This Raw Carrot Salad with Honey Lime Vinaigrette will transform the humble carrot into your favorite side dish. Made from paper-thin but still crunchy slices of carrots coated in a light dressing, this side salad works with grilled favorites or with a light lunch.
Even better, you can explore a world of taste possibilities by changing the dressing. Drop the oil to make make a quick pickle, or swap the honey lime vinaigrette completely for a creamy lemon herb tahini or a pesto dressing. The options are only limited by your imagination.
Carrots are of course the main ingredient. Use classic orange or switch it up with a bunch of rainbow carrots. Pick bigger carrots to make it easier to slice them into long, thin ribbons, but avoid huge carrots that may be woody.
Please see the recipe card below for complete information on ingredients and quantities.
Variations and substitutions
- Skip the oil to make vibrant, pickled carrot strips.
- Add a crushed garlic clove, some dried thyme, or mustard to the dressing.
- Top with sesame seeds or toasted nuts or pepita.
- Add cabbage to the carrots to make a cabbage and carrot salad or top with dried cherry tomatoes or raisins for a carrot and raisin salad.
- Use a different salad dressing. Try this maple dijon dressing or go creamy with lemon herb tahini, a sumac sauce, or creamy pesto dressing.
Kitchen tools: mandoline
If you have one, this is a great time to take out your mandoline so you can get your carrot slices uniformly thin. Mandolines often come with attachments to make it easy to create matchsticks or thin strands of vegetables. My favorite way to use mine is to make dehydrated apple rings.
Of course, you probably know that a mandoline is also one of the biggest hazards in the kitchen. So please be careful and use the safety guard or wear protective gloves when using a mandoline!
Recipe tips and tricks
The only hard part of this recipe is getting uniform slices with the thickness you like best. Thin slices will be easiest to twirl but may have no crunch. Thicker slices will have crunch but may not be bendy.
Step 1: Aim to slice your carrots 1 to 2 millimeters thick, if you can. Then put all of the sliced carrots in a bowl.
Step 2: Put your olive oil and lime zest into a small bowl. Then combine the lime juice, vinegar, honey, salt and pepper in a small pot over low heat until the honey has dissolved. Whisk into the olive oil and lime zest.
Step 3: Pour the honey lime vinaigrette and toss to combine. If possible, let the carrot salad sit at room temperature for an hour before serving.
What to serve with this dish
This carrot salad is an easy side dish that can accompany most any meal. But here are some of my favorite ways to enjoy it:
- with pan-roasted chicken breasts or simply grilled meats or fish.
- with a vegetarian dish like this shakshuka with fresh tomatoes or one pot pasta with ricotta and lemon.
- in a grain bowl or salad bowl like this rainbow poke bowl, topped with black sesame seeds.
- alongside a Mediterranean-inspired meal, like this Mediterranean lamb bowl or falafel waffles. Carrots add crunch in a pita pocket stuffed with lamb meatballs, feta, and hummus.
- as a side to barbecue pulled chicken or these BBQ chicken meatballs along with corn, purple cabbage coleslaw, and potato salad.
Yes, it’s actually best after the raw carrots have marinated for an hour with the warm dressing. If you are planning to serve the carrot salad after this, please store it the refrigerator for up to three days.
It depends on how strict you want to be. Raw food advocates generally recommend not heating food above about 120 degrees Fahrenheit, because high temperatures reduce nutrient content and alter food’s natural state. Warming the dressing to dissolve the honey is therefore consistent with these principles.
It seems that there were folks on TikTok claiming various unproven medical benefits beyond just being a healthy salad. My PubMed search on the topic came up with the null set, i.e. zero evidence. So please wash your carrots well, and enjoy this recipe!
Love this recipe? Please leave a 5-heart 💜💜💜💜💜 rating in the recipe card below. Let me know how much you loved it, or any problems you had, in the comments section further down.
Raw Carrot Salad
- 1 Mandoline or Y-shaped vegetable peeler
- 1 pound carrots about 8 medium carrots
Honey Lime Vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 lime 1 teaspoon of zest + 1 tablespoon of juice
- 1 tablespoon white wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon honey
- ½ teaspoon salt plus more or less to taste
- ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper plus more or less to taste
- Trim, wash, and peel the carrots. Use a mandoline (carefully!) or a Y-shaped vegetable peeler to peel the carrots into long slices about 1 to 2 millimeters in thickness. Put the carrot slices into a bowl.1 pound carrots
- Zest about one teaspoon of the lime, and put the zest with the olive oil in a small bowl or glass jar.2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 1 lime
- Add one tablespoon of lime juice with the white wine vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper in a small pot. Heat over low heat until the honey has dissolved completely.1 tablespoon white wine vinegar, 1 teaspoon honey, ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon ground black pepper, 1 lime
- Add the liquid from the pot to the olive oil and whisk to combine. Pour over the carrots and toss to coat the carrots completely.
- If possible, let the carrot salad sit at room temperature for an hour prior to serving. Or make ahead and refrigerate for three to five days.
This raw carrot salad recipe was first posted May 21, 2023.
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