Salads aren't only for summer! This light, crunchy, and easy carrots cucumber salad with a flavorful oil-free dressing is my go-to when I don't want to cook but still want a delicious meal. Perfect on its own or as a side dish for any main course, this allergen free salad is a great way to add more veggies to your diet.
If you've been following my recipes for a while, you know by now that I love cucumbers. I use them a lot in salads and raitas. For instance, this beetroot cucumber salad is one of my favorites, and I can't have an Indian meal in my home without this cucumber raita.
Carrot and cucumber are a match made in heaven, in my opinion! They have a sweet crunch and a juicy crispness that are just perfect!
This post contains helpful notes and tips to help you make the perfect dish. However, if you are in a rush, please use the "Jump to Recipe" link above or the "Jump to" links below to get to the section you want.
Allergens free labels
This salad is light and crunchy and has a simple oil-free dressing. It is naturally vegan and free of:
To make it grain-free, swap the rice vinegar with regular or apple cider vinegar.
If you do not want seeds in your recipe, you can omit the sesame seeds, but they add a nice crunch and balance to the salad.
To make it allium free, just skip the onions.
Why this carrot and cucumber salad
This is an easy one to answer!
- Simple and easy to make, this salad is ready in less than 20 minutes.
- No cooking required, it is ideal for those busy days when time is limited.
- It is colorful, fragrant, and has lovely textures.
- It uses simple ingredients that you already have in your pantry.
- With only about 119 calories per serving, it is healthy, and light and perfect for hot summer days. Check the nutrition chart at the end of the recipe card for more details.
- It is free of many allergens and suitable for you if you have dietary preferences. See the section above for more information.
What are the benefits of raw carrot and cucumber salad?
A raw salad with carrots and cucumber has many benefits. First of all, as we eat with our eyes first, the bright color of the raw veggies makes the salad look gorgeous!
The crunchy carrots, crisp cucumber, and sharp red onions balance well with each other. The fresh herbs and the dressing adds a lovely freshness to the salad. The toasted sesame seeds add more nutrition and a nutty flavor to the dish.
This simple carrot and cucumber salad is low in calories and high in fiber (check the nutrition chart at the end of the recipe card for more details). As we know, carrots are super healthy and on hot days cool cucumbers provide hydration, among other health benefits.
This easy salad recipe requires under 10 ingredients, that's it!
See the recipe card for quantities.
- Cucumbers: There are so many different kinds of cucumbers out there! I use the regular, large English cucumbers. You can also use Persian cucumber, also known as baby cucumber, if you like.
- Carrots: I used red carrots because they are in season now. You can use the regular orange or any carrots that you have.
- Salt and sugar: I use Himalayan pink salt and demerara sugar.
- Onion: I use red onion for its color and taste. You can use any onion of your choice.
- Red pepper flakes: I love the color contrast and the gentle heat that they add to the salad. You can replace them with freshly cracked black pepper or some finely chopped chili peppers.
- Rice wine vinegar: If you don't have this, you can use red wine vinegar or white wine vinegar instead. Want to skip vinegar altogether? See the section below for alternative dressing ingredients.
- Fresh herbs: I use cilantro. Not a fan of it? See the section below for other options.
- Sesames seeds: I toast them in a pan until they are aromatic.
Have a question regarding the ingredients? Feel free to ask in the comments section below and I will try my best to answer it for you.
You can make this crunchy carrot and cucumber salad in just 3 simple steps and less than 20 minutes. Slicing the fresh veggies takes the most time. If you have a handy tool like a food processor or julienne peeler, you can make the salad much faster.
Also see the video at the end of the recipe card below.
Step 1: Prepare the veggies
Wash and thinly slice the carrots and cucumber. Peel the carrots and cucumber only if necessary.
Wash, peel and thinly slice the onion.
Wash the cilantro leaves and pat them dry on a kitchen or paper towels.
Note: You can make carrot ribbons instead of slicing them. You can also cut the veggies into long strips, if that is what you prefer.
Step 2: Make the dressing.
This carrots cucumber salad dressing has just 4 ingredients: rice wine vinegar, red pepper flakes, salt, and sugar.
Add them to a bowl or a glass jar and mix well until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Keep aside.
Step 3: Assemble the salad.
Add the sliced carrots, onion and cucumber slices, and cilantro leaves to a mixing bowl.
Pour the dressing and mix well so that it coats all the vegetables.
Garnish with sesame seeds and more cilantro.
The salad is now ready to be served, however, if you have time let it rest for 5 minutes or so. This will allow the flavors to mingle.
Notes and variations
This salad is so simple that nothing can hide! Fresh ingredients are key for a fresh flavor and crunchy textures.
Not a fan of cilantro? Swap with any fresh herbs of your choice - parsley, mint, chives, or dill will work well.
Variations: You can amp up this simple crunchy cucumber carrot salad, if you like, to add more flavors, textures, and nutrition. Here are some ideas:
- Add leafy greens. Some arugula (rocket leaves) or micro greens of your choice will make the salad more colorful and healthy.
- Make a dressing without vinegar. Use lemon juice or lime juice instead of vinegar to make a sweet and tangy lemon dressing.
- Make a vinaigrette dressing. If you don't mind adding oil to the recipe, add some olive oil to the dressing and shake well.
- Add Asian flavors. The toasted sesame seeds add some Asian flavor, but you can enhance it by adding some chopped scallions (spring onions), some soy sauce, and a few drops of sesame oil to the dressing.
Any doubts or questions? Feel free to ask via the comments below. I will try my best to answer them for you. - Padma
This crunchy salad tastes best when fresh. The vegetables should not lose their crispiness.
If you want to prep ahead, slice the vegetables and store them in separate, airtight containers in the fridge. Make the dressing and store it separately too.
Carrots and cucumbers are a great combination. They are both healthy and nutritious vegetables that you can eat cooked or raw. They are also easy to like because they taste sweet. A simple carrot and cucumber salad is a great way to add more veggies to your diet.
This cucumber carrot salad is best when fresh. The vegetables should not lose their crunchiness. To save time, you can prep ahead. Cut the veggies and store them in separate, airtight containers in the fridge. You can also make the dressing ahead and store in the fridge.
The best cucumber to use for carrot and cucumber salad are the English cucumbers. They taste sweet, are juicy and crunchy. They do not have seeds and have thin skin and therefore don't have to be peeled.
You can also use Persian cucumbers or Japanese cucumbers, if that is what you have.
Slice the carrots and cucumbers thinly for a salad. You can also cut them into long strips or ribbons. Thinly sliced vegetables will absorb the dressing flavors better.
If you have made this carrots cucumber salad, please take a moment to leave a comment and a rating below. This will make me super happy and motivate me to create more good content for you! You can also engage with me on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram xx Padma
Carrots Cucumber Salad Recipe: Light and Crunchy
- 1 salad mixing bowl
- 1 bowl or glass jar, for making the dressing
- 1 mixing spoon
- 2 medium sized (~180g) carrots
- 1 large (~300g) cucumber
- 1 medium sized (~60g) onion
- 15-20 cilantro (coriander) leaves, see notes
- 3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar, see notes
- 1 and ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes, see notes
- ¾ teaspoon salt, adjust to taste
- ¾ teaspoon sugar, any type will do
To finish off
- 1 and ½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds
- chopped cilantro
Prepare the veggies
- Wash and thinly slice the carrots and cucumber. Peel the carrots and cucumber only if necessary.
- Wash, peel and thinly slice the onion.
- Wash the cilantro leaves and pat them dry on a kitchen towel.
Make the dressing
- To a bowl or a glass jar, add the rice wine vinegar, pepper flakes, salt, and sugar. Mix well until the salt and sugar are dissolved. Keep aside.3 teaspoons rice wine vinegar,, 1 and ½ teaspoons red pepper flakes,, ¾ teaspoon salt,, ¾ teaspoon sugar,
Assemble the salad
- Place the sliced carrots, cucumber, onion, and cilantro leaves in the salad bowl.2 medium sized (~180g) carrots, 1 large (~300g) cucumber, 1 medium sized (~60g) onion, 15-20 cilantro (coriander) leaves,
- Pour the dressing and mix well so that it coats all the vegetables.
- Garnish with sesame seeds and more cilantro.1 and ½ teaspoons toasted sesame seeds, chopped cilantro
- The salad is now ready to be served, however, if you have time let it rest for 5 minutes or so. This will allow the flavors to mingle.
Alternative quantities provided in the recipe card are for 1x only.
The nutrition information is based on available ingredients and preparation. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.