Copper Penny Carrots

Deliciously sweet and sour, Copper Penny Carrots are a must-try! Sliced cooked carrots are marinated in a dressing that gives them loads of flavor and the appearance of burnished pennies. This unique side dish is a retro classic that never goes out of style. Copper Penny Salad is perfect for both family dinners and potlucks.

Overhead view of copper penny carrots in a serving dish.

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Copper Penny Salad

Copper penny carrots is an old-fashioned retro dish that marinates coins of fresh carrots in a savory tomato soup sauce. This recipe for copper penny carrots is vintage cooking at its best – an inexpensive summer salad made with carrots that’s just right for a tasty side dish. It’s perfect for warmer weather, super easy to make, and tastes even better the second day!

My grandmother used to make this favorite salad of hers, and it has since become a favorite of mine. I am so excited to share this copper penny carrot recipe with you.

Copper penny carrots takes its name from the carrots, which create the copper pennies of the dish. It is sometimes called sweet and sour carrots or marinated carrot salad. However, whatever its name, this carrot salad is simply tender carrots with crunchy onions and bell peppers in a sweet and sour sauce.

Why You Should Make This Recipe for Copper Penny Carrots

Fresh vegetables, basil, tomato soup, brown sugar, and just the right touch of seasonings make this the best carrot salad you will ever have. And the celery seeds add the perfect touch.

There is nothing like a tasty cold salad during the summer, and these sweet copper carrots are perfect for a refreshing side dish. And who doesn’t love a recipe you can prepare a day or two ahead of time? These copper pennies carrots taste even better on day two – or even day three!

These copper pennies carrots travel well, so they’re an excellent choice for picnics or to take along to your next potluck. They are perfect served at room temperature, so you don’t have to worry about keeping them chilled.

The sauce for these copper carrots has just the right amount of sweetness and tartness. The just-right combination of vinegar, sugar, tomato soup, and herbs gives you a wonderful sweet and sour sauce.

This copper carrots recipe is sure to become a family favorite and you may just find yourself choosing it over coleslaw or potato salad. And copper penny carrots may be the only way you can get your kids to eat carrots!

Copper Penny Carrot Recipe – Ingredients You Will Need

This copper penny carrots brown sugar recipe is made of everyday easy-to-find ingredients. Here’s your list:

  • Carrots
  • Onion
  • Green bell pepper
  • Tomato soup
  • Brown xugar
  • Vegetable oil
  • White vinegar
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Mustard
  • Celery seed
  • Basil leaves
  • Salt and pepper
Ingredients for copper penny carrots on a tray.

Ingredient Notes and Substitutions


  • In a pinch, you could use frozen carrots instead of fresh carrots.
  • Another idea to cut prep time – purchase crinkle-cut carrots from your grocery’s produce section.
  • Use rainbow carrots for a really pretty look.

The sweeter the onions, the better in this recipe. Look for Vidalia or Walla Walla onions in your grocery store.)

You can substitute apple cider vinegar or white wine vinegar for the plain white vinegar in the recipe.

How to Make Copper Penny Carrots

This copper pennies recipe is really easy to make. Here’s what you do:

  1. Bring the sliced carrots to a boil for 5 minutes.
Sliced carrots and water in a pan.
  1. Add the onions and green peppers.
Sliced carrots and chopped vegetables in a pan.
  1. Drain the vegetables and place them in a large bowl or serving dish.
  2. Place tomato soup, sugar, oil, vinegar, celery seed, salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, mustard, and basil in a saucepan to make the marinade dressing.
Copper penny carrot salad dressing ingredients in a pan.
  1. Heat the dressing until it just begins to boil. Stir well.
  2. Pour the dressing over the drained vegetables.
  3. Cover and cool the carrot salad completely.
  4. Chop the basil leaves and sprinkle them on top just prior to serving the cold salad.
Copper penny salad in a serving dish.

Recipe Variations

You could change up this recipe for copper penny carrots in small ways if you want:

  • Add a few different veggies – e.g., cauliflower florets or red bell peppers.
  • For a sugar-free version, substitute a non-sugar sweetener for the sugar.
  • For a little kick, add a small amount of jalapeños.

What to Serve With Copper Penny Carrots

The holidays are not the same without copper pennies, but this dish is so delicious it will brighten up your meal any time of the year. For instance, it makes the perfect accompaniment to any outdoor grilled or barbequed meat.

Instead of salad style, this dish is also tangy and delicious, served warm with steak. It also goes very well with fried chicken, roast turkey, or pork chops.

How to Store Copper Penny Carrots

This family-favorite copper carrots dish will stay fresh for several days in the refrigerator.

You can also freeze it in meal-sized portions for up to 6 months. Thaw it in the refrigerator, then transfer it to a serving bowl and allow it to come to room temperature.

I hope you enjoy this recipe, as much as my family has over the years. Let me know in the comments below what are some of your favorite family salad recipes.

Copper penny carrots in a serving dish.

Love carrots? Be sure to try these carrot recipes!

Favorite Salad Side Dish Recipes

Check out more of my easy salad recipes and the best side dish recipes here on CopyKat!

Overhead view of copper penny carrots in a serving dish.

Copper Penny Carrots

This is an easy inexpensive salad made with carrots.
5 from 8 votes
Print Pin Rate Add to Collection
Course: Salad
Cuisine: American
Keyword: Copper Penny Carrots, Copper Penny Salad
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 12
Calories: 171kcal


  • 5 cups sliced carrots 1/4-inch slices
  • 3/4 cup minced onion
  • 1 green bell pepper diced
  • 1 can tomato soup
  • 2/3 cup sugar
  • 1/2 cup vegetable oil
  • 3/4 cup white vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon celery seed
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon mustard
  • 1 teaspoon basil leaves chopped


  • Place the carrots in a medium-sized pot. Add enough water to cover by an additional inch and bring to a boil.
  • After five minutes, add the onions and green bell peppers. Drain the vegetables and transfer them to a bowl.
  • Place the remaining ingredients in a saucepan. Heat and stir until the mixture just begins to boil. Then pour the mixture over the drained vegetables.
  • Cover and cool the carrot salad before serving.


I generally use about 3 pounds of carrots for this recipe.    In a pinch you could use a package of frozen carrots instead of fresh carrots. 


Calories: 171kcal | Carbohydrates: 21g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 9g | Saturated Fat: 0g | Cholesterol: 0mg | Sodium: 333mg | Potassium: 326mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 16g | Vitamin A: 9005IU | Vitamin C: 7mg | Calcium: 27mg | Iron: 0.4mg

About Stephanie Manley

I recreate your favorite restaurant recipes, so you can prepare these dishes at home. I help you cook dinner, and serve up dishes you know your family will love. You can find most of the ingredients for all of the recipes in your local grocery store.

Stephanie is the author of's Dining Out in the Home, and's Dining Out in the Home 2.

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Reader Interactions


  1. Nathan Underwood

    5 stars
    I ate this kind of salad many times… I often would use honey instead of sugar for healthier approach when it comes to this delicious salad!

  2. fantasy01

    Since I’m a single man, again, I look for recipes that are quick and easy to make. This a great one thanks.

    • stephaniemanley

      This salad stays good for several days, so you can enjoy it for several days. I hope you give this one a try.

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