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Grated carrots, pineapple, and raisins come together with a creamy dressing in this sweet and savory carrot salad that’s ready in about 15 minutes! The simple and easy side dish recipe is a perfect addition to just about any meal, picnic, or potluck. Serve it alongside grilled chicken, bbq pork chops, an Easter ham, a cozy casserole, or your favorite hamburgers!

Close overhead shot of the best carrot salad recipe in a blue and white bowl
Table of Contents
  1. Carrot Raisin Salad
  2. Ingredients
  3. How to Make Carrot Salad
  4. What to Serve with Carrot and Raisin Salad
  5. Preparation and Storage
  6. Recipe Variations
  7. Tips for the Best Carrot Salad Recipe
  8. Carrot Salad Recipe

If you’re looking for more recipes with carrots, try this carrot bread, an easy one-bowl carrot cake, and these brown sugar glazed carrots, too!

Carrot Raisin Salad

Old fashioned carrot salad has been a popular item on salad bars for decades — and for good reason! With grated carrots, canned pineapple tidbits, and soft raisins in a creamy dressing, it’s basically like a carrot-based version of coleslaw.

Shredding carrot on a box grater

This flavorful side dish only requires a few minutes to prepare, can be assembled in advance, and appeals to just about any guest. Add color, crunchy texture, and a sweet touch to your next lunch or dinner table with this classic favorite! The fresh, crisp taste pairs nicely with cookout foods like burgers and hotdogs, it works well on a meat-and-three platter with barbecue, smoked meat, fried chicken, and other sides, and it’s a refreshing balance to heartier dishes like casseroles and meatloaf.

Whisking mayonnaise and sour cream dressing in a small green bowl

Ingredients

This is just a quick overview of the ingredients that you’ll need for our favorite carrot and raisin salad. As always, specific measurements and step-by-step instructions are included in the printable recipe box at the bottom of the post.

  • Carrots: peeled and grated.
  • Lemon juice: a bright acidic component that also prevents the carrots from browning.
  • Sour cream and mayonnaise: the creamy base for the dressing. You can substitute plain Greek yogurt for the sour cream, if you like.
  • Sugar: just enough to sweeten the dressing.
  • Salt: to balance the sweetness and enhance the other flavors in the salad.
  • Pineapple tidbits: make sure they’re well drained and patted dry so that they don’t water-down the dressing.
  • Raisins: I like golden raisins in this dish, but you can use any raisins that you prefer.
Adding raisins and pineapple to a large bowl

How to Make Carrot Salad

There’s very little prep work necessary for this easy, no-cook side dish. It’s such a treat!

  1. Toss the shredded carrots with the lemon juice in a large bowl.
  2. Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until smooth.
  3. Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss to coat.
  4. Fold in the drained pineapple and the raisins.
  5. Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary.
  6. Cover and refrigerate or serve immediately!
Handmade ceramic bowl full of carrot raisin salad on a green table

What to Serve with Carrot and Raisin Salad

From a holiday table to a weeknight dinner, this versatile side dish goes well with just about any of your favorite entrées. Here are a few ideas to get you started:

Hands serving carrot raisin salad from a blue and white bowl

Preparation and Storage

You can prepare this salad a few hours in advance, and then keep it covered in the fridge until ready to serve. It’s best when enjoyed on the same day that it’s made, since it tends to get watery the longer it sits.

Leftovers will keep in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to 3 days, but again — it gets watery the longer it rests. I do not recommend freezing the salad.

Recipe Variations

  • Double all of the ingredients to prepare a larger batch of salad.
  • Lime juice works as an equal substitute for the lemon juice.
  • Swap out the sour cream and use plain full-fat Greek yogurt instead.
  • Use regular black raisins instead of golden raisins. Dried cranberries would also be great.
  • Swap out the sugar and sweeten the dressing with honey instead.
Overhead shot of hands eating a bowl of carrot raisin pineapple salad with a fork

Tips for the Best Carrot Salad Recipe

  • I use a box grater to shred the carrots by hand, but you can also use a food processor to make the job even faster. This is especially helpful if you’re making a larger batch of the salad.
  • Use full-fat sour cream and mayo for the best flavor and texture. Lower-fat alternatives may yield a thinner, watery dressing.
  • For crunchy texture, try adding roasted sunflower seeds, or a nut like pistachios, chopped pecans, or slivered almonds just before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh herbs like parsley or thyme for a fresh pop of color.
  • This salad is best enjoyed on the same day that it’s prepared, as it tends to get watery the longer it sits.
Overhead shot of hands holding a bowl of carrot salad

More Salad Recipes to Try

Close overhead shot of the best carrot salad recipe in a blue and white bowl

Carrot Salad

Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Chilling Time 1 hour
Total: 1 hour 15 minutes
Servings 4 – 6
Calories 188 kcal
Grated carrots, pineapple, and raisins come together in a sweet and savory Carrot Salad that's ready in about 15 minutes!

Ingredients
  

  • 1 lb. carrots, peeled and grated (about 3 cups)
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup sour cream
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons sugar
  • ¼ teaspoon salt
  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, well drained and patted dry
  • ½ cup golden raisins (or sub with regular raisins)

Instructions

  • Place grated carrots in a large bowl. Add lemon juice and toss to coat.
  • In a small bowl, whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and salt.
  • Pour the dressing over the carrots and stir to combine. Fold in the drained pineapple and raisins. Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary.
  • Cover and refrigerate for a few hours before serving, or serve immediately. This is best enjoyed on the same day that it’s prepared, since it will get watery as it sits.

Notes

  • Double all of the ingredients to prepare a larger batch of salad.
  • Lime juice works as an equal substitute for the lemon juice.
  • Swap out the sour cream and use plain full-fat Greek yogurt instead.
  • Use regular black raisins instead of golden raisins. Dried cranberries would also be great.
  • Swap out the sugar and sweeten the dressing with honey instead.
  • I use a box grater to shred the carrots by hand, but you can also use a food processor to make the job even faster. This is especially helpful if you’re making a larger batch of the salad.
  • Use full-fat sour cream and mayo for the best flavor and texture. Lower-fat alternatives may yield a thinner, watery dressing.
  • For crunchy texture, try adding roasted sunflower seeds, or a nut like pistachios, chopped pecans, or slivered almonds just before serving.
  • Garnish with chopped fresh herbs like parsley or thyme for a fresh pop of color.
  • This salad is best enjoyed on the same day that it’s prepared, as it tends to get watery the longer it sits.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 of the saladCalories: 188kcalCarbohydrates: 27gProtein: 2gFat: 9gSaturated Fat: 2gPolyunsaturated Fat: 4gMonounsaturated Fat: 2gTrans Fat: 1gCholesterol: 9mgSodium: 218mgPotassium: 397mgFiber: 3gSugar: 21gVitamin A: 12714IUVitamin C: 9mgCalcium: 49mgIron: 1mg
Keyword: carrot raisin salad, carrot salad, carrot salad recipe
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American
Author: Blair Lonergan

This recipe was originally published in June, 2019. It was updated in April, 2022.

blair

Hey, I’m Blair!

Welcome to my farmhouse kitchen in the foothills of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains. Inspired by local traditions and seasonal fare, you’ll find plenty of easy, comforting recipes that bring your family together around the table. It’s down-home, country-style cooking!

Read More

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Comments

  1. Marion McClung says:

    I’ve never seen pineapple tidbits for sale. I suppose I could cut up pineapple chunks or slices and get the same results, couldn’t I? I find it just impossible to absolutely drain crushed pineapple!

    1. The Seasoned Mom says:

      Yes, that should work, Marion. Pineapple tidbits are typically in the canned fruit section.