Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Citrus Vinaigrette

Tested & Perfected Recipes

A spin on the classic grated carrot salad, this carrot slaw is elevated with dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and scallions in a citrus vinaigrette.

carrot salad

I’ve always loved the classic French grated carrot salad, and this carrot slaw is a delicious spin on it. With dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and scallions in a citrus vinaigrette, it’s crunchy, tart and sweet. Perfect with a warm crusty baguette for lunch, or as a healthy side to sandwiches or burgers.

What you’ll need to make carrot slaw with Citrus Vinaigrette

If you have carrots in your vegetable bin to use up, you can quickly grate them in your food processor. Otherwise, just buy the bagged pre-grated carrots from the produce department — they work just as well.

Also, as you can see, I used walnut oil for the dressing. If you have some in your pantry already, great, but definitely don’t go out and buy it just for this recipe. It’s expensive and extra virgin olive oil works just as well.

How to make carrot slaw with Citrus Vinaigrette

To begin, toast the walnuts in the oven until fragrant to enhance their flavor.

Next, combine all of the ingredients in a large bowl.

Toss to combine. If possible, let the salad sit for at least 15 minutes to give the carrots a chance to soak up the dressing.

That’s all there is to it — simple and satisfying. Enjoy!

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Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Citrus Vinaigrette

A spin on the classic grated carrot salad, this carrot slaw is elevated with dried cranberries, toasted walnuts and scallions in a citrus vinaigrette.

Servings: 4-6

Ingredients

  • 1/2 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
  • 1 pound grated carrots, or 1-1/3 pounds carrots, peeled and grated
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or walnut oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon zest and 2 tablespoons lemon juice, from 1 lemon
  • 3 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice, from 1 orange
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 1/2 cup dried cranberries
  • 3 scallions, white and green parts, thinly sliced
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • Heaping 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Set oven rack to middle position and preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place walnuts on baking sheet and bake until toasted and fragrant, 7-10 minutes. Set aside to cool.
  2. Combine all remaining ingredients in a large bowl and toss well. Cover and refrigerate for at least 15 minutes to allow the flavors to blend. Season to taste with salt, pepper, honey or more citrus. Toss in walnuts and serve.

Gluten-Free Adaptable Note

To the best of my knowledge, all of the ingredients used in this recipe are gluten-free or widely available in gluten-free versions. There is hidden gluten in many foods; if you're following a gluten-free diet or cooking for someone with gluten allergies, always read the labels of your ingredients to verify that they are gluten-free.

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Reviews & Comments

  • This has become a regular side dish in our house. My husband and I fight over who gets the last bit! Perfect combination of flavors and so refreshing.

    • — Meghan on December 1, 2017
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  • This is a crunchy, flavourful salad that kept well for days. On the 3rd day, I added feta cheese and it was delicious.

    • — Jennifer Thomas on November 30, 2017
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  • I have made this for years but I also add currants and pecans instead of walnuts. Love it!

    • — D. Carson on November 29, 2017
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  • I made this for today’s dinner of cooked turkey which was then cold smoked and tested until the next day. This salad was excellent! It was sweet but not overbearing like whole berry cranberry sauce can be. I think I’ll make it for our Christmas dinner also!
    Easy to make, easy clean up and the taste was outstanding! Thanks so much!!

    • — Barb on November 23, 2017
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  • How far in advance can I prep this meal?

    • — Kc on November 20, 2017
    • Reply
    • Hi Kc, I’d say one day ahead. Enjoy!

      • — Jenn on November 21, 2017
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  • I have made this several times, adding the walnuts or pecans just before serving. Easy and delicious!!

    • — Elizabeth Broomer on October 12, 2017
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  • I made this for lunch today. I used rainbow carrots for some additional visual interest, and the dish was just right along with some crackers. Carrots are probably my favorite main-ingredient veg (except for maybe potatoes…maybe), so it’s nice having another way to feature them.

  • Why does the recipe call for grated carrot while the photos show carrot batons? I can get both, so which should I use?

    • Hi Clancy, I just peeked back the pictures and they do look a little larger than grated carrots there! Those are store-bought grated carrots – that’s just the size my market makes them. Enjoy!

  • How could I forget my star rating?!!

  • This carrot salad is amazing…a welcome change from the heavy mayo based carrot/raisin standby. Love the fresh citrus flavor and toasted walnut crunch. My better half actually requests it! Thanks, Jenn!

  • This salad was a crowd pleaser at home and at a party! I used olive oil instead of walnut oil. But as a note the salad definitely does not keep more than 24 hours. Delicious!

  • This salad was so delicious…we couldn’t stop eating it!! I doubled the recipe but reduced the amount of scallions, to suit our tastes….Next time I think I will also reduce the amount of honey….too sweet for me…This salad lasts for days!

    • — Wendy G Schoenburg
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  • Can I substitute the walnuts with toasted almonds or pecans?

    • Absolutely, Isabel – I think either would be good.

      • Thanks! I used the pecans and they were perfect. We loved the salad

  • Excellent recipie!! I used orange flavored cranberries from Trader Joe’s.

  • Do you think your cranberry Dijon vinaigrette would be good here?? I have been planning on making it and on seeing this recipe thought it might work well. I will try it out and let you know.

    • Yes, I think that could work. Would love to hear how it turns out!

  • So yummy!!! Took to a potluck dinner and everyone enjoyed it. We toasted pecans on the stovetop instead of walnuts which we prefered. This salad looks lovely and even more flavorful the next day so next time I will let the flavour mix for a few hours before serving. Its a winner!!!

  • This slaw was really nice! Loved the flavours! Made it with the Moroccan chicken and couscous, they all went amazing together.

  • This recipe is just amazing. It’s light refreshing n has a nice balance between acidic and sweet. Will definitely be keeping this recipe.

  • Excellent!!

  • This was very light and tasty, perfect to bring to a summer barbeque.

  • Hi Jenn,
    I plan to bring this salad to a large family gathering and I will use olive oil instead of the walnut oil as the hostess is allergic to nuts. Do you have a suggestion for a substitute for the walnuts or do you suggest I just omit the walnuts altogether? I haven’t yet tried this salad but never hesitate to bring any of your recipes to gatherings, whether I’ve tried them or not.They are always a huge success!

    • Hi Barb, You can just omit them — will still be delicious 🙂

  • This salad is beautiful and comes together very easily. I used multi-colored carrots and a blood orange olive oil from the Temecula Olive Oil Company. Simply smashing!

  • This carrot slaw was a winner! I prefer purple onion over green, so that is what I used. Everyone came back for seconds (or thirds.) It was also good leftover. Once I made this and burned the walnuts, so do watch them closely.

  • Very delicious, flavors work great together.

  • What a lovely refreshing salad. I reconstitute my cranberries with a little boiling water first though.

  • Made this with pomegranate seeds instead of dried cranberries. Wicked wonderful. Thank you.

  • Just made the carrot and walnut salad. This is probably the best carrot salad I have eaten in my life! Bright, fresh, delicious. The lemon zest and the green onions make it delicious.

  • My business before is planting scallions or onions , the taste for me is not enjoyable (scallions) what can i replace for the scallions….thanks

    • One shallot should do the trick.

  • Can I make this the night before for lunch the next day?

    • Hi Phyllis, If you’d like to make this salad a day ahead, I suggest using coarsely grated carrots (as shown in the photo); otherwise it will get a bit soggy.

  • Delicious!! My sister isn’t a huge fan of zest (I know, crazy right?) so I omitted it and didn’t have a fresh oranges on hand so I used orange juice. I also didn’t have walnut oil, so I used olive oil and it was still amazing. I’m dying to try it the “Jenn” way, because I know it will be even better and I love zest!

  • This salad turns out every time. I always get rave reviews when I make it. So easy to follow and make.

  • Will it work to dress the carrots several hours ahead as long as I don’t add the walnuts?

    • Hi Carol, It depends. Freshly grated carrots may get a little soggy but if you use the coarsely grated carrots sold in a bag from the supermarket, they hold up much better.

  • This recipe is easy and delicious! I made the salad without toasting the walnuts and it was just fine (I did use the walnut oil). Also, if using whole dried cranberries I would recommend a brief rough chop to get them distributed a bit better.

  • We really enjoyed this light and crispy salad at Thanksgiving this year. The citrus vinaigrette was wonderful!

  • Beautiful colors – easy to make – very tasty – my family loved it!

  • I made this to go with grilled pork chops and it was delicious – crunchy with a great citrus flavor. I did add more walnuts and cranberries than the recipe called for since we love those ingredients. The only change I would make is that I would shred my own carrots next time. The packaged carrots were just a little too thick and hard.

  • Delicious salad and very healthy. I served this with Tilapia and the picky kids even liked it. I love the addition of the videos on your website.

  • Hi Jenn,
    Can I substitute fresh basil for the fresh parsley? Thanks!!

    • Sure, Jill, that should work well.

  • I make this salad all the time. It is delicious and super easy!!!

  • Without a doubt the best salad I’ve tasted thus far. Had to sub walnuts with toasted almonds but it was still fabulous. I doff my chef hat to you Jen 🙂

  • So simple and so good!

  • Made the Carrot Slaw as directed except used 2 scallions instead of 3. Very good. Served it with the Grilled Moroccan Chicken (recipe on this site) — also good. A great meal.

  • We made this slaw again for Father’s Day along with your recipe for Moroccan chicken – great complementary side dish! I typically have all the ingredients on hand, but found that my honey had crystallized and didn’t have the time to warm it up, so I substituted maple syrup for the honey. This slaw is so versatile, and the leftovers were still perfect for next day’s brown bag lunch for my husband.

  • made this on saturday with the moroccan chicken. very easy to put together, especially if you buy the pre-grated carrots. i enjoyed the citrus vinaigrette.

  • this was really good, served with Moroccan chicken will definitely make again..

  • Loved this salad. Used 1 tsp. of honey as our carrots are pretty sweet.

  • Just tried this salad and it is my new favorite salad. If you havent tried it, dont hesitate. Even the next day it is still great

  • This has become a staple in my house. Never get tired of it as a side dish

  • Love this salad. My kids even ate it.

  • My family loves this salad! My son has a nut allergy so I substitute roasted sunflower seeds for the walnuts and it is delicious!

  • Delicious! I plan on making it for this weekend.

  • Yum! wanted to try at Easter but I already had one carrot dish in mind..definitely should have tried this then for company b/c i tried it last night and it is delicious!

  • This carrot slaw is wonderful. My daughter is practically vegetable-phobic so imagine my surprise when she “stole” the leftovers from me to munch on while watching tv! This dish will definitely become a regular side around our house. Thanks for continuing to provide great new recipes to brighten up our dinnertable.

  • This was amazing! Nice and light and delicious. Thanks for another great recipe. (I used 2 tbsp of olive oil and it turned out great)

  • We made this a few days after your post – another winner,Jennifer! – especially since I had all the ingredients on hand! We have made other carrot salad recipes, but we enjoyed the touch of sweetness from the fresh OJ. This went perfectly with a mid-week meal of baked cod and couscous.

  • The Carrot Citrus Slaw was very good. I have to use different oil and no walnuts because of tree nut allergey in the family. I used some oliv oil and vegetable oil with the slaw and extra citru. Everyone who ate it loved it.

  • I love carrot salad too, and this is a great new way to make it. 🙂

  • this one will become my summer staple. Yummy !!!

  • Looks healthy and yummy!

  • Hey Jennifer.I am Tzila, Albert Shvilly’s sister.This is amazing salad.very easy to make and so tasty.Albert suggested to make it and I made it for family party yesterday.my guests enjoyed it so much!i wil make and make it again.Thank you.

  • The walnut oil would make it very rich tasting. But alas, I’ll have to use EVOO. Love this for a cool summer salad with some chicken on the grill.
    Thanks.

  • Nice change, will serve this again. It will be great for spring or summer.

  • I made this over the weekend and the flavor was amazing. This will be a recipe I will use again for potlucks and family gatherings. Thanks!

  • This slaw recipe looks fabulous. It’s been added to my recipe book. I live in Maui and recently enjoyed a Lilikoi Slaw from a local raw store. It had julienne slices of apple, carrots and some other ingredients that were yummy.

  • I am already compiling Thanksgiving recipes on Pinterest and this is a keeper! Will prob make this over the summer as well. **This review is for the Le Creuset Oval French Oven**

  • This looks amazing. I am looking forward to trying it tomorrow!

  • I tried this last night for a family gathering. It was easy to make and tasted great. I expect to share this recipe with others who enjoy a different type of salad.

  • Interesting spin on slaw. I think I will enjoy this!

  • Absolutely delish!! crunch of the nuts, the sweetness of the berries & of course the nutritious value of the carrots. What a great salad. we loved it & will surely have it often in the hot weather of summer. Thank you for this recipe.

  • Love the addition of cranberries. I am making this for dinner tonight.

  • I was looking for a slaw without mayo. Great idea for the cranberries instead of raisins.

  • Ahh, I have everything for making this delicious looking salad! Looking forward to all the crunch!

  • I love this! It is light and fresh and great year around.

  • Love all these ingredients! Will be trying this one!

  • I just made this dish and it is delicious. Besides being delicious, carrots are good for your health.

  • A very colorful, delicious salad.

  • yummy! but not being a walnut lover toasted pine nuts added crunch

  • Carrot salads are a fresh, crisp addition to any meal and I love the cranberries, walnuts and citrus viniagrette in this recipe. Yum!

  • The salad is extra ordinary and special with simple ingredients.

  • yet another recipe of yours that i had everything in the house to make. i love your recipes! my daughter loved this salad as well.

  • I too love raw slaws that dont require a bunch of creamy mayo. Such an easy way to get lots of good raw veggies in.

  • Do you think this dressing would work for cabbage (blanched maybe?). I need an easy recipe for a head of cabbage I rec’d from my CSA this week.

  • I will definitely be trying this! Looks great!

  • Have been looking for a good raw carrot salad. This one is very colorful and the vinaigrette is perfect for it.

  • This recipe sounds delicious.

  • This looks like a ” keeper ” !!

  • This looks fantastic! I am not a fan of regular slaw but I do love carrots.

  • Nice twist on an old recipe.

  • Love the crunch and the blend of ingredients!!!! Also, love the color it adds to a buffet ….

  • Can not wait to try this dish. I’m new to your blog and find myself lingering all through my lunch break just dreaming of the opportunity to make your recipes!

  • I want color and vegetables on our dinner plates every night, but I must confess that I have been going with the basic green salad for the past month. I am now inspired by this delicious and colorful salad. Thank you for the vision and flavor.

  • Good way to eat lighter

  • What a great, refreshing dish. Nice alternative slaw.

  • Trying to eat healthy, I will be making this.

  • Loved the salad I am on weight watchers and iy fit right in

  • This is a very satisfying dish. It has the perfect crunch to it. It is also very beautiful and adds just the right amount of color to any dish. It is great to serve any season, and is worth the effort!

  • This makes a beautiul and delicious dish to serve company and I love using cranberries instead of raisins.

  • This looks just like the kind of salad I am looking for. Healthy, protein, and looks yummy. I’m going to add carrots to my shopping list and try this right away.

  • Great change of pace salad. I had some dried cranberries in the pantry (but what to do with them) and always have carrots so this was a great opportunity to whip this up. It was tasty and I think pretty lo cal for those of us always looking for the healthy choice. Thanks-delicious. Ps. I had the leftovers for lunch the next day.

  • I love carrot salads and have a similar recipe, but with the cranberries replacing the usual raisins, and addition of the walnuts and lemon zest, this one is a real winner!

  • It looks so colorful!!!!
    Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • A beautiful dish that hits all the buttons of tasty, crunchy, sweet and satisfying. Yummo!

  • I made this recipe the day that it was posted; it looked so good! And it was delicious. The citrus and cranberries are the prevailing flavors — not the carrots. It is easy to prepare and makes a beautiful side. We loved it.

  • Can’t wait to try this!! It looks so good!

  • This looks delicious! Would be a great side for Chicken burgers I am making this weekend!

  • This looks beautiful. Cannot wait to try it.

  • Looks like a great, filling side dish with the fresh taste of orange and honey. Putting this on my list and Pinterest!

    • — Lisa Waldschmidt
    • Reply
  • This sounds fabulous, I have been looking for a salad to serve as an appetizer for some vegan friends this weekend and I might just have to give this a try – I’m pretty sure I already have all the ingredients!

    • Ashlie (and others looking for vegan dishes),
      It’s been a couple of years since your original post, but I thought it’d still be worth pointing out that strict vegans don’t eat honey. The good news is that there are many readily-available plant-based syrups (agave, maple, and the much maligned corn, for example) and sweeteners (cane or beet sugar, stevia, molasses) that could be subbed in this recipe so it adheres to a vegan diet. I commend you for being mindful of your friends’ choices and needs.

  • This looks awesome! Exactly the kind of thing I’m looking for to take for lunch. Thanks!

  • This was great! Love all the recipes from you I have tried.

  • Made this for my family as part of our “get thinner” plan. It was delicious and loved my all. It may have to become a staple in my fridge. Great for a pick me up snack, too!

  • The lemon zest gave this carrot slaw a fresh citrusy flavor. This recipe was delish! Thanks!

  • Sooo good and so easy! I love that it’s healthy and light with ingredients I already had in my kitchen!

  • Can’t wait to try this recipe!

  • How do I print just the recipe?

    • Hi Bobby, To the right of the recipe title at the bottom of the post there is a print button.

  • I have Walnut Oil and haven’t much occasion to use it. I made this today…it was exactly what I needed in this dry, snowy weather. Thank you!

  • I love slaws that don’t use mayo or creamy ingreidents! I made something bery similar last summer.

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