Maria’s Best Carrot Salad

Maria’s Best Carrot Salad is an Italian salad made with fresh carrots boiled until they are tender to the bite, then tossed with a garlicky sweet-tangy vinaigrette.  Served chilled or at room temperature, this carrot salad is simple, flavorful, and positively delicious! 


What Makes This Carrot Salad So Different?

  • Fresh garlic along with one herb gives a distinctive but subtle favor, creating a reaction from everyone who tastes it, to ask, “What’s in this salad?”
  • And the longer the carrot salad sits and marinates, the better the vinaigrette will infuse its flavors into the carrots making them taste AMAZING!!
  • It is an easy side dish to serve any day of the week.
  • Plus, our carrot salad will get rid of all the notions of this so-called “boring” vegetable.

Similar to our recipe for Green Beans and Carrot Salad, only this is made with one vegetable, fresh carrots.

A round white ceramic bowl filled with cooked carrots sticks.


Maria’s Carrot Salad…

We make this carrot salad all year long, and it is the best! 

This happens to be our mom’s recipe and we think it’s the BEST Carrot Salad in the WORLD!!  We named it after her, Maria’s Best Carrot Salad because we know it is ideally a “healthy” salad to serve your entire family. And once you try her recipe, there is no doubt in our minds, you will feel the same way as we do!

Notes and Tips for Success!

  • It’s best to use fresh carrots.  There’s nothing like using fresh vegetables.
  • If you are short on time, you can use frozen pre-cut carrots with this recipe.  You will need to remember to “undercook them a little” and rinse them under cold water to stop the cooking process.
  • DO NOT over-cook the carrots (fresh or frozen), they will lose their flavor, become soggy, and won’t taste good.
  • You can make this carrot salad up to 2 days ahead, then allow it to sit out on the counter for at least 1/2 hour before serving.
  • Keep in mind, that the carrots will absorb most of the vinaigrette, therefore, it’s best to toss them and taste one last time before serving and adjust the seasonings, and maybe add in a little more vinegar and olive oil, if needed.
  • BEST served chilled or at room temperature.

Mom has been making this classic Neapolitan carrot salad forever, aka “Insalata di carrote” for as long as we can remember.  She made it weekly for our Dad; it was his absolute favorite salad.

Now, every time we make it, we honor our Dad.

Maria's Best Carrot Salad by

 (*Full recipe card below!)

Ingredients you will need: (with affiliate links)

How To Make Maria’s Best Carrot Salad?

  1. FRESH CARROTS: Depending on how many servings you will need, 1 package (16 ounces) of fresh organic carrots is enough to make a nice amount of servings.
  2. PREP THE CARROTS: Peel and cut the carrots into 2 to 3-inch sticks, like the size of french fries.
  3. BOIL CARROTS: The carrots are quickly boiled for a few minutes until they are al-dente and tender to the bite.
  4. MAKE THE VINAIGRETTE: Then toss the carrots with the vinaigrette and set them aside to marinate for at least 30 minutes or more. Taste and adjust the seasonings.

 Maria's Best Carrot Salad by


Options to serve it with…

There are so many options to serve this carrot salad as a side dish. Here are just a few ideas and recipes for you to try:


Maria’s Best Carrot Salad always brings a bright color, along with the refreshing taste of carrots to the table. 

They’re neither bland nor boring.  We bet your family will enjoy this salad as much as we do.

It’s a great recipe to use up some of your fresh carrots – with this salad!  Plus, it’s a great way to get your family to eat more of them!



Maria's Best Carrot Salad by

More Carrot Recipes You’ll Love!  

Yield: 6 to 8 servings

Maria's Best Carrot Salad

A round white ceramic bowl filled with cooked carrots sticks.

Mom's Best Carrot Salad is made with fresh carrots and marinated with a delicious vinaigrette. These ingredients make a vibrant and delicious carrot salad with texture, enticing flavors and get rid of all the notions of the so-called "boring" vegetable.

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 4 minutes
Total Time 14 minutes


  • 1 pound bag of fresh carrots, (about 10-12 small carrots)
  • 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 Tbsp. white balsamic vinegar
  • 1/8 tsp. dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves - minced
  • pinch of organic ground cayenne pepper or red pepper flakes
  • salt & fresh ground pepper, to taste


  1. Peel carrots and cut them into rectangular sticks, about 2 inches in length. Place carrots in a medium pot of water, and bring water to a boil. Add a pinch of salt and boil the carrots for a few minutes, about 3 to 4 minutes, until the carrot is tender to the bite. Do not overcook the carrots, they should be crisp and tender.
  2. Drain, and quickly blanch them in ice-cold water for a few seconds to stop the cooking. Place the carrots into a colander and allow them to drain well.
  3. Place them into your salad bowl or platter, drizzle with olive oil, and white balsamic vinegar, and add fresh minced garlic and salt and pepper to taste. Gently toss the carrots, until well combined. Cover and set the salad aside at room temperature to marinate, at least one hour before serving.
  4. Before serving them, I always recommend tasting the carrots once more, they may need a little extra olive oil and vinegar since the carrots will absorb some of the vinaigrette while it sits and marinates.
  5. Best served cool or at room temperature.
  6. Serves 6 to 8


Keep in mind, the carrots will absorb most of the vinaigrette, therefore, it's best to toss them and taste one last time before serving and adjust the seasonings.

Then add additional vinegar and olive oil, if needed. The carrots should be moist, not dry.

Serve chillled or at room temperature.

Nutrition Information:


6 to 8 servings

Serving Size:

1 cup

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 80Total Fat: 6.3gCarbohydrates: 5.9gFiber: 1.4gSugar: 2.8gProtein: .5g

Did you make this recipe?

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Hello friends, are you cooking with us?  If you make this delicious Maria’s Best Carrot Salad, leave a comment and a star rating in our recipe card above! 

Happy and Healthy Cooking!  🙂

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Welcome! From Anna and Liz

We believe the kitchen is the center and the heart of the home. It is where we cook, eat, and unwind with family and friends, creating memorable traditions! Read more…

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  1. This is now my absolute favorite salad. Very, very good. Depending on what I have I use dark or white Balsamic and the pepper flakes. Making it again right now.

    1. Aw, thank you so much, Barbara! It’s our favorite as well. thanks again! Have a great week and keep cooking! 🙂

  2. I made this last year for Easter, and my family loved it. Making it again tomorrow:)

    1. Thanks Jeff. I’m sure you will enjoy it as much as we do! Have a great weekend. 🙂

  3. This recipe sounds amazing, Anna and Liz! My kids go off carrots every so often so this would be a great recipe to try! Thanks very much for sharing.

  4. A Neapolitan classic recipe (my mom would also make a similar eggplant salad)! She usually added a few flakes of spicy red pepper, which gives it an extra zing and combines well with carrot’s natural sweetness, red vinegar and oregano. Of course, no need for black pepper in this case. Grazie per aver raccolto tante deliziose e semplici ricette di casa nostra!

    1. Hi Karen! So glad to hear you re going to try out our mom's recipe. Let us know what your family thinks! Have a great weekend!

  5. Your mom does sound adorable! This carrot salad sounds and looks so much better than one I made recently – and I just happen to have a bunch of carrots in the fridge (and about 8 inches of snow on the ground) Time to get back in the kitchen! Have a lovely weekend ladies.

    1. Wow, Tricia – eight inches of snow? Oh boy- I am with you, when there is snow, both my sister and I are back in the kitchen cooking up a storm! Thank you for the lovely compliment, have a great and hopefully a warmer weekend! xo

    1. Thanks Sue, we have so many more to share, but life is so busy, we only wished we had more hours in the day to get to them. Glad you like this one! Have a great weekend!

    1. HI Robin! Thank you for the lovely comment and welcome to our site! It's so nice to meet you! So glad you like our mom's recipe for the carrot salad. Hope to see you again! Have a nice weekend!

  6. Hi Denise,
    Coming soon! I promise…Anna will post a shrimp dish this week and I will be posting my brother Danny's Basa Livornese…it is unbelievable…He made it the other night, and for someone like me who is not a real big fish eater…I LOVED it! so, watch out for it soon.