Vegetarian Olivier potato salad is also known as Russian potato salad. This recipe is vegetarian, just like my mom always made it, and doesn’t include ham. This creamy potato salad is a staple for the holidays and always enjoyed by everyone.

russian potato salad or salad olivier

This Russian potato salad isn’t really a salad, it’s more a hearty side dish. The recipe I’m sharing is the same my mom always used, although she never really wrote it down. She just knew how it should taste. She would try spoonfuls as she made it and if the flavor wasn’t quite there she adjusted accordingly.

To me she was the Queen of this salad and always got rave reviews. I asked her about what made her recipe special and she always said “I don’t get it, it’s so simple, I just put equal parts of everything in and it just works”.

About Olivier salad

This vegetarian salad Olivier is made just like the classic version, except it’s made without ham. And honestly a potato salad like this one doesn’t need ham. Between the vegetables, mayonnaise and eggs, it’s plenty filling.

This is an indulgent potato salad that you can make ahead of time. I’m convinced it tastes better after it’s had some time to sit in the refrigerator.

Olivier salad is also a holiday staple in Slovenia. It’s a comfort food loved by many and at least in my family, it’s the one thing everyone reaches for when we have dinner together. People serve this at birthday parties, at any family event, and it’s always a big hit.

As a host, I love to make a bigger batch. Worst case scenario some of it is leftover. And it honestly makes a great breakfast with some cheese and toasted bread.

More salad recipes to explore

russian potato salad olivier

russian potato salad olivier


Vegetarian Olivier potato salad

This Russian potato salad with mayonaise is a dinner favorite for the holidays. It can be made ahead and goes with anything, especially with bread and cheese.
Prep 30 minutes
Cook 40 minutes
Chill time 1 hour
Total Time 2 hours 10 minutes
Servings 6


  • 2 pounds potatoes use Yukon gold potatoes
  • 16 oz frozen peas and carrots mix
  • 4 large eggs
  • 8 oz dill pickles
  • 2 tablespoons pickle brine from the jar of pickles
  • 8 tablespoons mayonnaise more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons fine sea salt more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar more to taste


  • Place whole potatoes in a large pot, cover them with water and bring to a boil over high heat. Lower heat to medium, partially cover with a lid and cook potatoes until easily pierced with a fork, 40-60 minutes (depends on the size of potatoes.)
  • Transfer cooked potatoes to a large bowl of cold water. Remove the skins, chop the potatoes into 1-inch (2.5 cm) bits and transfer them to a very large mixing bowl.
  • As the potatoes cook, bring another pot of salted water to a boil and cook frozen peas and carrots until they are fork tender. Drain them and add them to a large mixing bowl (the same you'll use for potatoes).
  • Ass the other vegetables cook, place eggs in a medium pot, cover them with water, put on a lid and bring to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove the pot from heat and keep eggs covered. Let them sit for 15 minutes. Then rinse eggs under cold water, peel and finely chop the eggs. Add to the bowl with peas and carrots.
  • Meanwhile, as all the ingredients cook, finely chop the pickles. Transfer them to the same mixing bowl.
  • Once you have all the vegetables and eggs, stir them well until all the ingredients are evenly distributed throughout. Add mayonnaise, pickle brine, red wine vinegar and a teaspoon of salt. Stir thoroughly and taste, then season more if needed.
  • Cover the bowl with plastic wrap and chill the salad in the refrigerator for an hour or overnight. Taste it again before serving and add more mayonnaise if needed (as the potatoes soak some up). Store leftover salad covered in the refrigerator and eat within 2-3 days.


The best potatoes for this salad are the same you would use for mashed potatoes – Yukon gold, “old” potatoes, yellow potatoes with a tough skin. 
5 from 1 vote (1 rating without comment)

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  1. Yelena says:

    Thanks for this!
    So glad someone did a recipe without meat.
    My mom did it the exact same way except no vinegar.
    My family’s version is also meatless. But we didn’t call it “French” or “Oliver” salad, we call it “White” salad or “Bely” salad.

    1. Alice says:

      It’s the best, isn’t it?!
      And thank you for sharing the names you know this under, so interesting! “bely” means white right? 🙂