Insalata Russa

  • 30 mins total
  • 10 mins prep
  • 20 mins cook
  • 59 mins Cooling
  • serves 8 people

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I can’t seem to get enough of it. It was such a special treat when my mother or grandmother made it. My grandmother taught me how to make it when I was quite young, and I am so thankful she did. She made it look easy and, of course,  never followed a recipe. Just potatoes, tuna, giardiniera and mayonnaise.

I have not made it in years and this summer while traveling thru Spain, everywhere we went they had it as a tapas or side salad. Small differences from the Italian version, but needless to say, deliciously good with each bite.

It goes without saying that as soon as I got home, I made my own version. Seeing that I never wrote the recipe down when I was younger, creation took over and here is my version.

The origin of the Insalata Russa is traced all the way to 1860. Some say it was originated and created by a Belgian who worked in a prestigious restaurant in Moscow. Others from France during Caterina De Medici, Russia and from Piemonte region of Italy. There are so many hypotheses about the real place of origin, that it is impossible to mention them all.

All I can tell you is that it is perfect as an appetizer, tapas, alongside any meal or just by itself to fill a craving.

You can set aside some of the giardiniera to use as decoration. Insalata Russa is generally served in a large bowl or serving plate or you can create individual servings. Just let your imagination flow.

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Nutrition Facts
Insalata Russa
Amount Per Serving
Calories 536 Calories from Fat 423
% Daily Value*
Fat 47g72%
Saturated Fat 7g44%
Cholesterol 112mg37%
Sodium 597mg26%
Potassium 450mg13%
Carbohydrates 10g3%
Fiber 2g8%
Sugar 1g1%
Protein 15g30%
Vitamin A 185IU4%
Vitamin C 9.1mg11%
Calcium 48mg5%
Iron 3.6mg20%
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.
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Insalata Russa

  • 30 mins total
  • 10 mins prep
  • 20 mins cook
  • 59 mins Cooling
  • serves 8 people


Original recipe yields 8 servings

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  • 3 large potatoes, boiled, peeled and small cubed
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • 1 16 pounces Mezzetta Italian Mix Giardiniera
  • 1 tablespoon capers, rinsed and chopped
  • 2 tablespoons mustard
  • 2 cornichons chopped (optional)
  • 16 ounces mayonnaise
  • 1 10-ounces can tuna in oil, drained
  • salt
  • pepper


  1. Boil the cubed potatoes with sea salt until done but not falling apart. Drain well and set aside to cool off.

    Cook the peas in a small pan with some water until slightly tender. Drain and set aside.

  2. Chop 3 of the hard-boiled eggs in small cubes. Slice the remaining egg and set aside (used for garnishing)

  3. Cut in small pieces the Giardiniera and add them to a large bowl. Add the peas, tuna, rinsed caper, mustard, chopped eggs, chopped cornichons, salt and pepper, half of the mayonnaise. Mix well.

  4. Add the cooled diced potatoes to the bowl and mix well. Add more mayonnaise as you go along until you have a soft consistency salad. Taste to adjust the flavor

  5. Let the insalata rest in the refrigerator for at least 1 hour, decorate with the sliced egg and serve.


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Comments (10) Post a Reply

  1. Dahn says:

    My grandmother used to cook like that too… no recipe. The best recipes come from people that watch their grandmas and write everything down. This sounds delicious

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      How wonderful that you have the same heart warming memories of your grandmother. It is their gift to us.
      Give the recipe a try, I am sure you will enjoy it. It sure was delicious.
      Thank you for stopping by Giangi’s Kitchen.

  2. Natalie says:

    Looks so delicious and brings me back to my childhood!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      Thank you Natalie, I am happy it brought you back to your childhood. Those are wonderful memories to carry in our hearts.
      Thank you for reading my post

  3. Adriana says:

    This is definitely a classic and a family favorite. At homemy mother was used to prepare Insalata russa for parties, What a treat!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      An absolutely a classic treat. I loved it how everywhere we went this summer it had a presence on the table.
      Bring back fond memories of the special peoples in our lives.
      Thank you Adriana for stopping by and reading my recipe.

  4. Cathy says:

    Oh this salad sounds terrific! Perfect now for these hot summer days! This dish will be perfect for my BBQ this weekend! Thank you for the inspiration!

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      The pleasure is all mine. I am sure you will love it, but I do want your feedback.
      Enjoy your weekend BBQ.

  5. Adrianne says:

    This looks like a quick and easy family recipe. Love that your family cook together!! Cheers

    1. Giangi Townsend says:

      We sure do enjoy time together in the kitchen. Laughter, talk, sharing love.
      The recipe is very fast and I am sure you will enjoy it.
      Thank you for stopping by Giangi’s Kitchen.

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