This Bright Carrot Salad Is Just the Dish for a Spring Potluck


It's high time that carrot salad had its moment to shine at the potluck. Often overlooked for the classic  like and , this carrot salad is packed with color, bold flavor, and texture. Take that, ! (Just kidding, pasta salad… we have room in our hearts for all .) It's everything you want in a side: crispy, crunchy, zingy, and sweet, making it the perfect fresh-tasting salad for spring and summer. Whether you're firing up the grill for a summer cookout or planning the perfect , put this carrot salad on the menu. After all, it goes with everything!

Who first came up with carrot salad?

Carrot salad as you may know it has many points of origin beyond the potluck table or cafeteria line where you likely first found it.


Korea has a spicy pickled version; North African and Middle Eastern versions often include lots of lemon juice, cumin, and parsley. This version marries classic American Southern-style carrot salad (carrots, raisins, apple, and mayo) with French versions that get a nice fresh boost from an herby, mustard-laced vinaigrette.

What's in carrot salad?

The base of this recipe is a few bags of store-bought matchstick carrots, but tasty additions like red apple, toasted pecans, and raisins are stirred in for sweetness and crunch. The whole mixture is tossed in a zippy dressing filled with coarse grain dijon mustard, mayo, a little apple cider vinegar, and some honey, and it's ready to serve.


Can you shred whole carrots for carrot salad?

You can absolutely shred your own carrots, even though this recipe gives you a break by calling for store-bought matchstick carrots. You'll need to grate about six to eight medium-sized carrots, on the large holes of your box grater to get the correct amount for this recipe.

Can you leave the pecans out of carrot salad?

Sure! If you're not a fan, you can skip the pecans, though they do add delicious nutty crunch to this salad. Instead, try an equal amount of roasted walnuts or pistachios in this recipe, if you'd like that.

What can I use instead of raisins in carrot salad?


If you find you're fresh out of raisins when it comes time to make this carrot salad, dried cranberries are a delicious swap. The cranberries will add a sweetness and tang similar to raisins.

Can you make carrot salad ahead of time?

Yes! The apple cider vinegar in the keeps the apples from turning brown, so you can make this a day ahead. You can eat it cold, but carrot salad tastes best if you let it get a little closer to room temperature before digging in.

What do you serve with carrot salad?

Carrot salad is the ultimate old-school potluck and luncheon dish, so it only makes since to serve it alongside other staples.


Pair it with other spring salads like classic , , and to build a pretty salad plate. Or eat it alongside or . It's also a fresh and crunchy addition to an . 

3 tbsp.


3 tbsp.

coarse grain dijon mustard

3 tbsp.

apple cider vinegar

3 tbsp.


1 tsp.


1/2 tsp.

ground black pepper


(10-oz.) bags matchstick carrots


red apple, cut into matchsticks

1/2 c.

chopped toasted pecans

1/2 c.


2 tbsp.

fresh parsley, chopped

Step  1 In a medium bowl, stir together the mayonnaise, mustard, vinegar, honey, salt, and pepper for the dressing until smooth. Step  2 Add the carrots, apple, pecans, raisins, and parsley to the dressing mixture; toss together to coat. Serve immediately, or refrigerate for up to 1 day.


news flash