This simple but tasty Carrot Salad is as delicious as it is impressive. Packed with flavour, this sweet and salty salad with a gorgeous lemon honey vinaigrette. It’s great to make ahead of time so it’s perfect for when you need to bring a salad to a party. Or make your colleagues jealous by making it for a nourishing work lunch.
I love a good salad. They are simple to prepare, great to prep ahead and fantastic for a healthy work lunch or delicious side with dinner. And this Roasted Carrot and Goats Cheese Salad is no exception.
I love the way the flavours work together in this delicious Carrot Salad. The sweetness from the carrots and the honey are balanced with the creamy, tartness of the goats cheese and the crunchy, salty pistachios, with fresh herbs adding vibrance and flavour. And you can serve warm, at room temperature or cold so it’s perfect all year around. It’s YUM.
The thing I love about salads is that they are perfect for meal prep. You can prepare the carrots and pistachios and honey lemon vinaigrette two-three days ahead of time and assemble when you need. And the whole salad (undressed) can be prepared a day ahead of when you need it.
Ingredients and Substitutions
For the salad:
- Carrots – I used dutch carrots as I think they look a little more impressive in the salad but you can use any carrot variety. If using a larger variety you may wish to halve lengthways and also widthways to make them smaller and easier to eat.
- Olive oil – or your choice of cooking oil for baking the carrots.
- Honey – (optional) to drizzle on the carrots before baking for an even greater sweet flavour. Omit for a vegan salad option.
- Salt and Pepper – to season the carrots. You can omit if you prefer.
- Mixed Salad Leaves – I use a rocket and spinach mix as I love the peppery flavour which I love against the sweet flavours in this carrot salad. However you can use what you have on hand. A mesclun mix would work well with this salad.
- Goats Cheese – The creamy tartness of goats cheese is delicious in this salad, but if you don’t have any on hand you could substitute for a creamy feta. You could also omit for a vegan salad.
- Pistachios – The saltiness of these nuts go perfectly in this salad. But you could really use any nuts – hazelnuts, pine nuts or almonds would work really well. If you needed a nut free option you can just omit or add some roasted chickpeas to replicate the crunch. I like to roast the pistachios for the salad but you don’t need to do this step.
- Mint – adds a delicious sweetness to the salad and compliments the carrots. You could also use fresh basil or thyme in this salad.
- Chives – chives always elevates salads! I love the sweet onion flavour and the freshness they add to the salad. If you do not have any you could omit, or try some finely chopped spring onion (green parts only).
For the vinaigrette:
- Honey – if you are vegan use a suitable sugar replacement like maple syrup.
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil – a basic ingredient to make a vinaigrette, you could also use avocado oil.
- Apple Cider Vinegar – you could use a white wine vinegar or more lemon.
- Lemon juice and zest – adds freshness to the dressing and I love the honey/lemon combination with the carrots and goats cheese. You can use more apple cider vinegar instead if you do not have lemon.
- Salt and Pepper – brings out all the other flavours in the salad
How to make the Carrot Salad
Preheat your oven to 180c and line a baking tray with baking paper. Wash the carrots (you may wish to peel if they are older but I don’t find I need to. Arrange the carrots in a single layer on the baking paper and drizzle with a teaspoon of honey (optional) and a tablespoon of olive oil. Season with salt and pepper then roast the carrots for around 25 minutes or until cooked through.
Meanwhile, wash the spinach and rocket (if required) and set aside on a paper towel to dry and prepare the mint and chives.
Next make the dressing by adding the olive oil, honey, lemon juice and zest, apple cider vinegar, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper into a jar. Pop a lid on and shake vigorously to combine.
When the carrots are just cooked through add the pistachios and roast for two minutes on the same tray as the carrots before removing from the oven and set aside to cool. If you are making this salad ahead of time you can roast the carrots, pistachios and make the dressing one to two days before assembling the salad.
On a large platter, scatter the salad leaves and top with the roasted carrots (the carrots can be warm or cold). Next top with the goats cheese and sprinkle with mint.
Then sprinkle the pistachios and chives over the salad and season with salt and pepper.
Next, dress the salad with the honey lemon dressing and serve immediately. You will not need all the dressing for the salad. I will dress with around 1-2 tablespoons and leave the dressing out for people to use more if they would like. If you are making the salad in advance, don’t dress the salad until you are about to eat it.
How long will the Roasted Carrot Salad keep in the fridge?
The great thing about this salad is so many elements can be prepared in advance for super quick assembly. The carrots and pistachios can be roasted and dressing can be made two-three days before you need them. If left undressed you can easily make this salad the day before you need it – depending on the freshness of your ingredients.
What does Carrot Salad go with?
This salad can be enjoyed on its own or as a side with lamb and roasted potatoes. We have also added wild rice and lamb steak into the salad for a substantial salad bowl dinner.
Want to make friends with more salads?
- Do you love roasted vegetables in salads like this one? You’ll love my Roasted Cauliflower and Chorizo Salad or my Roasted Pumpkin Almond Cous Cous Salad.
- Try my delicious Tuna Pasta Salad with a creamy mustard dressing. It’s so full of flavour and great for dinners or in the lunchbox instead of a sandwich.
- Or for more truly impressive salads try my Walnut Pea and Chorizo Salad with Brie.
Do you love this recipe? Remember to rate it ★★★★★Print
This impressive salad looks as delicious as it tastes! It’s a great mix of sweet, salty and creamy ingredients that comes together so quickly. It’s great for work lunches, as a side with dinner or even to bulk out with wild rice and lamb steak strips.
For the salad
- 300g dutch carrots (or regular carrots) halved lengthways
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 teaspoon of honey
- salt and pepper (and extra for seasoning salad)
- 100g (4 large handfuls) spinach and rocket mix
- 110g goats cheese
- 1/4 cup loosely packed chopped mint
- 50g pistachios
- 1 heaped teaspoon finely chopped chives
For the vinaigrette
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 tablespoons honey
- 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
- juice and zest of large lemon
- salt and pepper
- Preheat your oven to 180c fan forced and line a baking tray with baking paper.
- Arrange the carrots on the baking tray and drizzle the olive oil and honey over the carrots and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 25 minutes or until cooked through.
- Meanwhile, prepare the lettuce and herbs. And make the dressing by adding in the dressing ingredients into a small jar with a lid and shaking vigorously to combine.
- When the carrots have just cooked through add the pistachios for two minutes. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool.
- On a large platter, arrange the salad leaves, roasted carrots, goats cheese and mint.
- Sprinkle with the pistachios and chives and season with salt and pepper.
- When you’re ready to serve the salad, dress with the honey lemon vinaigrette.
This salad can be made in advance up to a day before (left undressed). You can also prepare the carrots, pistachios and vinaigrette two-three days in advance.
Keywords: Carrot Salad; Roasted Carrot Salad; Roasted Carrot and Goats Cheese Salad