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!
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.
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.
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.
How to Make Carrot Salad
There’s very little prep work necessary for this easy, no-cook side dish. It’s such a treat!
- Toss the shredded carrots with the lemon juice in a large bowl.
- Whisk together the sour cream, mayonnaise, sugar, and salt in a small bowl until smooth.
- Pour the dressing over the carrots and toss to coat.
- Fold in the drained pineapple and the raisins.
- Taste and season with additional salt, if necessary.
- Cover and refrigerate or serve immediately!
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:
- Beef: such as meatloaf, Swedish meatballs, BBQ meatballs, Mississippi pot roast, Dutch oven pot roast, red wine braised beef short ribs, braised beef with red wine and tomatoes, grilled steak, beef tenderloin, London Broil, steak tips, filet mignon, beef bbq, and flank steak.
- Chicken: such as crispy roast chicken, rosemary oven roasted chicken, fried chicken cutlets with country gravy, oven bbq chicken breast, crispy fried chicken, coq au vin, and grilled chicken.
- Pork: such as grilled pork chops, pork schnitzel, Dutch oven pork roast, grilled pork tenderloin, pulled pork, baked pork tenderloin, glazed ham, ham steaks, pork roast, oven fried pork chops, and smothered pork chops and gravy.
- Turkey: such as maple-glazed roasted turkey breast, garlic and herb roast turkey breast, smoked turkey breast, turkey meatloaf, ground turkey stuffed peppers, or slow cooker turkey breast.
- Seafood: such as grilled salmon, blackened salmon, oven fried fish, grilled scallops, marinated grilled shrimp, and 5-ingredient parmesan crusted tilapia.
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.
- 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.
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.
More Salad Recipes to Try
- Cranberry Jello Salad
- Waldorf Salad
- Broccoli Cauliflower Salad
- Watergate Salad
- Three Bean Salad
- Ramen Noodle Salad
- Wedge Salad
- Tomato Salad with Basil and Balsamic
- Summer Corn Salad
- Green Salad with Red Wine Vinaigrette
- Easy Fruit Salad with Vanilla Pudding
- Ambrosia Salad
- Cucumber Dill Salad
- Classic Caesar Salad
- Easy Pasta Salad
- Potato Salad
This recipe was originally published in June, 2019. It was updated in April, 2022.