Olivier Salad Recipe (салат Оливье)

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Try the Olivier Salad if you are looking to innovate the way you are making your salads. This Ukrainian and Russia’s signature dish is super simple to make, rich in nutrients, and incredibly satisfying.

You won’t need to buy any special ingredients and won’t need any fancy tools. Made with simple ingredients, this salad can be a perfect option for a busy week. You can prepare it on the weekend in less than an hour and enjoy it for the entire week.

Excited about this one? Let’s see how you can make this one below.

Olivier Salad

What Is Olivier Salad?

Olivier Salad (Салат Оливье) is a very popular dish in Ukraine and the former USSR countries. It was created by the Russian chef Lucien Olivier in the 1860s.

This dish is very well-known not only in the Eastern European culinary scene but was also recreated in other countries all over the world. For example, in Portugal’s culinary culture, the version of this salad is called “Russian salad”.

The salad has different versions, but the original is made with finely chopped potatoes, carrots, boiled eggs, onions, pickles, green peas, ham, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper.

In Ukraine and other Eastern European countries, this is considered a “winter salad,” and it is present on almost every holiday, from Christmas to New Year. And for many, it is the taste of childhood.

If you want to try this comforting and creamy salad, follow my recipe below. I will also provide some handy tips to make this salad healthier and even more convenient.

Tools

  • Pot: a medium size pot to prepare the vegetables.
  • Cutting board and knife: an essential set for any kitchen.
  • Large spoon: for mixing all the ingredients.
  • Large bowl: this is where you will mix all the ingredients.
  • Kitchen towel: well, this one is always nice to have around, especially if you, like me, want to keep your kitchen dry and clean all the time.
Olivier Salad Tools

Ingredients

  • Potatoes: This is the base of the salad and also what gives it that satiation sensation.
  • Carrot: Carrot is not only beneficial for your eyesight, but it also adds sweetness and texture to your dishes.
  • Ham: This is the main protein of the dish. Actually, you can use so many different options here, sausages, chicken, and tofu.
  • Green Peas: Like potatoes, green peas make this salad more satiating and add extra protein.
  • Eggs: So many good sources of protein in this salad. Aside from protein, the eggs are rich in vitamins and healthy fats.
  • Onion: Almost no salad goes without onions; this one is no exception. It makes the salad more crunchy and gives that nice onion flavor.
  • Pickles: If you are not a fan, you can skip this one. Otherwise, enjoy the nice sourness and crunchiness the pickles will bring to the salad.
  • Mayonnaise: This is basically the “binder” of the salad. It blends everything together and gives an extra creaminess to the salad.
  • Salt & Pepper: To give that final touch and some extra flavor.
Olivier Salad Ingredients

How To Make A Perfect Olivier Salad

After gathering the ingredients and all the tools needed, time to prepare the salad. Let’s get started!

Step 1: Boil The Potatoes, Carrots, And Eggs

After peeling, cook the potatoes and the carrots for about 30-40 minutes. In the last 10 minutes, add the eggs and let them boil. Let them cool down.

Olivier Salad Step 1 Boil the Potatoes Carrots And Eggs

Step 2: Cut All The Ingredients Into Small Cubes

On a cutting board, cut the potatoes, carrots, onions, eggs, and ham into small cubes.

Olivier Salad Step 2 Cut All the Ingredients into Small Cubes

Step 3: Add The Seasonings And Toss

Pour the veggies, eggs, and ham into a large bowl. Then, add the mayonnaise and the seasonings, and toss until well combined.

Olivier Salad Step 3 Add the Seasonings Add Toss

Step 4: Serve The Salad

Feel free to enjoy the salad immediately after preparation or let it chill for a bit in the fridge to further meld the flavors. When it’s time to serve, a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top adds a vibrant finishing touch.

Olivier Salad Step 4 Serve the Salad

Tips And Serving Suggestions

To bring your Olivier Salad to the next level, I’ve prepared a few tips that will be useful for you.

Tricks To Make Olivier Salad Healthier And More Convenient

  • To make this salad healthier, you can start by substituting the mayonnaise for Greek yogurt seasoned with salt, pepper, and herbs.
  • You can buy frozen chopped carrots, onions, and potatoes, which will save you some time.
  • Add the pickles only before eating, and if you prepare a bigger dose to store in the fridge, keep the pickles separate.
  • Feel free to experiment by adding herbs, spices, or different proteins.

What Should I Serve With My Olivier Salad?

Olivier Salad2

Although this salad can be considered a full meal since it is filled with carbs, fats, and protein, it goes really well with:

  • Fish Filets: Tender and flaky fish filets bring a light, protein-packed companion to the hearty Russian Olivier salad, balancing its rich flavors with its delicate, subtly sweet notes.
  • Grilled Tuna: Offering a meaty texture and robust taste, grilled tuna makes an excellent side dish, its smoky exterior, and succulent interior perfectly complementing the creamy and crisp elements of the Olivier salad.
  • Grilled Salmon: With its buttery texture and rich, umami flavor, grilled salmon pairs beautifully with Olivier salad, adding a touch of luxury and a dose of healthy fats to your meal.
  • Garlic Bread: The crispy, buttery garlic bread can serve as a great texture complement to the Olivier salad.

Proper Storage And Make Ahead

This salad gets better in the fridge after some time since it allows all the flavors to combine better. The only advice is, when making a bigger dose of the salad, add the pickles only before eating.

  • In the fridge: You can store the salad in the fridge for up to a week.
  • In the freezer: This salad is not suitable for freezing since it will lose its texture.

Now, if you’re planning to make the salad ahead, simply prepare and chop all the ingredients, but hold off on adding the mayonnaise until you’re ready to serve. This way, the ingredients won’t get soggy and will retain their fresh and crunchy texture.

Put the ingredients in separate containers and refrigerate them. When it’s time to serve, mix in the mayo, do a quick taste test for seasonings, and enjoy.

Other Tasty Variations To Explore

  • For a vegetarian version, substitute the ham with firm tofu or tempeh. Marinate the tofu or tempeh in a bit of soy sauce and then pan-fry until golden before adding it to the salad. You can also use smoked tofu.
  • Give your Olivier Salad a seafood upgrade by replacing the ham with cooked shrimp or crabmeat. The seafood adds a light, sweet flavor that pairs beautifully with the rest of the ingredients.
  • Swap out the ham for some shredded roast chicken for a different meaty element. If you want to spice it up, you could even use some spicy chicken or buffalo chicken.
  • Consider adding some cubed cheese like cheddar or gouda. The cheese adds an extra layer of creaminess and a sharp flavor that works well with the other ingredients.

Don’t Forget To Try These Ukrainian Recipes!

  • Salo: Salo is essentially cured slabs of fatback, with or without skin, which are sometimes smoked for additional flavor. It can be used in cooking as a fat source, similar to how bacon is used in other cuisines.
  • Cabbage Rolls: Known as ‘Holubtsi’ in Ukraine, cabbage rolls are a beloved staple. They consist of cooked cabbage leaves wrapped around a filling that includes rice, ground meat, onions, and spices.
  • Potato Pancake: Ukrainian potato pancakes are made from grated potatoes, often combined with onions, eggs, and flour to create a thick batter. They are particularly popular during the cold winter months.

FAQs

Certainly, the meat for Olivier Salad can be quite versatile. Traditional recipes often use diced ham, but cooked chicken breast, bologna, or even roast beef can be used. For a vegetarian version, consider tofu, chickpeas, or plant-based meat alternatives.

Olivier Salad is Russian. Although its creator, Lucien Olivier, was Belgian, the salad was first introduced in Russia, where Olivier worked as a chef. Therefore, it’s considered a classic dish of Russian cuisine.

French salads are typically lighter and can encompass a broad range of ingredients, often including fresh greens, vinaigrette dressings, and sometimes cheese or nuts.

Russian salads, specifically Olivier salad, are more hearty and consist of diced boiled vegetables, meats, and a mayonnaise-based dressing. It’s worth noting that in some countries, “Russian Salad” refers to a dish similar to Olivier Salad.

Like any dish, the healthiness of Olivier Salad depends on the ingredients you use and your overall diet. While it does contain vegetables and protein, it’s also typically dressed with mayonnaise, which can be high in fat.

For a healthier version, you could use a lighter dressing, add more vegetables, and use lean proteins.

A Salad Dish You Can’t Resist!

Making this salad is actually as easy as it gets! Without special tools or complex ingredients, you can get a dish rich in nutrients and flavor. Prepare a batch on the weekend, and enjoy it during the entire week. You can already think of how much time you can save.

You can serve it with fish filets or grilled salmon or enjoy it as the main dish. Believe me. It will not leave you or your family hungry.

Make sure to rate or share this recipe with others. And would love to hear your feedback in the comments section. Hope you enjoy this recipe!

Olivier Salad

Olivier Salad Recipe (салат Оливье): The Best Russian Salad

If you want a salad that is both nutritious, satiating, and delicious, then you have to give this Olivier Salad a try. You can serve it as a side dish or enjoy it as the main meal.
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Salad, Side Dish
Cuisine: Russian, Ukrainian
Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 40 minutes
Total Time: 55 minutes
Servings: 4 Servings
Calories: 301kcal

Ingredients

  • 2 medium potatoes chopped into small cubes
  • 1 medium carrot chopped into small cubes
  • 2 boiled eggs chopped
  • 1 cup of green peas canned
  • 1 cup of ham in small cubes
  • 2 small pickles thinly sliced
  • 0.5 cup of onion chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • Optional: fresh parsley

Instructions 

  • After peeling, cook the potatoes and the carrots for about 30-40 minutes.
  • In the last 10 minutes, add the eggs and let them boil. Let them cool down.
    Olivier Salad Step 1 Boil the Potatoes Carrots And Eggs
  • On a cutting board, cut the potatoes, carrots, onions, eggs, and ham into small cubes.
    Olivier Salad Step 2 Cut All the Ingredients into Small Cubes
  • Pour the veggies, eggs, and ham into a large bowl. Then, add the mayonnaise and the seasonings, and toss until well combined.
    Olivier Salad Step 3 Add the Seasonings Add Toss
  • Feel free to enjoy the salad immediately after preparation or let it chill for a bit in the fridge.
  • When it’s time to serve, a sprinkle of fresh parsley on top adds a vibrant finishing touch.
    Olivier Salad Step 4 Serve the Salad

Notes

  • The total time and the ingredient quantities are based on 4 servings of Olivier Salad
  • If you are a vegetarian, you can substitute the ham with smoked tofu, for example.
  • The pickles are optional, although it gives that extra crunchiness to the dish. In order to keep the salad fresher for longer, keep the pickles on the side, and add them only before eating.
  • Feel free to get creative and add some herbs, spices, and greens to the salad.

Nutrition

Calories: 301kcal | Carbohydrates: 28g | Protein: 15g | Fat: 14g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 4g | Monounsaturated Fat: 5g | Trans Fat: 0.01g | Cholesterol: 118mg | Sodium: 1936mg | Potassium: 784mg | Fiber: 6g | Sugar: 5g | Vitamin A: 3022IU | Vitamin C: 39mg | Calcium: 65mg | Iron: 2mg
Liliya Balinska

Liliya Balinska

Content Writer

Expertise

Content Writer, Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Recipe Development, Food Editor, Cooking-video Maker, Translator & Proofreader

Education

Universidade do Minho, Portugual

  • Program: Bachelor’s degree in Oriental Languages and Cultures
  • Focus: The languages, cultures, and societal aspects of Eastern countries.

Nankai University, China

  • Program: Exchange Program, Chinese Studies
  • Focus: Improving understanding of Chinese language, culture, history, and possibly other specific areas related to Chinese studies.

Universidade do Minho, Portugual

  • Program: Master’s degree, Intercultural Studies Portuguese/Chinese
  • Focus: Preparing students for markets involving Chinese and Portuguese cultures, focusing on linguistic skills, communication, and cultural sensitivity

Escolas do Turismo de Portugal

  • Program: Culinary Arts
  • Focus: preparing students for technical and managerial roles in food service and restaurant business. It emphasizes solid technical training, creativity, and ethical awareness, with the goal of promoting sustainable development in the tourism and hospitality sectors​.

Liliya Balinska, based in Lisbon, is a culinary content writer with an impressive educational background in Oriental and Intercultural Studies, complemented by a specialization in Culinary Arts. Her broad expertise enables her to cover a wide array of cuisines, from European classics to global dishes, captivating food lovers worldwide with her deep cultural knowledge and captivating writing style.

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