Savory Carrot Salad

Along with the roasted chicken and gravy, a savory carrot salad is another important part to our favorite dinner.

My mother used to get us to eat carrots by making a carrot salad laden with raisins, pineapple, and a sweet dressing. It worked, and we did eat it. But it wasn’t exactly the type of dish that we were all crazy about or wanted week after week.

So when I was older I pretty much avoided the whole carrot salad scene. That is…until I happened to try a savory carrot salad. We are pretty much addicts now. Seriously, we often have this once a week or more. I thought that maybe Joel and I had unusual tastes and that’s why we liked savory carrot salads so much. But once I introduced this salad to friends, it seemed like they enjoyed it just as much as us.

I realize that it makes perfect sense. Carrots are sweet by themselves. Instead of overloading your senses with sweetness by adding in more sweet ingredients, they taste great when balanced with tart/savory/salty ingredients.

This salad is basically shredded carrots tossed with a savory vinaigrette. How easy is that? I have varied this recipe a lot by changing the vinegar and the herbs. It’s open to a lot of variation. But this is still probably our favorite way to make it. It also happens to be a frugal side dish, considering how cheap I can get organic carrots! Another score for this salad!

Savory Carrot Salad

4 Carrots, shredded (I have done this by hand, but a food processor sure saves time!)
2 Tablespoons of Balsamic Vinegar
2 Tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons of Dijon Mustard
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 teaspoon of dried basil
A dash or two of salt and pepper

Put shredded carrots in a bowl, mix the rest of the ingredients in a small bowl and pour over carrots. Gently toss. Taste and adjust with salt, pepper and extra vinegar and oil, if needed.

You can serve right away, or chill before serving. Beware that the carrots will start losing their crispness if you let it sit to long in the vinaigrette.

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I love beautiful and simple food that is nourishing to the body and the soul. I wrote Fresh: Nourishing Salads for All Seasons and Ladled: Nourishing Soups for All Seasons as another outlet of sharing this love of mine. I also love sharing practical tips on how to make a real food diet work on a real life budget. Find me online elsewhere by clicking on the icons below!


  1. Sarah says

    I just made this for dinner. I served it with roasted chicken, rice & roasted butternut squash. It turned out so yummy. My 2 yo announced that the carrot salad is her favorite. She had 5 scoops. She has never said anything was her favorite. She’s a pretty picky eater so that’s saying something. She’s one who would rather go to bed hungry then eat something she doesn’t like. Thanks for the wonderful recipe!

  2. Alison @ pennythoughts says

    I made this tonight, and it’s absolutely fantastic! Thank you so much for posting this recipe. I used whole grain mustard (out of dijon), apple cider vinegar instead of balsamic, and 1 T fresh basil. Awesome! I posted about it tonight on my blog. Thanks again. 🙂

  3. carrie says

    thanks for posting a wonderful ‘salad’. i was in the search for a carrot salad that wasn’t that garbage ‘carrot raisin salad, with the goopy mayonaise. yuk. this is more like a true usage of carrots and more in line with a morrocan salad.

  4. Rob says

    A favorite in our family came from my grandmother, who was a notoriously bad cook. We grate carrots finely, slice some green onions, green and white parts top to bottom (green & white) about 1/8 – 1/4″, and mix with mayonaisse, salt and pepper to taste.

    It needs to be served immediately because it gets weepy from the carrot juice. Also, too much mayo can make it mushy.

    There is nothing better in this whole world! I’ve never seen this posted on the internet but it is wonderful, especially on a hot summer evening.

  5. Ginger says

    Just what I was looking for. A carrot salad without the raisins, pineapple, marshmallows and all the other junk that is included in “carrot salad” Finally a recipe that allows the sweetness of the carrot to carry the salad. Perfect for Easter dinner. I used white balsamic for just a little lighter flavor.

  6. says

    I am going to try making this, but instead of just carrots I’m going to try grating sweet potatoes and butternut squash as well as I’m trying to get these foods in my diet to fight parasites. Thank you!

  7. says

    I’ve got a barbecue to go to this Thursday and wondering what to do with the 50 pound bag of baby carrots in my fridge. I’m with you, salads carrots and raisins is a foul combination. This recipe looks delicious. Now I have to figure out a way to grate those baby carrots. ..

  8. says

    This is utterly delicious! We also used fresh basil, since we had a bunch to use up. We had this with rice, pan-fried zucchni and yellow squash (it’s that time of year), and Boca Chick’n patty sandwiches.

  9. Angie says

    This is now one of my favorite go-to salads when I need something quick and cheap. I LOVE the blend of flavors in this salad, and so does my hubby (who was formerly a fan of the “sweet” version.) I wasn’t sure if he’d like this recipe, but he’s a convert! Great for church potlucks, as you can make a large amount for very little money (and very little effort, too, if you use your food processor to grate the carrots!)

  10. Pookah says

    I made this for dinner tonight and I love it. I did not have dijon mustard, so I used one spoonful of the ghastly yellow stuff. And I used dried Herbes de Province mixture as I had no basil. After the herbs had been in the oil and vinegar for a while, the lavender in the mix asserted itself, adding a wonderful flavor. I am going to get basil this weekend and make it your way. I love it. Thank you so much for publishing this light and interesting recipe.

  11. Dina says

    Thank you for sharing. I used wholegrain mustard and a bit more garlic in mine (those two are some of my favorite ingredients period) and my taste buds receptors are going nuts right now 😉

  12. Erin says

    Oh wow, this is so delicious. I thought I made too much, but that won’t be a problem — I can’t stop eating it! Mine has been in the fridge for two days and it didn’t get soggy at all. LOVE this. Thanks so much.

  13. MaryE says

    Just had this today! My sweet daughter-in-law gave me some and I couldn’t stop eating it! It will be a regular in my house from now on.

    Thank you Kimi!

  14. Penny O says

    I made this for the second time tonight. Itis simple and delicious!! I didn’t have balsamic so I used some ume plum vinegar…fantastic!!! A favorite! Thank you!!!

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