Carrot Salad with Tahini Lemon Vinaigrette

5 from 1 vote

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This crunchy carrot salad has chopped pistachios, scallions and cilantro all tossed in lemon tahini dressing. Rainbow carrots give it lots of color, but you can buy a package of shredded carrots as a shortcut. Serve this recipe as a salad or a side dish for a spring lunch or dinner.

If you’re craving carrots, you can also try this Moroccan Carrot Salad.

Carrot salad on a plate.

Why You’ll Love This Recipe

It gives you a reason to get excited about carrots. If you haven’t ever been into eating raw carrots, spring is just the time to start. And I’m not talking about those pre-peeled and cut baby ones you can have as a snack.
Raw carrots have an incredible amount of crunch. A great salad should deliver on texture. Fresh carrots a such an easy way to achieve that. I always like roasted carrots for a side, and sautéing them with onions and celery, which is the starting point for countless soup recipes. But next time try skipping the cooking because raw carrots make a fantastic base for salads.
It’s great to have salads recipes that aren’t based around lettuce. Besides variety, they don’t wilt. That makes this salad good for entertaining where it may sit out, and it still tastes fresh as leftovers. A leafy green salad is not sturdy enough to handle this.

Types Of Carrot Salads

Generally there are 2 directions you can go with a shredded carrot salad:

  • The classic French carrot salad has lemon juice, olive oil, Dijon mustard, honey and fresh herbs. In France you can find this salad prepackaged in groceries and on restaurant menus. It’s fresh and light.
  • The traditional Southern carrot salad is much different. It has pineapple, raisins, a little sugar and nuts. The dressing is tangy with both mayo and sour cream to balance out the sweetness.

For my version, I go more with the French style keeping the crisp texture in mind. The tahini in the dressing does thicken it and adds some creaminess, but it isn’t meant to hide the bite of the carrots. That, with a combination of spices, gives the salad hints of Moroccan taste and flavor.

How To Cut Carrots

How to cut carrots into matchsticks using a peeler and a chef's knife.

The carrots for this salad are cut into matchsticks. I don’t mind using my knife to take care of this task. No matter what tool you do use, peel the carrots and trim the ends before you begin.

Then cut the carrots into 2 to 3-inch lengths. Halve them lengthwise. Then cut them into slices, and finally slice them into matchsticks. It really isn’t that tough. And once you get going, you will pick up speed.

Another option is to use a julienne peeler. This probably won’t save you that much time, but if you feel more confident with this kind of gadget, then go for it.

Also, you can shred the carrots with the large holes of a box grater, but the strands will come out thinner and shorter. The same is true if you run the carrots through a food processor with the shredding disc.

And before you ask, yes, you can buy a bag of shredded carrots in the produce section at the grocery store for the ultimate shortcut.

Ingredients & Substitutions

Ingredients including carrots, scallion, pistachios, lemon and olive oil.

This is what you need:

  • Carrots: I love the colors of rainbow carrots, so that’s why I prefer using a mix of orange, purple and white carrots. It doesn’t impact the flavor as much as it gives it such a vibrant and dynamic look.
  • Scallions: These green onions are my favorite type of onion to add to salads because they are crisp and not too strong.
  • Pistachios and carrots go so well together. I am a big fan of adding chopped nuts to salads. You can also use walnuts or almonds instead.
  • Cilantro: The salad has plenty of fresh herbs with chopped cilantro. You can go with fresh parsley or a mix of both herbs if you can’t decide.
  • Tahini: This sesame seed paste is the star ingredient of the vinaigrette. It makes it a little bit creamy.
  • Lemon juice is bright and citrusy. Vinaigrette needs an acid component. That can be the obvious vinegar or it can be citrus juice.
  • Olive oil: For every salad dressing you make, always use extra-virgin olive oil.
  • Maple syrup adds a smidge of sweetness. You can mix in honey instead if you don’t mind if the recipe is not vegan.
  • Cumin is an earthy dried spice that gives the salad of touch of something North African or Middle Eastern.
  • Salt & pepper season the vinaigrette.

Optional Additions

  • Chickpeas: Go ahead and add a can of chickpeas that you have drained and rinsed. This is when the recipe definitely goes toward that Moroccan carrot salad.
  • Cheese: As it is written, the recipe is vegan, but if you do eat dairy, you can add crumbled feta or goat cheese.

How To Make This Carrot Salad Recipe

1. Cut the carrots. First peel the carrots and trim the ends. Then use a knife or julienne peeler to cut the carrots into matchsticks. Or shred them with a box grater or food processor. You can skip this step if you are using pre cut packaged shredded carrots.

2. Combine the salad ingredients including the carrots, scallions, nuts and cilantro in a large bowl.

Cutting carrots with knife on cutting board. Salad ingredients in a bowl.

3. Make the vinaigrette. In a small bowl, whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, cumin, kosher salt, pepper and olive oil.

4. Drizzle the vinaigrette into the carrot salad. Toss to combine, so the ingredients are evenly dressed.

Lemon tahini vinaigrette mixed in a small bowl. Salad tossed with dressing in a large bowl.


This is an excellent choice for a potluck salad and side dish in a single recipe. Since it doesn’t have greens, there is no chance that it will wilt. It’s great for spring and Easter brunch.

Storage & Leftovers

You can store leftovers in the fridge up to 2 days in an airtight container. If you know that you aren’t planning to eat the entire salad in a single meal, don’t toss it in the dressing. Actually store them separately with the dressing in a jar.

Give the dressing 10 minutes or so at room temperature before you then toss it with the carrots. This allows the oil time to turn liquid again if it’s solid from the cold of the refrigerator.

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Carrot Salad with Tahini Lemon Vinaigrette

5 from 1 vote
Prep: 15 minutes
Cook: 0 minutes
Total: 15 minutes
Servings: 4
This crunchy carrot salad has pistachios, scallions and cilantro all tossed in a tahini lemon dressing. Serve it as a salad or a side dish.


For salad

  • 1 pound carrots
  • 3 scallions, thinly sliced
  • 1/4 cup chopped pistachios
  • 1/4 cup chopped cilantro

For vinaigrette

  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 2 tablespoons tahini
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 1/2 teaspoon maple syrup
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/4 cup olive oil


  • Peel and trim the ends of the carrots. Cut them into matchsticks using sharp chef’s knife or a julienne peeler. You can also use a box grater or food processor and shred the carrots.
  • Combine the carrots, scallions, pistachios and cilantro in a large bowl.
  • For the vinaigrette, whisk together the garlic, tahini, lemon juice, maple syrup, cumin, kosher salt, pepper and olive oil in a small bowl until fully combined.
  • Drizzle the vinaigrette into the salad, tossing to combine.


You can store leftovers in the refrigerator up to 2 days in an airtight container. If you aren’t planning to eat the entire salad at once, store the dressing and salad separately. Let the dressing sit out at room temperature for 10 minutes to turn into liquid again if it has become solid in the cold of the refrigerator.
For a shortcut, you can buy shredded carrots instead of cutting them yourself.
Optional Additions:
  • Chickpeas: Drain and rinse 1-15 ounce can of garbanzo beans and toss them in teh salad.
  • Cheese: The recipe is vegan as written, but if you do eat dairy, you can add crumbled feta or goat cheese.


Calories: 262kcal | Carbohydrates: 16g | Protein: 4g | Fat: 21g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 13g | Sodium: 375mg | Potassium: 516mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 7g | Vitamin A: 19130IU | Vitamin C: 9mg | Calcium: 69mg | Iron: 1mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean
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Hi, I'm Paige.

Welcome to Last Ingredient where you will find simple seasonal recipes with plenty of fruits and vegetables, all for the home cook.

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