French grated carrot salad is an easy recipe that is simple, healthy, and economical.  This classic French side dish is both vegan and vegetarian friendly.  Grated carrots and fresh parsley are tossed with a lemon vinaigrette to create a light refreshing salad that is also great for weight loss.

Prep Time: 25 minutes
person holding a bowl of French carrot salad
Salad

French Grated Carrot Salad

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This recipe was originally published on April 17, 2018.

French grated carrot salad is a widely popular side dish in France.  Carrot salad in the U.S. is typically made with mayo and raisins, so it is refreshing to learn how the French make their carrot salad.  Trust me, once you try this French version, you won’t want to go back to the American kind!

person holding a spoonful of French carrot salad

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What does French grated carrot salad taste like?

French grated carrot salad is a simple salad that tastes bright and slightly sweet, due to the zippy lemon mustard vinaigrette.  This salad uses fresh ingredients, and tastes light and refreshing.  As you make the salad, keep tasting and adjusting the flavors to customize it to your tastebuds; add a bit more lemon, sugar, or salt as you like.

What is in carrot salad?

French carrot salad is easy to throw together because it doesn’t have a lot of ingredients.  The basic salad is made of the following components:

  • Freshly grated carrots
  • Vinaigrette (olive oil, lemon juice, salt, black pepper, sugar and Dijon)
  • Fresh chopped parsley

top view of a bowl of French carrot salad

How many calories are in French carrot salad?

For 1/2 cup of this salad, you’ll consume 93 calories, so this salad is perfect for weight loss.  This salad is also high in vitamin A and C and is low in fat and carbs.  For more nutritional information, please scroll past the recipe at the end of the post.

The Secret to the Perfect French Carrot Salad

The secret to getting a good French grated salad is finely grating the carrots yourself.  Don’t bother using the pre-grated carrots from the grocery store, because they are often dried out and are cut too thickly.  Your goal is to use freshly grated carrots, since they will give off some juice and should be sweeter.

How do you shred carrots for salad?

  • Use a moulinex grater, if you have one.  This is the traditional method used in France.
  • Use the grater attachment to a Kitchenaid.
  • Use a box grater.
  • Use a food processor.

side view of a bowl of French carrot salad

How do you prepare carrots for salad?

  • Wash and peel the carrots.
  • Cut off 1/2 inch from the top and bottom of each carrot to remove the green tops and the roots.
  • Place the large end of the carrot on the smallest size holes of the box grater.
  • Using a downward motion, grate the carrot, being careful not to cut your fingers. 
  • Eat or compost the carrot piece that is too small to grate.

How can I keep grated carrots fresh?

Grated carrots should keep up to one week in the fridge, as long as they are properly stored in an airtight container or a plastic zip top bag with the air squeezed out.

How long does grated carrot salad last?

Once the salad is made, it should last up to 3 or 4 days in the fridge, if it is placed in a container with a tight sealing lid.

person holding a bowl of French carrot salad

Can I freeze carrot salad?

The appeal of this salad is it’s freshness, so it’s best not to freeze it.  Freshly grated carrots are moist and sweet.  If this salad was frozen and thawed, it would lose that fresh taste.

What do you serve with grated carrot salad?

French grated carrot salad is a versatile side dish, and like mashed potatoes, it goes with almost anything.  Serve with a main meat, sandwich, or soup and you’ll have a fantastic lunch or supper.

Can I make carrot salad for a crowd?

Carrot salad is a forgiving recipe, so it’s easy to make for a crowd.  Remember the base of the salad is the freshly grated carrots, so you can grate the carrots the day ahead, then whisk up the vinaigrette and add the chopped parsley on the day of the event. 

This recipe makes enough for 5 people to have 1/2 a cup serving size, so to scale this for a crowd, just multiply each ingredient by 5 and you’ll end up with 12 1/2 cups of carrot salad.

How to Make French Carrot Salad

Gather all the ingredients for the salad and the vinaigrette.  Juice the lemons, grate the carrots, and chop the parsley.  Measure out the spices and the olive oil.

ingredients for French carrot salad

Place all the ingredients in a bowl for the vinaigrette.  You’ll need freshly squeezed lemon juice, olive oil, salt, pepper, Dijon mustard, and sugar.

person holding a tray of spices and seasonings

Whisk the dressing ingredients together until blended.

person whisking lemon salad dressing for French carrot salad

Add the lemon vinaigrette to the grated carrot mixture.

person holding a bowl of the lemon salad dressing for French carrot salad

Stir in the vinaigrette until the salad is thoroughly mixed.  If you prefer, you can use your hands instead of a spoon.

mixing grated carrots and the salad dressing in a bowl

Add the chopped parsley.

person holding a bowl of chopped fresh parsley

To achieve the best carrot salad, adjust the seasonings as you go.  Overall, the flavors are subtle, so be careful not to be heavy handed with the Dijon or the oil.  For my salad, I added extra lemon juice, 2 tablespoons and a bit more sugar.

person holding a tray with bowls of lemon juice and salt

Toss the salad to make sure everything is well mixed.  For best flavor, cover and chill for at least 30 minutes then place in a serving bowl and enjoy!

stirring a bowl of French carrot salad

Pro Tips for French Grated Carrot Salad

  • Use room temperature lemons, as they are easier to squeeze and yield more juice.
  • Don’t want to use lemon juice?  Replace it with the juice of one orange, champagne vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
  • Want other fresh herbs?  Try thyme, dill, or oregano.
  • Want to use a different sweetener?  Try honey or maple syrup.
  • Want to add another vegetable?  Try shallots, spring onion, fennel or radish.
  • Spice tip:  Add the salt a little at a time.  Taste before serving, and adjust any spices as needed.
  • Don’t be tempted to buy the pre-grated carrots, since freshly grated carrots make the salad taste much better.
  • Don’t want to use olive oil?  Use walnut oil instead.
  • Want more substance?  Add cooked white beans.

bowl of French carrot salad

Our Go-To Kitchen Tools for French Carrot Salad

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The pleasure of a 5 star review for this carrot salad would be greatly appreciated.

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person holding a bowl of French carrot salad

French Grated Carrot Salad


  • Author: Brooke
  • Prep Time: 25 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 2 1/2 cups 1x

Description

French grated carrot salad is an easy recipe that is simple, healthy, and economical.  This classic French side dish is both vegan and vegetarian friendly.  Grated carrots and fresh parsley are tossed with a lemon vinaigrette to create a light refreshing salad that is also great for weight loss.


Scale

Ingredients

For the Salad

  • 4 cups finely grated carrot, from 6 large carrots (444g)
  • 3/4 cup flatleaf parsley, chopped (25g)

For the Lemon Vinaigrette

  • 1/2 cup lemon juice, from 4 room-temperature lemons (reserve 2 tablespoons; 120 ml)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil (30 ml)
  • 1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard
  • 1/2 teaspoon granulated sugar (reserve 1/4 teaspoon for the end)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

Instructions

  1. Wash and peel 6 large carrots, then cut off their tops and ends.  Finely grate them with a box grater to get 4 cups (444g), then place the grated carrot in a mixing bowl.
  2. Cut four room-temperature lemons in half, then squeeze their juice until you have 1/2 cup (120 ml).  Reserve two tablespoons (30 ml) of lemon juice to use later.
  3. Whisk together the olive oil, lemon juice, salt, pepper and sugar to make the lemon vinaigrette.
  4. Pour over the carrots and mix together with a spoon or toss with your hands.  The carrot salad should be moist, but not overly juicy.
  5. Sprinkle on the fresh parsley and gently toss to combine.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  I added the reserved lemon juice and sugar at this step.
  6. Cover and refrigerate for 30 minutes or until ready to serve.  Check the seasonings before serving.

Notes

  • Make this recipe perfectly the first time.  Check out the step-by-step photos and pro tips before the recipe card.
  • The pleasure of a 5-star review for this French grated carrot salad recipe would be greatly appreciated.
  • 👩🏻‍🍳 Want to see our latest recipes?  Subscribe to our email newsletter to get our latest recipes, fun food facts, food puns, and behind the scenes news about our blog.
  • Category: Salad
  • Method: Grated
  • Cuisine: French

Keywords: carrot salad recipes without mayonnaise, shaved carrot salad

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5 thoughts on “French Grated Carrot Salad

  1. The lemon brings out the flavor of the grated carrot. I like the flat leaf parsley, too; it adds additional flavor. The lemon is sour, but this salad is good!

  2. The carrots and parsley compliment each other. The lemon is really good in this salad, because it gives the salad a tangy taste. I like how you can tweak the recipe to reflect your personal tastes.

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