Carrot Slaw with Cranberries, Toasted Walnuts & Citrus Vinaigrette

Tested & Perfected Recipes

An autumn spin on the classic grated carrot salad, this carrot slaw is dotted with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.

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

An autumn spin on the classic grated carrot salad, this carrot slaw is dotted with dried cranberries and toasted walnuts.

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 is a recipe I return to over and over again. I love the the contrast in textures of the chewy dried fruit and nuts and fresh, crispy carrots. I love that this is a slaw without mayonnaise and is truly seasonless, so delicious!

    • — Olivia on January 28, 2021
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  • This makes for a great side dish beside your ordinary slaw or potato salad. The crunch from the matchstick carrots and walnuts gives it a nice crunch and the citrus gives it a light bright taste. Also, everything is better with craisins!

    • — Theanna Orr on January 28, 2021
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  • I made this as a Thanksgiving side dish a few years ago and it became the crowd favorite for holidays. But why wait for the holidays? So now treat myself to more carrot days!

    • — Mary on January 28, 2021
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  • Very delicious and colorful. Love the zestiness of it. Perfect summer salad!

    • — Karen on July 31, 2020
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  • A very tasty and refreshing salad! Everyone enjoyed it and it looked beautiful when served. My only addition was to add some orange slices to the salad. Highly recommended!

    • — Ora on June 24, 2020
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  • Every one of the Once Upon a Chef recipes that I’ve tried have been a success with my family. I always turn to your website when I am looking for inspiration or an ingredient to use. The recipes, including this one, are appetizing and down-to-earth for all our palettes. Once again, this salad was a delight and it was a zesty accompaniment to simply roasted salmon fillets.

    • — Jennifer D on May 26, 2020
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  • Excellent, light, flavorful, delicious! I used thinly sliced cabbage, red, orange, yellow and green peppers, radishes, red onions and peels of carrots. I followed the dressing recipe and even my husband loved it!

    • — Karen Vechter on February 26, 2020
    • Reply
  • Do you roast walnuts before or after coarsely chopping them?

    • — staci on December 6, 2019
    • Reply
    • Hi Staci, You can go either way, but I’d roast them first. Enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on December 7, 2019
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      • Hmm, this is what I’m doing wrong roasting them after chopping. That’s why most of the time they are over roasted 🤦‍♀️

        • — Anna on July 16, 2020
        • Reply
  • Another great recipe from Jenn! The orange/lemon dressing is light and fresh and the walnuts and cranberries add a festive touch. Going to add it to my already full thanksgiving menu for a touch of summer!

    • — judy on November 17, 2019
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  • Can this carrot slaw with citrus vinegarette recipe be made the day before Thanksgiving, refrigerated, then serve cold on Thanksgiving day? Thank you! -Pat

    • — Pat on October 16, 2019
    • Reply
    • Sure, Pat, that will work. Hope you enjoy! 🙂

      • — Jenn on October 16, 2019
      • Reply
  • 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.

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

  • I have made this for years but I also add currants and pecans instead of walnuts. Love it!

  • 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!!

  • How far in advance can I prep this meal?

    • Hi Kc, I’d say one day ahead. Enjoy!

  • I have made this several times, adding the walnuts or pecans just before serving. Easy and delicious!!

    • — Elizabeth Broomer
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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
    • Reply
  • 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.

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