This simple carrot salad recipe comes together in just 15 minutes! Tossed in a lightly sweet, cumin-spiced dressing, it's bright, aromatic, and refreshing.
This carrot salad recipe is one of my new favorites. I love it because it’s so simple (really, you can make it in 15 minutes or less), so vibrant, and so delicious. Crisp carrot matchsticks mingle with nutty pistachios, fresh cilantro, and mint. Medjool dates add sweetness, and a cumin-spiced dressing ties it all together.
This carrot salad recipe would be a stunning side dish for a special occasion brunch or dinner, and it packs up nicely for lunch or a picnic too. Most often, though, I eat it at the counter, scooping forkful after forkful straight from the bowl. It’s light, bright, aromatic, and refreshing. You all know I’m obsessed with veggies, but even I can’t believe that a simple carrot salad can taste this good.
Carrot Salad Recipe Ingredients
You only need 10 ingredients to make this carrot salad recipe:
- Carrots, of course! Use the best ones you can find. Bonus points if they’re multicolored!
- Medjool dates – I love their sweet flavor with the aromatic dressing and earthy carrots.
- Pistachios – For crunch! I recommend toasting them to bring out their nutty flavor. Add them to a small dry skillet over low heat and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re fragrant, about 1 minute.
- Fresh cilantro and mint – If you make this salad ahead of time, wait to add the herbs until the last minute. That way, they’ll stay nice and fresh, and they won’t wilt before you eat.
- The dressing – This easy homemade vinaigrette comes together in no time! Just whisk together olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, honey, garlic, cumin, and salt in a small bowl, and season to taste.
Find the complete recipe with measurements below.
Traditional French and American carrot salad recipes call for shredded carrots, but I like to julienne mine instead. Julienned carrots have a crisper, more delicate texture than grated ones, which makes this salad fun to eat. They also look gorgeous here.
I recommend julienning carrots in one of two ways: with a julienne peeler or with a knife. I have step-by-step instructions in this post. Whatever you do, don’t use a bag of pre-cut carrots from the store. This salad shines when you make it with really sweet, crunchy carrots. Bagged ones just won’t be as good.
Carrot Salad Serving Suggestions
This carrot salad recipe is incredibly versatile, so it’s a great one to have in your back pocket. As-written, it’s a stellar side dish for a dinner or brunch. For dinner, pair it with brothy white beans, veggie burgers or black bean burgers, crispy falafel, or a protein of your choice. If you’re serving it for brunch, try pairing it with any of these savory recipes:
Round out the meal with something sweet! My chocolate chip muffins, blueberry scones, cinnamon rolls, or French toast would be excellent. For more brunch ideas, check out this post.
Otherwise, I like to eat this carrot salad for lunch. I often pair it with an egg salad or Caprese sandwich, or I top it with crispy roasted chickpeas and enjoy it on its own.
More Favorite Salad Recipes
If you love this carrot salad, try one of these fresh salad recipes next:
- Avocado Salad
- Green Bean Salad
- Kale Salad with Carrot-Ginger Dressing
- Zucchini Salad
- Strawberry Salad with Balsamic
- Italian Chopped Salad
- Mediterranean Chickpea Salad
- Or any of these 37 Best Salad Recipes!
- 1 pound carrots, julienned
- 3 Medjool dates, pitted and diced
- ¼ cup chopped pistachios
- ⅓ cup finely chopped cilantro
- ¼ cup mint leaves, optional
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon tahini
- 1 tablespoon honey
- 1 small garlic clove, grated
- ¼ teaspoon cumin
- ¼ teaspoon sea salt
- Place the julienned carrots in a large bowl and sprinkle the dates on top.
- Make the dressing: In a small bowl, whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, tahini, honey, garlic, cumin, and salt.
- Drizzle the dressing over the carrots and toss to coat. Sprinkle on the pistachios and cilantro and toss again. Sprinkle the mint leaves and serve.
What would you substitute for the cilantro (I’ve got none tonight!)?
It’s my all time favorite recipe that I bring everywhere and that myself and my family love, love, love!
sorry for my slow reply! Parsley or just more mint. I’m so glad your family has loved it!
This salad is delicious!!!!!!!
I’m so glad you loved it!
Wow! This salad was very delicious and super satisfying. I didn’t have fresh coriander or mint. Used toasted walnuts. First day had it with only carrots and nuts. Delicious! Today, I added shredded cabbage, daikon and celery. Also delicious. Tomorrow I’m adding cooked lentils.
The dressing is amazing – and I’m not even that big on tahini dressings. Definitely will make again. Thank you!!
Hi Rose, I’m so glad you enjoyed it and I love your versatile ideas!
How does this recipe do without the cilantro? Everyone in my family hates the taste of it- makes me so sad! Is it worth making without, or better to skip?
Hi Amy, you can skip it – the dressing itself is so flavorful, the cilantro is more for pretty garnish in this case.
I love this dressing on asparagus too
I made this for Easter and everyone loved it! Went easy on the dates but was pleasantly surprised by how well the flavors all melt together. Will keep this in rotation for parties/groups!
Oops, I mixed everything together before adding the dressing. Is that going to be a problem? Also, how long before serving should it be dressed?
It’ll be fine! You can dress it up to a few hours before or a few minutes before – the carrots are sturdy, it’ll be great either way.
Wow! Delicious!! We loved it so much I made it again today. The mix of the cumin and the slight sweetness is so good. I can’t eat garlic and left out the mint (my son isn’t a fan) but this is one of our favorite recipes! Made such a pretty, festive Easter salad with a vegan frittata! Thanks!
I made this today for Easter. This is a very refreshing dish! I also planned ahead and purchased the julienne peeler that was linked. This was a great purchase as it saved time and my knife skills aren’t that great!
I’m so glad you loved it!
When o read the description it sounded yummy – it did not disappoint!