This Fresh and Crunchy Carrot Salad is so good! It is light and oh-so-tasty. I really don't care for the traditional carrot salad, the mayo is just too much for me! This is a spin-off, and you are going to love it!
What Makes This Salad So Good?
It is a combo of flavors. That is the best thing about this salad. The carrots, nuts, seeds, etc are just so good together!
Also, it is really simple to make. This salad comes together in just minutes and is so easy to do. Prep the veggies and everything else is done in no time.
It can easily be made ahead of time. I wouldn't add the dressing until the very end, but the salad part can be done at least 4 hours in advance.
- Carrots- I spiralized, which I will talk about below, so I used whole carrots. Peeling them, then spiralizing. If you want to grate the carrots, which is a great option as well, you can easily use any carrots you like.
- Add-ins- I used sunflower seeds, pecans, and craisins. There are of course tons of other options for dried fruits, nuts, and seeds.
- Maple Syrup- Make sure this is pure maple syrup. I promise the other syrup will not be as good!
- Olive oil- since this is not cooked, make sure and use the best quality olive oil you can afford.
- Apple cider vinegar- you can also use white vinegar if you like.
- Dijon mustard- This is used in the dressing for flavor, but also as an emulsifier, it keep the dressing from separating.
- Salt and Pepper- this is just to taste in the dressing.
I decided to be a little extra and spiralize my carrots. I know, it's not necessary, but it is so pretty! Here is the spiralizer I use. It is a little spendy, but there are plenty of other options out there that get great ratings. If you don't want to do this, you grate or even julienne your carrots.
Next, add in whatever you are using- the nuts, seeds, dried fruits, etc. They all go really well with the carrots and dressing.
Last, mix up your dressing. I like to use a mason jar to do mine. Once I add all the ingredients, I place the lid and top and give it a good shake. It is minimal cleanup.
While this is a really simple salad to make, let me share a few things that will ensure you and your guests love it.
Make sure your carrots are fresh. This salad is really dependent on how good the carrots are. Don't use an old limp carrot. Make sure it is fresh and good!
If you are not serving this right away, do not add your dressing until serving. After a while, it will make the carrots a little soggy and limp.
One of the best things about this salad is how versatile it is! There are a lot of really fun add-in options you need to consider.
Nuts- I used pecans, but walnuts, hazelnuts, and macadamia nuts are really good too!
Seeds- I used sunflower seeds, but you could also use pepitas, chia seeds, flax, etc.
Dried Fruit- I used craisins, but dried cherries are also really good. If you have not tried dried pineapple, that is really good in here as well, or even the classic raisin.
I love glazed carrots with maple syrup, so I knew I wanted to use it for the vinaigrette.
This adds the perfect amount of sweetness and the flavor is amazing!
The maple vinaigrette is so easy to make and with minimal ingredients. Throw it all together and mix well.
Do you have to have a spiralizer for this recipe?
No way! It is a pretty way to present the carrots, but you can just as easily julienne or even grate them!
Other Salad Ideas
- Green Goddess Salad
- Fruit and Microgreen Salad
- Asian Slaw
- Strawberry Basil Salad
- Shaved Brussel Sprouts Salad
- Vegetarian Couscous Salad
- Superfoods Salad
Fresh and Crunchy Carrot Salad
- 4-6 cups grated or spiralized carrots
- 1 cup add in of choice I used sunflower seeds. pecans and Craisins. The possibilities are endless!
Maple Syrup Vinaigerette
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons pure maple syrup
- 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
- 3 teaspoons dijon mustard
- salt and pepper to taste
- Mix all ingredients for the dressing.
- Shake or mix well. Pour over the top of the salad and serve immediately.
- If you want to prep this as a make-ahead, you can make the salad and dressing separately up to 2 days in advance. Combine just before serving.