Olivier Salad (Russian Salad)

6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes

Olivier Salad, or Russian Salad, is a Russian recipe for potato salad. A popular food in Europe and traditional dish for Orthodox Christmas!

Creamy comforting Salads like Potato Salad and Egg Salad are popular Sides for big gatherings because they are easy to make with cheaper ingredients. This Russian recipe for potato salad is just as easy and inexpensive and will make your family celebrations feel extra special.

Sabrina’s Olivier Salad Recipe

Olivier Salad, also known as Russian Salad and Salad Olivye (among many other names), is a delicious, creamy potato salad and well-loved Russian recipe. This simple recipe is a version of the classic Russian Potato Salad made with just potatoes, dill, mayonnaise, peas, eggs, and ham. It is the perfect traditional dish to serve during special occasions and family events such as Orthodox Christmas and New Years Eve.

What is Olivier Salad?

The original Olivier Salad was created in the 1860’s by Lucien Olivier, the chef of a Hermitage, a famous restaurant in Moscow. The exact recipe from the original version is unknown because it was a closely guarded secret. By the late 19th century, a few replicas and supposed leaked recipes were being spread around. A recipe containing grouse, potatoes, cucumber, capers, olives, lettuce, aspic, and crayfish was said to be the closest. Over time the fancy ingredients were swapped out, like using egg instead of crayfish and sausage or chicken instead of grouse, so it became a comforting salad for everyone instead of an exclusive gourmet recipe.

Modern recipes for Olivier Salad are made with boiled potatoes, cucumber pickles, peas, eggs, and meat, with a mayonnaise dressing and fresh dill. There are many variations as this dish has become a well-loved favorite not just in Russia but all through Europe and even Latin America. It is a popular food to serve during family gatherings, usually as an appetizer. 

Olivier Salad ingredients spread out in prep bowls over napkin


  • Potatoes: You can use pretty much any potato for this recipe, but we like starchy potatoes like Russet potatoes because it makes the salad creamier. If you prefer a firmer potato salad use red potatoes.
  • Mayonnaise: The creamy dressing is just mayonnaise with some seasonings, so you’ll want to use a good quality mayo like olive oil mayonnaise. If you have access to an international foods store, try this recipe with authentic Russian mayo!
  • Seasonings: Fresh dill is a classic seasoning in Eastern European and Russian cooking. The bold herb is all you need to add a delicious flavor and cut through the heavy mayo dressing. A little salt and pepper brings everything together.
  • Peas: You want to use thawed frozen peas because they will still hold their shape, where canned peas can get mushy. For a little crunch and bright garden flavor, try it with fresh peas!
  • Pickles: The briny dill cucumber pickles add some freshness and the tangy vinegar helps lighten up the heavy mayo. While you can switch up different savory pickles and add pickled veggies, don’t use sweet pickles in this recipe.
  • Ham: Russian Salad is traditionally made with a special Russian sausage that is similar to mortadella or bologna, but we like to use thicker deli ham steaks. It’s a fantastic recipe to use up some leftover Baked Ham during the holidays.

How to Make

Time needed: 25 minutes.

  1. Boil the Potatoes

    Fill a large pot with cold water and add the potato chunks. Bring the pot of water and potatoes to a simmer. Simmer for 8 minutes, or until they are just fork tender. Don’t overcook. Drain the potatoes and set aside to cool. 

  2. Make the Dressing

    Whisk the mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper in a large mixing bowl until combined. Once the potatoes have cooled down for about 10 minutes, add them to the dressing. Don’t add the cooked potatoes if they are still hot.Olivier Salad ingredients in large bowl before mixing, dressing and dill in bowls around it

  3. Toss and Serve

    Add the hard boiled eggs, thawed peas, cucumber pickles, and chopped ham to the bowl with the potatoes and dressing. Gently toss until everything is coated in the creamy dressing.Olivier Salad mixed in large bowl close up

Can Russian Salad be made ahead of time?

Russian Salad is a great recipe to make ahead of your event. The best way is to prep the potatoes, eggs, and veggies in advance then add the dressing before serving. You can keep the cooked potatoes and eggs in the fridge for a couple of days before mixing the salad.

Nutritional Facts

Nutrition Facts
Olivier Salad (Russian Salad)
Amount Per Serving
Calories 303 Calories from Fat 126
% Daily Value*
Fat 14g22%
Saturated Fat 3g19%
Trans Fat 0.02g
Polyunsaturated Fat 5g
Monounsaturated Fat 4g
Cholesterol 112mg37%
Sodium 765mg33%
Potassium 846mg24%
Carbohydrates 32g11%
Fiber 4g17%
Sugar 3g3%
Protein 13g26%
Vitamin A 669IU13%
Vitamin C 22mg27%
Calcium 62mg6%
Iron 2mg11%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

Making Olivier Salad Tips & Tricks

  • Drain the Pickles Well

Cut and drain the cucumber pickles then chill them overnight. This will get most of the extra juice out so the sour pickle taste is balanced instead of overpowering the entire salad. It also helps keep the creamy dressing from getting soggy or watery. 

  • How to Hard Boil Eggs

Place your eggs in a medium pot and cover them with 1 inch of water. Bring the water to a simmer. Once simmering, cover the pan with the lid and turn off the heat. Let sit for 8 minutes then drain and transfer to an ice bath. Cool the eggs then peel.

What to Pair With Russian Salad

Summer Side Dish: Swap American potato salad with this Olivier Potato Salad at all your summer friends and family events! It goes great with grilled favorites like Classic Burgers or a juicy, Ribeye Steak

Zakuski: During festive seasons, you’ll see Russian Salad Olivieh served at family gatherings as part of a Zakuski. Zakuski, from the word morsel, is a spread of popular salads and small plates like smoked meat, hard cheese, marinated veggies, mixed pickles, and also various vodka. Make your own Zakuski with hor d’oeurves like an Olive and Cheese Ring, various salamis, Bean Salad, and marinated mushrooms.

How to Store

You can keep this potato salad at room temperature for up to 2 hours before it needs to be stored in the fridge. Since it is a mayonnaise dressing, it’s best kept chilled if you aren’t serving it right away. Store in an airtight container for up to 4 days. Because of the eggs and dressing, Russian Salad does not freeze well. 

Ideas to Serve Olivier Salad

Turkish Version: The Turkish version of Russian Salad is similar to this recipe, but you’ll add some sliced carrots. Really the Turkish version comes down to presentation and garnish, with sliced hard boiled eggs, black olives, and beet root pickles.

Presentation: If you want to make the presentation a little more special than a serving bowl, try using mold. You’ll want to finely chop the ingredients, about ¼ inch each, so they stay together better. Press the finished salad into a salad mold or a bowl lined with plastic wrap. Chill it overnight. Invert your molded salad on a plate and garnish with minced fresh herbs like dill, chives, or parsley.

Frequent Questions

What is Olivier Salad made of?

While there are many versions, the basic ingredients in an Olivier Salad are cooked potatoes, peas, pickles, eggs, dill and mayonnaise. It usually has cooked meat like chicken or ham, although more veggies can be added for a vegetarian version.

When to serve Olivier Salad (Salad Olivieh)?

Olivier Salad is enjoyed year round but it is especially served during New Year’s Eve and Orthodox Christmas celebrations. In Russia it served as part of an hor d’ouerves spread with pickled veg, smoked meat, cheese, and vodka during special occasions.

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Olivier Salad (Russian Salad)

Olivier Salad, or Russian Salad, is a Russian recipe for potato salad. A popular food in Europe and traditional dish for Orthodox Christmas!
Yield 6 servings
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 30 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine Russian
Author Sabrina Snyder


  • 2 pounds russet potatoes , cut into 1" chunks
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill , chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon coarse ground black pepper
  • 3 hard boiled eggs , chopped
  • 1 cup frozen peas , thawed
  • 1 cup pickles , chopped
  • 1 cup ham , chopped


  • Add potatoes to a pot with cold water, bring to a simmer and cook at a simmer for 8 minutes or until fork tender.
  • Drain and set aside potatoes to cool for 10 minutes.
  • While the potatoes are cooking, in a large bowl whisk together mayonnaise, dill, salt and pepper.
  • Add the warm but not hot potatoes into the large bowl with the dressing.
  • Add the eggs, peas, pickles and ham.
  • Toss to combine.
  • Serve immediately.


Calories: 303kcal | Carbohydrates: 32g | Protein: 13g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 5g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 0.02g | Cholesterol: 112mg | Sodium: 765mg | Potassium: 846mg | Fiber: 4g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 669IU | Vitamin C: 22mg | Calcium: 62mg | Iron: 2mg
Keyword: Olivier Salad (Russian Salad), Russian Potato Salad, Russian Salad


Beef Salad: A traditional Romanian version called “salata de bouef”, or beef salad,  and uses finely chopped beef instead of the ham and uses special Romanian mixed pickles called muraturi, like beet root pickles.

Ensalada Rusa: In Spain, Ensalada Rusa is a popular salad and tapas dish in cafes. It’s very similar except they make the salad with tuna instead of ham, and they mince the cooked potatoes and boiled eggs for an extra creamy potato salad.

Vegetables: You can add other chopped veggies along with the peas like celery root, carrots, onions, cucumbers, and green onions.

Meat: Instead of the ham, try this with smoked sausage, leftover chicken, or sliced beef. You could also do a mix of meat.

More Creamy Potato Salad Recipes

Olivier Salad in bowl with recipe name at bottom

About the Author: Sabrina Snyder

Sabrina is a professionally trained Private Chef of over 10 years with ServSafe Manager certification in food safety. She creates all the recipes here on Dinner, then Dessert, fueled in no small part by her love for bacon.

Sabrina Snyder is a professionally trained personal and private chef of over 10 years who is the creator and developer of all the recipes on Dinner, then Dessert.

She is also the author of the cookbook Dinner, then Dessert – Satisfying Meals Using Only 3, 5 or 7 Ingredients, published by Harper Collins.

She started Dinner, then Dessert as a business in her office as a lunch service for her coworkers who admired her lunches before going to culinary school and becoming a full time personal chef and private chef.

As a personal chef Sabrina would cook for families one day a week and cook their entire week of dinners. All grocery shopping, cooking and cleaning was done along with instructions on reheating. As a private chef she cooked for private parties and cooked in family homes in the evenings for families on a nightly basis after working as a personal chef during the day.

Sabrina has been certified as a ServSafe Manager since 2007 and was a longstanding member of the USPCA Personal Chef Association including being on the board of the Washington DC Chapter of Chefs in the US Personal Chef Association when they won Chapter of the year.

As a member of the community of food website creators Sabrina Snyder has spoken at many conferences regarding her experiences as a food writer including the Indulge Food Conference, Everything Food Conference, Haven Food Conference and IACP Annual Food Professionals Conference.

Sabrina lives with her family in sunny California.

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