New recipes

Russian beetroot salad recipe

Russian beetroot salad recipe

  • Recipes
  • Dish type
  • Salad
  • Vegetable salad
  • Beetroot salad

This is a traditional recipe for Russian beetroot salad. Perfect as an accompaniment to a large meal or as a light meal by itself.

3 people made this

IngredientsServes: 6

  • 3 beetroots
  • 2 carrots
  • 4 small potatoes
  • 2 gherkins, diced
  • 1 small onion, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

MethodPrep:15min ›Cook:20min ›Extra time:8hr chilling › Ready in:8hr35min

  1. Bring a saucepan of water to the boil and add the beetroot. Cover and simmer gently for 15 to 20 minutes. Add the carrots and the potatoes and cook for a further 10 minutes until the potatoes are tender. Remove from the heat, drain and chill in the fridge overnight.
  2. The next day, peel and dice all of vegetables and mix in the remaining ingredients. Serve.

Recently viewed

Reviews & ratingsAverage global rating:(1)

Recipe Summary

  • 3 whole russet potatoes
  • 2 large carrots, peeled
  • 2 beets, washed with tops and bottoms removed
  • ½ yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 (12 ounce) jar herring fillets, packed in oil
  • 6 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • salt and ground black pepper to taste

Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook the potatoes, carrots, and beets in the boiling water until cooked but still firm, 15 to 20 minutes for the potatoes, 25 to 30 minutes for the carrots, and 40 minutes for the beets. Allow each to cool to the touch before further handling. Remove and discard the skins from the potatoes and beets. Shred the potatoes, carrots, and beets, keeping them separate.

Arrange about half the onion and half the herring fillets in a layer in the bottom of a bowl. Cover the layer with about half of the grated potatoes, then a layer of about half the carrot, and finally about half the beet. Spread about 3 tablespoons of mayonnaise over the salad season with salt and pepper. Repeat the layers in the same order to finish building the salad. Cover with plastic wrap and chill in the refrigerator at least 1 hour. Serve cold.

Russian Beet Salad with Prunes and Walnuts

Sign up for our newsletter to receive cultural tidbits & tasty dishes! Thanks for visiting!

If you like this dish, sign up for our newsletter for tasty, cultural inspiration in your inbox!

This Russian Beet Salad is a perfect combination of earthy beets, sweet prunes, and crunchy walnuts. It&rsquos a very simple recipe made with only four or five ingredients. It&rsquos a great salad to make in advance as it tastes even better the next day.

This beet salad is very popular in Russia. It&rsquos usually prepared during the colder months of the year and often served alongside other salads and appetizers for holiday gatherings. You will also find it on the restaurant menus and at the ready-food counters in grocery stores.

It tastes great as a side dish served with meat, poultry, and fish.

A Note About Prunes

Prunes aren&rsquot used very often in salads, and it might seem a bit strange to combine them with beets. But, they add a subtle sweetness and a pleasant mouthfeel to this salad.

If the prunes you are using are hard, soak them in hot water for about 10 minutes or until they soften enough to be cut into quarters. At the same time, make sure they don&rsquot start falling apart in the water.

If you don&rsquot like prunes or don&rsquot have them on hand, this salad is also often prepared with raisins instead of prunes, or you can use both.

How to Cook Beets for this Russian Salad

The salad is made with cooked beets. The beets should be cooked whole using any method of your choice. You can roast, boil, bake, or steam-roast them.

My favorite method of cooking beets is steam-roasting them. I find this method the easiest and fastest method of cooking whole beets.

To steam-roast the beets, place them in a baking dish. Add about 1/2 inch of water and cover with aluminum foil. Place them in the oven and cook for about 1.5 hours or until the beets can be easily pierced with a fork. Let the beets cool before handling them then peel and dice or grate them for the salad.

If the idea of cooking beets intimidates you, check out my guide to cooking beets where I explain in detail how to buy, store, cook, peel, and serve them.

Surprising Flavor Variation

Although the combination of beets, prunes, and walnuts lends this salad a pretty distinct flavor, you can intensify it even more by adding garlic.

The garlicky variation of the salad is prepared just as often as the basic version and nobody really knows which recipe came first. When I asked my Russian friends which version of the salad they prefer, the opinions were divided pretty equally.

I personally like both versions. The only tip I have is to use only prunes and no raisins when making it with garlic.

Is Russian Beet Salad with Prunes and Walnuts Healthy?

The main ingredients of the salad are very nutritious.

Beets are a very good source of dietary fiber, folate, potassium, and manganese. Prunes are also high in fiber and are a very good source of Vitamin K. Walnuts contain high amounts of omega-3 fatty acids. And garlic contains antibacterial and immune boosting compounds.

However, the salad is traditionally prepared with lots of mayonnaise (similar to the Russian Oliver Salad) which can quickly turn the otherwise healthy dish into a calorie bomb. So, I personally prefer to replace at least half of the mayo with sour cream or yogurt or use a healthier mayonnaise.

Now It&rsquos Your Turn!

With its bright magenta color and the distinct flavor, this salad is definitely for those who are open to culinary adventures.

What do you think about this Russian Salad with Prunes and Walnuts? Is this something you are open to trying? Have you tried it before?

The vegetables can be steamed, baked, boiled or cook under pressure. Vegetables cook with skin and peel after cooking.

To boil (cook with skin) add vegetables to boiling water, this way we save more vitamin C. When vegetables are done drain the water. Place the pod with vegetables back on the stove and let dry for a few minutes and watch all the time. Don’t burn! Just dry. This technique helps reduce moisture on vegetables.

*Don’t use light pots to boil beets because too hard to clean.

Steaming is convenience and quality compared to boiling. In electric steamer just perfect because we can place all vegetables at the same time.

The best to keep flavors and vitamins! Taste baked vegetables better if you would like to be close to the perfect result.

Recommended ⇒ How To Bake Beets In The Oven.

You can omit green peas or add instead beans, like red beans, chickpeas, try your favorite and see how you like most. Can omit sourkrout, just add more pickles instead. Chives or green onion is my personal choice because I like more than sweet onion. Instead, chives we can use purple onion (150 g) or yellow onion or combine chives and onion together. Dice onion or thin slices. I recommend marinade for 5-10 min in wine vinegar with little sugar and few drops of oil before adding to salad. You can add also 1 or half sour apple. So many variations for this salad!

To prepare this salad in advance, my advice is dice vegetables the day before and mix day of serving.

Russian Beetroot Salad

Most of our recipes are easy. Those that require a little more time or cooking skills are rated medium or advanced.

Preparation time

This is how much time you need to prepare this meal.

Total time

This is the time it takes to prepare this meal from start to finish: marinating, baking, cooling etc.

Serving size

This shows how many portions this recipe makes.


  • 150 g pickled gherkins, cut in pieces (3-4 cm)
  • 150 g carrots, cut in pieces (3-4 cm)
  • 350 g raw beetroots, cut in pieces (3-4 cm)
  • 500 g water
  • 250 g potatoes, cut in small pieces (approx. 1 cm)
  • 100 g frozen peas
  • 100 g tinned sauerkraut (optional)
  • 50 g spring onions, finely sliced
  • 2 - 3 sprigs fresh dill, plus extra to garnish
  • 60 g vegetable oil
  • 20 g white wine vinegar (optional)
  • 1 tsp salt

15 Russian Recipes

These traditional Russian recipes are easy to make and packed with flavor!

From soups to salads to pies, Russian cuisine brings a unique twist to your weekly menu!

If you loved the biographical documentary, The Last Czars, and the animated movie, Anastasia, chances are you&rsquore highly interested in Russian history and culture.

What better way is there to get to know a country more than through its food?

Russia may be more famous for its rich history, but did you know that it also has a myriad of delicious dishes to offer?

Today, get to know this vast country a bit more by checking out this collection of authentic recipes.

Don&rsquot be intimidated by their difficult-to-pronounce names! These dishes are packed with flavor and are also easy to make!

Perfect Russian salad

Prep 40 min
Cook 15 min
Serves 4

For the homemade mayonnaise (alternatively, use 2-3 tbsp ready-made)
2 egg yolks
1 tsp dijon mustard
1 generous pinch salt
250ml groundnut or sunflower oil
25ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 tbsp white-wine vinegar
, or lemon juice

For the salad
200g waxy potatoes (ie, about 4 small ones)
100g carrots (ie, 1 medium one)
100g turnip (about half a medium one, or 2 extra potatoes, if you prefer)
50g green beans
75g frozen peas
2 eggs
2 large gherkins
, plus 2 tbsp of their pickling liquid
1 tbsp salted capers, rinsed
50g ham or tongue (optional)
1 small bunch dill or chives, finely chopped

To make the mayonnaise, beat the egg yolks and mustard in a large bowl until thickened (it’s helpful to anchor the bowl by putting a damp tea towel underneath it), then gradually whisk in the oils, very slowly at first. Finally, stir in the vinegar and season to taste. (This will make too much mayonnaise, but it keeps well in the fridge.)

Peel the potatoes, carrot and turnip, if using, and top and tail the beans. Cut the carrot and turnip into large chunks, but keep the potatoes whole, unless they’re particularly large.

Put the potatoes in a pan of cold salted water, bring to a boil and cook until tender be careful not to overcook them, or they’ll be hard to cut neatly later.

Meanwhile, bring another pan of salted water to a boil, cook the beans for a couple of minutes until al dente, then scoop out with a slotted spoon into a sink or large bowl filled with cold water.

Put the carrot and turnip in the same pot of boiling water and cook until tender, checking both regularly, because they’ll probably be done at different times, then scoop out and add to the beans bowl. Put the peas in a colander, pour a kettle of boiling water over them, then put with the rest of the vegetables.

Boil the egg for eight and a half minutes, then leave to cool while you drain, dry and chop the vegetables (except the peas) into 1cm dice and put them all in a large bowl. Cut the gherkins into 1cm dice and add to the bowl with two tablespoons of their pickling vinegar, the capers and peas.

Cut the ham into strips and add to the bowl with the herbs. Peel and grate in the eggs. Finally, stir in the mayonnaise and serve – it’s even better after a few hours in the fridge, though.

Russian salad, salat Olivier, salad Olivieh … whatever you call it, is it a nostalgic pleasure, a current favourite, or something that once came out of tins and is now best forgotten? What do you put in yours and, just as importantly, what do you serve it with? And why oh why is the UK one of the few European countries to spurn its mayonnaisey charms?

Related Video

Be the first to review this recipe

You can rate this recipe by giving it a score of one, two, three, or four forks, which will be averaged out with other cooks' ratings. If you like, you can also share your specific comments, positive or negative - as well as any tips or substitutions - in the written review space.

Epicurious Links

Condé Nast

Legal Notice

© 2021 Condé Nast. All rights reserved.

Use of and/or registration on any portion of this site constitutes acceptance of our User Agreement (updated as of 1/1/21) and Privacy Policy and Cookie Statement (updated as of 1/1/21).

The material on this site may not be reproduced, distributed, transmitted, cached or otherwise used, except with the prior written permission of Condé Nast.

Recipe Tips:

  • Try not to wear white when you’re grating beets. It won’t end well – I’m speaking from personal experience on that one.
  • Toast the walnuts to get the most flavor out of them
  • For a Paleo recipe use Primal Kitchen Paleo Mayo
  • For a vegan recipe use Sir Kensington’s Fabanaise
  • Instead of boiling the beets you can bake them instead
  • If the prunes are hard, soak them in boiling water for a couple minutes first

Bring a large pan of water to the boil. Peel the potatoes and cut them into 1 cm cubes.
Boil them in a pan containing a shallow layer of water and a little salt for approx. 6 min. until cooked.
Drain and allow to cool. In the meantime, cut the green beans into diamond shapes of 1 cm. Cut the carrot into 1 cm cubes.
When the water is boiling, add the beans and the carrot. Add salt to taste and boil them for approx. 6 min. until cooked. Add the garden peas to the pan for the final 2 min. Drain and allow to cool.
Slice the celery into thin rings. Cut the beetroot, ham and eggs into 1 cm cubes. Cut the gherkin into slices.
Beat the mayonnaise together with the vinegar, mustard and 1 tbsp water.
Mix all the vegetables together and then stir in the mayonnaise dressing.
Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Prefer a vegetarian option? Feel free to omit the ham.
Variation tip You can also substitute the ham for cubes of smoked chicken fillet.