Russian Potato Salad – Olivier Salad (with mayo)

Loaded creamy potato salad (Olivier Salad), made with mayonnaise and colourful vegetables. Rich, tasty side meal potato salad that goes well with meat or fish. Easy homemade potato salad recipe from my family to yours. 

Best Russian Potato Salad Recipe with carrots, ham, eggs, peas and mayonnaise

Today we are talking potato salad, but not any kind – we are talking creamy, loaded and super tasty potato salad that my family has been making since we’ve lived in Moscow, Russia. In fact, in my opinion, this potato salad can be classified as the best Russian potato salad.

Colorful and rich, this Potato salad (usually called Olivier Salad or Салат Оливье in Russian ) with carrots, ham (or substitute bacon if desired), pickles, peas and mayonnaise is widely popular across Russia and eastern European countries (with some variations – see below in ingredients/how to make tips). This lovely recipe is also prepared in Ukraine and neighbouring countries.

Growing up this salad has been our family’s go to potato salad with mayo. We enjoyed it on a toast for breakfast, as side to holiday meals ( especially around Christmas and New Year). In fact, this classic Russian potato salad is widely popular with many Russian & Bulgarian families today.

Let’s talk about Ingredients (and best tips):

  • Potatoes – Choose starchy potatoes that do not fall apart when boiled with skin on (like Russet Potatoes or Red Potatoes). Cook on low temperature to prevent potatoes from breaking.
  • Carrots – Peel carrots before boiling. Otherwise it’s simply impossible to take the skin off as they are too soft. 
  • Ham – traditionally in Bulgaria, we make this Russian potato salad with ham, but if desired you can change it with bacon, sausage you name it.
  • Mayonnaise – Choose a good mayo brand (organic tastes to much better I my experience), or use homemade. It can probably be made with vegan mayo, but I’ve never tried it this way. 
  • Pickles – if you are not a pickle fan – then feel free to substitute with fresh cucumber.
  • Peas – I like to use canned peas (without the water) as it is much easier. But if you prefer, you can prepare your own peas from scratch.

The beauty of this loaded potato salad is that one can modify it according to their taste – add more or less of a certain ingredient or even change it up. For example: Add less mayo by substituting with pickle sauce or canned peas water (add tbsp by tbsp)

Best Russian Potato Salad Recipe with carrots, ham, eggs, peas and mayonnaise

How to make the Best Russian Potato Salad

  1. Prepare Vegetables first – boil potatoes (before peeling), carrots (peeled) and dice.
  2. Then, dice ham and pickles and mix with chopped potatoes and carrots in a large bowl.
  3. Add peas (canned without water) and mix gain.
  4. Then, finally add mayonnaise and combine all until well homogenized.

It’s that simple!

How long to boil potatoes for potato salad?

When cooking potatoes for potato salad, it’s recommended you cook with skin on. Otherwise they absorb way too much water and the salad becomes tasteless. Potatoes should be cooked on low temperature on the stove (simmering) until you pierce them with a toothpick/skewer and they are soft all the way through. Do not be tempted to pierce them with a fork as the skin may break easily. Depending on type of potato, cooking dish (red, russet, new potatoes, etc.) and your stove cooking times vary. In general thin-skinned potatoes (like new potatoes, French golden potatoes, etc.) tend to cook quicker than red and russet potatoes. On my stove it takes approx. 30-45 minutes to cook potatoes (low heat – 5 out of 12).

Can you make Russian Potato Salad in advance?

The short answer is – yes, absolutely. This salad can be kept in the fridge (in air-tight container) up to 2 days. Can Russian Potato salad with mayo be heated – I personally do not recommend reheating in microwave / stove – simply because ingredients will dry out and mayonnaise will probably taste horrible. To warm it up use the room temperature – by leaving outside fridge for 30 minutes before consumption.

Russian Potato Salad Variations

If you wonder – is there a classic, traditional one – version Russian potato salad, well – there’ isn’t. Depending on where you live/reside families change this basic recipe up. See how below:

  • Instead of pickles – use fresh, diced cucumber
  • Use bacon / sausage / salami instead of ham – or even fish like Tuna or herring
  • Add fresh dill or parsley to the salad
  • Add spring onions / red onions to the potato salad
  • Add chopped fresh apple to the Russian potato salad
  • Add boiled eggs to the salad
Homemade Russian Potato Salad (olivier) with mayonnaise






Homemade potato salad with red potatoes, peas, carrots, ham, pickles and mayonnaise. Learn how long to boil potatoes for homemade potato salad.

Russian Potato Salad (Olivie)

The European Dish
Classic Russian potato salad – gorgeous rich salad with mayo and many vegetables. Perfect addition to main meals and fish.
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 30 minutes
Total Time 40 minutes
Course Salad
Cuisine European, Russian
Servings 4 people


  • 4 russet potatoes medium to large size
  • 2-3 carrots medium size
  • 4 oz / 125g canned sweet peas small
  • 1 cup ham sliced in small pieces
  • 4-6 pickles finely chopped
  • 4-6 tbsp mayo heaping
  • 2 boiled eggs, shells removed optional


  • Wash carrots and potatoes under cold water. Peel skin off carrots and place in a small sauce pan with lid. Bring to a boil and then let simmer until fully cooked. Remove water and let cool down.
  • In another pot place potatoes (with skin on) and let cook on low temperature until cooked. Let cool and peel skin off.
  • Cut potatoes, carrots, ham, pickles (boiled eggs if added) and pace in a large salad bowl. Add canned peas ( remove water before using) and mayo.
  • Stir all until well combined. Serve with meat or fish as side.


One can easily adjust flavor and quantity by adding more/less of each ingredient. 
Keyword ham salad, loaded potato salad, mayo salad, salad with pickles
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