This olivier potato salad doesn’t skimp on texture or creaminess. A classic Russian dish!

Russian Salad in a bowl, another bowl in background

Olivier potato salad is a Russian spin on American potato salad. It’s full of texture, super creamy, and ridiculously addicting. Serve it as a side dish anywhere you would the American stuff to liven up your next BBQ spread!

What is Olivier Potato Salad (салат оливье)?

Olivier salad is a traditional Russian potato salad made with finely diced potatoes, carrots, pickles, boiled eggs, sweet peas, onions, and bologna or ham, all tossed with a simple dressing of mayonnaise, salt, and pepper. Typically, you’ll find it served at family gatherings or on holidays. If you grew up in a Slavic home, you likely have memories of eating a big bowl of it on Christmas. Below, find an overview of the flavor, texture, and cooking time.

  • Flavor: This salad is the perfect balance of tangy and savory.
  • Texture: The creamy dressing is the perfect compliment to the chunky veggies, boiled eggs, and bologna/ham.
  • Time: From start to finish, this recipe takes a little over an hour to make.

Did you know? The original recipe for olivier potato salad was created by renowned Russian chef Lucien Olivier back in the 1860s. He was an extremely celebrated head chef at the Hermitage, one the most famous restaurants in Moscow’s history.

Olivier Salad ingredients on a cutting board

How to Make Olivier Potato Salad

Making Russian-style potato salad only requires a bit of boiling, chopping, and mixing. Below, find a quick overview of the recipe before you dive in.

  • Boil the Carrots, Potatoes, & Eggs: In a large pot, boil the carrots and potatoes until they are easily pierced with a fork. Next, boil the eggs. Set the ingredients aside to cool at room temperature.
  • Dice the Salad Ingredients: With a sharp knife, dice the onions, carrots, potatoes, eggs, and bologna/ham into small cubes. In a large bowl, mixed the finely diced ingredients with the peas. Stir with a spoon until well-combined.
  • Toss with Dressing: Toss the salad ingredients with the mayo and season to taste with salt and pepper. Optionally, you can sprinkle in some fresh dill for a pop of flavor and color. Enjoy!

Tips for Oliver Potato Salad

Below, find some pro tips to help you make the best olivier salad on the planet.

  • Use frozen peas instead. Replace canned peas for frozen peas for a fresher taste. Just make sure to thaw them first and drain them from any excess liquid!
  • Add cucumber for a crunch. Add diced cucumbers to the salad if you like a bit of a crunch.
  • Cook the veggies a couple hours ahead. If you have the time, cook the veggies a couple of hours ahead to give them ample time to cool to room temperature.
  • Use a vegetable chopper. Use a vegetable chopper to speed the dicing process up for the meat, veggies, and eggs. This will also ensure you get evenly sized cubes!
  • Apply the dressing right before serving. To prevent your salad from turning soggy, only toss the mayo in right before you plan to serve it.

Serving Olivier Salad

Olivier salad can be served anywhere you would American potato salad. It’s a great addition to your next BBQ spread, as it pairs wonderfully with most grilled meats. For a full blown Slavic feast, prepare some shashlik (pork shish kabobs) or cabbage rolls.

Storing Olivier Salad

Store olivier salad in an airtight container in the refrigerator. It should keep for up to 2 days. If you want to keep it fresher longer, refrain from tossing in the mayo and seasonings until right before you plan to serve it.

FAQ

Can I freeze olivier salad?

No, you cannot freeze olivier salad. The starchy potatoes and mayo will not thaw well and the salad will turn to mush.

How long does olivier salad last?

Dressed olivier salad will last 2 days in the fridge. If you keep the mayo separate, it will last up to 5 days.

What kind of pickles should I use?

Savory pickles, such as dill, work best. Stay away from sweet pickles.

Can I use anything besides mayo?

You can use creme fraiche or sour cream instead of mayo.

Other Traditional Russian Salads to Try

About Author

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.