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Rustic Olivier Salad (Potato Salad) Recipe You Need to Try

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Wholesome, earthy, and packed with nutrients, our rustic Olivier salad recipe is an inspired choice for a filling lunch or dinner that keeps well, is simple to make, and can be enjoyed with a range of other foods.

Olivier salad in a bowl.

Olivier Salad Recipe

The brainchild of chef Lucien Olivier, Olivier salad is a traditional and popular dish in Russian cuisine, various post-soviet countries including Latvian cuisine, many European countries such as Moldovan cuisine and Ukrainian cuisine, and can be found in many different forms in countries throughout the world.

Olivier salad in a bowl.

What is Olivier Salad?

Naturally, Olivier salad has evolved in many countries’ cuisines to include a wide range of different ingredients. However, today’s modern Olivier is commonly a dish of diced potatoes, eggs, root vegetables such as carrots and green peas, and mayonnaise, along with some form of diced meat.

At its core, the dish utilizes simple and humble ingredients to make a potato salad that more than satisfies the stomach at any time of the day.

Variations

We could be here all year exploring and discussing the vast number of variations of potato salad you can find in cuisines all over the world. But you’re hungry, so I’ll try to get to the point!

What I won’t do is bring in named dishes from other countries (e.g. Brazilian Maionese, or Duch Huzarensalade, for example), because all of them are wild, beautiful, and unique in their own ways, and deserve their very own recipe page on Nomad Paradise (so keep your eyes peeled).

What I will do in this section, however, is give you a few ideas of additional ingredients you can add or substitute to adapt the taste of the salad to your preference.

Meat: Kielbasa, Bologna sausage, ham, beef, and many other types of cold meat or sausage can be used to make Olivier salad or a similar-style potato salad.

Fish: Older versions of Olivier salad also used fish, such as herring, in a similar vein to the likes of Herring Under Fur Coat/Seledka pod Shuboi.

Apple: You can try adding diced apple to the salad for extra sweetness and crunch.

Capers or Anchovies: You can add briny and salty notes to your salad by adding capers or anchovies, as older versions of the salad did.

Olives: In older Olivier salads, and variations such as Turkish Rus salatasi, olives (black olives in the Turkish version) are added to the salad.

Recipe Ingredients

To get started with our Olivier salad recipe, you’ll need the following ingredients:

Olivier salad ingredients.
  • Potatoes – 4 medium potatoes (600 grams or 1.3 lb)
  • Carrots – 2 medium carrots (130 grams or 4.5 oz)
  • Peas – 1 can of peas (290 grams/10 oz can or 180grams/6.3 oz when drained)
  • Eggs – 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • Mayo – 3/4 cup regular mayo
  • Dill Pickles – 6 dill pickles (135 grams or 4.7 oz)
  • Salt and Pepper, to taste
  • Meat – 260 grams or 9 oz cold-cut/cooked meat of choice (kielbasa/bologna/ham/cooked beef)

Step-by-Step Instructions

Step 1 – Boil the potatoes and carrots (30 minutes).

Add the potatoes and carrots to a pot, and add 1 tsp of salt and cold water until the veggies are covered with water, and the water line is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) over the veggies.

Put the pot on the stove over high heat until the water starts boiling (about 10 minutes). Turn the heat down to medium, so the water is now gently boiling, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the veggies are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. The total time depends on the size of the veggies.

Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, remove them from the water and set them aside to cool.

Step 2 – Boil the eggs (10 minutes).

First, put the eggs in a pot and add 2 tbsp of table salt and cover the eggs with cold water. Put the pot with the eggs and water on the stove over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.

Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to medium and let them simmer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off, cover the pot with a lid, and set aside the pot for another 5 minutes. Afterward, drain the water and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cold or ice water until they’re cold enough to peel.

Step 3 – Peel the ingredients (5-10 minutes).

Once all three ingredients have cooled down, peel the potatoes, carrots, and eggs. It will take about 5 minutes if the ingredients have cooled down properly.

Olivier salad step-by-step (peeled potatoes and carrots).

Step 4 – Dice all the ingredients (potatoes, eggs, carrots, pickles, and ham/cooked meat of choice).

It should take around 2-3 minutes if using a vegetable chopper/dicer or about 10-20 minutes if dicing with a knife.

Olivier salad step-by-step (diced eggs).

Assemble the ingredients into a large bowl or dish, ready to be mixed. As you can see below, we have used a large casserole dish to mix the ingredients. In our salad, we are using diced potatoes, diced carrots, diced eggs, diced pickles, and sweet peas, to which we will add the mayonnaise and seasoning (salt and pepper). If you are using meat in your Olivier salad, add this, diced, to your mixture accordingly.

Olivier salad step-by-step (diced ingredients).

Step 5 – Now for the best part: mix it all together!

Be thorough and mix well, until you have a creamy, colorful-looking salad, like the one below.

Olivier salad in a large dish

From there, your rustic Olivier salad is ready to serve. It really is that simple, and due to the quantities and the filling nature of this dish, it is amazing how much salad you’ll have to enjoy.

I’ve always loved the earthy colors of this salad, from the use of the humble garden and root vegetables.

Olivier salad in a large dish

Serving Suggestions

Whether you’re planning to feed the whole family, or looking for a wholesome dish that you can pack in a lunchbox for work, Olivier salad is such a great option. Bar the boiling of the vegetables, there’s no cooking required, and if refrigerated well, the salad will keep for at least an additional day or two.

To keep things traditional, serve this salad chilled, as it is. However, you can consider the following serving suggestions if you’d like to try it in different ways.

Bread: A generous scoop of this gorgeous salad on a slice of thick-cut bread growing up, and I was full for the rest of the day!

Tart: While not traditional, if you have some pre-made pastry bases, or want to make your own, you could try serving Olivier salad in a pastry casing, quiche-style.

Lettuce or Greens: You can easily serve a sizeable portion of Olivier salad either with lettuce leaves or a simple green salad.

Olivier salad in a bowl

This is a wonderfully textural and pure salad. You’ve got the soft, wholesome texture of the potatoes, a little crunch from the pickles, the meaty, fleshy texture of the cured meat, and a delightfully creamy mayonnaise dressing to bind the ingredients together. Olivier salad is so simple, yet incredibly filling.

I loved this salad growing up, and I hope you enjoy it too. It’s a simple way to feed a large number of people without having to make things too complicated.

Olivier Salad Recipe Card

Olivier Salad

Olivier Salad
Cook Time 30 minutes
Additional Time 30 minutes
Total Time 1 hour

Ingredients

  • 4 medium potatoes (600 grams or 1.3 lb)
  • 2 medium carrots (130 grams or 4.5 oz)
  • 1 can of peas (290 grams/10 oz can or 180grams/6.3 oz when drained)
  • 5 hard-boiled eggs
  • 3/4 cup regular mayo
  • 6 dill pickles (135 grams or 4.7 oz)
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 260 grams or 9 oz meat of choice (kielbasa/bologna/ham/cooked beef)

Instructions

  1. Boil the potatoes and carrots (30 minutes).

    Add the potatoes and carrots to a pot, and add 1 tsp of salt and cold water until the veggies are covered with water and the water line is about 1 inch (2.5 cm) over the veggies.

    Put the pot on the stove over high heat until the water starts boiling (about 10 minutes). Turn the heat down to medium so the water is now gently boiling, and simmer for about 20 minutes until the veggies are tender when pierced with a knife or fork. The total time depends on the size of the veggies.

    Once the potatoes and carrots are tender, remove them from the water and set them aside to cool.
  2. Boil the eggs (10 minutes).

    First, put the eggs in a pot and add 2 tbsp of table salt and cover the eggs with cold water. Put the pot with the eggs and water on the stove over medium-high heat, and bring to a boil.

    Once the water is boiling, turn the heat to medium and let them simmer for 5 minutes. After 5 minutes, turn the heat off, cover the pot with a lid, and set aside the pot for another 5 minutes.

    Afterward, drain the water and transfer the eggs to a bowl with cold or ice water until they’re cold enough to peel.
  3. Peel the ingredients (5-10 minutes). Once all three ingredients have cooled down, peel the potatoes, carrots, and eggs. It will take about 5 minutes if the ingredients have cooled down properly.
  4. Dice all the ingredients (potatoes, carrots, eggs, dill pickles, and ham or cooked meat of choice). It should take around 2-3 minutes if using a vegetable chopper/dicer or about 10-20 minutes if dicing with a knife.
  5. Add all the diced ingredients to a large bowl or dish and add the peas, mayo, salt, and pepper. Mix everything. Taste and add any additional salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

12

Serving Size:

1

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 215Total Fat: 13gSaturated Fat: 4gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 8gCholesterol: 94mgSodium: 375mgCarbohydrates: 18gFiber: 3gSugar: 3gProtein: 6g

Olivier Salad FAQs

Can you make vegetarian Olivier salad?

Yes, to make vegetarian Olivier salad, you can simply skip the meat, as we have done in this recipe. In fact, most of the time, we make this without meat.

Can you make vegan Olivier salad?

You can indeed. To make vegan Oliver salad, all you need is to skip the eggs, skip the meat, and use vegan mayo.

What to use instead of mayo for Olivier salad?

If you’re looking for mayonnaise substitutes, Greek yogurt can be used in the recipe, or any sort of mild, creamy yogurt or creme fraiche.


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Olivier salad in a bowl

Contributor: Efimia passionate home chef, who has been feeding family and friends with her humble Eastern European and Balkans-inspired dishes for over forty years and counting.

Author

  • Hey there! We are Dale and Doina, the founders of Nomad Paradise. We traveled full-time for over three years, and while we now have a home base in the U.K., continue to take trips abroad to visit new places and try new cuisines and foods. Our food guides are curated with the guidance of local foodies, and their contribution is indicated under each article. We also cook the foods we try abroad, and you can discover how to make them in our 'recipes from around the world' category.

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