Copper Penny Carrot Slaw

If you’re looking for a recipe for copper penny carrots, this Copper Penny Carrot Slaw is a spin-off of the original vintage Southern recipe –“Copper Penny Carrots.” It’s quicker and easier than the original and you don’t have to slice carrots or boil carrots.

This easy carrot slaw is a combination of shredded carrots, green bell pepper, and onion in a tangy marinade- this is a great “picnic” side dish because it pairs beautifully with burgers, fish tacos and hot dogs and it has NO MAYONNAISE!

This light, slightly sweet and sour carrot coleslaw is perfect as a healthy side dish to your favorite sandwich, meat entree or by itself!

Carrot salad without mayonnaise in black serving bowl.

Copper Penny Carrot Slaw is derived from a vintage recipe called “Copper Penny Salad” The original recipe probably got its name from the coin-sliced carrots and the bronze color they turn after marinating in the tomato-based marinade.

The original recipe used Campbell’s™ Tomato Soup, but I wanted something more natural and lower in sodium, so I opted for tomato sauce.

This recipe uses the same concept as the original, only with shredded carrots-perfect as a side or on fish tacos!

You’ll love this recipe!

This grated carrot slaw is a low-fat and contains no mayonnaise. It’s a refreshing alternative to traditional coleslaw, potato salad and macaroni salad.

  • Quick and Healthy– this refreshing side dish comes together in minutes and is easy on the waistline
  • Great side dish- serve this marinated slaw with BBQ, fried catfish or with a sandwich or as a side dish with your holiday or every day dinner
  • Great topping – the flavor and texture of this carrot slaw pair beautifully with fish or as a topping on fish tacos
  • Great for picnics and outdoor dining! This carrot slaw has no mayonnaise, so you can feel comfortable serving it outside!

Here’s what you’ll need

Simple ingredients are what make this grated carrot salad so delicious and such a simple side dish!

Salad ingredients

One pound of large raw carrots, a large green pepper (bell pepper), and a medium to large sweet onion (I use sweet yellow onion)

Carrot Dressing ingredients

Tomato sauce, sugar, apple cider vinegar, oil (vegetable oil or olive oil), dry mustard, celery seed, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, salt and pepper

How to make it

This fresh carrot salad comes together quickly because there’s minimal prep time and you don’t have to boil carrots! Prep the veggies (peel and grate the carrots, chop the green pepper and onion), and warm the marinade /carrot dressing on the stovetop! 

Prep the vegetables: In a large mixing bowl, add peeled, grated carrots. You can pulse the carrots in a food processor (I’ve found this the best way!), or use a hand-grater (or cheese grater) – or buy shredded carrots! (I suppose you could use baby carrots, but I’ve never tried this easy recipe with them.) Next, dice onion and green bell pepper and set aside.

Make the marinade: In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat, combine tomato sauce, (you can use tomato juice as a substitute), vegetable oil, apple cider vinegar, granulated sugar, Worcestershire, soy sauce, dry mustard and celery seed. Cook until tomato mixture is combined and sugar is dissolved.

Add chopped bell pepper and onions to the liquid; bring to boil until the vegetables are semi-tender

In a large bowl, pour the carrot salad dressing over shredded carrots; combine well; cover with plastic or place in an airtight container and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes. When ready to serve, place it in a pretty separate bowl, taste for salt & black pepper.

For best results, serve slightly chilled or at room temperature with a slotted spoon.

Recipe Tips and Yield

This alternative to traditional carrot salad is great for potlucks, picnics and family reunions!

  • This fresh carrot salad uses 1 lb. of raw carrots – when shredded, this makes about eight half-cup servings
  • Three large carrots yield about 2 cups of shredded carrots
  • A good guideline for serving is to allow 1/2 cup of this popular side dish per person
  • Use whole, peeled carrots in a food processor, a cheese grater (use the large holes of your box grater) or buy shredded carrots. I’ve tried using a vegetable peeler and it took too long:)
  • If you buy a bag of shredded carrots, rinse them with cold water first, then pat dry with a paper towel.
  • Allow to marinade for a while before serving
  • Serve with a slotted spoon

Serving Suggestions

Copper Penny Carrot Slaw pairs well with beef, pulled pork or poultry. It also serves as a delicious slaw on fish tacos or a cool side to your holiday meal or favorite sandwich!

Feel free to garnish with chopped green onions, fresh parsley or add a finishing squeeze of fresh lemon juice to the salad right before serving!

Storage and make ahead

You can easily make Copper Penny Carrot Slaw up to 3 days in advance: Grate the carrots and place in an airtight container with a little water. (Storing the carrots in a little water gives them extra crunch). Prepare the dressing and store it in the fridge.

When ready to serve, reheat the dressing ingredients, drain the carrots and place in a large serving bowl; drizzle the warm dressing over the carrots; cover with plastic and refrigerate for 2-3 hours.

This is one of the best carrot salad recipes because it’s an easy recipe with simple ingredients and a great way to offer your family a healthy salad without a huge amount of sugar or mayonnaise! Even picky eaters love this delicious salad!

Copper Penny Carrot Slaw is a great salad for picnics because it has no mayonnaise! It’s a winner…every time!

Carrot Slaw in black bowl with bell peppers and onion

This is one of the best carrot salad recipes because it’s an easy recipe with simple ingredients and a great way to offer your family a healthy salad without a huge amount of sugar or mayonnaise! Even picky eaters love this delicious salad!

Copper Penny Carrot Slaw is perfect for picnics because it has no mayonnaise! It’s a winner…every time!

More easy salad recipes

If you make this recipe, please scroll down and leave a comment and rating! I love to hear from you!

Carrot Slaw in black bowl with bell peppers and onion

Copper Penny Carrot Slaw

Shredded carrots, bell pepper and onion marinated in a sweet and tangy sauce!
5 from 7 votes
Print Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: American, French
Prep Time: 5 minutes
Cook Time: 5 minutes
Marinade Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 30 minutes
Yield: 8 servings
Author: Anecia Hero


  • 1 pound carrots ,peeled and shredded
  • ½ cup green bell pepper ,diced
  • ½ cup sweet yellow onion ,diced
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • cup sugar
  • cup apple cider vinegar
  • ¼ cup oil (vegetable or canola)
  • 1 teaspoon dry mustard
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon soy sauce


  • Rinse and peel carrots; Shred carrots in food processor and set aside in a large bowl
    1 pound carrots
  • Combine diced onion, bell peppers and remaining ingredients into medium saucepan
    ½ cup green bell pepper, ½ cup sweet yellow onion, 1 cup tomato sauce, ⅓ cup sugar, ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar, ¼ cup oil, 1 teaspoon dry mustard, 1 teaspoon celery seed, 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon soy sauce
  • Bring mixture to boil
  • Pour marinade over raw carrots; combine well
  • Cover and refrigerate at least 20 minutes
  • Serve using slotted spoon


  • Peel and shred carrots or use pre-shredded
  • Use slotted spoon to serve
  • If you don’t like or have soy sauce, you can substitute with MSG free Tamari sauce or omit altogether

Nutrition Estimate

Serving: 0.5cupCalories: 135kcalCarbohydrates: 17gProtein: 1gFat: 7gSaturated Fat: 1gPolyunsaturated Fat: 2gMonounsaturated Fat: 5gTrans Fat: 1gSodium: 251mgPotassium: 331mgFiber: 2gSugar: 13gVitamin A: 9640IUVitamin C: 14mgCalcium: 32mgIron: 1mg
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  1. 5 stars
    I’ve made this for years on special occasions & had never knew if anyone else had the same recipe or not but here it is except instead of tomato sauce my Aunt used a can of Campbell’s tomato soup & that’s good too. This is great stuff!

    1. 5 stars
      Oh and instead of shedding the carrots slice them round like pennies except thicker, that’s why they were originally called Copper Pennies cause they round not shedded.🤷‍♀️😊. Good stuff though.

    2. Hi Brenda,
      You are correct! The original recipe used tomato soup! I just did a little “spin” on the original. I love this slaw on fish tacos! Thank you!