Carrot and Cucumber Salad

This carrot and cucumber salad is a simple and delicious side salad, full of Asian-inspired flavors. It’s light, crisp, and a great use for fresh summer produce!

a bowl of carrot and cucumber salad, next to korean ground turkey over rice

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This Asian-inspired cucumber and carrot salad is one of my favorite simple side dishes. It’s packed with flavor and elevates a basic meal to a delicious one. And best part? It’s easy to make and tastes even better if you make it ahead! (You’ve GOT to pair it with Korean ground turkey!)

Cucumber and Carrot Salad Ingredients

ingredients to make cucumber carrot salad
  • Cucumbers: obviously an essential ingredient! I love using long seedless cucumbers (that’s how the recipe is written), but you can truly use any type of cucumber you have or grow – aim for 2-3 cups of cucumber slices. Slicing is fairly low maintenance, but you can also spiralize or shave into thin ribbons to change the look of the salad.
  • Carrots: the other essential ingredient! I love julienned carrots, but you can thinly chop carrots, baby carrots, or also spiralize or shave into thin ribbons.
  • The dressing base: you need a neutral oil (like avocado oil), rice vinegar, sesame oil, and soy sauce (or coconut aminos for a naturally gluten and soy-free option).
  • Seasonings: fresh cilantro, ginger, toasted sesame seeds, sugar, and crushed chili flakes. It seems like a lot of ingredients but these are all pretty basic and accessible (I can buy all of them at even Walmart and/ or ALDI). And all of these seasonings is what allows this salad to be packed with flavor and so delicious.

How to Make Carrot and Cucumber Salad, Step-by-Step

step-by-step process shots for how to make simple cucumber carrot salad
  1. Slice your carrots and cucumber and place in a bowl.
  2. Whisk all remaining ingredients in a small bowl.
  3. Pour dressing over the vegetables.
  4. Toss to combine! You can enjoy it immediately, but for best flavor you really need to let it chill at least 20 minutes (overnight works, too!).

Recipe Tips & Tricks

TIP 1: Make sure to toast your sesame seeds! Toasting really enhances the flavor.

TIP 2: omit the crushed red pepper flakes if spice/ heat isn’t your thing.

TIP 3: I prefer sliced cucumbers and julienned carrots, but feel free to use a vegetable peeler to shave vegetables into ribbons, or a spiralizer to make vegetable spirals.

Substitutions

If you substitute too much, this recipe changes quite a bit. Here are a few substitutions that work:

  • Avocado oil – feel free to use another neutral oil, like grapeseed oil or canola oil.
  • Rice vinegar – apple cider vinegar also has a similar sweet/ sour profile, so you if you need to you can substitute with apple cider vinegar, or white wine vinegar.
  • Soy sauce – I generally use a reduced or low sodium soy sauce. If you need the salad to be gluten-free or soy-free you can use coconut aminos, an excellent soy sauce substitute. You can also try substituting tamari, Worcestershire sauce, or fish sauce.

That said, I always want to encourage you to do what works for you. Make this salad, and any recipe, your own!

What to Pair it With:

My absolute favorite thing to pair this with is my Korean Ground Turkey. Enjoy both with some rice and topped with some fresh cilantro, green onion, and sesame seeds? Perfection!

It’s also a delicious side for other entrees, like air fryer turkey burgers, BBQ chicken and zucchini skewers, and cast iron skillet steak.

How to Toast Sesame Seeds

Toast sesame seeds by placing them in a small skillet over medium-low heat (no oil!). Shaking the skillet and stirring with a wooden spoon continuously, your sesame seeds are toasted when they turn a golden brown color and smell fragrant (about 3 minutes).

Don’t go anywhere during this process! Stay at the stove. They can go from toasted to burned very quickly!

a glass bowl of crispy, fresh Asian-inspired carrot and cucumber salad

Cucumber Carrot Salad Nutrition

With a serving of 1/4 of the recipe, each serving contains 79 calories, 8 grams carbohydrates, 1 g protein, 5 g fat, 2 g fiber, 5g sugar, and 112 mg sodium.

This cucumber carrot salad is absolutely a nutrient-dense, easy, healthy side dish. It can totally fit into a balanced diet if you choose!

“Healthy” is Subjective – You Do You

Know, too, that “healthy” is subjective. The foods that help one maintain their health may or may not work for you – and that’s okay! Honor the body you have. As a registered dietitian nutritionist, I suggest eating a variety of nourishing foods that help you feel good and achieve or maintain your health, balanced with the foods you love. Remember – an election isn’t won with every vote, but the majority. Your health is the same way – the overall dietary pattern is what matters most.

More Recipes You’ll Love

If you’re a fan of salad side dishes, I highly recommend my cucumber chickpea salad, fresh beetroot salad, and Greek lentil salad.

Did you make this recipe? Give it a 5★ rating below! For more balanced nutrition and no fuss, balanced recipes, be sure to follow me on Instagram!

a bowl of carrot and cucumber salad, next to korean ground turkey over rice

Carrot and Cucumber Salad

This carrot and cucumber salad is a simple and delicious side salad, full of Asian-inspired flavors. It's light and crisp – a great use for fresh summer produce!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: American, Asian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Chill Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Servings: 4
Calories: 79kcal
Author: Lindsey

Ingredients

  • 1 large seedless cucumber
  • 1 cup julienned carrot slices
  • 1 tbsp avocado oil
  • 2 tbsp rice vinegar
  • 1 tsp sesame oil
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 2 tsp low sodium soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 2 tsp toasted sesame seeds
  • ¼ tsp ground ginger
  • ¼ tsp crushed red chili flakes (optional)

Instructions

  • Wash cucumber and slice into thin slices. Wash and peel carrot and julienne into thin strips.
  • Whisk all remaining ingredients to form the dressing.
  • Pour dressing over carrots and cucumbers and toss to combine.
  • Cover and let chill at least 20 minutes, up until overnight, to maximize flavors. Enjoy!

Nutrition

Calories: 79kcal | Carbohydrates: 8g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 5g | Saturated Fat: 1g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 3g | Sodium: 112mg | Potassium: 201mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 4542IU | Vitamin C: 3mg | Calcium: 34mg | Iron: 1mg

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