Mixture of shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and raisins topped with white dressing in white bowl on wooden surface with red and white checkered napkin in background.
Recipes,  Side Dishes

Old-Fashioned Carrot Raisin Salad Recipe

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What is one of the easiest and quickest recipes I’ve made lately? This Carrot Raisin Salad! I cheated and bought shredded carrots and shredded cabbage so I just had to throw everything together. It did not disappoint.

Mixture of shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and raisins topped with white dressing in white bowl on wooden surface.

Carrot Raisin Salad is colorful and full of flavor. By adding cabbage, it’s very similar to coleslaw. The flavor is slightly sweet, but still a great side dish that goes with most main courses. It’s perfect for potlucks, barbecues, and summer gatherings because you don’t need to cook anything!

Ingredients You Will Need

Ingredients for carrot raisin salad in bowls on wooden background.

Shredded Carrots provide the base of the salad with their sweetness and crunch.

Shredded Cabbage adds another layer of crunch and flavor.

Raisins add sweetness, chewy texture, and a little fruit flavor.

Salt enhances all the other flavors.

Lemon Juice cuts through the richness of the mayonnaise, helps to balance the sweetness, and keeps the salad from tasting flat.

Sugar sweetens the salad just enough.

Mayonnaise binds all the ingredients together to create a creamy dressing that coats the salad.

Why You’ll Love Making Carrot Raisin Salad

Shredded green cabbage, shredded carrots, and raisins in a blue bowl.
Dry ingredients before combining.

Nostalgia: Carrot Raisin Salad is a familiar dish from childhood potlucks and family gatherings.

Simplicity: It’s a very easy dish to make. It requires minimal prep work and ingredients, making it perfect for last-minute side dishes or bringing to potlucks.

Vegetable Sneak Peek: It’s a sneaky way to get people, especially kids, to eat vegetables. The sweetness of the raisins and dressing can mask the carrot flavor, making it more appealing to picky eaters.

Frequently Asked Questions

White liquid in green bowl.
Salad dressing before adding to salad.

Can I make this salad ahead of time? Yes! In fact, I recommend making it at least a few hours before serving, or even the day before. This allows the flavors to meld and creates a more cohesive taste.

My salad seems a little dry. What can I do? If your salad seems a little dry after adding the dressing, you can add a splash more of lemon juice or a teaspoon of milk to create a creamier consistency.

How long will this salad keep? Stored in an airtight container in the refrigerator, the salad will keep for 3-5 days.

Substitutions and Variations

Mixture of shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and raisins topped with white dressing in white bowl on yellow cloth napkin.

Mayonnaise: You can substitute Greek yogurt or pureed cottage cheese.

Raisins: Craisins (dried cranberries) offer a similar tartness with a bit more tang. Chopped dates or other dried fruits can also add variety.

Lemon Juice: While lemon is traditional, you can use other citrus juices like lime or orange for a different flavor twist.

Fruit Additions: Chopped apples, diced oranges, pineapple chunks, or even pomegranate arils can add pops of sweetness and contrasting textures. For a Chick-fil-A-inspired twist, try adding pineapple!

Sweeteners: Honey, maple syrup, agave nectar, or even brown sugar can replace granulated sugar.

What to Serve with Carrot Raisin Salad

Mixture of shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and raisins topped with white dressing in white bowl on yellow tablecloth.

Protein: Grilled chicken, baked ham, roasted pork loin, salmon, or tofu scramble would all complement the sweetness and creaminess of the salad.

Barbecue: This salad is also a great accompaniment to burgers, hot dogs, or pulled pork at a summer barbecue.

Savory: To balance the sweetness of the salad, consider a savory side dish like roasted vegetables, creamy mashed potatoes, or a green salad with a vinaigrette dressing.

Starch: If you’d like a more substantial meal, add a side of rice, quinoa, or couscous.

Pasta salad: Serve the carrot raisin salad alongside a different type of salad, like a pasta salad, for a potluck-style meal.

Other Recipes You May Enjoy

If you like my Carrot Raisin Salad, you might also like my Layered Salad or my Cabbage Apple Salad. This Rainbow Orzo Salad is also delicious.

Final Thoughts

Carrot Raisin Salad is so light and refreshing! Even though it’s perfect for summer, it makes a great side dish any time of the year. Double it to make it for a potluck and everyone will love it. My family enjoyed it and even asked for seconds!

Mixture of shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and raisins topped with white dressing in white bowl on wooden surface with red and white checkerd napkin in the background.

Carrot Raisin Salad

Heidi Bruaw
This refreshing carrot raisin salad combines crisp shredded carrots and cabbage with plump raisins. A light and tangy dressing made with lemon juice and mayonnaise brings the flavors together.
Prep Time 30 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine American
Servings 8


  • 2 Cups Carrots shredded
  • 2 Cups Cabbage shredded
  • ½ Cup Raisins
  • 1 teaspoon Salt
  • 4 Tablespoons Lemon Juice
  • 2 Tablespoons Sugar
  • ½ Cup Mayonnaise


  • In a large bowl, stir together shredded carrots, shredded cabbage, and raisins.
  • In a separate bowl, whisk together the salt, lemon juice, sugar, and mayonnaise until combined.
  • Pour over the vegetable mixture and toss together to combine.
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