If you’re looking for a new way to serve carrots, this Carrot and Cucumber Salad is the perfect recipe. It’s simple and versatile while also feeling brand new. Dressed with a simple mustard vinaigrette and studded with your choice of fresh herbs, this recipe proves that oftentimes simple is best. 

I’ve been developing recipes professionally for more than 10 years and a large portion of those recipes are salads. I love highlighting produce with simple dressings and vinaigrettes that allow the vegetables to truly shine.

This salad is one of those recipes. It’s simple, fresh and perfectly balanced. It uses a mustard vinaigrette which is a riff off of one I make all the time for quick dinner salads at home.

Olive oil, vinegar, a combo of mustards, dash of sugar and salt and pepper to taste is all you need. Dress any vegetable or green with it and it will be eaten up in a flash!

What I love about this recipe is that’s it’s so simple it’s begging to be riffed on. Play around with the type of mustard you use, add different herbs and change the way you slice the carrots and cucumbers to keep it interesting.

Thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers and coated in a mustard vinaigrette and tossed with fresh herbs in a large serving bowl.

Ingredients Needed

  • Olive Oil: use a good-quality extra-virgin olive oil for this recipe. The bolder, fruitier and spicier, the better. 
  • Vinegar: Apple cider vinegar, white wine vinegar or red wine vinegar will all work here. 
  • Mustard: you’ll need a combination of whole grain mustard and Dijon. If you don’t want to buy both you can use stone ground in place of both. 
  • Sugar, salt and pepper: simple pantry ingredients needed to season the salad! 
  • Cucumbers: for this recipe I prefer to use Persian cucumbers, aka mini cucumbers. You can substitute with one English cucumber. 
  • Carrots: you’ll need three large carrots for this recipe. If you only have baby carrots, you can use those, though you’ll need about 1 ½ cup thinly sliced carrots. 
  • Herbs: what herb you use totally depends on what you like, have on hand and what is in season. In the spring I like to use cilantro or chives, in the summer I like to use basil, and in fall and winter I like to use parsley with just a bit of thyme or oregano thrown in. 
Persian cucumbers, three large carrots, olive oil, salt, pepper, sugar, vinegar, basil and mustard set out on a counter.

How to Make

  1. Start by whisking up the vinaigrette in a large mixing bowl. Combine the olive oil, vinegar, whole grain mustard, Dijon and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper. 
  2. Thinly slice the cucumbers and carrots. I like to use a mandoline for this—it makes for quick and efficient work and uniform slices. 
  3. Toss the cucumbers and carrots in the vinaigrette then season to taste with additional salt and pepper as needed. 
  4. Chop the fresh herbs of choice and add to the salad. Toss to combine and serve.  

Storage Information

This salad is best served soon after making it, though you can store it in the refrigerator in an airtight container for up to 3 days.

Thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers and coated in a mustard vinaigrette and tossed with fresh herbs in a large serving bowl.

Pro Tips 

  • A mandoline is a great piece of equipment if you slice a lot of vegetables. No need to buy one with all the bells and whistles—just get a classic Japanese mandoline. 
  • If you don’t have—or don’t want to buy—both whole grain mustard and Dijon, you can simply use stone ground in place of both. 
  • Play around with different fresh herbs. Any tender herb such as parsley, basil or cilantro can be added as noted in the recipe. Any heartier herbs like thyme, rosemary and oregano should be added in smaller amounts. Start with 1–2 teaspoons. 

Variations

  • Instead of slicing, julienne the carrots and cucumber for something different! 
  • Or shred the carrots and cucumber and add shredded cabbage for a slaw-style salad. 
  • Make an asian-style carrot and cucumber salad by dressing it with the Miso Dressing I use in this cabbage salad recipe.
  • Toss the salad with my Dill Ranch Dressing for something a bit creamier. 
  • Give the salad a whole different spin and toss it with Chimichurri or Red Chimichurri

Serve With

This is the perfect side dish for any grilled protein, sandwich or potluck. 

Carrot and Cucumber Salad Recipe

5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 15 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Yield 6 servings
Category Salad/Side dish
Cuisine American

Description

A simple and delicious Carrot and Cucumber Salad tossed in a tangy mustard vinaigrette and fresh herbs.

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 ½ teaspoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon sugar or honey
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
  • 5 Persian cucumbers*
  • 3 large carrots
  • ¼ cup chopped basil, parsley or cilantro

Instructions

  • In a large mixing bowl, whisk together olive oil, vinegar, whole grain mustard, Dijon, and sugar. Season to taste with salt and pepper and set aside.
  • Using a mandoline or sharp chefs knife, thinly slice cucumbers and carrots. Add to bowl with vinaigrette and toss to combine.
  • Add herb and toss to combine; season with salt and pepper and serve.

Notes

Persian cucumbers are also sold labeled as mini cucumbers. They have a nice crisp, crunchy texture. You can substitute with one English cucumber.
For the best results, be sure to very thinly slice the carrots. If they are cut too think they’ll overpower the cucumbers.
A mandoline is the quickest and easiest way to thinly slice a lot of vegetables. If you don’t have a mandoline, you can also use the slicing attachment on a food processor. Or just use a Chefs knife.
Herbs: what herb you use totally depends on what you like, have on hand and what is in season. In the spring I like to use cilantro or chives, in the summer I like to use basil, and in fall and winter I like to use parsley with just a bit of thyme or oregano thrown in.

Nutrition

Serving: 1/6 recipeCalories: 90kcalCarbohydrates: 11gProtein: 0.5gFat: 4gSodium: 249mgFiber: 4gSugar: 3g
Like this? Leave a comment below!I love hearing from you and I want to hear how it went with this recipe! Leave a comment and rating below, then share on social media @zestfulkitchen and #zestfulkitchen!
Thinly sliced carrots and cucumbers and coated in a mustard vinaigrette and tossed with fresh herbs in a large serving bowl.

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About The Author

Lauren Grant is a professional culinary food scientist, food writer, recipe developer, and food photographer. Lauren is a previous magazine editor and test kitchen developer and has had work published in major national publications including Diabetic Living Magazine, Midwest Living Magazine, Cuisine at Home Magazine, EatingWell.com, AmericasTestKitchen.com, and more.

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