Spanish Potato Salad - Ensalada Rusa

Ensaladilla Rusa
Tamorlan/Wikimedia Commons
Prep: 25 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 45 mins
Servings: 6 to 8 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
506 Calories
44g Fat
17g Carbs
10g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6 to 8
Amount per serving
Calories 506
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 44g 57%
Saturated Fat 7g 36%
Cholesterol 85mg 28%
Sodium 508mg 22%
Total Carbohydrate 17g 6%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Protein 10g
Calcium 52mg 4%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

The name for potato salad in Spain is ensaladilla rusa, or Russian Salad. Why? It is said that a Russian invented the salad in the late 19th century. We don't know what the original Russian salad was like, but the Spanish have made their own version and eat it as a tapa or a side dish. Many families even prepare home-made mayonnaise to dress it.

Spanish Potato Salad

Boiled, peeled potatoes are cut into chunks and dressed with mayonnaise. Then, tuna, cooked carrots and peas, boiled egg, and roasted red peppers are mixed in. The Spanish like to decorate the potato salad with a layer of mayonnaise and white asparagus, red pepper and olives.

This Spanish potato salad recipe makes 6 servings.


  • 7 medium potatoes
  • 2 roasted red peppers (bottled is fine)
  • 1 16 oz can of peas and carrots (drained)
  • 2 hard-boiled eggs
  • 1 6 oz can tuna (drained)
  • 1-2 cups prepared mayonnaise – or make your own home-made mayonesa or mayonnaise
  • Optional for Garnish:
  • 4-5 spears canned white asparagus
  • 6-12 olives

Steps to Make It

  1. Scrub the potatoes to clean off any loose dirt and sand.

  2. Pour water into a large pot, cover and bring to a boil on high heat. Place potatoes in the pot and boil them with skins on until they are cooked, but not too soft. Test the doneness by pricking with a fork to make sure they are cooked, but still firm. Don’t overcook the potatoes or you’ll end up with mashed potatoes when mixing your salad.

  3. Boil the eggs until hard. Cool the eggs.

  4. Drain the water from the pot and add cold water to the pot, covering the potatoes. Change water every few minutes until the potatoes are cool enough to handle with your bare hands. Refrigerate for a few minutes to cool further.

  5. Remove from refrigerator and peel potatoes. Cut into small (approximately 1/2 inch) cubes. Return to refrigerator while you prepare the other ingredients.

  6. Put approximately 1 1/2 cups of mayonnaise into a bowl. Slice 1 of the roasted pepper into strips about 1/3 inch wide, then cut into smaller pieces and add to bowl.

  7. Drain tuna thoroughly, then flake with a fork and add to bowl.

  8. Drain carrots and peas and add to bowl.

  9. Peel 1 egg, chop and add to bowl.

  10. Mix all ingredients together.

  11. Add the mayonnaise mixture to the potatoes and mix thoroughly. If necessary, add more mayonnaise. Smooth top of potato salad, preparing for decoration.

Traditionally, a thin layer of mayonnaise is spread over the top of the salad using the back side of a large spoon. Slice remaining red pepper into thin strips and arrange on top of salad. Drain the white asparagus and olives. Carefully slice hard-boiled eggs lengthwise. Use to decorate the salad.

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