Carrot Raisin Salad is a simple, refreshing salad that gets everyone excited to eat their veggies! Instead of a classically heavy mayonnaise-based carrot salad, this salad has been given a healthy make-over and features shredded carrots, raisins, pineapple tossed in a sweet and tangy dressing.
Carrot Raisin Salad is a southern dish that is classically made with carrots and raisins tossed in a sweetened mayonnaise dressing, and it happens to be a very popular side dish at Chic-Fil-A.
I gave this popular recipe a healthy makeover by swapping out the mayonnaise dressing made with refined sugars for a light and fresh pineapple dressing.
The result?! A fresh, wholesome carrot salad with plump, juicy, sweet raisins, in a refreshing, naturally sweetened dressing.
But not only is this carrot salad better for you, but most kids also prefer it over the mayonnaise-heavy classic recipe. And just like you, I love it when my kids get excited to eat their veggies!
Notes on Ingredients Needed
- Carrots: It is best to grate fresh, whole carrots yourself, rather than purchasing pre-shredded carrots. Not only is it more cost-effective to shred whole carrots using a box grater or food processor, but the pre-shredded carrots are much thicker and don't absorb the dressing as well as freshly grated carrots.
- Raisins: Traditional brown raisins are classic in a carrot salad, but feel free to use golden raisins if that is what you have on hand.
- 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.
- 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, if that is what you have on hand or you need this recipe to be vegan-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 its place.
How to Make Carrot Raisin Salad
- Place the raisins in small bowl and cover with hot water.
- Allow the raisins to soak while you shred the carrot and prepare the dressing. 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.
- While carrots are soaking, peel and shred carrots.
- Drain the pineapple tidbits, reserving 2 tablespoons of the juice.
- In a large mixing bowl, whisk together the honey, rice wine vinegar, reserved pineapple juice, and a pinch of salt together.
- Drain the raisins.
- Add the carrots, pineapple tidbits, and drained raisins the the dressing, and toss well to coat.
- Cover and refrigerate for one hour. This will allow the flavors to marry together and the carrots to soften slightly.
Carrot Salad with Raisins is one of my favorite quick side dishes to make for my kids. It pairs well with Homemade Chicken Tenders or Homemade Hot Pockets for an easy, family-friendly dinner. And it also packs well in lunches alongside Turkey Wraps or English Muffin Pizzas.
More Kid-Friendly Vegetable Recipes
If you give this Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe a try, please be sure to leave a comment and review below.
Carrot Raisin Salad
- ½ cup raisins
- ½ cup hot water
- 8 ounce can 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
- Place the raisins in a small mixing bowl and cover with hot water. Let the raisins sit in the hot water to plump up for 5 to 10 minutes. Once raisins have plumped up, drain off the water.
- Drain the pineapple tidbits, reserving 2 tablespoons for the dressing.
- In a large mixing bowl, mix together the rice wine vinegar, honey, salt, and 2 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice. for the dressing. Add the carrots, pineapple tidbits, and plumped raisins to the dressing and toss well to combine.
- Cover and refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.
This recipe was originally published in 2018 but has been updated in 2022 with a few new tips.