This Moroccan Carrot Salad comes together with Citrus-Turmeric Dressing to create the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, tangy, and refreshing tastes.
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Bring the bold flavors of Northern Africa home in the form of this Moroccan Carrot Salad with Citrus-Turmeric Dressing from Jackie Ackerberg’s new cookbook, The Clean Vegan. However, calling it a “salad” really sells the aromatic medley short. This is not your average bowl of limp leafy greens, starting instead with a vibrant tangle of crisp carrot ribbons as the base. Sweet, spicy, tangy, and refreshing all at once, each bite is a little bit different, dishing out an exciting eating experience from start to finish.
If you’ve ever gotten hooked on a particular recipe for weeks on end, you’ll understand the effortless appeal of this formula right away.
No-cook option: If you can’t take the heat, there’s still a place for you in the kitchen! The only time you’d need to think about turning on the oven is to toast the cashews, and you can completely skip that step by starting with roasted, unsalted cashews instead of raw.
Oil-free: Focus on good fats from whole foods sources, like nuts and seeds, rather than more processed oils. The results are every bit as satisfying and much less greasy!
Complete protein: Where do you get your protein? Plants, please! Chickpeas and cashews join forces to create a protein powerhouse, making this either a complete entrée or highly nutritious side dish.
Worldly flavors at home: Satisfy your wanderlust without leaving your house. Travel to Morocco for just one night by enjoying the full breadth of rich spices in this boldly seasoned dish, and still be in bed by 10pm.
Though the ingredient list may look intimidating at a glance, most of the components are pantry staples or basic produce picks.
Carrots: This root vegetable is the star of the show, but that doesn’t mean it can’t share the spotlight. Switch things up and try a mixture of parsnips, daikon, sweet potato, zucchini, and/or beets when you want to shake up the routine.
Cashews: Start with raw cashews to bring out the richest flavors after roasting, without any added salt or preservatives.
Chickpeas and aquafaba: When you open a can of chickpeas, don’t dump that brine! The liquid inside has as much culinary value as the beans themselves. Known as aquafaba, you can use it as a thickener, binder, and overall egg replacer.
Pomegranate arils: A pack of fresh or frozen pomegranate arils works great in a pinch but to save money and maximize on the juicy flavor, go for fresh.
Golden raisins: Providing a tart, tangy sweetness that harmonizes with the pomegranate arils, golden raisins add complex flavors along with a toothsome chew. Though the results will be slightly different, you could substitute conventional black raisins, currants, or chopped dried figs instead.
Fresh herbs: Mint, cilantro, and scallions add pops of fresh herbaceous accents that brighten the whole dish. If you’re not a fan of cilantro, you can swap it for an equal measure of parsley.
Citrus: Emphasizing acidic ingredients makes it easy to cut down on salt. Lemon, lime, and orange serve to accentuate the dazzling array of herbs and spices, underscoring each bite with sharp contrast.
Maple syrup: All it takes is a tiny drizzle of this earthy sap to really make everything pop. It’s an unrefined sugar which means it won’t spike blood sugar the same way that other sweeteners might.
Spices: Turmeric, cumin, ginger, cinnamon, and cayenne factor prominently in the highly seasoned golden dressing. You can get away with using mild yellow curry powder if you’re short on supplies but stay the course with the prescribed regimen for an optimal outcome.
How To Make This Moroccan Carrot Salad
Step One: Optionally roast the raw cashews in the oven, then set aside to allow them to cool.
Step Two: Use a julienne peeler to create “noodles” with each carrot. Transfer to a large bowl that has a tight-fitting lid and add the chickpeas, cashews, pomegranate arils, raisins, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cilantro, mint and green onions to the carrots. Use salad servers or tongs to combine the ingredients, then set aside to make the dressing.
Step Three: Make the citrus-turmeric dressing by combining all of the ingredients in a blender for 30 seconds until completely smooth. At this time you can taste and adjust seasonings by adding more salt, black pepper and maple syrup if desired.
Step Four: Pour the dressing over the salad then cover the bowl tightly with its lid and shake the bowl for 10 to 15 seconds to thoroughly coat the salad with the dressing. Transfer the Moroccan carrot salad to the fridge to chill for at least 30 minutes prior to serving it.
How To Make Carrot “Noodles”
There’s more than one way to turn the humble taproot into elegant strands of plant-based noodles.
For the lowest-tech approach, use a very sharp knife to slice very thin planks that run the whole length of the carrots, turn them over and slice them into narrow strips. This method may be a bit time-consuming and yield the least consistent results, but it’s a great way to practice your knife skills.
The next step up would be using a julienne peeler to create “noodles” with each carrot. All you need to do is run the peeler down the length of each carrot to make beautiful, matching vegetable threads.
If you have a spiralizer handy, this is an excellent time to break it out. Bear in mind this is only a viable option if your carrots are particularly thick, since so much of the core is lost in the process. You may want to start with 1 ½ pounds of carrots in this case to ensure you end up with enough noodles.
How To Serve Up Your Moroccan Carrots
Aside from enjoying this salad as an accompaniment to plant-based entrees like baked tofu, seared seitan, or crispy chickpea nuggets, there are plenty of other way to enjoy it.
Can you make this middle eastern carrot salad in advance?
Yes! This recipe is an excellent candidate for meal prep, packed lunches, and planned leftovers. It’s much heartier than a typical salad made of delicate greens, which means it can hold up longer after being dressed. That said, for best results, store the salad and dressing separately in airtight containers in the fridge until ready to eat; up to 5 days. Once fully assembled, it’s best enjoyed within 3 days. The longer it sits, the softer the carrots will become.
How can I make this recipe nut-free?
For a nut-free option, you can simply omit the cashews or replace them with pepitas (shelled pumpkin seeds) or additional sunflower seeds.
What’s the easiest way to remove fresh pomegranate arils from the whole fruit?
Feel free to grab a pack of fresh or frozen pomegranate arils to breeze straight through the prep work! If you’re starting with a whole pomegranate, it takes just a few more minutes of effort, which will be rewarded with the freshest flavors. Slice the pomegranate in half horizontally, hold it over a large bowl, and use a spatula or a wooden spoon to firmly whack the outside surface. The seeds will begin to fall into the bowl. Continue until all seeds have been removed, then repeat with the other half.
More Fresh Carrot Recipes To Try
Carrots are extremely versatile and can be enjoyed in a variety of dishes and drinks!
Vegan Carrot Bacon recreates that savory salt flavor with a satisfactory crunch just like real bacon! Perfect for adding to sandwiches, as a bold breakfast side, or even crumbled on top of a salad!
MosCarrot Mule Cocktail utilizes fresh carrot juice to add a punch of flavor and extra nutrients to the typical Moscow mule.
Moroccan Carrot Salad with Citrus-Turmeric Dressing
Author: Jackie Akerberg
5 from 7 votes
If I could have only one salad for the rest of my life, this would be it. Eating the same salad for the rest of my days may sound repetitive, but it’s so good that I just wouldn’t carrot all! The carrot “noodles” are such a fun change from traditional salad greens. The carrots and other ingredients come together with the citrusy dressing to create the perfect balance of sweet, spicy, tangy and refreshing. The chickpeas and cashews provide an abundance of protein, which means this salad can be a hearty main or a delicious side to any dish.
1½tablespoonspure maple syrup, plus more as needed, (23 ml)
½teaspoonsalt, plus more as needed
½teaspoonblack pepper, plus more as needed
To make the salad, preheat the oven to 350°F (177°C). Line a small baking sheet with parchment paper.
Spread the cashews on the prepared baking sheet. Roast the cashews for 8 to 12 minutes, checking them frequently during the final 5 minutes to make sure they are golden without being burned. Remove the cashews from the oven and set them aside to cool.
Meanwhile, use a julienne peeler to create “noodles” with each carrot. Place all of the carrot noodles in a large bowl that has a tight-fitting lid. Add the chickpeas, cashews, pomegranate arils, raisins, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, cilantro, mint and green onions to the carrots. Use salad servers or tongs to combine the ingredients. Set the salad aside.
To make the citrus-turmeric dressing, combine the orange juice, aquafaba, lime zest, lime juice, vinegar, maple syrup, turmeric, salt, black pepper, ginger, cumin, garlic powder, cayenne and cinnamon in a blender. Blend the ingredients for 30 seconds, until the dressing is completely smooth. Taste the dressing and add more salt, black pepper and maple syrup if desired.
Pour the dressing over the salad. Cover the bowl with its lid and shake the bowl for 10 to 15 seconds to thoroughly coat the salad with the dressing. Chill the salad in the fridge for at least 30 minutes prior to serving it.
The Clean Vegan by Jackie Akerberg, creator of the popular food blog Jackfruitful Kitchen, makes plant-based eating extra nourishing while still being incredibly satisfying! The cookbook includes sixty whole-food recipes that go beyond the typical salad and are completely free from processed ingredients. Whole foods have never tasted this good, making it easier than ever to eat 100% clean and 100% vegan throughout the day. Jackie has you covered with delicious dishes from breakfast through dessert!
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