This carrot raisin salad is loaded with quinoa and chickpeas for extra protein and dressed in a bright and flavorful cilantro almond dressing.
- 2 1/2 cups chickpeas, drained and rinsed
- 2 1/2 cups peeled and coarsely shredded carrots
- 1 1/4 cup cooked and cooled quinoa
- 1/2 cup raisins
- 1 Tablespoon fresh lemon juice
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 1/4 cup slivered almonds, toasted (divided)
- 1 packed cup cilantro leaves and stems
- 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon sweet smoked paprika
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
- sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- Toast almonds: Spray a large skillet with olive oil, add the almonds and toast over moderate heat, stirring, until golden, about 5 minutes. Let cool.
- Make dressing: In a food processor, combine the lemon juice with the minced garlic and let stand for 15 minutes. Transfer half of the toasted almonds to the food processor. Add the cilantro, cumin, smoked paprika and cayenne pepper and pulse until chopped. Add the olive oil and process to a chunky paste. Season with salt and pepper; transfer to a large bowl.
- Add remaining ingredients: Add the chickpeas, carrots, quinoa, and raisins to the bowl and toss.
- Serve: Garnish with the remaining almonds and serve.
- Prep ahead of time: If you want to make the carrot salad ahead of time, it can be refrigerated overnight. Garnish with the toasted almonds just before serving.
- Chickpeas – Like I mentioned, I used canned chickpeas because they’re super easy to use! If you don’t like chickpeas you can substitute for another white bean like cannellini beans or Northern beans.
- Protein – The chickpeas and quinoa do add a good amount of plant-based protein to this salad but you could absolutely add a grilled protein to this salad to make it even more filling! This apple cider vinegar chicken would be delish.
- Raisins – The raisins are what takes this salad to the next level, in my opinion. If you’re not a raisin fan you could swap in dates, dried cherries, prunes or another dried fruit.
- Avocado – Want to add a little creaminess and healthy fats to your salad? Add in some chopped avocado!
- Dressing – I love the cilantro almond dressing I created for this salad but any dressing would work if you’re in a pinch. Some options: poppyseed dressing, cilantro lime dressing, white balsamic vinaigrette or lemon vinaigrette.
- Category: Salad
- Method: Toss
- Cuisine: American
- Serving Size: 1/6 of recipe
- Calories: 344
- Sugar: 11g
- Fat: 14g
- Carbohydrates: 50g
- Fiber: 8g
- Protein: 9g
Keywords: carrot raisin salad