Olivier Salad

4.75 from 4 votes

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I’ve been eating Olivier Salad or “Ruska Salata” for as long as I can remember and it’s one of my favorite 🎄 holiday traditions. This Ukrainian or Russian potato salad also known as Салат Оливье is a staple in many households around the world. You can find this potato salad on the table in every 🇧🇬 Bulgarian home and other neighboring countries around Christmas and New Year.

A bowl of olivier salad

Why You’ll Love Olivier Salad

The secret to the best Olivier Salad is finely chopping every single ingredient so you have to be patient as this recipe is a labor of ❤️ love. This salad is not to be rushed as the ✨ magic is in the chop so take your time and enjoy the process. The creaminess of this salad is to die for. You’re going to love the combination of vegetables that go into this salad and I hope you can relate to the nostalgia that it brings me every New Year. Let me know in the comments where you’re from and if you have this salad in your country too.

Origin of Olivier Salad

Based on my research, the original version of the salad was invented in the 1860s by a cook of Belgian origin by the name of Lucien Olivier. Lucien was the chef of the Hermitage, one of Moscow’s most celebrated restaurants. Olivier’s salad quickly became immensely popular with Hermitage regulars, and became the restaurant’s signature dish! This salad is now made world wide and how we welcome New Years Eve in Bulgaria.

How to Prepare Olivier Salad

🔥 Boil unpeeled potatoes and peeled carrots in one pot until fork-tender. Hard-boil eggs in a separate pot. Potatoes usually take 20 minutes, while carrots and eggs take about 10 minutes from boiling point.

🧊 Let everything cool, and then peel and finely chop the potatoes and boiled eggs.

🥕 For the carrots, dice into tiny cubes of equal-sized pieces.

🥣 In a bowl, combine the eggs, potatoes, carrots, peas, finely diced pickles and ham. Add mayo and salt and pepper to taste, then mix well.

❄️ Olivier Salad will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days. You can add more mayo if the salad becomes dry.

Nonna’s Tip

In Bulgaria, we love to eat this salad with fresh bread, but you can enjoy it with anything you like.

Olivier Salad

Variations and Substitutions for Olivier Salad

You can certainly mix and match these ideas to create a potato salad that suits your taste and dietary needs. Don’t forget to let me know and share a picture in the comments how you make yours!

  1. You could add fresh 🌿 herbs like dill, parsley, or chives.
  2. If you want to make a vegan version of this salad (or if you simply don’t like ham and/or eggs), leave out the 🥚 eggs and ham and use a vegan mayo (I prefer Vegenaise).
  3. Use some yogurt in place of some of the mayo if you want to lighten up the salad (but keep in mind it won’t have the same flavor).
  4. Feel free to add some crumbled, cooked bacon 🥓 to your Olivier Salad for a smoky flavor.

Other Salad Recipes

Best Served With

  • Some crusty bread like my no-knead peasant bread
  • A holiday meal, alongside turkey or ham
  • Other side dishes or salads
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Kitchen Must Have
  • This peeler is lightweight, sturdy and easy to clean! An absolute favourite of mine.

Nonna's Top Pick!
  • This is the perfect medium sauté pot!

Must Have
  • This knife is my most used tool in the kitchen. The love I have for this knife is unmatched.

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  • This cutting board is not only aesthetically pleasing but will last you for years and years!

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  • I use these bowls for everything in my kitchen. I use them to prep my ingredients, to mix batter or dough in them and so much more!

Kitchen Must Have

This peeler is lightweight, sturdy and easy to clean! An absolute favourite of mine.

4.9
$11.95
Nonna's Top Pick!

This is the perfect medium sauté pot!

4.9
$54.50
Must Have

This knife is my most used tool in the kitchen. The love I have for this knife is unmatched.

4.9
$179.95
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This cutting board is not only aesthetically pleasing but will last you for years and years!

4.8
$69.95
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I use these bowls for everything in my kitchen. I use them to prep my ingredients, to mix batter or dough in them and so much more!

4.8
$27.21
02/20/2024 12:30 pm GMT

Common Questions

What type of salt do you use?

I use Redmond Real Salt, please note that depending on the salt you use, your dish may be less or more salty. Salt is to taste, so please always taste and adjust as you cook.

How do I know when the potatoes and carrots are done cooking?

Make sure the potatoes and carrots are boiled, but still hold their shape. The carrots took 10 minutes from the boiling point, and the potatoes took 20.  If you insert a knife it should easily go through. 

Can I make this salad vegan?

If you want to make this salad vegan or vegetarian, please use vegan mayo and leave out the eggs and ham. It will be just as delicious.

What if I am allergic to eggs or don’t eat meat?

If you are allergic to eggs or don’t eat meat, simply leave out the ham and eggs. Vegenaise is my favorite vegan mayo and what I like to use. 

How can I store leftovers? Can I freeze any of the salad?

I don’t recommend freezing this salad, as it is best served fresh. Any leftover Olivier Salad will last in the refrigerator for 3-5 days, and can add more mayo if the salad becomes dry.

How can I make a lighter version of this salad?

If you want to lighten it up, you can try incorporating some yogurt, but it won’t taste the same. 

How do you recommend serving this salad?

In Bulgaria, we love to eat this salad on top of bread, but you can enjoy it any way you wish. 

Oloivier Salad

Olivier Salad

The secret to the best Olivier Salad is finely chopping every single ingredient so you have to be patient as this recipe is a labor of ❤️ love. This salad is not to be rushed as the ✨ magic is in the chop so take your time and enjoy the process.
4.75 from 4 votes
Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Russian
Servings: 6
Author: The Modern Nonna
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 20 minutes
Total Time: 40 minutes

Ingredients 

  • 4 potatoes, boiled, peeled, and finely diced
  • 2 carrots, peeled, boiled, and finely diced
  • 4 eggs, boiled, peeled and finely chopped
  • 4 pickles, about 1 cup when diced
  • 200 grams black forest ham, finely diced
  • 1 14 oz can peas , drained
  • 1 cup mayo, any you like
  • salt and pepper , to taste

Instructions 

  • NOTE: the boiled carrots should have a bite to them (not mushy). Feel free to use chicken or any other protein instead of the ham.
  • In a pot on the stove, boil the unpeeled potatoes and peeled carrots until fork tender. In a separate pot, boil the eggs. The eggs and carrots took about 10 minutes to cook from the boiling point and the potatoes took 20 minutes.
  • Once the veggies are boiled and fork tender, let them cool. I like to add my boiled eggs to an ice bath so that they are easy to peel. Peel the eggs and chop them finely.
  • Peel the potatoes, place each one vertically and cut into 4-5 round pieces, take each piece and make lengthwise cuts, rotate it and dice into tiny cubes. The smaller the cubes are, the better. Do this for each potato until they are all cubed. You can use a serrated knife if it's easier to cut with.
  • Dice the boiled carrots into equal size pieces and add them to a bowl along with the diced boiled eggs and potatoes. Add the peas, finely diced pickles, and finely diced ham. Add the mayo before serving the salad and mix. Taste and adjust for salt and pepper.
  • You can refrigerate this salad for 3-5 days and add more mayo if it becomes dry. Enjoy!

Video

Nutrition

Calories: 454kcal, Carbohydrates: 29g, Protein: 13g, Fat: 32g, Saturated Fat: 5g, Polyunsaturated Fat: 17g, Monounsaturated Fat: 7g, Trans Fat: 0.1g, Cholesterol: 143mg, Sodium: 997mg, Potassium: 855mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 4g, Vitamin A: 3671IU, Vitamin C: 30mg, Calcium: 67mg, Iron: 2mg

Nutrition information is automatically calculated, so should only be used as an approximation.

Additional Info

Course: Salad
Cuisine: Mediterranean, Russian
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Hi! I'm Sneji. Nice to meet you!

I am more commonly known as “The Modern Nonna” on social media where I create easy home cooked meals with a modern twist. I was born and raised in Sofia, Bulgaria and learned how to cook at the best culinary school in the world – my grandma’s kitchen. I lived in Greece on the Island of Crete with my parents for a while and then moved to Toronto, Canada when I was in grade 5. I started to really cook and experiment with food 11 years ago when I was 21 years old. Everything I currently know is a reflection of some part of my life…

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2 Comments

  1. I was thinking of this salad just the other day! It was a staple at my Polish in-laws for Christmas and Easter. My MIL made it without ham and with a considerable amount of dill…delicious! I think I’ll add the ham, as it will be a perfect lunch to take to work. Thanks!