Ensalada Rusa (Russian Salad)

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Ensalada Rusa

Ensalada Rusa or Russian Salad is a popular dish in Colombia and other Latin American countries. I remember eating this delicious potato salad as a side dish to Pernil de Cerdo (Roasted Pork Leg or Ham), at almost every party my family ever had in Colombia.

Como hacer ensalada rusa

My husband hates potato salad, so I never made this one for him before. I made it recently for this site and he loved it so much that he asked me to make it again a week later for a family party. To my surprise everyone at the party asked for the recipe as they loved it too. They all said that it was much different from the potato salads that they are used to eating here in the United States. There are a lot of variations of this salad, but I make the one my aunt makes in Colombia and it is delicious. Try it, I would love to know what you think of my Russian Salad.

Ensalada Rusa

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Ingredients

  • 6 large peeled potatoes, cooked and diced
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 cup diced and cooked carrots
  • 1 cup cooked peas
  • 1/4 cup creme fraiche or crema de leche
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1/2 cup grated onion
  • 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro or parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon paprika
  • Juice of 1/2 lime

Ensalada Rusa

Directions

  1. In a small bowl whisk together the mayonnaise, creme fraiche, lime juice, salt, pepper and cumin. Set aside.
  2. Place the potatoes in a large bowl, add the onions, carrots, peas and cilantro. Add the mayonnaise mixture and toss well. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
  3. Serve Cold or at room temperature.
  4. Ensalada Rusa

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Comments

  1. La Gringa says

    I hate potato salad but this is the best. I love this salad and the repollo salad too. My family made this for Christmas and New Years. It went nice with a slice of Ham…..

  2. says

    This is one of my favorite dishes ever (I grew up in Russia). Our version is slightly different: no cumin or paprika, and we use mayonnaise. Also, we add chopped boiled eggs, pickles, chopped Granny Smith apple and chopped onion instead of grated one.

    But your looks AMAZING! This salad takes some work, but is so worth it (especially as leftovers for days to come).

    In the past I’ve used de-frosted peas instead of canned or cooked one.

  3. says

    This looks so delicious and so colorful! I love the addition of crème fraîche which, I imagine, helps to cut the richness of the mayonnaise. I bet this is absolutely amazing as a side dish to Pernil de Cerdo – wish I had a plate of it right now. 8-)

  4. says

    I looks delicious. In my country, Dominican Republic, we call it the same, but we also add red beets. The beets give the salad a pinkish color.

  5. Anonymous says

    Mmm!… No la he probado nunca con el pimentón y el cilantro. Yo suelo ponerle también atún, pero la próxima vez probare como la tuya.
    Un beso.

  6. Sandra g says

    I have to try this version of Ensalada Rusa!, is different from my Dominican version, we add remolachas (beets) and eggs to ours, and my husband Peruvian version is also different!

  7. says

    I’m not a big fan of American potato salad and don’t eat it. But I really do enjoy Ensalada Rusa. I’ve made it at home and dressed it with olive oil + a little vinegar and then molded it and applied the mayo (like a frosting only the outside). Like Mari, I too have done it with beets. I think I’ve used a little garlic powder too – which makes it totally different than the American version.

  8. says

    Russian Salad has always been a very popular side dish in Greece as well and I always thought it was something “european” … didn’t realize it was so popular elsewhere!

    Greeks tend to add hardboiled eggs to their version. I like the cumin and lime juice here … must add a nice tangy flavor.

  9. says

    So, my husband too dislikes potato salads because they are mayonnaise-based and I never get to make my version of the russian salad (as in Olga’s version, mine is mayonnaise based too and he doesn’t even like it with soy-based mayo either). But I think he may like this version because it has creme fraiche and I will definitely be giving it a try! Thanks!

  10. says

    my mother made this and it was from our native Italy Insalata Russa — almost the same.

    she used to make the mayonnaise homemade (with eggs and olive oil) which is absolutely to die for—then stack the potatoes in a cake like mound and cover it with a layer of the mayonnaise…it was very beautiful.

  11. says

    Was just thinking about making some Potato Salad to help push the winter blues away for at least one meal!

    The addition of lime is so interesting and no doubt delicious!

  12. says

    I made a potato salad for my son last week and use mustard, curry, and red onion. Simple, spicy, and part creamed potato’y like texture. I liked it growing up that way. Texas we do mustard, I never cared for the mayo either, but the peas are calling me, so I should try this!

  13. says

    I love potato salads, but my hubby hates them.. the creamy ones. Do you think I can use something else instead of mayo? … may be yogurt or sour cream? will have to try it out. Looks so pretty with dotted jewels.

  14. Bibi says

    Erica, I am making this salad today! except i dont have creme fraiche or sour cream so I am using heavy whipping cream instead and hoping it tastes just as yummy, i am also adding one hard boiled egg.!

  15. Marta S. says

    Hello Erica,
    I am so glad i found your blog, It’s so nice that a ‘paisita’ is doing something like this, putting all our delicious colombian recipes together, -thanks indeed!.
    let me tell you, I had completely forgot about the Russian salad, it used to be my darling eldest bro’s (RIP), favorite except that he used cooked long beans (bite size) as well and red minced onions. I am going to make one tomorrow and I figure if I put a little bit of mustard…I’ll see, tell you later. I’ll be thinking of my beloved brother while i prepare it and thanking you for reminding me about it. hope my family will like it. I am from Bogota and I love ‘Paisas’. Gracias y hasta pronto.

  16. Anonymous says

    This salad is super easy to make, does not require a lot of ingredients, and is delicious. It tastes even better the next day.

  17. Beverly J. says

    Thank you for reminding me of this recipe. I tried an order of a similar salad at a deli and loved it. I tried to duplicate if for a picnic and it was a hit. I got many compliments. That was a long time ago. Now I can make it the “real” way.

    I’m a new comer to your site, but I’m here to stay. I’m planning on trying the Colombian roast chicken tomorrow. Looking forward to it.

  18. Olga says

    Ensalada rusa, the best! I also grew up in Colombia and right now I am making one. I use the same ingredients but I add one extra one : cubed chicken breast, and diced salchicha de lata! I accompany this dish with saltines!! Great recipe!

  19. Betsy says

    Hi Erica,
    I’m usually not a big fan of russian salad but yours looks amazingly good! Im ecuadorian and so we have a slightly different version of your recipe. We don’t use the lime juice but we do add apples to our recipe. It gives it a pinch of sweetness and the combination is a great burst of flavor withing the first bite. Thanks so much for all your wonderful recipes. But I was wondering if you had the recipe for pernil de cerdo..? Thanks! =)

  20. says

    Erica, tu receta se ve muy buena! Mi mama solia hacer esta ensalada para paseos y todo el mundo queria comer su ensalada, pero esta receta no es como yo recuerdo la de mi mami, creo que la de ella llevaba pollo y salchichas como alguien mas menciono y dudo mucho que mi mami hubiese usado paprika, cilantro o cominos!

    All of the sudden I am hungry for “Ensalada Rusa” mi mother used to make it at home for special occasion but this is not quite how I remembered it. I think she used to add chicken breast and winners, I also doubt she uses paprika or cumin. Oh well, I guess there is probably different version of it, eh? Thanks any way!

    • Erica says

      Maryvel- They are different variations all over the country and South America….Some people add cooked eggs, beets, etc. This is my grandmother’s version!

  21. says

    What a surprise! I thought that this salad is famous in Bulgaria only. We also call it Russian Salad, although it seems in Russia it is known as Olivier Salad.
    We also add pickled gherkins (I loved these the most as a child) and some cubed ham or other kind of soft saussage

  22. Janette says

    Erica, I am making this salad for Easter Sunday for about 15 people. Since you didn’t mention how many servings in your recipe – not sure how many lbs. of potatoes I should buy? Thanks.

  23. Vanessa says

    My abuela makes this salad! My family is all from Cartagena and I was raised in Miami. She adds canned pineapple chunks and chopped boiled eggs. This is my favorite salad and we too had it at everrrrryyyy special ocasion.

    Your recipes have brought so many precious memories back, thank you.

  24. Kitty says

    This is the type of potato salad I’ve been eating my entire life. This is something my Babcia (grandmother) made for every holiday meal – Sałatka kartofli or Polish Potato Salad which is basically like your recipe but w/o cumin or lime. I might add a very small amount of fresh dill if available or chopped dill pickles when dill is out of season. In place of creme fraiche, I use sour cream. I’m going to try the cumin and cilantro next time I make this. My husband also dislikes typical ‘American Style’ Potato Salad but he will eat one prepared this way.

  25. Valentina, Russia says

    The name of this salad in Russia is “Winter salad”. And it is very popular here. I didn’t know it’s also popular in America’s.

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