This recipe for Russian beet salad is garlicky, sweet, and creamy. It makes a great, refreshing side dish to compliment a meal!
Russian beet salad is a bright and refreshing side dish that can be served anywhere you would have American coleslaw. It’s packed with grated boiled beets, a ton of garlic (8 cloves), and tossed in creamy mayonnaise. If you love beets, you’re going to love this recipe!
This salad is a staple in many Slavic homes. Why? It contains two ingredients – beets and mayonnaise. If you’re looking for an interesting departure from your usual rotation of slaws and salads, look no further.
If you really want to break free from traditional American coleslaw and potato salad at your next BBQ, you could also whip up a batch of our great recipe for Russian potato salad.
How to Make Beet Salad
Making classic Russian beet salad only requires a few easy steps and 5 ingredients. Below, find a quick hitter overview of the recipe before you dive in.
- Boil and Cool the Beets: In a large pot, boil the beets until you can pierce them with a fork. Drain the beets in a colander and set them aside to cool at room temperature.
- Grate the Beets and Garlic: Using a cheese grater, grate the boiled beets and garlic gloves into a large bowl.
- Season with Salt and Mayo: Toss the grated beets and garlic with mayo. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Stir until well-combined. Serve as-is or chilled!
Did you know? In the United States, we refer to the root part of the beet plant as “beets”. In the UK, it’s referred to as “beet root”.
Tips for Making the Best Beet Salad
Below, find some pro tips to help you make the best Russian beet salad on the planet.
- Boil and Skin the Beets: In other cases, you can totally eat beet skin. It’s full of fiber and nutrients! However, for this recipe, it’s best to take it off. Skinless beets make the texture of the salad so silky and creamy.
- Grate the Beets and Garlic. For the best texture, use a cheese grater to grate the beets and garlic.
- Adjust the garlic. This recipe calls for a lot of garlic! If you aren’t as garlic-obsessed, reduce the number of cloves you use by half.
- Serve the salad chilled. If you’re in the mood for something refreshing, let the salad chill in the refrigerator for a couple of hours before digging in.
Serving Beet Salad
There are so many different ways to serve traditional Russian beet salad. It’s the perfect side dish for savory Slavic entrees like classic pierogi (potatoes and cheese), homemade kielbasa, or turkey necks. You could also use it as a colorful spread for fresh baguette or crackers on your next charcuterie board.
Storing Beet Salad
- Refrigerator: Store leftover beet salad in an airtight container in the fridge. It should keep for up to a week and get more and more flavorful as it marinates in itself, making for some awesome leftovers.
- Freezer: Not recommended. Boiled beets don’t thaw well and tend to turn to mush.
How do I peel beets easily?
After boiling, beets will peel super easily. All you have to do is rub the skins off with your fingers or a paper towel.
Could this salad be made with garlic powder instead?
You could use garlic powder, but the flavor won’t be the same. Fresh garlic really elevates the dish.
How long does Russian beet salad keep in the fridge?
Russian beet salad will keep for up to a week when stored in an airtight container in the fridge.
Should I boil the beets whole?
Yes, you should boil the beets whole. This makes it even easier to peel the skin off.
Why are beets so healthy?
Beets are packed with nutrients and vitamins. Specifically, they contain a great amount of fiber, folate (vitamin B9), manganese, potassium, iron, and vitamin C.
More Yummy Beet Salads
- Beet and Goat Cheese Arugula Salad – Classic leafy beet salad
- Shuba Fur Coat Salad – Beautifully layered herring salad
- Russian Vinaigrette Salad (aka Beet Salad) – Tangy beet salad
- Pickled Beets – Simple, 20-minute pickled beets
- Beet Quinoa Salad – Filling and perfect for work lunches
- 3 large beets
- 8 garlic cloves
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise adjust to taste
- 1/2 tbsp salt adjust to taste
- In a large pot, boil beets for about 40 minutes, or until you can easily pierce them with a fork. Set them aside to cool at room temperature. Peel the skins from the beets and garlic cloves.
- Using a cheese grater, grate the beets and garlic into small pieces.
- Add salt and mayonnaise to the beets and stir until well-combined.
- Serve and enjoy!
This is the most amazing and versatile dish I have ever made. Fast easy and delicious. I make it all the time to go with a wide variety of things. Even end up just eating it on it's own. Have to make double the amount everytime so I have enough left over to share ❤🤣❤❤
Hi Shazza - That's so great to hear! I love this salad too and I don't even care how bad my breath stinks after eating it. The garlic is just too good to pass up! Also 100% agree on doubling the batch. We always have to as well. Happy New Year, friend!
I add chopped walnuts to this salad, it tastes the best. It has a great nutty flavor!
Oh, YUM! That sounds bomb. A nice added texture too. Thanks for sharing this Alesia - I'm definitely going to try this!
This is one tasty gorgeous salad. Of course I love beets. Even my picky son liked this salad.
Beth, that is so good to hear! It is so hard to feed picky eaters, I'm glad your son loved it too!
I can't even tell you how much we loved this! And the color is beautiful!
Right?! It add so much color to the table! I'm so glad you loved the recipe 🙂
I don't normally like beets. But this beet garlic salad is awesome and super easy to make!
Hi Matt, I am so glad you loved the recipe, thank you for taking the time to comment!
Could this be made with garlic powder instead?
Hey Jenny, you could but fresh garlic gives it a much better flavor.
Hi do you add the beets whole when you boil them or cut them up ?
Hi, I typically cook them whole but I know you can speed up cooking time if you cut them.
I have been searching for this recipe. I first tasted it at a potluck from a Russian coworker. So simple and fresh, everyone loved it! Thanks for sharing!
Anita, thank you for sharing your feedback. I am so happy everyone loved this recipe. I love cooking with beets in the fall, so excited to make it around Holidays again. 🙂
My husband's family makes this salad but also adds Mexican blend shredded cheese. It is amazing.
Oh wow, never hear of cheesy version of it. I like that idea. Thanks for sharing.
This is one of my favorite salads! I had it in Latvia when I stayed there. So fresh!
Awesome!!! I am thinking to add it to thanksgiving menu.
About to make this!!!!!
Happy healthy snacking!!! 🙂
Making this right now!
Beets are one of my favorite vegetables. Any salad with beets is delicious. 🙂
Healthy and tasty!