This dairy-free Carrot Raisin Salad is made with shredded carrots, raisins, pineapple, and a sweet and tangy dressing. It is a simple, wholesome, refreshing side dish that gets everyone excited about eating their veggies.
Instead of a classically heavy mayonnaise-based carrot raisin salad, this salad has been given a healthy make-over. It is a simple side dish that holds up well to being served at pot-lucks, packed in lunches, or served for Easter Dinner alongside Instant Pot Ham, Scalloped Potatoes, and Green Beans Almondine.
What is Carrot Raisin Salad?
Carrot and raisin salad is a southern dish that is made with carrots and raisins tossed in a sweetened mayonnaise dressing.
This carrot salad is balanced in flavor, full of nutrients, and super easy to make.
In place of a heavy mayonnaise-based dressing, this recipe for Carrot Raisin Salad is dressed with a sweet and tangy light dressing. Instead of refined sugars, the dressing is naturally sweetened with honey and pineapple juice. Balanced with rice wine vinegar, the dressing is fresh, light, and enhances the naturally sweet carrots and raisins.
- Carrots: Shredded carrots are the base of this salad. You can purchase pre-shredded 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.
- 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.
- 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
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 a 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.
Yes. Simply replace the honey with maple syrup.
Carrot salad will last in an airtight container for 4-5 days in the refrigerator.
I would not recommend using apple cider vinegar, instead I would opt for using white wine vinegar or mirin, as the flavor will not overwhelm the delicate salad.
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 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 the water.
- Drain pineapple tidbits, reserving 2 tablespoons for the dressing.
- Mix together the rice wine vinegar, honey, salt, and 2 tablespoons of reserved pineapple juice. for the dressing.
- Toss together carrots, pineapple tidbits, plumped raisins, and dressing together.
- Refrigerate for at least one hour before serving.