This simple carrot salad is easy to make but doesn’t taste simple in the slightest. The orange turmeric dressing is so incredibly flavorful and you’ll have everybody asking for seconds! This recipe will end up front and center in your salad recipes collection.
Before anything, all credit for this carrot salad recipe goes to the person that thought me how to cook: My mom! She developed the recipe and gave me permission to share it with the world. Yay.
The best part about the salad is that it needs very few ingredients, very few steps to prepare, hence the “simple” in the title but the spices in the dressing make it out of this world delicious. It flavor and texture are incredible.
The Ingredients & Substitutions
- Carrots — what’s a carrot salad without carrots? I don’t see why you’d want to substitute carrots, ha. However, the dressing obviously tastes amazing on cabbage as well so if carrots aren’t your thing simply grate some white cabbage instead.
- Cilantro — I really prefer cilantro in this salad but parsley works perfectly well as a substitution and will taste amazing, too.
- Sesame Seeds — black sesame seeds give a nice color contrast with the bright orange carrots but white sesame seeds work perfectly as well.
- Oil — use a flavorless oil so the flavor of the other dressing ingredients can shine. Stay away from olive oil and choose something like avocado oil, sunflower seed oil, or grapeseed oil.
- Dijon mustard — I strongly recommend using Dijon and not another mustard as other mustards are quite strong and overpowering. If you don’t have Dijon on hand I wouldn’t replace it with another mustard and instead just a little more sea salt to the dressing and omit the mustard.
- Garlic — I love garlic in a good salad dressing because it gives it a little bit of spiciness if you love it a lot add two cloves instead of one. If you’re not a big fan of the strong flavor of fresh garlic use 1/4 tsp dried garlic instead.
- Orange — orange and the spices are THE most important part of the dressing and what make it so special. Try and use a sweet orange not a sour or bitter one. Valencia or Navel are good ones or else even clementines work well. Stay away from Cara Cara or Seville.
- Spices — the combination of turmeric, cinnamon, cumin, and sea salt are the heart of the dressing. Just trust me on this one and don’t make any replacements.
How To Make A Delicious But Simple Carrot Salad
- Prep carrots — peel the carrots to ensure the salad is bright orange and then either julienne, grate, or thinly slice them. My favorite is to use a julienne peeler (affiliate link) and make ribbons. Not only does this look gorgeous but the texture is THE BEST! The fastest, however, is obviously to just use the grater attachment of your food processor and grate the carrots.
- Prep dressing — add oil, mustard, garlic, spices, and orange juice to a sealable jar and shake to combine.
- Chop cilantro — you want about 1/4 cup of chopped cilantro. No need to destalk the cilantro, the stems are pretty soft anyway.
- Mix — add all ingredients to a salad bowl and mix well to combine. Then let it marinate for a little bit before serving. The longer it marinates the better the dressing sticks to the carrots.
What To Serve Carrot Salad With?
This salad tastes amazing in and of its own but to make it a full meal you’ll want to eat least eat it with some protein.
Frequently Asked Questions
Limit exposure to oxygen. If you know you won’t eat the whole bowl of carrot salad, store it in an airtight container in the fridge right after preparing. That way it stays bright orange for days.
In an airtight container at the very least 4 days. It’s a fantastic prep-ahead recipe.
No. Raw vegetables are not suitable for freezing. You would have to blanch the carrots first which would make them softer and then the salad wouldn’t taste as good anymore.
Simple Carrot Salad
- 1 lbs peeled carrots
- 1/4 cup chopped cilantro
- 1.5 Tbsp black sesame seeds
- 3 Tbsp avocado oil
- 1 tsp Dijon mustard
- 1 clove crushed garlic
- 1/2 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp cumin
- 1/4 tsp turmeric
- 1/4 tsp cinnamon
- 1 orange
- Julienne, grate, or thinly slice peeled carrots and add to a large salad bowl.
- Add chopped cilantro and sesame seeds to the carrots.
- Prepare the dressing by adding oil, mustard, garlic, spices, and orange juice to a sealable jar and shake to combine.
- Pour dressing over carrots and mix well. Let marinate a few minutes and serve.