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Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

20 min


6-8 servings

The famous Russian Salad! You can find Russian Salad / Ruska Salata not only in Russia, but all across the Balkans and other European countries. In Serbia, and in most of our neighbouring countries, this egg, veggie, ham and pickle salad covered in mayo is a holiday staple. The Russian Salad / Ruska Salata is one of those recipes that you chop, cook, mix with mayo and refrigerate overnight. It is a salad best eaten cold. For me, making Russian Salad is something to look forward to as it means that a special occasion is around the corner. Whether it is a Slava, New Years, Christmas or Easter, this is one of those recipes that leaves everyone wanting seconds.

Russian Salad / Ruska Salata ingredients

Origin of the Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

The salad is said to have been originally created by Lucien Olivier in 1860. Lucien was the chef of the famous French restaurant in Moscow called L’Hermitage. This is where his recipe gained incredible popularity. Originally, the name of the recipe was simply the Olivier salad and it was made during the years of famine. Depending on the season, the Olivier salad could contain grouse, veal tongue, caviar, crayfish tails, capers and smoked duck. The recipe for the sauce is also said to have been a secret, even if we assume it was a kind of mayonnaise. Some sources say that Olivier kept his recipe a secret even though the ingredients were visible on the plate, so we do not know his exact method but we certainly have an idea.

Russian Salad / Ruska Salata ingredients

Variations of the Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

The recipe that I am sharing with you is in no way like the original. There is not one but dozens of versions of the Russian salad. The major difference lies in the fact that some versions use ham while others use boiled or roasted chicken. It is also optional to leave out the boiled eggs, as the mayonnaise is made of out of eggs. Instead, the salad can be loaded with more veggies or boiled peas. The name of this salad also varies, from the Russian Salad, the Oliver Salad or the French Salad, the salad has evolved differently in different countries.

How to make the salad

The ingredients of the Russian salad are the diced potatoes, carrots, pickles, eggs and ham to which mayonnaise is incorporated. While the vegetables and eggs are cooking, dice the ham and pickles and add them to a bowl. Simply, boil the eggs, carrots and potatoes and dice them. Incorporate all of the vegetables, eggs and ham into one bowl with the mayonnaise. Then add some salt & pepper and refrigerate overnight.

This salad may seem complicated because of the many ingredients, but all you need to do is cook / boil, chop and combine.

Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

Looking for more?

If you are looking for more ideas, try one of the recipes below:

Potato Salad with Capsicums & Spring Onions

Roasted & Cajun Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Zucchini & Feta Cheese Fritters

This Russian Salad was a big part of my childhood. From our time in Serbia to New Zealand, it was always been a treat to find this salad on the table. Leave a comment and let me know how this recipe turns out for you. If you get a moment, please leave this recipe a rating. If you get a little stuck or have any questions, you can also reach me over on Instagram



Adjust Servings
6whole eggs
3large potatoes
3large carrots
7chopped pickles
200g ham, chopped
400 g mayonaise
salt & pepper


Prepping the ingredients
Peel the potatoes and carrots, cut them in half. Place in a pot, cover with water, add a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and then lower the temperature to medium heat and cook until potatoes and carrots are barely fork tender.
In a separate pot, boil the eggs. Meanwhile, dice the ham and pickles into small pieces and place them in a large mixing bowl.
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Putting the salad together
Once the eggs have cooled, peel and dice them, and add to the bowl with the pickles and ham. Once the potatoes and carrots have cooked, chop them into small pieces and add them to the bowl with the eggs, pickles and ham. Mix everything thoroughly until completely integrated. (Alternatively you can mix everything each time after you add a new ingredient).
Add mayonnaise in batches, and continue stirring until integrated. You may not need all the mayonnaise, this is why it is best to add it in batches. Add salt and pepper to taste. Transfer salad into a serving bowl. Cover with plastic wrap and leave in the fridge for at least two hours, preferably overnight. The salad is best served cold.
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