A crunchy, healthy and flavorful Carrot Raisin Salad recipe packed with pineapple, walnuts and celery drizzled with a Creamy Honey-Lemon Dressing. Easy to make and soooo good with all the summer things! This recipe is vegetarian, gluten free and easily vegan.
This Carrot Raisin Salad recipe brings back memories of when I was taking care of my Ma post surgery. It was a simple carrot salad that brought healing, joy and a moment of togetherness that’s sealed in our memories. I couldn’t recall the details of that salad, so I picked her brain for it.
Since this recipe is inspired by her, I thought it appropriate to share for Mother’s day. This one’s for you, Ma!
What I Love About This Carrot Raisin Salad
Carrot Raisin Salad is chock full of good for you ingredients and makes a fabulous side for all the summer things. It’s a welcome addition to picnics, potlucks or for alfresco afternoons on the porch.
A versatile recipe, some ingredients are easily subbed for what you have in the pantry. Use whatever nuts you have on hand. I like walnuts, but pecans or slivered almonds would be a delight as well. For raisins, I like currants (shown here) or golden raisins, but Thompson dark raisins are delicious too, and add a nice contrast. For pineapple, I prefer fresh and in season (Spring-Summer) because it’s so sweet and juicy and the leftovers make a delicious snack or sweet addition to a smoothie. But canned can be used instead. Simply drain before using.
Ingredients You’ll Need for Carrot Raisin Salad
This is such a simple salad to pull together. You’ll need just a few fresh ingredients:
- Carrots with Tops Attached – this way you can see how fresh they are and the tops are delicious as a garnish and in smoothies.
- Raisins – Currants, Thompson or Golden
- Fresh Parsley
For the tangy, and creamy honey lemon dressing whisk mayo, lemon juice and zest, honey (or maple), and a pinch of salt. SO simple, right?
How to Make the Recipe
Just a few simple steps to whip this recipe up!
- First, toast the walnuts, then give em’ a good chop.
- Second, soak the raisins in hot water. This will make them nice and plump!
- Third, shred the carrots! I use the coarse shredder blade of a food processor to shred the carrots. A Julienne peeler will also do the job.
- Fourth, chop the celery, pineapple and parsley.
- Last, whip up the dressing.
Put all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl and toss.
A Few Recipe Notes
- Make ahead? Yes please! The dressing can be made up to three days in advance. For the salad, make one day ahead of when needed. Sprinkle fresh herbs over the top, then toss before serving.
- To shred the carrots, I use the coarse shredder blade of a food processor. A Julienne peeler will also do the job.
- For the raisins, I prefer currants, but they can be hard to find. Look in the bulk bins at your Co-Op or health food store. Otherwise, golden and Thompson raisins are fabulous too.
- Make it vegan! Simply leave out the honey in the dressing and use maple instead. It’s an easy and delicious swap!
More Side Salads for Sharing
- Broccoli Slaw with Golden Raisins and Walnuts
- Texas Potato Salad
- Quinoa Salad with Corn Feta and Walnuts by Green Valley Kitchen
- Lemon-Dijon Asparagus and Pea Macaroni Salad
- Deviled Egg Potato Salad by Foolproof Living
Carrot Raisin Salad w/ Creamy Honey-Lemon Dressing
For the Salad:
- 2/3 C (70g) Walnuts or pecans
- 1/2 C (65g) Raisins Thompson, golden or currants
- 4 C (400g) Shreded Carrots *see note. About 8 medium carrots, reserve leaves for garnish if desired
- 1 1/2 C (135g) Pineapple if fresh, cut into small cubes. If canned, drain (reserve the juice for drinking!)
- 1 C (105g) Celery chopped small, reserve leaves if available
- a fist-full Fresh Flat Leaf Parsley leaves finely chopped
For the Dressing:
- 1/3 C (100g) Mayo I like Vegenaise
- 1 Tbs Raw Honey or maple syrup
- 1 Lemon zested and juiced
- 1/8 tsp Fine Sea Salt
For the Salad:
- Preheat oven to 350F and toast walnuts for 7-8 minutes or until fragrant and slightly golden. Set aside to cool. Rough chop.
- If the raisins are stiff and/or dry, place them into a small bowl and pour hot water over them. This will plump them up. Allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Strain through a fine mesh strainer. Set aside.
- In a large mixing bowl, add the shredded carrots, pineapple, celery, walnuts, raisins and parsley. If celery leaves were reserved, chop fine and add them to the bowl. Pour the dressing over the salad and toss. If you have time, rest in the fridge for at least one hour so the flavors can marry. Store in a lidded container for up to three days. Toss again before serving.
For the Dressing:
- In a small mixing bowl, add the mayo, honey, lemon juice and zest and salt. Whisk to incorporate the flavors.