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This raw beet salad, loaded with carrots and apples, is a fresh take on coleslaw. The mint and cumin vinaigrette is ridiculously flavorful. This mayo-free side dish is perfect for your summer BBQs and winter dinners alike!
Table of contents
This salad will remind you of summer: hot days, sweet vegetables, and sunshine. That said, it's made with certifiable winter veggies: beets, apples, and carrots. It's truly a salad that you can make year-round!
It goes equally well alongside BBQ favorites as it does beside something tasty and tender you pull out of your slow cooker.
Ingredients to make a raw beet salad
This carrot, beet, and apple salad is a cross between a mayo-free coleslaw and a salad. It's crunchy and sweet and a tiny bit earthy from the beets. Here's what you'll need:
For the salad:
- Carrots: If your carrots are young and fresh, simply wash them before cutting them. But if they're a little rough looking, peel them first.
- Apple: Pick a crisp apple for this recipe. Honeycrisp, Ambrosia, and Pink Lady are some of our favorites.
- Beets: you'll need 2 medium beets for this salad.
- Mint: It's totally up to you how minty you want this to taste. The recipe calls for 1 cup, roughly chopped. But if you want to add more or less simply add a little at a time to the bowl until you reached the desired amount.
For the dressing:
- Apple cider vinegar: This will be the acid for your dressing – it will give this salad a nice zing!
- Olive oil: Olive oil is the partner to the vinegar, to grease the wheels of the salad and coat all the delicious raw vegetables.
- Honey: Add some sweetness to balance the acidity from the vinegar.
- Ground cumin: This is the secret ingredient of this salad! It really is what makes it taste so unique and flavorful.
- Sea salt: Add a pinch of salt to bring out and balance the flavors.
Tools to make a delicious raw beet salad
Disclaimer: you'll want a mandolin slicer for this recipe! You have a couple of options when it comes to preparing this raw beet salad, but one of them shouldn't be hand-slicing until your hand cramps up so bad it would feel better to just cut it off (who are you callin' dramatic?) But seriously, there are tools that can help you achieve that thinly sliced look and feel you'll want for this raw apple, beet, carrot salad.
This salad takes 15 minutes of prep time using one of these recommended tools (it'll take a whole lot longer if you hand-slice).
- Mandolin slicer: When testing this recipe, a mandolin was used. It works great to get even, matchstick slices for all of the fruits and vegetables used. This is the mandolin we have.
- Spiralizer: This will give you long, spiral shapes for your salad. It will absolutely work to save you time and give you a uniform slice of the ingredients.
- Food processor: You can use a food processor to shred the carrots, apples, and beets. Keep in mind, you don't want to over-process the apple as it will quickly turn to mush. Only process each ingredient until you get a thin, chopped-up look and size for all of them.
Substitutions and Additions for a raw beet salad
This is such a versatile salad, you can mix it up to your liking. Here are some ideas for additions:
- Nuts and seeds: pumpkin seeds, pine nuts, walnuts, slivered almonds – you can add lots of nuts and seed options to add some healthy fats and protein to this salad.
- Cheese: You may want to add some cheese such as crumbled feta or goat cheese.
- Other fruits and veg: Avocado, dried fruits like raisins or cranberries, or even some arugula or shredded cabbage are nice additions to this raw beet salad.
You can also easily make plant-based substitutions without compromising flavor:
- Vegan: to make this a vegan raw beet salad, all you have to do is substitute the honey in the vinaigrette with maple syrup or agave.
What to serve with raw beet salad
Let's make a full meal menu to complement this wonderful side!
- Ginger Miso Salmon Steaks
- Slow Cooker Honey Garlic Chicken
- Baked Pork Chops
- Grilled Potato Salad
- Chili Lime Grilled Corn On the Cob
Do I need to cook the beets before slicing them?
You don't need to cook the beets (or carrots) for this salad. All of the ingredients are meant to be raw to create a crunch with every bite!
How long does raw beet salad last?
Leftover raw beet salad, if stored in an airtight container in the fridge, can last 4 days.
Can I make this raw beet salad ahead of serving?
You can prep parts of this salad ahead of time! The dressing can be made up to 4 days in advance. And the carrots and beets can be sliced and kept separately. But wait to slice the apple and chop the mint until you're just about ready to serve the salad.
More crunchy salad recipes
- 2 large carrots
- 1 large crisp apple
- 2 medium beets
- 1 cup mint (roughly chopped)
- ¼ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon honey
- ¾ teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 pinch sea salt
- Using a mandolin with a ⅛ blade, shred the beets then place them into a bowl. Rinse them 3-4 times with cold water then fill the bowl with water and set it aside. This will prevent the beets from bleeding their color through the salad. If the presentation isn't important when you're serving this, you can skip this step. Clean the mandolin and then use it to cut the carrots and apple and put them into a salad bowl. (You can also grate the veggies; the taste will remain roughly the same but the presentation will be quite different.)2 large carrots, 1 large crisp apple, 2 medium beets
- Whisk the dressing ingredients in a small bowl.¼ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup olive oil, 1 tablespoon honey, ¾ teaspoon ground cumin, 1 pinch sea salt
- Drain the beets and rinse them one more time then add them to the bowl with the carrots and apple. Add the mint to the salad bowl and then pour the dressing over the top and toss to coat well.1 cup mint
We have thoroughly tested this recipe for accuracy. However, individual results may vary. See our full recipe disclosure here.
For more inspiration, check out all of our salad recipes!