carrots, asparagus, fennel and shaved Parmesan
    Alison Bickel
  4. Serve:

    Transfer to a large plate. Scatter the walnuts over the top. Serve immediately.

Nutrition Facts (per serving)
144 Calories
12g Fat
7g Carbs
5g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4 to 6
Amount per serving
Calories 144
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 3g 13%
Cholesterol 8mg 3%
Sodium 298mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 7g 3%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Total Sugars 3g
Protein 5g
Vitamin C 6mg 29%
Calcium 107mg 8%
Iron 1mg 4%
Potassium 198mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate. In cases where multiple ingredient alternatives are given, the first listed is calculated for nutrition. Garnishes and optional ingredients are not included.