Carrot Salad
Salads, Vegetables, Vegetarian

German Carrot Salad (‘Karottensalat’)

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Last Updated on 4 years by Tim

Carrot salad isn’t a dish that requires a large introduction by me. It’s simple to make and pairs well with almost any main dish.

My recipe isn’t elaborate and tries to overcomplicate things. This carrot salad is made out of carrot, lemon juice, ginger, sugar, and salt. Five ingredients you should always have in your pantry.

So, I’m convinced you can make this salad anywhere in this world without having to run into a specialty grocery store. And it won’t take you any effort or skill to prepare it. I swear!

Is this carrot salad really a German recipe?

While reading the ingredient list you might wonder why there’s ginger in this recipe. I mean, ginger is not native to Germany. And yes, that is true.

It’s also true that ginger isn’t used as often in German cuisine as it is in many of the African and Asian cuisines. However, it is a vital ingredient for many iconic German dishes such as gingerbread, chicken soup, pumpkin soup with ginger, or this German carrot salad.

Assembling the carrot salad

Carrots somehow pair exceptionally well with the spice, warmth, and freshness that ginger has to offer. It’s a perfect match. Just make sure to remain conservative when seasoning with ginger as it can easily overpower a dish. Less is often more.

Don’t forget to let this carrot salad marinate for at least one hour. Over time, water will leak out of the carrots which makes the salad juicier. The longer it sits, the better it gets.

There’s no oil in this recipe so that this salad is super light and tangy. It goes great with grilled meats and fish but can also be used to accompany goulash or pork pot roast.


  1. This is how I learned to love karottensalat when I lived in Germany…no mayo! Thanks for the reminder.

    • Thanks for your comment, Natasha! Indeed a delicious salad. It’s somehow very uncommon to use mayonnaise in Southern Germany – Tim

  2. Looks wonderful!! I love German food ?

  3. Pingback: Fish Cakes with Cucumber Yogurt ('Fischküchle mit Gurkenjoghurt') - My German Table

  4. Shanna Mertel

    How much ginger to start with? Are we talking 1 tablespoon of puree or more or less?

    • 1 tablespoon might be a bit much to start with. I would say about 1 teaspoon is a good starting point. From there you can go as far up as you like. 1 tablespoon is not unrealistic if you prefer a strong ginger aroma. It very much depends on the ginger you buy how much you have to use. Bigger and older ginger is much more pungent than young baby ginger.

      Grated ginger tastes much stronger than chopped one which is why I’m always conservative with the ginger puree/ paste. Finely-grated ginger is often as pungent as fresh horseradish (which makes a great substitute and also tastes fantastic in this salad).

  5. Thank you for the recipe. I have missed the German salads when my husband was stationed there. Most Americans did not like the salads so much that the restaurant closest to base even stopped serving them, but it was something I really looked forward to. Thank you so much, I did not realize the recipe may be that simple!

    • Thanks for your comment, Naomi! Most of the German salad recipes are very simple. You can always tweak them to your taste (eg. by using different vinegars, oil). I think they taste best in combination like on a mixed salad plate as they offer them in German restaurants and barbecues. I love the combination of potato salad, carrot salad, and cucumber salad. – Tim

      • Yes! Anytime we get a chance to return to Germany, Bavaria is on the agenda. I grew to love the exact gemischte salat you speak of. I rarely think to recreate it here, but am pickling stuff to accompany smoked salmon and found this rezept. I’ll be back to look around more, especially in these coming months when I get particularly homesick for my second home!

  6. A very fresh, different, and delicious taste. I will definitely be making this again.

    • Thanks Dan! I’m glad you liked the salad. What I like very much is to additionally grate some apple into the salad. – Tim

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