This carrot cucumber salad is a light and heathy mixture of crisp cucumber and crunchy carrots. The sesame oil and rice vinegar Asian inspired dressing pairs perfectly. Try this delicious side dish with your favorite grilled meats.
Salads are great any time of the year, but they are especially good when the weather warm up! You'll love the cool cucumbers on a hot summer day! This salad recipe is also:
- Easy to make with less than 30 minutes of prep time.
- Versatile - it pairs well with many dishes.
- Can be made a few hours ahead.
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Key ingredients and substitutions
Ingredients are easy to find. I shopped this recipe at Target.
Cucumbers - Green or English (seedless) cucumbers work well. I used green cucumbers and kept the skin on for added crunch, color and nutrition, but you can peel them. No need to peel English cucumbers.
Carrots - the kind Bugs Bunny likes! Mix it up with purple or yellow ones.
Red onion - try green onions or shallots if you find red onions too strong. They will mellow after sitting in the vinaigrette for a couple hours.
Rice vinegar - unseasoned rice vinegar means it there is no sugar added. Seasoned rice vinegar will work too. Rice wine vinegar can also work
Cilantro - if you like cilantro, use it. If you don't you can leave it out or try Italian parsley instead.
Toasted sesame oil - this is an important ingredient because it gives this carrot salad it's special flavor. However, you can use any oil and it will still be delicious.
Chili powder - any variety will work well such as chipotle or adobo.
Sesame seeds or red pepper flakes - I use these interchangeably depending on my mood and what I'm planning to serve the salad with.
See recipe card for quantities.
Step One - Add rice vinegar, cilantro, sesame oil, chili powder, salt, and pepper to a large bowl. Whisk to combine well.
Step Two - Add cucumbers, carrots, and red onions to bowl. Toss to combine with vinaigrette. Cover and chill for two to four hours.
Hint: try these salad hands to mix the salad. They are gentle and can be put in the dishwasher!
Spicy - sprinkle red pepper flakes over the top before serving. Or add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the vinaigrette. Add sliced fresh jalepeño slices or chopped pickled jalepeños.
Tex Mex - skip the sesame oil and use a mild flavored oil like olive or canola. Add jalepeños like stated above and top with sliced or diced avocados.
Dietary - this dish is naturally low carb, vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free. Please check ingredient labels if you have a dietary requirement.
This carrot cucumber salad should be kept in the refrigerator and can be kept for up to 8 hours. After that, they salad will begin to get soggy.
These ingredients don't stand up well to freezing.
Prep the carrots, cucumbers, and red onions ahead of time. Store separately in storage bags or containers in the refrigerator. Mix the dressing and and add sliced vegetables a couple hours before needed.
Carrots and cucumbers are nutritional powerhouses that taste great together. Carrots contain vitamin A and cucumbers have vitamin C.
Eating cucumber skin or peel will add vitamin A and fiber to your diet.
More salad recipes
Carrot Cucumber Salad
- Combine rice vinegar, cilantro, sesame oil, chili powder, and salt and pepper in a large bowl. Whisk to combine.
- Add cut cucumbers, carrots, and red onion to bowl. Toss with vinaigrette until evenly coated.
- Refrigerate for 2 to 4 hours, tightly covered in the refrigerator.
- Always wash your hands before preparing foods
- Wash all cooking utensils and cutting boards after contact with raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods