Friday, May 24, 2024

Cucumber Carrot Salad – Bites of Wellness


Cucumber carrot salad with creamy sesame dressing is easy to make, ready in just 10 minutes and the perfect light, refreshing salad (with no lettuce). Made with simple ingredients, this Asian carrot and cucumber salad is great as a simple side dish for weeknight meals, lunch or even summer cookouts.

Fork resting in a bowl of Asian cucumber carrot salad.Fork resting in a bowl of Asian cucumber carrot salad.
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Why you will love this carrot cucumber salad

  • Easy to make
  • 10 minutes
  • No lettuce salad
  • Packed with flavor
  • Inexpensive
  • Simple side dish
  • Great for cookouts
  • Healthy, vegan, gluten free, Whole30, low carb
Ingredients to make cucumber carrot salad on cement countertop.Ingredients to make cucumber carrot salad on cement countertop.

Ingredients

  • Cucumber – English cucumber is best for this recipe, since it has a thin skin and small seeds, you don’t have to peel the cucumbers or remove the seeds. If you are using traditional cucumbers, peel the cucumbers first, and use s spoon to remove the seeds before slicing.
  • Shredded carrots – I like to buy shredded carrots for convenience, but you can easily shred carrots using the food processor or a hand grater. For an even prettier presentation, you can thinly peel the carrots to make long carrot ribbons.
  • Green onion – green onion adds a unique onion flavor without being overpowering. I like to use the green and the white in this recipe. If you don’t have green onion, simply omit it from the recipe.
  • Sesame seeds (optional) – adding sesame seeds adds color and crunch to the salad. Use white or black sesame seeds for contrast and texture.

Almond Butter Sesame Dressing

  • Almond butter – almond butter makes the dressing thick and is used instead of oil as the base for the dressing. I have also tried this with tahini and it works just as well for a nut free option.
  • Coconut aminos – coconut aminos add a deep rich flavor to the dressing. They are a gluten free and soy free alternative to soy sauce. You could also use gluten free tamari or soy sauce (you may need less salt) since coconut aminos tend to be sweeter and not as salty.
  • Rice wine vinegar – rice vinegar cuts through the heaviness of the almond butter and rounds out the flavors well. If you don’ have rice wine vinegar, use lime juice.
  • Sesame oil – just a little sesame oil goes a long way and can quickly overpower the flavor of the dressing. If you don’t have sesame oil, just omit it. The dressing will still have lots of flavor.
  • Spices: Salt, garlic powder – these help to season the dish, salt to amplify all the flavors and garlic powder to add a garlic flavor and more umami to the dish.

How to make cucumber carrot salad

Start by making the dressing, combine the almond butter, coconut aminos, rice wine vinegar, sesame oil, salt and garlic powder in a bowl. Stir well until well incorporated (it will thicken and smooth out more as it sits).

Slice the cucumber. If you are enjoying the salad now, slice the cucumber thin. If you are making this a few hours in advance, cut the cucumber into thicker slices. Grate the carrots if needed, slice the green onion.

Sliced cucumbers on wood cutting board.Sliced cucumbers on wood cutting board.

Add cucumbers, carrots, green onion and dressing to a large bowl. Stir well. Let sit 5 minutes then enjoy.

Top tips

  • Since there is salt in the dressing, it causes the cucumbers to wilt a bit as they release water. Because of this, the thinner you slice the cucumber, the quicker it will get mushy. If you plan on enjoying this right away, cut the cucumber thin. If you want to prep the salad in advance, make the cucumber slices thicker.
  • I like to use the shortcut and buy shredded carrots, but you can easily shred carrots in the food processor using the grating attachment.
  • If you want to prep this salad in advance, slice the cucumbers, shred the carrots and make the dressing. Wait until serving (or 30 minutes before serving) to dress the salad.

Other additions to asian carrot cucumber salad

Forkful of Asian carrot cucumber saladForkful of Asian carrot cucumber salad

Common questions

What are the best cucumbers to use

The best cucumbers for a salad like this are thin skinned cucumbers with small seeds. I prefer English cucumbers because they are easy to find (usually you will see them wrapped in plastic in the grocery store). Persian cucumbers are a great option as well, but they are not as easy to find where I live.

Can you use cucumbers from the garden

Yes, however most cucumbers that are grown in the garden have a thicker skin and large seeds.

Simply peel the cucumbers (you can leave some of the skin for a nice presentation) and use a spoon to remove the seeds.

Can this cucumber and carrot salad be prepped in advance

Because the dressing will draw moisture out of the cucumbers, it’s best prepped right before serving (1-2 hours in advance max). If you want to prep some of this in advance, here are some tips:

  • Slice the cucumbers and green onion
  • Shred the carrots
  • Make the dressing.
  • Assemble the salad (except don’t add the dressing). About 10 minutes before serving, add the dressing and stir well.
Carrot and cucumber salad with sesame Asian dressing.Carrot and cucumber salad with sesame Asian dressing.

Storing leftovers

Fridge: If you have leftovers, they will keep in the fridge in an airtight container for 1-2 days. The dressing will get watery and the cucumbers will lose some of their crunch, so if you  know you are prepping this in advance, slice the cucumbers thicker to help retain some of their texture.

If you love this simple salad recipe, you should try

Asian Broccoli Slaw Salad

Mediterranean Cucumber Tomato Salad

Green Bean Italian Salad

Chopped Mediterranean Salad

★ Did you make this recipe? Please give it a star rating below!

  • 1 large English cucumber
  • 1/2 cup shredded carrots about 2 large carrots
  • 2 green onions
  • 1 tbsp sesame seedsoptional

Almond Butter Sesame Dressing

  • In a bowl combine the dressing ingredients and stir well until well incorporated. Let the dressing rest 1-2 minutes so it can thicken.

  • Slice the cucumber, grate the carrots (I buy shredded) and thinly slice the green onion (green and white portion).

  • Add the cucumbers, carrots, green onion and dressing to a large bowl. Stir well to coat the veggies in dressing. Let rest at least 5 minutes before serving (20 minutes is best).

Tips:

  • Since there is salt in the dressing, it causes the cucumbers to wilt a bit as they release water. Because of this, the thinner you slice the cucumber, the quicker it will get mushy. If you plan on enjoying this right away, cut the cucumber thin. If you want to prep the salad in advance, make the cucumber slices thicker.
  • I like to use the shortcut and buy shredded carrots, but you can easily shred carrots in the food processor using the grating attachment or a hand grater.
  • If you want to prep this salad in advance, slice the cucumbers, shred the carrots and make the dressing. Wait until serving (or 30 minutes before serving) to dress the salad.

Nutrition Information

Nutrition Facts

Amount per Serving

Where does nutrition info come from? Nutrition facts are provided as a courtesy, sourced from the USDA Food Database.

Let others know by rating and leaving a comment below!



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