I was a little saddened when I heard about the removal of Chick-fil-A’s Carrot Raisin Salad from their menu, last year. I was not A LOT sad because the closest restaurant to me is a little over 300 miles and to hop in the truck for a quick Chick-fil-A trip is not going to happen anytime soon. For all of you Chick-fil-A lovers out there who are within a stone’s throw from a restaurant, enjoy a chicken sandwich for me, please.
COPYCAT RECIPE for CHICK-FIL-A’s
CARROT RAISIN SALAD
I began the search for a recipe that tasted just like the famous carrot raisin salad. Most of the recipes that come up in a search are basically all the same, with a few minor changes. While some were not sweet enough, others had way too much pineapple in them.
Last Saturday morning, I went to town with my husband. While we were there, we stopped off and bought several pounds of locally grown carrots and other goodies. Would you believe my husband thought I was buying the carrots to feed to the rabbits? 🙂 Carrot cake and carrot raisin salad is all I had to say to this idea.
One thing I learned about trying the several versions of the recipes ~ NEVER use pre-grated, bagged carrots. I had a bag in the bottom of the refrigerator last fall that needed to be used, so I used it in the salad. That bright idea quickly turned into a bowl of uneaten, almost loss of love for carrot raisin salad. FRESH grated carrots is the secret to this recipe!
While testing the recipes, I added the required lemon juice to each batch. To me, all I could taste was lemon. There’s no lemon juice in this recipe. 😉 Another thing, every recipe recommended chilling all the ingredients except for the sugar and mixing the sugar and pineapple. Yeah, that didn’t work for me either, I ended up with super sweet and gritty pineapple.
I also found that a 20 ounce can of crushed pineapple – little too much pineapple. So I used a small eight ounce can of crushed pineapple plus three pineapple slices which I chopped up and added to the little can. There’s a reason why this salad’s named Carrot Raisin and not Pineapple Carrot Raisin.
While I remember my cute little Chick-fil-A bowl with a little juice at the bottom, I knew I wanted to have just the right amount of pineapple juice in my salad. I drained the pineapple has must as possible (pressing it in a fine mesh strainer). The next thing I did was mix the mayonnaise, sugar and almost all the pineapple juice together and set it aside. I placed the carrots, raisins, and pineapple in large bowl and tossed them a little. I poured the “dressing” over the carrots and continued mixing everything together. I even ended up adding the last of the pineapple juice so the salad would stay juicy.
Even at room temperature, this recipe tasted just like Chick-fil-A’s. Once the salad was chilled, it was out of this world!
Not long after I shared my copycat recipe, I was contacted by Chick-fil-A with a link to their recipe of the well loved recipe. You can find the original recipe HERE.