A spicy vegan twist on a classic, this Carrot Raisin Salad with Tahini-Sriracha Dressing is perfect alongside a sandwich or atop a big green salad. And you can easily tailor the tahini dressing to be more or less spicy and/or sweet. Perfect for quick lunches or picnics and backyard cookouts, this vegan carrot salad comes together in just 15 minutes and is also oil-free and gluten-free.
*Originally published August 2018; republished with new photos and recipe adjustments January 2020.
Earlier this summer at Asheville VeganFest, I had the pleasure of attending a cooking demo held by the lovely Lauren Eller Vaught of Edible Musings. Lauren made several delicious, whole-food, plant-based recipes for everyone to sample. One was a kale salad using a dressing very similar to the one I'm sharing here. The dressing was so good with its balance of salty, sweet, and earthy, and so easy to prepare, of course I started adding it to everything in the weeks that followed.
I was planning to make a curried carrot salad recipe for the blog but couldn't resist trying this tahini-sriracha dressing first. And it ended up being a totally delicious combo! The bursts of sweet raisins and mild sweetness of the carrots work really well with tahini and the subtle heat from sriracha.
Tips and Substitutions for Vegan Carrot Salad with Tahini Dressing
If you have a food processor with a grater attachment, that's definitely the way to go here. Shredding 1.25 pounds of carrots takes no more than a minute! Shredding by hand using a box grater, will obviously take a bit longer.
The dressing is fairly thick when you first stir it together, and that's okay! Thick dressing clings to the carrots better, while thin dressing will pool in the bottom of your serving bowl. So add no more than 1 tablespoon of water when making the dressing.
Carrot Raisin Salad is best eaten fresh. If you're carrying it to a party, and you're including cilantro or parsley, either sprinkle the herbs on top (don't fold in), or wait and add them just before serving. Be sure to keep the carrot salad covered until ready to serve.
As far as substitutions go, there's a lot of room for customizing this recipe to make it your own.
- Sub golden raisins, or get creative with other dried fruits like apricots or dates.
- Add chopped fresh pineapple (be sure to drain it well).
- Substitute nut butter for the tahini. Raw cashew butter would be a milder option, and a peanut version would also be great!
- Transform this into a carrot salad/slaw hybrid by mixing in some shredded green and red cabbage.
- For crunch add toasted cashews or slivered almonds.
- Use more or less sriracha to adjust the level of spiciness.
- For more citrus flavor, add lemon, lime, or orange zest to the dressing.
I hope you enjoy this quick and easy vegan carrot salad with tahini dressing!
Comment below and give it a star rating to let everyone know how it turned out. And if you're feeling "social," tag me in a pic on instagram with @myquietkitchen!
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Carrot Salad with Tahini-Sriracha Dressing
- ½ cup tahini Can reduce to ⅓ cup, if desired.
- 2 Tbsp maple syrup
- 1 ½ Tbsp tamari
- 1 Tbsp dijon or spicy mustard
- 1 Tbsp nutritional yeast
- 2 to 3 tsp sriracha hot sauce, optional
- 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
- 1 Tbsp water, as needed for consistency
For the salad:
- 1 ¼ pounds carrots (20 oz)
- ½ cup raisins
- handful of cilantro or parsley leaves, roughly chopped, optional Add just before serving.
- 3 Tbsp sesame seeds or hemp hearts, optional
- In a small bowl combine the dressing ingredients and whisk until smooth.
- Wash and peel the carrots. Shred them using the grater attachment of a food processor or with a box grater.
- In a large bowl combine the shredded carrots, raisins, and dressing. Stir to combine. *See Notes below if making in advance. Sprinkle cilantro/parsley and seeds on top, if using. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.