Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

You can find Russian Salad everywhere across the Balkans and most East European countries. In Serbia, and most of our neighbouring countries, this egg, veggie, meat 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, the making of the Russian Salad is something to look forward to as it means that some special occasion is around the corner, whether it is a Slava, New Years, Christmas or Easter. It dits alongside the roasted vegetables, meats, baked beans, and so many other delicious dishes. This is one of those recipes that will leave everyone at your table wanting seconds. From the eggs to the veggies and mayo, there is so much pleasure in one bite.

Russian Salad / Ruska Salata ingredients


The salad was originally created by Lucien Olivier in 1860, in Moscow. Lucien was the chef of the famous French restaurant in Moscow called L’Hermitage where his recipe gain incredible popularity. The original recipe was made during the years of famine and was made up of ingredients that were available at the time. Depending on the season, the Olivier salad could contain grouse, veal tongue, caviar, crayfish tails, capers and smoked duck. Luckily we do not use any of those ingredients today! The recipe for the sauce has always been a secret, even if we assume it was a kind of mayonnaise. The way we make this salad across Europe today is very different. Some sources say that Olivier kept his recipe a secret even though the ingredients were visible on the plate, so we will never know exactly how he put it together.


The recipe that I am sharing with you today 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. Some people also leave out the boiled egg, as the mayonnaise is made of out of eggs. Instead they load the salad with more veggies like baby peas. The name of this salad also varies, from the Russian Salad, the Oliver Salad or the French Salad.


The main ingredients of the Russian salad are the diced potatoes, carrots, pickles, eggs and ham (or chicken) to which mayonnaise is incorporated. You simply boil the eggs, carrots and potatoes and dice them when they have cooked and cooled. While the vegetables and eggs are cooking, dice the ham and pickles and set aside. Incorporate all of the vegetables, eggs and ham into one bowl with the mayonnaise and refrigerate overnight.

Russian Salad / Ruska Salata ingredients



  • 6 eggs
  • 2 potatoes
  • 3 large carrots
  • 7 pickles
  • 200 g ham
  • Jar of mayonnaise (400 g)
  • Salt & Pepper to taste


  • Peel and dice potatoes and carrots. Place in a deep pot, cover with water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil on high. Lower temperature to medium and boil for 15 minutes or until potatoes and carrot are barely fork tender. 
  • In a separate pot, add eggs, cover with water and boil until cooked.
  • Meanwhile, dice the ham and pickles.
  • Cool eggs, peel and dice them, and add to the bowl together with pickles and meat.
  • Drain and transfer carrots and potatoes into a deep bowl. Add the chopped carrots and potatoes to the bowl with the eggs, pickles and meat.
  • 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.
  • Transfer salad into a serving bowl. Cover with plastic and leave in the fridge for at least hours, preferably overnight.
Russian Salad / Ruska Salata

I hope this recipe has sent some cooking inspiration your way 😊! Keep this Russian Salad / Ruska Salata recipe close at hand for an easy cold salad recipe that you can serve up to all of your friends and family. You will love it! Comment your thoughts below or tag me over on Instagram @thehomeharvest with your version of the Russian Salad ❤️