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Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)

An Olivier Salad Recipe to Share with Family and Friends!

Olivier Salad – also known as Russian potato salad and by many other names in other countries – is a classic dish served cold.

Popular for New Year’s (Novy God) celebrations, it’s easy to make with a few common ingredients like potatoes, eggs, peas, carrots, pickles, cooked meat, and mayo!

Olivier salad is popular in many European and non-European countries under a few different names, such as Ruska Salata in some Balkan countries, Ensaladilla Rusa in Spain, and Russisk Salat in Nordic countries!

clear glass bowl of colorful olivier salad with brown spoon handle sticking out.
Creamy and colorful Olivier salad!

This dish has a long and interesting backstory. The essence of the salad was invented by a Belgian chef – Lucien Olivier – in a famous Moscow restaurant in the 1860s.

Another chef, Ivan Ivanov, then tried to steal the recipe, recreate it and use it in his own restaurant.

Over the decades, his modified version of the recipe was shared and published, eventually replacing the original as the dominant recipe in popular culinary discourse.

These days, some of the more original, upscale ingredients (a type of grouse, crayfish tails, and capers) have long since been replaced by more common, staple ingredients – all smothered in mayonnaise.

Ingredients

ingredients like potatoes, pickles, and peas in clear glass bowls with labels on marble counter.
The ingredients to make this Russian Olivier salad.

To make this classic dish at home, here are the Olivier salad ingredients that you will need!

  • Cooked meat – Either bologna or ham works well.
  • Carrots – Boiled and peeled.
  • Potatoes – Boiled and peeled. Use waxy or all-purpose potatoes since they hold their shape well.
  • Eggs – Boiled and peeled.
  • Pickles – To add flavor.
  • Green peas – Canned green peas.
  • Mayonnaise – To give the salad its creaminess.
  • Salt and pepper – To season the salad. Add to taste.

Recipe Tips and Substitutions

Before you make this salad Olivier recipe, have a read through these recipe tips and tricks so that you know what you can add, substitute, and modify!

  • Instead of sausage or ham, you can add boiled chicken or boiled beef.
  • Use waxy or all-purpose potatoes, which hold their shape better than starchy potatoes. Good examples are Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow potatoes, red potatoes, or white potatoes.
  • Cook the potatoes and vegetables until tender, but don’t overcook them (you don’t want them to be mushy). Overcooking the vegetables can ruin the texture of the salad.
  • Cut the ingredients into small, evenly sized pieces. This will make it easy to mix.
  • Sometimes fresh apples, fresh grated carrots (instead of cooked), chopped onions, fresh herbs, and/or fresh cucumbers are added to Olivier salad.
  • If you have the time, chill the salad a little before serving. This allows the flavors to mingle.
  • You can serve the salad in portions and add the mayonnaise to the individual dishes if you prefer.
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How to Make Olivier Salad – Step by Step Instructions

In this section, we’ll show you exactly how to make Russian Olivier Salad.

All of the recipe process photos have been included so that you can follow along and track your progress as you cook.

The recipe card with all the details is located at the bottom of this post!

chopped cooked potatoes in silver mixing bowl on counter.
Cut the potatoes.

Cut the boiled and peeled potatoes into 1/4-inch cubes and place them in a deep bowl.

cooked ham cut into small pieces on top of cooked potatoes in silver mixing bowl.
Add the chopped meat.

Chop the bologna or ham into small pieces as well and add them to the mixing bowl. If necessary, remove the casing first.

boiled green peas on top of other salad ingredients in silver mixing bowl.
Add other ingredients.

Now also finely chop the carrots and pickles and add them to the bowl. Add the drained green peas as well.

boiled eggs chopped into small pieces sitting in silver mixing bowl on counter.
Add the eggs.

Finally, chop the boiled eggs and add them to the bowl.

russian salad ingredients mixed together in silver mixing bowl with large silver spoon.
Mix well.

Toss the salad, then taste it and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir again.

russian potato salad with mayo on top not mixed in sitting in white bowl with grey counter around.
Add the mayo.

Either add the mayo to the large bowl and mix again, or transfer a small portion to another bowl, add the mayonnaise, and mix.

Cover the rest of the salad with a lid or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

small clear glass bowl of colorful and creamy russian salad sitting on wooden board.
Enjoy this potato salad!

Enjoy this Olivier salad!

Storage Tips

If you have leftovers, store them in a sealed container in the fridge to keep fresh. Consume within 2 days.

Don’t leave mayo-covered salad sit out in the sun and/or heat. If you’re unsure how much salad you’ll need, you can add the mayo to individual servings rather than dressing the entire salad.

Don’t freeze the salad, as this can ruin the texture and flavor.

FAQ

Here are a few answers to questions about Olivier salad!

What is Olivier salad?

Olivier salad – or Russian potato salad – is a famous dish that originated in Moscow in the 1860s. Today’s recipe differs from the original, but common ingredients include potatoes, carrots, eggs (all boiled), pickles, peas, and cooked meat, all covered in mayonnaise. It is eaten in parts of Europe and in other countries under a number of different names and recipes.

How to make Olivier salad?

To make Olivier salad, boil the potatoes, carrots, and eggs. Peel and dice these ingredients and add the diced pickles and sausage/ham to a mixing bowl. Add salt, pepper and mayo and toss to combine.

Related Recipes

If you want to try out more classic Russian recipes, here are some you may find interesting:

clear glass bowl of russian oliver salad on round wooden board.

Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)

This classic, delicious Olivier salad recipe is so easy to make and loaded with potato, egg, carrots, pickles, and peas… then covered in creamy mayonnaise!
4.88 from 8 votes
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Prep Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 -8 servings

Ingredients

  • 1 pound cooked sausage or ham, see notes
  • 3 carrots, boiled and peeled
  • 4 potatoes, boiled and peeled
  • 4 eggs, boiled and peeled
  • 3 pickles, chopped
  • 1 cup canned green peas, drained
  • 3 tablespoons mayonnaise, more to taste
  • salt, to taste
  • black pepper, to taste

Instructions

  • Cut boiled and peeled potatoes into 1/4-inch cubes and place them in a deep bowl.
    4 potatoes
  • Chop the sausage (or ham) into small pieces as well and add to the bowl. If applicable, remove the casing first.
    1 pound cooked sausage or ham
  • Chop the carrots, pickles, and eggs into small pieces. Add to the bowl. Also add the drained green peas.
    3 carrots, 4 eggs, 3 pickles, 1 cup canned green peas
  • Toss the salad, then taste and add salt and pepper to taste. Stir again.
    salt, black pepper
  • Add mayonnaise to the large bowl and mix, or transfer portions to separate bowls and add mayonnaise to the individual servings.
    3 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • Cover the rest of the salad with a lid or plastic wrap and store in the refrigerator for no more than two days.

Notes

  • Instead of sausage (e.g. bologna) or ham, you can add boiled chicken or boiled beef.
  • Use waxy or all-purpose potatoes since they hold their shape well. Examples are Yukon Gold potatoes, yellow potatoes, red potatoes, or white potatoes.
  • Cook the potatoes and vegetables until tender, but don’t overcook them. This can ruin the texture of the salad.
  • Cut the ingredients into small, evenly sized pieces. This will make it easy to mix.
  • Sometimes fresh apples, fresh grated carrots (instead of boiled), chopped onions, fresh herbs, and/or fresh cucumber are added to Olivier salad.
  • If you have the time, chill the salad for a bit before serving. This allows the flavors to mingle.
  • You can serve the salad in portions and add the mayonnaise to the individual bowls, or add the mayo to the large bowl. 

Nutrition

Calories: 235kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 8g | Fat: 8g | Saturated Fat: 2g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 2g | Trans Fat: 0.03g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 379mg | Potassium: 833mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 4g | Vitamin A: 5505IU | Vitamin C: 40mg | Calcium: 68mg | Iron: 2mg

This nutritional information has been estimated by an online nutrition calculator. It should only be seen as a rough calculation and not a replacement for professional dietary advice.

Course Salads
Cuisine Russian
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This recipe was contributed by
Yuliia Stsepeleva
Yuliia was born in Ukraine and lived in Eastern Ukraine, close to Russia, for many years. Her experience makes her very familiar with both Ukrainian and Russian cuisine. She now lives in England, but still enjoys cooking Ukrainian dishes for her family.

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