Shredded carrots, raisins and pineapple are tossed together with a sweet and tangy dressing. This easy carrot salad is a refreshing side dish perfect for encouraging picky eaters to eat their veggies.
Instead of being dressed with a heavy mayonnaise based dressing, this Carrot Raisin Salad has been given a healthier make-over. It is made without mayo or refined sugar. It is a simple side dish that is not only healthy, it holds up really well to being served at pot-lucks or packed in lunches. It is also a classic recipe to serve at Easter in addition to Instant Pot Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, and Green Beans Almondine.
Carrot and raisin salad is a southern dish that has been around for decades, but is was never introduced to me until I saw it on the menu at Chic-Fil-A.
The classic recipe features carrots and raisins tossed in a sweetened mayonnaise dressing. While delicious, the creamy mayonnaise based dressing is high in sugars and fat. But with a few swaps, this salad gets a healthy make over that is actually much more delicious than the original!
In place of mayo, I use a sweet and tangy light dressing that is made with honey, pineapple juice, and rice wine vinegar. It adds brightness and a bit of tang to the naturally sweet carrots, raisins and pineapple.
This carrot salad is balanced in flavor, full of nutrients, and super easy to make! It happens to be one of the easiest ways to entice my kids to eat their veggies too!
- Carrots: Shredded carrots are the base of this salad. You can purchase pre-shedded carrots, but it is more cost effective to shred yourself on a box grater or in a food processor--plus the texture is a bit better.
- Raisins: Feel free to use traditional or golden raisins for this recipe.
- Pineapple: Be sure to use pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice. The tidbits are the perfect bite size for this salad and you need the juice to plump up the raisins and for the dressing. This recipe only calls for 8 ounces of pineapple tidbits. If you can only find a 16 ounce can of pineapple tidbits, use the extra to make Pineapple Rice or Pina Coladas.
- Honey: You need just a tiny bit of honey to sweeten this salad. While carrots and honey are a natural match, maple syrup works well in place of the honey. By using maple syrup this carrot salad would be vegan and paleo friendly.
- Rice Wine Vinegar: The mild vinegar helps to balance out the sweetness of this salad. If you don't have rice wine vinegar, mirin or white wine vinegar would work in it's place.
How to Make Carrot Raisin Salad
This salad comes together almost effortlessly. The only step that takes any amount of time is soaking the raisins in hot water for 5-10 minutes. This lets the raisins plump up and really add a juicy burst of flavor to this salad. If you are short on time, skip this step and add the raisins directly to the salad. But I find that by the time I peel and shred my carrots and whisk together my dressing, the raisins are good to go--and the soaking really adds a lot to this dish.
- Place raisins in small bowl and cover with hot water. Set aside to soak for 5 to 10 minutes.
- While carrots are soaking, peel and shred carrots.
- Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving 2 tablespoons of the juice.
- Whisk together the honey, rice wine vinegar, reserved pineapple juice and pinch of salt together.
- Drain the raisins.
- Mix together the carrots, raisins, pineapple and dressing together.
- Refrigerate for 1 hour for flavors to marry together.
More Carrot Recipes
- Orange Glazed Carrots
- Baked Carrot Cake Oatmeal
- Healthy Carrot Cake Muffins
- Instant Pot Carrot Cake Cheesecake
This simple carrot salad with pineapple is one of my kids' favorite ways to eat their carrots! I hope you give it a try and that your family enjoys this healthy vegetable side dish just as much as mine!
Carrot and Raisin Salad
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup hot water
- 1 (8 ounce) can of pineapple tidbits in 100% juice juice reserved
- 1 teaspoon rice wine vinegar
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 4 cups shredded carrots about 4 large carrots
- Pour the hot water over the raisins and let the raisins sit in the hot water to plump up for 5 to 10 minutes. Once raisins have plumped up, drain off water.
- Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving 2 tablespoons for dressing.
- Mix together the rice wine vinegar, maple syrup, salt and 2 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice.
- Toss together carrots, pineapple tidbits, plumped raisins, and dressing together.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
- In place of honey, use maple syrup to keep this salad vegan and paleo friendly.
- Carrot salad can be served immediately, but is best after 1 hour of refrigeration time to allow the flavors to develop.
- Carrot salad will last for 4-5 days refrigerated.
- Feel free to use golden raisins in place of traditional raisins.
- Be sure to use pineapple tidbits in 100% pineapple juice.