Antipasti and Light Bites

Easy Russian Salad – Insalata Russa

September 2, 2020 by Emily

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Russian Salad – a creamy and delicious salad also known as Olivier Salad or Insalata Russa made with peas, carrots and potatoes mixed together with a tangy mayonnaise dressing. It’s super easy to make and delicious served on sandwiches or as a side dish.

An overhead shot of Russian salad on two bread rolls

I first came across Russian Salad or Insalata Russa living in Italy and although it’s not a traditional Italian condiment it’s definitely a popular one and you’ll in find it in almost every supermarket.

This dish originates in, you guessed it, Russia! In Russian and Ukrainian cuisine it’s known as “Olivye” there seems to be endless variations of this salad some containing chopped ham, eggs and herbs. This version is super simple and just the way I like it.

How to make Russian Salad – step by step

First of all peel and chop the carrots and potatoes into small cubes, boil them until tender and cooked through (photo 1).

Add the peas one minute before draining then drain and run under cold water until the vegetables are cold. Pat them dry and set them aside (photos 2 & 3).

Step by step photos showing how to prepare vegetables

To make the dressing finely chop the capers and gherkins. The capers and gherkins give the dressing a tangy and pickly flavour which I love.

Add them to a bowl with the sour cream and mayonnaise and a pinch of salt and pepper and mix to combine (photos 4 & 5).

Step by step photos showing how to make russian salad

Add the cooked vegetables and stir until thoroughly combined, serve as a side, with salads or on sandwiches (photos 6-8).

Serving suggestions

My favourite way to serve this is on sandwiches it’s just so delicious. You can also serve it on top of toasted bread as a type of bruschetta with drinks for an Italian aperitivo.

If you’re having a barbecue or picnic this is the perfect side dish alongside grilled meats and salad.

Top tips and recipe FAQs

  • Variations – you can add whatever you like into this salad it’s a great way to use up leftovers. Some common additions are chopped ham, parsley or dill, hard-boiled eggs, mustard.
  • Vegetables – make sure you cut the potatoes and carrots to roughly the same size (not much bigger than the peas) so everything cooks evenly.
How long does it last?

Russian salad will keep well covered in the fridge for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing.

A close up of Russian salad on a bread roll

More Italian snacks you might like

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The post was first published on July 18th 2017 but has since been updated.

Step By Step Photos AboveMost of our recipes come with step by step photos, helpful tips and tricks to make it perfectly first time and even video!
A close up of Russian salad on a roll
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5 from 4 votes

Russian Salad – Insalata Russa

Russian Salad – a creamy and delicious salad also known as Olivier Salad or Insalata Russa made with peas, carrots and potatoes mixed together with a tangy mayonnaise dressing. It's super easy to make and delicious served on sandwiches or as a side dish.
Course Side Dish
Cuisine Italian
Prep Time 5 minutes
Cook Time 10 minutes
Total Time 15 minutes
Servings 6 servings
Calories 133kcal
Author Emily Kemp

Ingredients

  • 2 large carrots (1.5 cups/240g)
  • 1 medium sized potato (1.5 cups/245g)
  • 2/3 cup frozen peas (100g)
  • 2 tbsp capers (1/8 cup/30g)
  • 4 baby gherkins or pickles
  • 1/3 cup mayonaise (80g)
  • 1/3 cup sour cream (75g)

Instructions

  • Peel and chop the potato and carrots into small cubes. Boil them for 3-4 minutes until cooked through. Add the peas for 30 seconds to 1 minute before draining. Run the veg under cold water until completely cold, pat dry and set aside.
  • Finely chop the gherkins (pickles) and capers and add them to a bowl wth the sour cream and mayonnaise. Mix to combine. 
  • Add the veg to the creamy dressing and mix everything together. Serve as a side, on sandwiches or as an antipasto.

Notes

  • Variations – you can add whatever you like into this salad it’s a great way to use up leftovers. Some common additions are chopped ham, parsley or dill, hard-boiled eggs, mustard.
  • Vegetables – make sure you cut the potatoes and carrots to roughly the same size (not much bigger than the peas) so everything cooks evenly.
  • Storage – Russian salad will keep well in the fridge for 3-4 days. I don’t recommend freezing.

Nutrition

Calories: 133kcal | Carbohydrates: 5g | Protein: 2g | Fat: 12g | Saturated Fat: 3g | Cholesterol: 12mg | Sodium: 194mg | Potassium: 134mg | Fiber: 2g | Sugar: 3g | Vitamin A: 4212IU | Vitamin C: 8mg | Calcium: 26mg | Iron: 1mg
Helpful Info for All Recipes
  • I always use extra virgin olive oil in all of my recipes unless stated otherwise
  • When I use canned or jarred tomatoes of any kind I always use this brand for the best results and flavour
  • All vegetables are medium sized unless stated otherwise
  • All recipes are tested and developed using a fan (convection) oven
  • Find out more about how nutrition is calculated here
  • Check out our must have Italian Pantry Staples here
  • You can also find all our Essential Kitchen Tools for Italian Cooking here
Did you try this recipe?Mention @insidetherustickitchen or tag #insidetherustickitchen! We’d love you see what you’re getting up to in the kitchen!

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7 Comments

  • Reply
    Leslie
    July 20, 2017 at 6:11 pm

    Oh my! You definitely are speaking to my language. This looks amazing!

  • Reply
    Lisa | Garlic & Zest
    July 18, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I’ve never heard of a “salad” like this, but it sounds like a great topper for crackers, sandwiches and the like. I think I might serve it alongside a roast chicken too. Love the capers and gherkins for extra zing!5 stars

  • Reply
    Silvia
    July 18, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    Super delicious. I know that for sure because we have that kind of salad in Romania too. It’s amazing!!5 stars

  • Reply
    Jeni @ Coquette Kitchen
    July 18, 2017 at 4:14 pm

    I’ve never had Russian salad but it sounds like a nice tangy spin on a potato salad and I am eager to try it! I love capers, my mom not so much. I’ll have to see if I can get these past her 🙂5 stars

  • Reply
    Dawn - Girl Heart Food
    July 18, 2017 at 3:53 pm

    Something about a creamy salad like this that screams summer to me! I could eat this one by the bowlful! Love the capers in there too 🙂

  • Reply
    Emma @ Supper in the Suburbs
    July 18, 2017 at 3:43 pm

    I’ll admit I know very little about Russian food but this sounds delicious! It has lots of my favourite things all mixed together 🙂

  • Reply
    Bernard
    July 18, 2017 at 3:30 pm

    I’m in the post-Soviet bloc and have this salad at almost every celebration–and love it each time! your recipe looks amazing–though I’ve never had it with capers though. Will try your version soon!5 stars

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