by Olena

Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)

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Olena Osipov
4.8 from 5 votes

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Olivier Salad is a traditional Russian potato salad served in many post-Soviet countries on New Year’s Eve and any celebrations table. Made with potatoes, hard boiled eggs, pickles and peas, it’s unique and crazy delicious!

Other traditional Russian/Ukrainian recipes to try would be borscht and lazy pierogi.

Olivier salad in white bowls and garnished with dill and pepper.

What Is Olivier Salad?

Olivier salad or Olyvie (Салат Оливье) appeared on every New Year’s Eve table in Ukraine. And you should know that this holiday was far bigger than Christmas, when I was growing up.

When I try to describe it to my new friends, I call it “a glorified” North American potato salad. Olivieh salad’s main ingredients are boiled potatoes and eggs, with a generous addition of diced meat, pickles, fresh or canned peas, and cooked carrots.

As for spices and dressing, it’s very-very simple like majority of Slavic recipes are. However, I am making it much healthier than the classic version!

Let me show you how to make and love our Slavic Olivier!

Potatoes, eggs, carrots, pickles, sausage, peas, mayo, yogurt, salt and pepper.

How to Make Olivier Salad

Making Russian potato salad consists of cooking the vegetables and eggs, cooling them, chopping everything and mixing together. Here is a quick overview:

A pot with potatoes, carrots, eggs and cold water in the sink.

Boil potatoes, carrots and eggs: Add everything to a large pot, cover with water and cook for 10 minutes. Remove eggs into an ice bath and continue cooking veggies for another 10 minutes.

You sure can cook eggs separately or make Instant Pot hard boiled eggs, but cooking everything together saves a step and another dirty pot to wash.

Peeling cooked potato over a bowl with cooked carrots and potatoes.

Then cool veggies, and peel. They should peel easily now. Also cut off any blemishes at same time.

Chopping cooked carrots on a cutting board.

Dice all ingredients: Dice potatoes, carrots, eggs, meat and pickles.

A bowl with frozen peas and hot water.

Place frozen sweet peas in a bowl with hot water for 1 minute, drain and add to the salad.

In Ukraine, we traditionally used canned peas due to lack of fresh or frozen ones. The taste isn’t as great, in my opinion. I much prefer fresh!

A spoon spreading yogurt and mayo over a bowl with diced sausage, carrots, eggs, potatoes, pickles and peas.

Dress the salad: No need to make dressing separately. We never did. Add yogurt, mayo, salt and pepper right into the salad bowl and stir well.

When and How to Serve Olyvie?

You can serve Olyvie anytime you would serve a North American healthy potato salad. Just like with its close relative, it tastes best chilled. So, if you have time I highly recommend to refrigerate it for an hour or so.

In Ukraine, Russia, Belorussia and all former Soviet Union countries this salad was served on New Year’s Eve, birthday parties, funerals (yes!) and any potlucks and outdoor get-togethers.

Now living here for so many years, we do not do that anymore. Nor that I make this salad as often. But I truly love this Russian salad and make it rather for a quick dinner and lunches.

I think the combo of meat, potatoes, boiled eggs and pickles in a creamy dressing is absolutely divine! My mouth is watering as I write this.

Stirring Olivier salad with metal spoon in white bowl.

Tips to Make Russian Potato Salad

This unique salad is very easy to make, don’t be intimidated. Here are a few tipes I learnt from grandma:

  • Add enough water to the pot: Make sure it covers the veggies completely. Any sticking out in the air part won’t get cooked!
  • Cook vegetables the day before: If you have time, cook veggies a few hours or a day in advance so they have time to cool down. This is a bit of a make ahead salad.
  • Cool them outside: If it’s cold, place the pot uncovered outside and veggies will cool down quicker.
  • Use any cooked meat on hand: I have used leftover cooked chicken and turkey, ham, bologna, garlic sausage and even a beef roast. Anything goes!
  • Add cucumber for a crunch: Seed it first, and it’s best in a salad you plan on consuming within 24 hours.

Grandma also added a bit of minced onion but I do not like that. You do you!

FAQs

How to store it?

Make sure to store salad covered to prevent it from drying out and your fridge smelling like eggs. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap or lid and refrigerate.

How long will it last?

Olivier salad last for 3 days but even 5 days can be stretched. It will not go bad, just won’t be the freshest.

Can I freeze the salad?

No, I do not recommend you freeze the potato salad. Cooked potatoes change texture once thawed.

What are the best pickles?

Use dill pickles and avoid sweet pickles.

Russian potato salad in white bowls and garnished with dill and pepper.

Other Traditional Slavic Recipes to Try

I hope you enjoy this Olivier salad recipe and give my other Ukrainian recipes a try!

Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)

Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)

Olivier Salad is a traditional Russian potato salad served in many post-Soviet countries on New Year's Eve and any celebrations table.
4.8 from 5 votes
Print Save Rate
Course: Side Dish
Cuisine: Russian
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Cooling Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
Servings: 8 servings
Calories: 315kcal
Author: Olena Osipov

Ingredients

  • 1/2 lb sausage or ham
  • 5 medium potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 4 large eggs
  • 3 dill pickles
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 3/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup mayo
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Instructions

  • In a large pot, add potatoes, carrots and eggs. Add cold water until all are completely covered (important). Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low-medium and cook for about 10 minutes with lid open to the side.
  • Remove eggs with a spoon into an ice bath and continue cooking the vegetables for another 10-15 minutes or until fork tender. Then drain and leave carrots and potatoes in a pot to cool off completely. Then peel with a paring knife.
  • Cube sausage, potatoes, carrots, eggs, and pickles. Place frozen peas in a bowl with hot water for 1 minute, drain and add to the salad.
  • Add yogurt, mayo, salt and pepper to taste. Stir well and adjust seasonings to taste, if needed.
  • Serve right away or like a potato salad refrigerate for about an hour.

Store: Refrigerate covered for up to 3 days. Do not freeze.

    To make ahead: Refrigerate salad assembled but not stirred for up to 48 hours. Stir a few hours before serving.

      Video

      Notes

      • Add enough water to the pot: Make sure it covers the veggies completely. Any sticking out in the air part won’t get cooked!
      • Cook vegetables the day before: If you have time, cook veggies a few hours or a day in advance so they have time to cool down.
      • Cool them outside: If it’s cold, place the pot uncovered outside and veggies will cool down quicker.
      • Use any cooked meat on hand: I have used leftover cooked chicken and turkey, ham, bologna, garlic sausage and even a beef roast. Anything goes!
      • Add cucumber for a crunch: Seed it first, and it’s best in a salad you plan on consuming within 24 hours.

      Nutrition

      Serving: 1cup | Calories: 315kcal | Carbohydrates: 30g | Protein: 12g | Fat: 17g | Saturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 108mg | Sodium: 556mg | Fiber: 5g | Sugar: 5g

      Recipes and images are a copyright of ifoodreal.com. It is against the law to republish recipes without permission. Nutritional info is approximate.

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      11 comments on “Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)

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      1. 5 stars
        What kind of potatoes do you use?
        I used red because they hold up better in potato Salad than russets. However, their skins are so thin, it took me 4 times as long to peel after cooking than it would have using a vegetable peeler before they were boiled.

        That’s the only thing I would change.
        My church has a large immigrant Slavic percentage and they gobbled up this salad! A definite keeper! THANK YOU!!!

        1. Hi Rosalie. I’m so happy my Olivier salad has passed the test. Yay! I used russet potatoes however you can use any. Boiled potatoes are generally harder to peel than raw so it’s normal. Also it depends on potatoes themselves, sometimes they peel easy and sometimes not. Same with carrots. Try to grab a wider chunk of skin and pull slowly.

      2. Question. In your instructions you say peel with a paring knife but the ingredients that we put in the water to begin with were cubed potatoes and carrots. Are you peeling the cubes?

        1. Yes, sure! Or you can just use more mayo. Originally in Ukraine entire Olivier salad is dressed with only mayo. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

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