My Homemade Food Recipes & Tips

Russian Salad (Olivier)

February 22nd, 2009 in Salads by
Total cooking time: 2h
Russian Salad (Olivier)

Usually people outside of former-USSR call it Russian Salad, however its original name is Salad Olivier.

This salad was and maybe still is the most traditional dish for the home New Year celebration for Russian people, and some other family holidays also. Hope you will like it too.

Different cooks may use slightly different ingredients in the salad, and the taste will vary because of this.

This recipe describes Salad Olivier how it us being prepared in my family.


How to make, step by step:

  1. Boil carrots and potatoes in advance and make sure they cool till room temperature when you start making the salad. Prepare hard boiled eggs in advance, let them to cool down to room temperature as well. Wash green onions and dill.
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 1
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 1
  2. Skin boiled potatoes and dice them into small cubes like it is shown on the photo below:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 2
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 2
  3. Skin boiled carrots and dice them into the cubes of the same size you diced potatoes into:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 3
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 3
  4. Put diced carrots and potatoes into big bowl:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 4
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 4
  5. Open can with peas and remove liquid, add to the bowl:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 5
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 5
  6. Peel eggs and dice them into the same size pieces as carrots and potatoes. Add the to the bowl:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 6
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 6
  7. Dice bologna, add to the bowl:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 7
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 7
  8. Dice pickled cucumbers. It is important to take cucumbers pickled with salt not with vinegar:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 8
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 8
  9. Chop green onions and dill, add to the bowl:
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 9
    Russian Salad (Olivier) Recipe: Step 9
  10. Mix everything, season with ground black pepper and add salt if you feel it is needed. Add mayonnaise and mix everything again. Put salad to the bowl you want to serve it in. Your Russian Salad Olivier is ready to be served!
    Russian Salad (Olivier)
    Russian Salad (Olivier)

55 Responses to “Russian Salad (Olivier)”

  1. Opeyemi says:

    I miss checking on your website for some time now. But I must say you present the dishes in the easiest way possible. I have taught my students a couple of recipes from your site.
    I just want to say thank you for the good work and please keep giving us more great recipes.

  2. melissa says:

    hi. i was introduced to this delicious salad in a Guatemalan restaurant here in Houston,TX. i tried a recipe last night but it not very delicious like the one i tasted before. i didn’t add apples either. my basic ingredients were peas, carrots, potatoes, celery and mayonnaise. my concern is, the mayo that i used is the Mexican version that already has lime in it. it is quite tasty but i believe that’s where my mistake was. also, i have eaten it with green beans or french beans instead of peas.

  3. Pearl de Ghins says:

    Oh I had plenty of Russian Salad growing up in Paris in the 50s!! I don’t think we had a lot of carrots in it but it had CAPERS!! And I make it with capers always. Capers are also in the original Chef Olivier composition, that’s what makes that special taste. I do make it now with carrots, peas and salted cucumbers (to remove the excess liquid) and eggs of course. And capers. My version is vegetarian. I think the original ahd grouse and some shellfish of some kind (or crawfish or crab), not sure. Either way this is a crowd pleaser at my parties!

  4. Huk says:

    Thanks for this recipe. We had it for our New Year’s Eve and it was a big hit with everyone, including the boys. The salted gherkins take a bit of seeking out, but eventually found some in our supermarket – tinned and from Israel. They have a wonderful sharp taste and I could eat them all day.

    • Yes, for me salted cucumbers are the must for this recipe. Even if I substitute with marinated the taste isn’t right, again, for me. But for some ppl even fresh ones are ok.

  5. Elena says:

    Hi, thanks for all your excellent recipes. I’m from Bulgaria and we also make this salad for new year’s eve and it is called Russian salad. In my family it is made with pickled, not boiled carrots and the Bulgarian version is without dill, onions or apples. We also use a drier sausage, but I’ve made it meatless and it’s still great. I made it for a Christmass party in England and it became an instant hit – people at work keep asking me to make it for parties. We also use it to make a ‘salty’ cake – with pancakes, grated cheese and Snow White (the bulgarian variant of tzatziki salad). My English husband and his family love it as well and keep asking for it. Love it – to me it’s the taste of family holidays, winter, presents.

  6. sherry says:

    Is there a way to print your recepies without all of the accompanying comments?

    • Maybe by adjusting amount of pages you print? I will have work on making some print friendly version of the site, I don’t have it at the moment

    • I think I found a nice plugin which allows to get a print friendly version of the page with recipe. Now you should be able to see “print” button under the recipe title.

      Could you please try it out and let me know if it works the way you want it to? It currently adds photos to the printable version, but there is an easy way to turn them off too.

  7. Dinah says:

    My friend from Ukraine made Salad Olivier for me and wrote the recipe down. He didn’t mix everything together – he put the ingredients in separate layers into a big fairly straight-sided bowl (or cake tin), then chilled it with a weight on top. When he turned it out onto a flat plate you could cut it like a cake and it looked so pretty.

  8. Alex says:

    My wife is Russian so I feel kinda qualified to comment as we eat much of this type of stuff.

    The cucumbers described are better described as gherkins and can be had from any Polish shop in the UK. They also sell the correct type of sausage used in this salad – but many prefer ham as its better quality than the FSU style sausage they use.

    My wife absolutely loved discovering our array of fresh produce here; this has bought about vast changes in her cooking to the extent that she cooks very few Russian dishes any more – apart from salads like this.

    You always see this salad on birthdays on the table in Russia.

    In fact, I am back to Samara next month. More Russian salad for me then……..

  9. Chef Asim says:

    nice different russain salads

  10. Александра says:

    Оливье и окрошка! Самая лучшая еда)

  11. Jim says:

    Russian Salad/Salad Olivier – is a tradition for the evening meal at the Persian celebration of Shab-e Yalda

    I like this salad because it is not only better than potato salad but easier to make

  12. Dasha says:

    Dull and pepper aren’t parts of the original Olivier receipt (I’m Russian and I never tasted an Olivier WITH dull and pepper. I hope I never will) and I can’t stand onions, so I don’t add them too. Instead of bolognia you can use chicken meat. Instead of maionesse you can use sour cream.

  13. эндрю says:

    оливье сосстоит из порядка 30 ингредиентов от рябчиков до икры то что мне сдесь написали-полная чушь

    • Olga Dimitri says:

      Dear Andrew, I think the proper name for Russian Salad is Masking Poverty Russian Salad. In seventieth and eighties were empty shelves in Russians shops and we were try to make good food for holidays. Put to salad surrogate meat called sosages, instead of kupers green beans, onion, any cheep vegetation what we could find. For Russians its more than testing food.

  14. Alexey says:

    A few notes to the recipe:

    First off, if you can’t get excellent cucumbers pickled with salt (it’s very hard to get them in fact) – take vinegar pickled ones, so you won’t spoil the taste of salad, moreover a lot of people prefer marinated cucumbers to salted ones.

    Second, what about meat: yes, it’s common to add bologna, but chicken, veal or beef tounge would give the salad a milder taste, a better texture and would also keep it original.

    Prepared capers are extremely important (once again, they were in the original recipe created in Russian Empire, they are popular nowadays as well), they just make it taste more special.

    About greens – dill and onion are not a must, but they can be used as well as finely chopped apples or fresh cucumbers.

    Enjoy 🙂

  15. Irina says:

    I was born in russia but I live in the united states, and the way my mom taught me to make it was:
    10 Eggs
    10 Sausages
    6-8 medium potatoes
    2-3 large cucumbers
    2 Cans of Peas
    1/2 an Onion
    salt and pepper

    chop and mix all ingredients together, add desired amount of mayonnaise and salt and pepper to taste. I prefer this way. I absolutely love Olivier (or at least I love my version) and I make it every thanksgiving, christmas, new years and my birthday. just thought I would share my version on here 🙂

    • Юля says:

      I am from Ukraine and we doing the same way… No apples no pineapples …. I read different people add different ingridients I am believe that ones taste great too but it is no more Olivie

      • Tatyana says:

        I am from Russia and live in Canada. I love this salad and my husband too! No apples no pineapples!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. noreen says:

    wow, it,s to easy

  17. Julia says:

    LOVE this salad and miss it so much! Olivier might roll in his grave with the addition of carrots, but this is usually how my friends in Kyiv made it. Let’s just say it’s the Ukrainian version! Great site, thanks for recipes!! Can’t wait to eat this again!!

    • This is the russian salad recipe as I know it, everybody is free to make changes and modifications how they please 🙂 . I am actually not sure why everybody is objecting to carrots, but not to the missing “grouse, veal tongue, caviar, lettuce, crayfish tails, capers, smoked duck” which wikipedia lists as possible ingredients in the original recipe invented by Lucien Olivier (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Russian_salad ).

      To my opinion carrots are they important in this salad, and it will not taste the same w/o them. But that is just my opinion.

      @ Julia,
      thanks for your kind words! Please come back for more recipes, I hope you will like them.

    • Mati says:

      Heh, in Poland we call this salad a “Russian salad” (I never heard about the “Salad Olivier”). Carrots are always added – like potatoes, they are the main filler. And they add a necessary sweetness to the salad. Like “Polish girl” wrote above, we also add an apple and a spoon of mustard. But no dill. My grandma also adds a teaspoon of sugar, but then only half an apple (which btw. has to be a sweet apple). A very healthy salad, and still so tasty!!! I love it!!! :):):)

      • “Salad Olivier” is a name this salad is called inside of Russia (and couple more post-USSR countries), variations of it are sometimes called “Meat Salad” or “Salad Stolichnyj”. “Russian Salad” is the name of it used outside of post-USSR area.

  18. This looks nasty but i have a FEELING it will taste okkk… :/

  19. Kate says:

    I just made this and it came out pretty good. I omitted potatoes, used 1/2 fresh cucumbers and 1/2 pickles, and 1/2 sour cream to 1/2 mayo. Came out great! After reading the reviews, I realize that if I added one apple, it would’ve made it absolutely incredible…oh well, this is a good excuse to make it again. Next time – I’ll use chicken and toss in a granny smith.

    I don’t like onions, but I dutifully added one whole bunch as the recipe required, and I am glad I did. The salad wouldn’t have been the same without it. Thanks!

    • Potatoes are main filler in this salad, can’t even imagine how it tastes w/o it. But I agree: apples are good addition, as well as chicken is a good substitute for bologna.

  20. Andrey says:

    в моей семье оливье делают с оливками вместо соленого огурца, тоже очень не плохо
    my family do olivier with green olives, no cucumber

  21. vicky says:

    i love it sooooo much but i use crab

  22. Zoey says:

    How do you make russian flavoured mayonnaise from scratch?

    Tried this recipe the other day, but didn’t taste like the ones I usually have in the Russian restaurant. I think mayonnaise is the problem.

    • Didn’t make may from scratch for ages…

      2 egg yolks, about 2 cups of oil (sunflower or olive), 0.5 teaspoon of salt, 0.5 teaspoon of sugar, 0.5 teaspoon of mustard, 2-3 tablespoons of lemon juice diluted with boiled and cooled down water to taste (or vinegar diluted as well).

      Combine egg yolks at room temperature, salt, sugar and mustard in mixing bowl and emulsify.

      Start adding oil (it should be at room temperature as well), very slow at beginning, teaspoon by teaspoon, make sure you mix in one before adding another.

      Once oil is in, mix in lemon juice (or vinegar) till the consistency you like.

      Something like this.

  23. egor says:

    no carrots in Olivier salad!!! NO carrots! Olivier would flip in his grave (

    • Henry says:


      I am originally from Finland & since a little kid become addicted to these open sandwich with Russian Salad!

      In US it’s hard to find from anywhere, & or not really happy about it taste, will be going to prepare my own, over the weekend!

      All you have great time with this taste Salad Olivier, actually not so Russian Salad, (nothing with but great to know the origin) as I’ve learned since day first!

      Again, which by the way, I learned from this great Igor…!

      All the best to all you guys!

  24. chef cooking says:

    Kirill, fresh cucumber in Olivier? Only pickled! BTW, doktorskaya is much better than bologna 😉

  25. Kirill says:

    Dill and onions are strictly optional, as are many other ingredients: chicken, cabbage, cilantro, parsley, apple, …

    Also try fresh cucumber instead of pickles, you may find it tastes better that way.

    But the most important ingredient is the mayonnaise. Regular one sold in Western Europe or North America will ruin the dish irreparably. Either use a Russian mayonnaise, or make your own, from olive oil, vinegar, sugar and salt, it’s very easy.

  26. Polish Girl says:

    People in my coutry usually add one apple and a spoon of mustard. NO dill !!

  27. Yep, I keep forgetting about black pepper, it is important! Thanks for mentioning this, I’ve updated the recipe.

    BTW, if you like simulated crab sticks, you may also like “Crab Sticks and Rice Salad” (https://www.enjoyyourcooking.com/salads/crab-sticks-salad.html ), it is one of my favorites 🙂

  28. natalya says:

    I love this salad have been making it for years
    I dont add bologna, or dill but I add cilantro instead as well I use lots of black pepper
    my sisters make this same salad with simulated crab sticks
    it tastes great

Leave a Reply