Straight from Grandma’s recipe box comes this creamy, sweet classic Carrot Salad. I add pecans for extra crunch! Quick & easy, this is a family favorite!
While I was growing up, no picnic or family dinner was complete without my grandma’s Carrot Salad. I’ve shared lots of her recipes, and this is one of my favorites! She made it in the classic style of a mayo based dressing and added the special touch of pecans. It’s a tradition I’ve carried on, and I think it sets this recipe apart!
There are Carrot Salad recipe vinegar dressing variations out there. I gotta say that I love the creamy version over Carrot Salad recipes without mayonnaise. I think the creamy dressing takes this salad up to an indulgent treat. If you’re looking for a summery fresh salad with a tangy vinegar dressing, I would suggest my super easy Cucumber Tomato Salad.
I’ve got other creamy, delicious salads that are perfect for summertime BBQ’s and picnics. If you want a south of the border treat, try my tangy, creamy Mexican Corn Salad. Of course, you can never go wrong with good ol’ KFC Coleslaw!
How to Make Carrot Salad?
Carrot Salad assembles in less than five minutes! To make this Carrot Salad with pineapple combine the mayo, lemon juice, salt, and sugar to make the dressing.
Set aside while you mix the grated carrots, pineapple, raisins, and pecans. Pour the dressing over the salad and stir well. It doesn’t get much easier than that!
Can This Carrot Raisin Salad Be Made Ahead Of Time?
Carrot Raisin Salad can be made a little bit ahead of time. I’m talking a couple of hours here, but it is best mixed and served fresh. The flavors tend to settle, the pecans can lose their crunch, and the carrots like to soak up the dressing if left sitting too long.
The best way to make this salad ahead of time is to whip up the dressing but leave it separate until just before serving. Simply pour it over your prepared salad and give it a stir just before setting it out. This way you’ll get maximum flavor and texture!
If you’ve got to take this on the move, a great way to store your dressing is in a mason jar. It’s super convenient. Give it a good shake before pouring over the salad to evenly distribute the flavors. Pour it on, and you’re good to go!
Moroccan Carrot Salad
Take a trip across the seas and dive into this unique salad. Moroccan Carrot Salad is bursting with spices and exotic aromas. This Moroccan Carrot Salad recipe is super simple and a great way to change up your carrot salad!
Recipe Notes for Carrot Salad
Carrots- I prefer to use the bagged grated carrots for my Carrot Salad. I think their thick-cut texture is best in the salad. Hand-grating or using the food processor doesn’t produce the same chunky texture. Plus, you get the added convenience!
There are lots of different carrot varieties out there. You can have some fun with the different colors to give a unique twist on your Carrot Salad with raisins.
Speaking of twists- if you have a spiralizer, you can really have some fun with textures! Use the different blades to make noodles or ribbons for a one-of-a-kind presentation!
Sugar- I include sugar to round out the flavors in the dish, but I know that added sugar is a no-no for some people. There’s a lot of sweetness already in the pineapple, raisins, and carrots. Feel free to decrease the amount of sugar, use your favorite sugar substitute, or leave it out altogether.
I think every bite of Carrot Salad calories is worth it, but if you are calorie conscious, decreasing the sugar is a good way to lower the overall calorie count of the dish! Besides, carrots are packed with vitamins. Each bite is not only delicious but nutritious as well!
Nuts- Like the Carrot Salad Indian versions, I use nuts for an added layer of flavor and texture. However, if you’re not so nuts about nuts, just leave them out. If you want to try some different combinations, pistachios, almonds, or cashews would all be great alternatives!
Raisins- Grandma always used brown raisins, but there are lots of varieties to experiment with. Golden raisins tend to be slightly plumper than their brown cousins.
Dried cranberries are another excellent alternative if you want just a hint of tang in the salad. There are tons of different dried fruits and any of them would be fun to try. I think dried dates or apples would be fantastic!
Also- if you find your raisins to be a little shriveled and sad- warm up the pineapple juice and let them soak in it until they plump up a bit. If you’ve already tossed the juice- warm water or other juice works fine too. It just needs to be warm- not boiling. You’ll love the plump, juicy tidbits in your salad!
Mayo- I get asked a lot about lightening this recipe for a healthy Carrot Salad. One of the most common ingredients people look to change is the mayo. Greek yogurt is the best alternative. I’d recommend using plain yogurt and adjusting the amount of sugar to your desired level of sweetness. Flavored yogurt will mask the great taste combinations of the dish.
Carrot Salad Recipe
Every time I have this salad, it instantly takes me back to Grandma’s kitchen. It wraps me in warm nostalgia and makes my taste buds happy too! I can’t wait to hear all about your experiences with this Carrot Salad Recipe!
- 2/3 cup mayonnaise
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 tablespoon sugar
- 4 cups grated carrots
- 1 (20-ounce) can crushed pineapple, well drained
- 1 cup raisins
- 1 cup pecans, coarsley chopped
- In a small bowl add mayonnaise, lemon juice, salt and sugar and whisk until well combined.
- In a medium bowl add carrots, pineapple, raisins, and pecans. Pour mayonnaise mixture over carrots and toss until well combined.
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