Effortlessly prepared in just 10 minutes, this recipe for Carrot Raisin Salad combines freshly grated carrots with plump raisins and sweet and juicy pineapple tidbits. It’s an easy, no-cooking required, side dish that pairs perfectly with any main course.
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Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe
This easy recipe for carrot raisin salad adds a new delicious twist to other recipes that you may have tried. It starts with the classic combination of freshly grated carrots and raisins. For added sweetness and juiciness, sweet pineapple tidbits are mixed in. But the real beauty of this dish lies in the homemade dressing. The carrot mixture is tossed in a creamy mayo, tangy sour cream, and just a little sugar making every bite simply irresistible.
What makes this carrot salad stand out from the kind you’ve seen served on buffets is the freshness of the carrots and the perfect balance of the other dressing ingredients. While other recipes might fall short with texture, taking the extra few minutes to shred your carrots really pays off. This delicious carrot raisin salad is slightly crunchy, chewy, and creamy all at the same time. Whether it’s for a backyard BBQ, potluck, or weeknight dinner, this carrot salad will be a popular side dish with everyone.
Why We Love This Recipe
- Great flavor – Carrots, raisins, and pineapple tossed in the creamy, sweet, and tangy salad dressing gives this salad an incredible flavor combination.
- Make ahead – The flavors in the salad get even better as it sits, which makes this the perfect make-ahead side dish.
- Quick and easy – This is a simple salad that’s made with basic ingredients from the grocery store. No baking is required. Just mix, chill and it’s ready for the dinner table.
- Box grater or food processor
- Vegetable peeler
- Measuring cups/spoons
- Mixing bowl
- Plastic wrap
Carrot Raisin Salad Ingredients
- Mayonnaise – this is the base for the dressing and what makes it nice and creamy.
- Sour cream – adds some tanginess to help balance out the other sweet ingredients. You can also use Greek yogurt.
- Granulated sugar – you can use as little or as much as you like, depending on how sweet you want it.
- Raisins – we used regular raisins, but you can use golden raisins if you prefer.
- Raw carrots – peeled with a vegetable peeler and grated with a cheese grater or a food processor with a shredding disk.
- Pineapple tidbits – drained
- Salt – enhances the overall flavor of the salad.
See the recipe card below for a full list of ingredients and instructions.
How to Make Carrot Raisin Salad
Step One: Make the Dressing
- In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, granulated sugar, and a pinch of salt.
Step Two: Add the Carrots and Fruit
- Add in the chewy raisins, crunchy carrots, and pineapple. Toss until everything is coated in the dressing.
Step Three: Chill
- Cover the carrot salad with plastic wrap and place it in the fridge for at least 30 minutes up to a couple hours.
Step Four: Stir and Serve
- Give it another stir before serving. Enjoy!
Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe Variations and Substitutions
- Carrots – You can add interesting and fun colors to this salad by using rainbow carrots instead of regular carrots.
- Sweeteners – We used regular sugar, but you could use a little honey, brown sugar or maple syrup instead. You can also use your favorite sugar-free substitute if you prefer.
- Tangy dressing – If you prefer a tangier dressing you can add a little Dijon mustard or a teaspoon of apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar.
- Raisins – Not a fan of raisins, no worries. You can use dried fruits like dried cranberries, chopped dates, or apricots.
- Citrus juices – You can add a splash of fresh orange juice or fresh lemon juice. You can also add some fresh orange or lemon zest for a fresh pop of citrus flavor.
What is Carrot and Raisin Salad?
Carrot and Raisin Salad is a wonderful side dish that is typically made with shredded carrots, raisins, mayo, and sugar. It’s served cold and makes a great addition to most any meal. While there are a lot of recipes out there, this one adds pineapple and is tossed in a sweet and tangy homemade dressing.
How to Store Leftover Carrot Raisin Salad
Store leftovers in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days. Because of the mayo and sour cream, this salad does not freeze well.
Can I Make This Recipe for Carrot Raisin Salad in Advance?
You can make this salad several hours up to 2-3 days before serving it. Keep in mind that the longer it sits, the carrots will continue to soak up the dressing, causing them to lose some of their crunchy texture.
What to serve with Raisin Carrot Salad
This side salad makes the perfect addition to many main courses. Serve it with any of your favorite grilled chicken or fish recipes. You can also use it as a topping like you do coleslaw for sandwiches and wraps. If you’re feeding a crowd, it’s an easy side dish to serve with this Glazed Ham, Stuffed Pork Tenderloin, or this Slow Cooker Turkey Breast.
Carrot and Raisin Salad Recipe Tips
- For the best texture, look for fresh carrots. Look for ones that do not have blemishes and have a bright orange color. They should feel firm because if they are wilted, they may have a rubbery texture.
- For best results avoid using store-bought pre-shredded carrots. Buy whole carrots and use a box grater or food processor to shred them. Freshly grated carrots will soak up the dressing better than store-bought carrot matchsticks.
- Using the right mayo makes all the difference. I like to use Helman’s because it’s not too sweet. If you use Miracle Whip, you may want to cut back on the amount of sugar you add.
- Though you only have to let it sit for 30 minutes, if you allow it to chill for a couple hours, the flavors are even better.
- I recommend only using pineapple tidbits or fresh-cut pineapple. Crushed pineapple has too much pineapple juice and can make the carrot mixture runny. If you can’t find the tidbit, just cut pineapple chunks into smaller pieces.
- To get 4 cups of shredded carrots, you will need to plan on having about 1 pound of whole carrots or about 5 to 6 large carrots.
More Delicious Salads
Carrot Raisin Salad
- ¼ cup mayonnaise
- ¼ cup sour cream
- 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
- ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- ½ cup raisins
- 4 cups freshly grated carrots
- 8 ounces pineapple tidbits one small can, drained
- In a large bowl, whisk together mayonnaise, sour cream, granulated sugar, and salt.¼ cup mayonnaise, ¼ cup sour cream, 1 tablespoon granulated sugar, ¼ teaspoon Kosher salt
- Add in the raisins, carrots, and pineapple. Toss well.½ cup raisins, 4 cups freshly grated carrots, 8 ounces pineapple tidbits
- Cover with plastic wrap, and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.
- Give it another toss before serving. Enjoy!
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