Moroccan carrot salad is an easy and flavorful recipe that combines the pleasant sweetness of tender boiled carrots with warm spices, tangy lemon, and fresh herbs.
The dressing is the star of this dish. You can make it with olive oil, harissa paste or red pepper flakes, lemon, cumin, and garlic.
Toss it with warm carrots, which absorb its flavor, and enjoy this delicious Moroccan side dish. Combine this with couscous or lentils to make it a meal.
Table of Contents
Dietary Note: this recipe is suitable for a vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free diet.
You’ll love this recipe because, with little effort, you can put together a delicious and original dish with warm, tangy, sweet, and zesty Moroccan and Mediterranean flavors.
With their mild, sweet taste, humble carrots beautifully marry our flavor-packed Moroccan-inspired dressing.
So much so that you can have them for a quick and easy dinner and a special meal with guests.
Serve this Moroccan carrot salad as a side, or upgrade it to a main dish by adding a grain or legume of your choice.
For example, serve it with our delicious Moroccan couscous and a dollop of Greek-style yogurt or Labneh for a tasty, wholesome, delicious Moroccan-inspired lunch.
Or toss it with cooked white beans or lentils, similar to this carrot lentil salad, to add some extra protein. Finally, pair it with warm pita bread, and make it a fulfilling and satisfying Mediterranean meal.
Ingredients & Substitutions
Quantities are in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
Traditional Moroccan carrot salad is made with orange carrots chopped into bite-size pieces and boiled until fork tender.
You can use fresh flat-leaf parsley, fresh cilantro, or both.
Fresh mint is also a good flavor match with this recipe.
You can top the salad with lightly toasted crushed pistachio nuts, slivered almonds, crushed walnuts, or toasted pinenuts.
You can also combine one or more nuts. To toast the nuts, heat them on a skillet with a drizzle of olive oil for a few minutes.
Extra virgin olive oil
Extra virgin olive oil adds a pleasant fruity flavor. Also, it keeps the other ingredients in the dressing together.
Substitute regular olive oil or avocado oil for EVOO.
Fresh Lemon juice
Best if freshly squeezed, it adds acidity and freshness, lifting the flavor of the other ingredients. You can substitute orange juice for lemon if you prefer a sweeter, less acidic Moroccan carrot salad.
Ground cumin is the ingredient that makes this Moroccan carrot salad unique. It fits perfectly with the carrots.
Sweet paprika (not smoked) adds color and aroma. You can also play with ground coriander, cinnamon, and cayenne pepper for a touch of heat and some grated ginger.
Opt for fresh minced garlic rather than garlic powder.
Salt and black pepper
We use salt to boil the carrots and to add to the salad. Sea salt or kosher salt is what we usually use. Also, add a few twists of freshly ground black pepper.
Harissa is a mildly spicy red chili paste often used in North African and Moroccan cuisine.
Substitute Tabasco, sriracha, chili oil, chili bean paste, Korean Gochujang, or a pinch of red pepper flakes for harissa. Adjust spiciness based on your taste.
Honey or maple syrup (optional)
Sweet and savory is a popular combination always welcomed in Moroccan cuisine.
One tablespoon of honey or maple syrup is optional but an excellent addition if you’d like to add a touch of sweetness to the dressing.
Alternatively, stir in two tablespoons of regular or golden raisins for a sweet touch.
How to make Moroccan Carrot Salad
US cups + grams measurements in the recipe box at the bottom of the page.
Peel the carrots with a vegetable peeler and chop them into small bite-size chunks.
Tip: We recommend chopping them on a cutting board with a sharp knife. Cut them diagonally for prettier chunks.
Boil the carrot in a pot with salted boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender.
Drain them well and add them to a large bowl.
While the carrots cook, make the dressing.
Add extra virgin olive oil, freshly squeezed lemon juice, grated garlic, harissa paste, honey, salt, black pepper, cumin, and paprika to a small bowl.
Whisk to combine.
Pour the dressing over the warm carrots and toss to combine.
Stir in the chopped parsley or cilantro, then set aside for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld.
You can serve this salad as a starter, side dish, or mix it with grains or legumes and have it as a main.
Moroccan carrot salad as a side dish
Transfer the carrots onto a serving platter and garnish with toasted slivered almonds or crushed pistachios.
Add a touch of fresh parsley and serve with a few pieces of warm pita bread next to your favorite main dish. We like it with:
- Chickpea stew with cumin and sweet potato.
- Lentil and rice mujadara served with caramelized onions.
- Zucchini boats with lentils and tomato sauce.
- Stuffed bell peppers with rice and lentils.
Moroccan carrot salad as an appetizer
Add Moroccan carrot salad to a beautiful appetizer platter (mezze) with other delicious Mediterranean small dishes. Try:
- Roasted eggplant or grilled zucchini.
- Tabbouleh or lentil tabbouleh.
- Hummus or bell pepper muhammara.
- Baba Ganoush or eggplant yogurt dip.
- Shirazi salad, tahini salad, or fattoush.
- Falafel: made in an air fryer or deep-fried.
- Zaalouk with eggplant and tomato.
It’s like having your little Mediterranean buffet at home, where everyone can pick and choose their favorite salads to put on their plate.
Moroccan carrot salad as a main dish
Combine this delicious salad with a grain or legume of choice to turn it into a tasty, wholesome, and fulfilling main dish.
For example, you can serve it mixed with or on top of a delicious Moroccan Couscous with a few dollops of Greek-style yogurt or crumbled feta.
You’ll love the cold, refreshing yogurt or salty, creamy feta with comforting sweet and sour couscous and warm carrots.
Lentil carrot salad
Lentil carrot salad is a tasty and aromatic dish inspired by Mediterranean flavors and aromas.
It’s easy to make, and you can serve it as a starter, side, or main dish with warm pita bread and other Middle Eastern and Mediterranean dishes.
Check out our lentil carrot salad recipe.
Cauliflower lentil salad
We loved the dressing of our Moroccan carrot salad so much that we started using it with other vegetables.
For example, this cauliflower lentil salad is another easy and delicious Mediterranean-inspired recipe packed with bold flavors and wholesome ingredients.
We make it with roasted cauliflower, lentils, parsley, and the aromatic cumin and lemon dressing.
Check out our cauliflower lentil salad recipe.
Lentil sweet potato salad
Or why not try lentils with sweet potato? This salad is nutritious, tasty, and aromatic, thanks to the same simple cumin and paprika dressing inspired by Moroccan cuisine.
This salad is the perfect make-ahead meal, and you can enjoy it as a quick and fulfilling lunch or wholesome dinner, bring it to potlucks, or serve it for brunch.
Check out our lentil sweet potato salad.
Carrots: cut the carrots into pieces of the same size so that they all cook at the same time.
Dressing: add the dressing while the carrots are still warm. They’ll absorb the flavor beautifully.
Storage & Make Ahead
Make ahead: Moroccan carrot salad is an excellent recipe to make ahead because it keeps well for a few days, and its flavor gets even better as the carrots marinate in the dressing.
Refrigerator: store the salad in an airtight container in the fridge for 3 to 4 days. Take the salad from the refrigerator for 15 minutes, serving it for the best flavor.
Freezer: this recipe is not suitable for freezing.
More carrot recipes
If you like cooking with carrots, check out these vibrant orange recipes:
- Carrot ginger dressing
- Carrot salad
- Simple side salad
- Vegan carrot cake
- Carrot and ginger soup
- Roasted and glazed carrots
More Salad Recipes
Get more fresh inspiration from these wholesome and lunchbox–friendly salads:
- Chickpea salad
- Black bean salad
- Mediterranean barley salad
- Butternut squash salad
- Sweet potato salad
Or try any of these 25 best salad recipes to inspire your next appetizer or side dish.
Moroccan Carrot Salad
- 1½ pounds carrots chopped into bite-size pieces
- 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 2 tablespoons lemon juice
- 1 tablespoon harissa paste or ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes. More or less based on your heat tolerance.
- 1 tablespoon honey or maple syrup, optional
- 1 clove garlic grated
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon paprika
- ¾ teaspoon salt or more to taste
- 2 twists black pepper or red pepper flakes
- 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
- 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios or slivered almonds
- Peel 1½ pounds carrots with a vegetable peeler and chop them into small bite-size chunks.
- Boil them in lightly salted boiling water for 15 to 20 minutes or until fork tender. Then drain them well and add them to a mixing bowl.
- Make DressingTo a small bowl, add 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, 2 tablespoons lemon juice, 1 tablespoon harissa paste, 1 tablespoon honey, 1 clove garlic, ¾ teaspoon ground cumin, ½ teaspoon paprika, ¾ teaspoon salt, and 2 twists black pepper.Whisk well to combine.
- Pour the dressing over the warm carrots and toss to combine.Stir in 2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley (chopped), then set aside for 10 minutes for the flavors to meld.
- Transfer the carrots onto a serving platter and garnish with 2 tablespoons chopped pistachios.
- Or check out our "serving suggestions" chapter for more serving ideas.
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