This classic Carrot Salad recipe is just like the one that used to be served at Chick-fil-A. Freshly grated carrots, raisins, pineapple tidbits and dressing!
A CLASSIC PICNIC SIDE DISH
Carrot raisin salad is one of those dishes I remember eating a lot as a kid and it was one of those foods that I remember my Mom making on a regular rotation. If you aren’t familiar with carrot raisin salad then chances are you probably aren’t from the south. It is a generational favorite and a must-make for any summer get together. It may sound really bizarre but trust me when I tell you the flavors just work and it’s hard to eat just one serving!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS:
No I don’t recommend doing that. It will have a completely different texture and the carrot sticks won’t soak up the dressing properly.
If you love dried cranberries then I say go for it! Also, golden raisins work well too in this.
This is always a tough question for me because I really do not like Miracle Whip dressing at all. It is far too tangy for my tastes but if it’s something you just love and adore, then that decision is up to you.
This step is optional but I really do recommend it. It only takes a few minutes and they can soak while you prepare the other ingredients. It really does plump the raisins up.
Again, I don’t recommend it here. Crushed pineapple can release too much liquid into the salad and can really mess up the texture that you want in a carrot raisin salad.
Yes, absolutely. Just make sure you cut it up so it’s bite sized.
INGREDIENTS NEEDED: (SEE RECIPE CARD BELOW FOR THE FULL RECIPE)
- carrots – it needs to be freshly grated carrots – not the carrots that are already shredded. The dressing doesn’t properly absorb into those like it does fresh.
- raisins – as stated above, you could also use dried cranberries or even golden raisins if you prefer.
- warm water – this is to plump up the raisins a bit before using. This is optional.
- pineapple tidbits – I like to get the pineapple tidbits that are in 100% juice but if you can only find it in syrup, that is fine. Just make sure they are drained very well.
- mayonnaise – I prefer Hellman’s or Duke’s mayonnaise. Use a mayonnaise you really enjoy the taste of since it’s a major ingredient in this recipe.
- sugar – if you’ve never made or eaten this salad, then this might seem weird but do not skip it. It is essential to this recipe to get the correct flavor.
HOW TO MAKE CARROT SALAD:
Put raisins in a cup of very warm water (or warmed up apple juice/ leftover pineapple juice) so they plump back up. Once they plump back up, discard the liquid. Note: this step is optional but I think it makes the raisins taste a bit better. Drain pineapple of excess juices. Peel carrots and then grate them. If making a double batch of this salad, it may be faster to use the grater on your food processor. In a bowl, toss grated carrots with mayonnaise and sugar. Then add in raisins and pineapple. Give it all a good stir.
Cover and put in the fridge to chill thoroughly. Give it another good stir before serving.
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Originally published: March 2011
Updated & republished: June 2023
Carrot Salad (+Video)
- Put raisins in a cup of very warm water (or warmed up apple juice) so they plump back up. Once they plump up, drain water or juice.
- Peel carrots and then grate them.
- In a medium bowl, toss grated carrots with mayo and sugar.
- Then add in raisins and pineapple and stir until combined.
- Cover and put in the fridge to chill thoroughly. Give it another good stir before serving.
- Please refer to my FAQ’s and ingredient list above for other substitutions or for the answers to the most common questions.
- I don’t recommend using store-bought carrot sticks. It will have a completely different texture and the carrot sticks won’t soak up the dressing properly.
- Dried cranberries and golden raisins will also work in this recipe.
- Only pineapple tidbits or fresh cut pineapple should used in this recipe. Crushed pineapple can release too much liquid into the salad and can really mess up the texture that you want in a carrot raisin salad.
- If making a double batch of this salad, it may be faster to use the grater on your food processor.
“The Country Cook” is not a dietician or nutritionist, and any nutritional information shared is an estimate. If calorie count and other nutritional values are important to you, we recommend running the ingredients through whichever online nutritional calculator you prefer. Calories can vary quite a bit depending on which brands were used.