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Olivier Salad – Russian Potato Salad

 Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad) – this fancy potato salad is traditionally made for holidays in all Slavic families. It is made of potatoes, eggs, carrots, sausage, dill pickles, peas, and mayo. Using smoked summer sausage in this salad ups the flavor and makes it much more delicious!

Top view of a bowl of Olivier sald.

Every Slavic family has their own and sometimes unique version of the Olivier Salad. It’s the variation and the amount of each ingredient that makes it unique from family to family. As a true Ukrainian, I, too, have a favorite version of this classic Russian Potato Salad.

Olivieh Salad History

Olivier Salad (pronounced more like Olivieh Salad in Russian) was created in the 1860s by chef Lucien Olivier for a prestigious Russian restaurant, Hermitage, in Moscow, Russia. The chef’s recipe for this famous and well-loved salad was a kept secret for many years. The original ingredient list differed from what we know as Olivier salad today. It included many expensive ingredients (crayfish, grouse, caviar) that weren’t easily found.

Later, a different chef published an adapted version of the salad made of more common ingredients. Ever since, this Russian salad has become a popular side dish to serve around holidays like Christmas, New Year’s and Easter, all across the former USSR households and beyond.

In post-USSR countries, this salad is most commonly known as Olivier salad, while outside of those countries, the name is some variation of the words “Russian Salad” or “meat/beef salad”.

Olivieh salad in a glass bowl topped with pickles.

The best way to make Olivier Salad

  • Sausage: My mom has always made the Olivier Salad with smoked salami-type sausage (“Servilat” kolbasa) that we get from the local Russian store. That is how I make it, as well. The summer sausage adds a nice hint of smokiness and elevates the flavor. Cubed ham, chicken and beef or bologna is also an option, but I prefer the smoked sausage.
  • Eggs: If you can get some good eggs, they will make a big difference. Eggs from home-raised chickens that venture out on the pasture have a much better flavor than eggs from a store. Since this Olivier salad has a good amount of eggs, they make a difference in the overall taste.
  • Pickles: The salad can be made with fermented pickles / kosher dills or regular vinegar pickles. But, for better flavor, I recommend you use homemade fermented dill pickles or kosher pickles you would get from the store’s refrigerated section. Some people prefer to use fresh cubed cucumbers, but they make the salad spoil faster and add a bit of wateriness.
  • Peas: canned drained sweet or frozen peas that have been thawed and drained can be used. If making this salad ahead, it is better to use canned. Frozen peas will tend to spoil the salad faster.
  • Onions: You can use green onions, red or sweet onions. But, if you don’t plan to eat it immediately, it is better to omit the onions altogether. The raw onions can add an unpleasant aroma if the salad is stored for several days.
  • Herbs: fresh parsley and or dill are not traditional in the Olivier salad. But we love herbs in our family, so we add a ton. I’ll leave this one up to you.

Ingredients for Olivier Salad – Russian Potato Salad:

A bowl of unmixed potato salad next to fresh chopped dill, mayo, salt, pepper and oil.

How to make Olivier Salad – Russian Potato Salad

  1. Clean, cook, and peel all the vegetables and eggs.
  2. Dice all of the cooled-down cooked ingredients.
  3. Finely chop parsley, dill, and scallions.
  4. Drain the peas well.
  5. Combine all ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the mayo, salt, oil, and black pepper. Mix to coat. And you’re all done!
  6. Refrigerate until ready to serve!

What to serve with Olivieh Salad

While the Olivieh salad can be served just like any other potato salad, we serve it as part of a traditional holiday meal.

The traditional combo where I come from (Western Ukraine) includes this Olivier salad, stuffed cabbage (golubtsi), meat aspic (kholodets) as well as horseradish beet relish. Give it a try!

How to store the Potato Salad

  • Store in an airtight container in the fridge for no more than 4 days.

 Other Russian Recipes to Try –

Olivier Salad – Russian Potato Salad

Olivier Russian Potato Salad - You should try this fancied up potato salad and see why our family has been making it for years!
4.86 from 7 votes

 Olivier Salad (Russian Potato Salad)- this fancy potato salad is traditionally made for holidays in all Slavic families. It is made of potatoes, eggs, carrots, sausage, pickles, peas, and mayo. Using smoked sausage in this salad ups the flavor and makes it all that much more delicious!

Author: Marina | Let the Baking Begin
Course: dinner, Main Course, Side Dish
Cuisine: Russian
Keyword: olivier salad, potato salad
Calories: 333 kcal
Prep Time: 40 minutes
Cook Time: 25 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 5 minutes
Servings: 12 servings


  • 3 medium potatoes about 3 cups, cooked with skins on, peeled, then diced
  • 3 medium carrot about 1.5 cups, cooked with skins on, peeled, then diced
  • 8 eggs cooked, peeled, diced to ¼” cubes
  • 3 cup smoked salami-type sausage diced to ¼” cubes
  • 15 oz canned peas, drained drained (1 can = 15 oz)
  • 1 1/2 cup diced dill pickles diced to ¼” cubes (use less if your pickles are more sour)
  • ½ cup green onion about 4 scallions, chopped (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh parsley (optional)
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh dill
  • 2 Tbsp oil
  • 2 cups mayonnaise (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp black ground pepper


  1. Cook the vegetables:

    Clean potatoes & carrots with a brush and to a pot. Cover with water and boil over medium heat until vegetables are easily pierced with a fork but still have a bit of resistance, about 20-25 minutes from when the water comes to a boil. Do not overcook, or they won't keep shape in the salad. 

    Once cooked, drain the water and allow the vegetables to cool completely. Putting them in the freezer for about 15 minutes before cutting will help them retain their shape. Do not freeze.

  2. Boil the eggs in a pot covered with water for 5 minutes. Drain the water, cover with cold water and allow to cool completely. Peel the eggs. Set aside.

  3. Chop:

    While the rest of the ingredients are cooking and cooling, dice the Polish sausage (I use kielbasa called "Servilat" from the Russian store; you can use your favorite) & pickles. Chop the scallions, parsley & dill. Add to a large bowl.

  4. Dice:

    Once the potatoes, carrots, and eggs have cooled down completely, dice them into small cubes ( about ¼”). Add to the bowl with the rest of the ingredients.

  5. Dress the salad:

    Add2 cups mayo, 1 tsp salt & 2 tsp pepper, and mix until everything is evenly coated. Taste and adjust the amount of mayo first and then the seasoning.

  6. Store in an airtight container, refrigerated, until ready to serve.

Recipe Notes

To cook Potatoes & Carrots in an Instant Pot: .

Add 1 cup of water to the pot of the Instant Pot. Set a steam basket on top and place potatoes and the carrots on top.
Set the Instant Pot to Manual Pressure and cook at High Pressure for 16 minutes with the steam release valve set to "seal".
"Quick Release" the steam, check the carrots with a toothpick and if the toothpick goes in easily, then remove the carrots.
Lock the lid and turn the  steam valve to "seal" again and pressure cook for another 3-4 minutes total.
"Quick release" the steam, unlock the lid and remove the potatoes to cool completely.

How to Make Hardboiled Eggs in an Instant Pot:.

Add 1 cup of water to the pot, set the steam basket over the water and add the eggs.
Lock the lid, with the steam valve set to "seal".
Set Instant Pot to "Manual Pressure" and cook on "low" pressure for 5 minutes. Once the alarm beeps, allow to sit for another 5 minutes, before "quick releasing" the steam and removing the eggs to an ice cold bath to stop the cooking and to cool the eggs. 

Nutrition Facts
Olivier Salad – Russian Potato Salad
Amount Per Serving
Calories 333 Calories from Fat 243
% Daily Value*
Fat 27g42%
Saturated Fat 6g38%
Cholesterol 33mg11%
Sodium 1234mg54%
Potassium 469mg13%
Carbohydrates 11g4%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 2g2%
Protein 10g20%
Vitamin A 2905IU58%
Vitamin C 15.3mg19%
Calcium 44mg4%
Iron 2.7mg15%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.

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Marina | Let the Baking Begin

Welcome to Let the Baking Begin! I'm Marina and my love and passion for eating only the most delicious foods drive me to share that love here on Let the Baking Begin (since 2009). With over 20 years of experience in the kitchen, you know the recipes are tested and retested until perfect. I'm so happy to have you here. Enjoy! Read more...

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  • Carol

    Love seeing the different versions of this salad. My husband’s family came to US in late ’40s and I’ve made his mom’s recipe ever since we were married in 1968.

    · Reply
  • Lynn

    We love this potato salad; I’ve used your recipe 3 times now. My mom had a friend who made it this way and I thought it was too weird when I was kid. (She also spread it out on an oval plate, frosted the top with mayo and decorated it with cooked veggies.) I wish I could go back and give her a big hug now.

    · Reply
  • Marina


    Your version sounds really yummy, but I don’t understand where you would use the oil. Do you mix it with the mayo, then add to the salad?


    · Reply
    • Hi Marina, yes the oil is part of the dressing for the salad. You can either mix it with mayo and then add it to the salad, or just drizzle over the salad and mix.

      · Reply
  • Natasha

    I am making this now for Easter tomorrow, it is so similar to my mother’s recipe. She uses chicken in place of the sausage but the rest is identical. Our ‘secret’ is to make it a day or 2 before to let the flavors come together.

    · Reply
  • Vicki

    I’m confused about the sausage. At first it says salami type sausage and then it says polish sausage. Hope this isn’t a silly question, but exactly what kind of sausage do you use? I’m not familiar with the recipe, so I’m unsure about the sausage but it sounds delicious.

    · Reply
    • I use sausage from the Russian shores, such as Moskovskaya (smoked dry sausage), but you can use polish sausage or any sausage at all that you would like to eat.

      · Reply
  • Naturally fermented pickles? Are these sweet pickles or dill pickles? I make both so I am not sure what to put in this salad.

    · Reply
    • Naturally fermented pickles are made by leaving the cucumbers in salted water until they go sour. Dill pickles are typically made with vinegar as the souring agent. Both will work, but naturally fermented pickles will be better since they don’t have any sweetness to them.

      · Reply
  • Leah

    The peas be frozen when their Mixtown or are they to be cooked

    · Reply
    • I have used both frozen and canned (cooked) with successful results. It really depends on your preference. Try both ways and see which one you prefer best.

      · Reply
  • Lena

    Marina! Good to hear from you. Thank you for sharing the recipe of all-time favorite salad. Blessings to you and your family this Holly season.

    · Reply
  • julia

    Марина, как название калбасы которую ты используешь? Надеюсь твоя доченька в скорейшем времени поправиться!

    · Reply
    • Да, московская хороша в этом салате, но если у меня есть сервилат то сервилат тоже не плохо (я обычно беру тот который на-пополам из говядины и вроде свинины или курицы, сейчас не могу вспомнить) 🙂

      Я тоже надеюсь что скоро все уладится… поскорей бы уже….

      · Reply
  • Tatyana

    Forgot to add — keeping your daughter in prayers!

    · Reply
  • Tatyana

    Aliv’ye — yum! Thank you for sharing your version. When you say salami-type, do you mean like Moskovskaya?

    · Reply
    • you’re welcome Tatyana, thank you for commenting! Yes, Moskovskaya or Servilat (beef & I can’t remember if it’s combined with chicken or pork) are both good for our taste 🙂

      · Reply
  • This is literally the best potato salad ever! American potato salads can’t compare, but maybe I am being biased 🙂 I still can’t get over how picture perfect all of your photos are, good job!

    · Reply
    • Right? I think we should help the world and spread the world about this salad because I think they’re missing out 😀
      Thank you about the pictures… I have tried taking pictures of this salad twice before this and I don’t know why I just couldn’t figure it out, so it never made it to the blog… These are think are ok though 🙂

      · Reply
  • guest

    Finally, someone who makes it just like I do!! My exact recipe!! The secrets are frozen peas (no canned.. pleasee!!) and scallions and dill!! That makes all the difference in yumminess , and also i always add at least a tablespoon of vinegar. Good job on your olivye. I bet u get raves in yours because i sure do, and so did my mom and grandma

    · Reply
    • Are you sure we aren’t related? )))) I think the biggest thing is the scallions and fresh dill, it just completely transforms this salad 🙂 My mom also adds the vinegar, but I just add a bit more of the of the pickles for the sourness… and I do like it with naturally fermented pickles better, but since most of the time I don’t have them I just go with the store bought.

      · Reply

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