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Ensalada Rusa - Russian salad recipe

Ensalada Rusa - Russian salad recipe

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  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Seafood salad
  • Tuna salad

An authentic Spanish ensalada Rusa. This recipe was given to me by my mum who was taught by her Spanish uncle.

Essex, England, UK

18 people made this

IngredientsServes: 8

  • 8 to 10 medium potatoes
  • 1 handful peas
  • 1 red pepper or 1/2 jar roasted peppers
  • 1 (400g) jar mayonnaise
  • 1 to 2 tins tuna
  • 2 to 3 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:10min › Ready in:45min

  1. Cut potatoes into chunks small enough to cook quickly and boil till tender, about 20 minutes. Cover with a lid to reduce cooking time.
  2. While potatoes are boiling, boil peas and pepper, which has been cut in half and de-seeded, or you can char if you wish (the idea is to remove the skin). Jars of roasted peppers have already been skinned and de-seeded. Cut the pepper into strips.
  3. Mash potatoes and add mayonnaise until smooth and creamy. Dice and add 1/2 the pepper, 1/2 the peas and most of the tuna, saving some for decoration. Crush and add the garlic (you can add the garlic raw or cook with potatoes, depending on preference).
  4. Pile onto a large serving plate and smooth to a nice shape, then spread and smooth mayonnaise on top and decorate with remaining peas, tuna and strips of pepper.

Serving suggestion

Best served cold, as a tapa and with a slice of crusty bread. Keep in fridge and eat within 3 days.

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Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(3)

Reviews in English (3)

Made this for Christmas and it was yummy. Skipped the Tuna and put lots of peas. They family loved it-26 Apr 2017

Fabulous recipe, I added some chopped gerkins and smoked sausage and loads more peas. Thank you so much-12 Jan 2014

used to eat this when we lived in the canaries and authentic is definitely the best description. been looking for a good recipe everywhere.. thank you-08 Jun 2012

Let’s Make Russian Salad Today!

Do you know the Restaurant style Russian Salad is very easy to make at home? You can make this Russian salad with the ingredients which you already have in your pantry like chicken, potatoes, peas, carrot, apple, cucumber, vinegar, salt, black pepper, etc.

Russian Salad is also known by several names such as ‘Ensalada Rusa’ or ‘Olivier Salad’ or ‘Salad Olivieh’, as the original version was invented by Lucien Olivier in Russia.

This appetizing Russian salad recipe is perfect for every occasion. My kids love this yummy salad with their favorite Chinese Chicken Cutlets. I make this salad in every party and on holidays. The good thing is that, this salad has all the nutrition-enriched vegetables and fruits as well as the protein portion. What makes it even more interesting is the creamy texture of this yummy salad.

Lunch Salad

You can also serve it as an appetizer with crunchy pita bread crisps on the side!

Here in Spain you can buy the ready made salads everywhere in the supermarkets if you like. However there is one problem with them if you ask me: they just contain far too much mayo to my liking.

But the solution is simple though.

Because I always make my own Russian style mayo and vegetable salad myself at home!

Why do I call it the best ensalada rusa ever?


In a saucepan, cook the potatoes and carrot in lightly salted water. Bring to a boil and allow to simmer until almost tender. Fold in the peas and beans, and cook until all the vegetables are tender. Drain the vegetables and transfer them into a serving platter. Add the onion, pepper, gherkins, baby capers, anchovy-stuffed olives, and egg slices.

In a separate bowl, thoroughly combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice and mustard. Add this mixture to the serving platter, mixing well to ensure all the ingredients are coated. Sprinkle with pepper and toss. Garnish with chopped parsley and refrigerate. Allow to stand at room temperature for about 1 hour immediately before serving to enhance the salad's flavor. As any dish made with mayonnaise, ensaladilla should be refrigerated and will not keep for more than 1 to 2 days.

Ensalada Rusa (Spanish Potato Salad)

I should be posting a recipe for the original Russian potato salad (also known as Olivier or Debev) – especially since I’ve eaten it since I was about 2 years old – but I am actually sharing a Spanish adaptation instead. The Spaniards call it simply Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad), however, they make it slightly differently. They add tuna! Yep. Stay with me.

I first came across Ensalada Rusa at a local tapas bar in one of the small towns I visited on one of our climbing trips. I saw it on the bar display and I knew what the name meant, but I couldn’t get my head around the tuna part. I’ve never heard of tuna in a Russian salad. Yet here it was, in all its potato and tuna and mayonnaise glory, staring right at me. So I tried it. And guess what? I absolutely loved it.

This is a hearty salad made with white potatoes (see possible modifications below), creamy mayo dressing, cooked carrots, egg, olives, and gherkins. I also like to add a little green apple, but that’s totally optional. And, of course, it has very good quality canned tuna. Spanish do canned tuna really well and I think that’s one of the reasons their version tastes so good. So don’t skimp on the tuna! Make sure to get sustainably caught stuff, or feel free to use wild canned salmon instead.

Before you comment that white potatoes are not paleo, please Google Are White Potatoes Paleo? and do some reading. My verdict – eat them on occasion, peel before cooking (this reduces the amount of antinutrients present mostly in the skin) ideally cool after cooking (this increases the amount of gut beneficial resistance starch) and serve with healthy fats, veggies and something acidic (lowers the glycemic index of the potatoes). Basically, have them as a Russian potato salad. There you go, I’ve just defended the white potato.

Not a fish lover? Traditional Russian version of this salad is actually made with diced up ham or kielbasa, so feel free to use about 200-250 grams/ 0.25 lbs. of cooked meat or chicken instead of tuna/salmon.

AIP? Use swedes, parsnips or sweet potato instead of white potato. I like swedes as they are not as sweet. Omit the eggs and dress with olive oil and lemon juice dressing instead.

This salad keeps well in the fridge so you can make an extra large batch for lunches. Store for up to 3 days. This is a great batch cooking recipe, excellent lunch box option.

Ensalada Rusa - Russian salad recipe - Recipes

As its name suggests, Ensalada Rusa, Russian Salad, has its origins in Russia.  Over generations, it inched its way west to Spain, Portugal and Italy, and then made the jump to South America with waves of European and Russian immigrants.

At its most simple, it consists of boiled potatoes, peas, and carrots swathed in a generous helping of mayonnaise.  Served as a main dish, one can add  sliced hard-boiled eggs,  baby shrimp, cubed chicken or ham.  Some people add beets or asparagus it's all a matter of taste. 

As with most delicious Argentinean classics, simplicity rules–the flavors speak for themselves without a lot of help from fancy additions.  Ensalada Rusa is a welcome departure from a typical American-style potato salad the peas and carrots freshen the taste, and its un-fussiness makes it simple to prepare.

Ensalada Rusa is served at holiday meals, but can be found any time of year and on any table from a brunch buffet to Christmas dinner.  It's a standard in Argentina found on home tables as well as restaurants, accompanying everything from Lechon to Milanesa.

So popular is Ensalada Rusa in Argentina that the components–cubed boiled potatoes, peas, and carrots–are sold frozen together in a bag!  Give this Russian-style potato salad a go at your next meal, whether its companions be as humble as those at a farmer's table or as regal as the dishes served at a czar's banquet. 

Find me on facebook:  Rebecca Caro/Fans of From Argentina With Love  and on twitter: RebeccaCaro or send me an email to get my monthly newsletter: [email protected]   Additional photos on flickr–From Argentina With Love.

You may also enjoy these Ensalada Rusa recipes from Asado Argentina, Laylita's Recipes, and SaltShaker.

Ensalada Rusa

Russian-style Potato Salad

This recipe is easy to adjust for the number of servings you need.  I generally assume one medium-sized potato per person, plus one for the pot, and add the other ingredients accordingly.  Also, you may chop fresh carrots and boil them until soft enough to eat and use fresh, cooked peas, if  that is your preference.

5 medium-sized Yukon Gold (or other potatoes used for potato salad)

1 1/2 cup frozen peas and carrots mixture

Peel the potatoes and chop them into 1-inch (or a little smaller) dice.  Place in a medium sized stock pot and fill with water, covering the potatoes with one inch water.  Bring the potatoes to a boil and cook until easily pierced with a fork, but not mushy.

Meanwhile, heat the frozen peas and carrots through with a small amount of water in a sauceapn.  Drain both the peas/carrots and the potatoes.  Let cool completely, and then, in a large bowl add the mixture and the mayonnaise.  Stir to coat all the vegetables.  Stir in the lemon juice and salt.

Serve in a bowl lined with lettuce leaves, if desired, or as individual servings over a lettuce leaf.

9 Responses to “Ensalada Rusa–‘Russian’ Potato Salad”

Potato salad is always a welcome addition to any table.

It’s true! It’s simple and always present on our table. At home my mum used to add shreds cold chicken leftovers,
By the way, I have posted a link to your blog on my last blog entry! :o)

That looks delicious and thanks for the link! I still need to make an old school original Russian version one of these days.

This is a favorite in our household. We call it olive salad, since we add olives to it and shredded or cubed chicken breasts. There are many variations to this Russian potato salad.

I’ve made ensalada rusa dressing it with a little olive oil and vinegar, then molding it and just covering outside with a little mayo (sort of like icing). I’ve also see it with hard boiled eggs and ‘red’ from the addition of beets. I guess there are lots of variations…and they’re all delicious.

Interesting. At Rodizio Grill (“The Brazilian Steakhouse”) they always have a potato salad on the salad bar that looks exactly like that. I never knew it came from Russia.

no sè de donde proviene el nombre de esta ensalada “rusa” serà por la mezcla de ingredientes? ya voy a averiguar, un beso Flor de Bowen, Mza

Salada Russa is how we say it in Portuguese and we too have it often back home, you see it more often in the summer served at bbq or picnics.

Make the Perfect Russian Salad

Russian salads are a very good substitute for your mid-morning cravings for something creamy and wholesome food. And to add to its one of many benefits, it is also stuffed with loads of vitamins and minerals making it a very healthy option in comparison to your other supplements! Russian salads are absolutely tasty and creamy and rich in fibres. This is a simple salad invented in the 18th century by Lucien Olivier and has been widely recreated throughout Eastern Europe since then. It is known by many names such as “Ensalada Rusa” or “Olivier Salad” or “Salad Olivieh” over the globe.

Origin Of The Russian Salad

Russian Salad (Ensalada Rusa) was invented by Lucien Olivier in a Moscow restaurant called Hermitage in the 1860s. It became very popular in Russia and now has made its way around the world as people started to look out for healthy detoxifying dishes which can also be tasty. Now it has become a main dish even on Holidays, gatherings, birthday parties etc., for people who prefer a nutritional diet intake. The Russian salads are customized according to the country people’s needs. Some recipes are pure veg, some include eggs in it although the original Russian Potato Salad is said to have included cubed meat or ham, making it a complete meal. Its local variations can be found in almost any Eastern European Country from Ukraine, Bulgaria to Poland and Hungary.

Russian Salad – A Brief

Russian salad is a popular Russian entree made with diced vegetables and mayonnaise dressing.

It is plainly called the veg salad and also sometimes as the Olivier salad as the original version was invented by Lucien Olivier. It is a very easy salad which can be swiftly made for any last-minute gatherings or meal options. The Russian salad can be also prepared as a complimentary dish along with your regular meals as it offers a refreshing and light feel on the stomach and to your body. Over the course of the centuries, different regions of Eastern Europe and the world have developed their own variations of this salad so you are free to experiment with your own ingredient choices but the core ingredients being: potatoes, carrots, pickles, onions, peas, and a mayonnaise-based dressing for a pure vegetarian salad.

Variations Of The Russian Salad

In countries like Ukraine and Bulgaria, the original recipe of the Russian Salad is followed which will consist of some kind of meat, ham or bologna included in it. In Poland, the Russian salad is famously known as “Salatka Jarzynowa”, but don’t bother with it if you don’t like root vegetables in your food like parsnip or celery root or occasionally even a chopped apple.

Some like their salad spicy and some like it sweet so do your experiment on it with your favourite ingredients dipped in some sweet mayonnaise and enjoy!

The Russian Salad – Recipe

Course: Appetizer, Side Dish

The list of ingredients for this Russian Olivier Salad is very short and is always available in your pantry. This nutritionally rich bowl of Russian salad is packed with eggs but it can be an optional ingredient since a lot of people might prefer it while some not.

  • 3 Potatoes Yellow, medium size, boiled, chopped
  • 3 Carrots Medium size, boiled, chopped
  • 6 Eggs boiled, chopped
  • 3 Pickles in Brine Medium size, peeled, chopped
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion Large or one small, chopped
  • 1 can Peas 15 oz., rinsed
  • 1 cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp Dijon Mustard or other preferred mustard
  • Salt and Pepper to taste

The preparation of the Russian Salad is effortless. However, it is a little time consuming as the recipe requires for every ingredient to be chopped and the eggs and vegetables to be cooked separately. The eggs need to be cooked and cooled off before the chopping. Once all the ingredients are ready for mixing, the recipe comes together within a minute.

Step 1: Place eggs in a pot of cold water and bring to a boil before cooking it for 10 minutes. Remove the eggs from the water and let them completely cool off before peeling the outer shell off.

Step 2: Place the potatoes and carrots in a pot of water without peeling or chopping them. Add a teaspoon of salt and bring them to a boil. Cook them for about 20-25 minutes or until the vegetables are fork-tender. Remove water and let them cool off fully before peeling.

Step 3: Peel and chop the pickles (peeling is optional for pickles)

Step 4: Chop the onions into sizes that you desire.

Step 5: Strain and rinse the canned peas.

Step 6: Peel and chop the eggs, potatoes and carrots into cubes.

Step 7: Gather all the ingredients into a large bowl and mix them all together.

Step 8: In a small bowl make the dressing sauce by combining mayonnaise with mustard

and pepper. Add them into the salad ingredients and mix it all together.

Step 9: Add salt to your mayonnaise mixture if needed after dressing the salad.

Purchase Links to Equipments Needed To Make The Russian Salad:

Large pot for boiling vegetables and medium pot for boiling eggs – Boiling Pot

Large mixing spoon to combine all together- Neem Spoon set

R ussian salad will stay at its best quality for about 6 to 9 months when it is refrigerated continuously. The Russian dressing is similar to the Thousand Island or French dressing . Feel free to experiment with different ingredients that you like. Some people omit the creamy sauce of mayonnaise and rather have it clear. So you do you and happy eating!

What ingredients do you need to make Russian Salad?

Carrots: are one of the main ingredients of the Russian salad. Should have the crunchiness and the freshness but not the taste of eating a raw carrot, that’s why we need to cook for at-least one minute.

Beans: also a main ingredient for this salad. It shouldn’t be cooked too much, 1 minuet in a boil water will do the job. Crunchy but not over cooked.

Potatoes: is the most important ingredient in this salad. Cut them into little small than bit size cubes and cook thoroughly.

For the Russian Salad Dressing: This dressing is very easy and simple. All you need is

Russian Potato Salad – Ensalada rusa


4 large potatoes
3 large carrots
1 cucumber
1/2 large onion
1 cup peas (canned or thawed from frozen)
1 large apple, such as golden or red delicious
1/2 cup mayonnaise
Salt, as needed
Pepper, to taste

Wash potatoes, carrots, cucumber and apple pat dry. Peel potatoes and place in a large pot peel carrots and cut into chunks, approximately 2-3 inches long, and add to the pot. Add enough water to cover the vegetables:

Bring to boil over high heat, then reduce to medium cover with lid and cook until vegetables are tender but still firm, about fifteen minutes. Drain water, and let cool.

Meanwhile, peel the cucumber, slice in half lengthwise and slice each half very thinly place in non-metallic container. Peel and slice onion very thinly, and place with the cucumbers. Sprinkle generously with salt, about one tablespoon (photo below, left) mix, and weigh down by covering with a heavy plate (photo below, right):

Let rest for about half an hour. Cut cooled potatoes into small cubes and place in a large salad bowl. Cut carrots into small cubes as well, and add to the potatoes. Add peas to the bowl (photo below, left). Transfer salted cucumber and onions to a colander, and rinse with cold water (photo below, right):

Press down with the back of a spoon to squeeze out as much water as possible, then add the drained veggies to the bowl. Slice unpeeled apple into quarters, remove core and seeds, and cut each quarter into cubes, or slice thinly add to the bowl, along with the mayonnaise:

Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and mix thoroughly:

This batch was a delicious part of a festive dinner platter, as featured in a previous post:

I am bringing my recipe to Full Plate Thursday #513 with Miz Helen @ Miz Helen’s Country Cottage. UPDATE: Special thanks to Miz Helen for choosing this recipe amongst her features at her party #514.

I am bringing this recipe to Fiesta Friday #357 with Angie @ Fiesta Friday, this week co-hosting with Diann @ Of Goats & Greens.

Posted by 2142 2142 on Monday, December 02, 2013

This recipe is a festive feasting favourite in my family and despite the name is actually a traditional Spanish recipe. Christmas lunch just wouldn&rsquot be the same without it. Read more about feasting in GI News.

6 Carisma potatoes*, boiled

Large can (475g) tuna, drained

2 medium ripe tomatoes, chopped (could use drained canned tomatoes or cherry tomatoes)

½ large green capsicum, diced

1 cup stuffed green olives

1 small can red capsicum, cut into long strips (could use 1 small roasted capsicum)

1 can/jar asparagus spears, drained

1 cup extra virgin olive oil

Dash of Spanish sherry vinegar (could use white wine vinegar)

*Carisma potatoes are specially developed to have a lower GI, but you could use other varieties suitable for boiling

  • Roughly chop potatoes while still warm. Chop three of the eggs and add to the potatoes in a large bowl.
  • Add the tuna, tomato, green capsicum and half the olives.
  • Prepare the mayonnaise in a food processor or with a stick blender. Start processing the egg yolks and slowly add the oil in a fine stream until all the oil is used. The consistency should be thick and pale in colour. Season with lemon juice and salt to taste*.
  • Add the mayonnaise to the potato mixture and combine.
  • To serve, spoon the mixture onto a serving platter and smooth over with the back of a spoon.
  • Decorate with the remaining olives, boiled egg slices, asparagus spears and red capsicum in an attractive pattern

*Making mayonnaise is a tricky business and my mum and my grandmother always makes it by hand using a bowl and a whisk because they have more control (and an upper body workout!). In the hope of saving time I&rsquove tried using a food processor and often fail &ndash the eggs and oil separate out and once that happens it won&rsquot revert (ever heard the expression you can&rsquot unscramble an egg it&rsquos the same for &lsquosplit&rsquo mayonnaise) . To save waste I have managed to bring back a split mayonnaise by starting with 2 new egg yolks, whisking by hand, and gradually pouring in the split mixture. The mayonnaise will be more yellow than usual thanks to the extra egg yolks but still tastes marvellous. I reckon the taste of a home made olive oil mayonnaise is worth the effort and hope you agree.


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