Russian Vinaigrette Recipe with Beets and Sauerkraut

This Russian Vinaigrette Recipe with Beets and Sauerkraut is another “staple” of Russian/ Ukrainian cooking. Its also a very pretty & vibrant Russian salad.

I think every Slavic person has either made it or tried it. My sis tells me that canned beets taste just as good in Russian cooking and it reduces the hassle and mess of cooking them for 1 hour or more. I will definitely try that next time.

Most people who make this salad use their own pickled cabbage but sauerkraut works just as well. This is my mom’s recipe. This salad is great for parties because you can make it a day ahead. It tastes even better the next day. You may want to scale down the recipe if you are making it for your family.

Ingredients for Russian Vinigrette:

3 medium beets (or 2 (14.5 oz) cans of beets , drained)
3 medium potatoes
3 medium carrots
1/2 cup sauerkraut, drained
3 medium pickles
2 Tbsp sunflower or olive oil
1 Tbsp white vinegar
1 small onion, finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

How to Make Russian Vinaigrette:

1. In a medium pot, boil beets for 1 hour or until it can easily be pierced with a knife. OR use canned beets which don’t require any cooking. I peeled beets before cooking, much easier than peeling them boiled.

2. In a separate pot, boil potatoes and carrots about 30 minutes or until a knife goes smoothly through the potatoes. Don’t overcook the potatoes.

3. Drain the vegetables and refrigerate or let them stand until they cool to room temp (or cooler).

4. Peel the skins from the potatoes, beets and carrots, than dice pickles, beets, potatoes, carrots & finely dice onion. The Vidalia Chop Wizard is the secret to make the process much faster :). Place diced beets in a separate bowl.

5. Mix beets with 1st Tbsp of Sunflower Oil separately, so that beets coloring will not get on the other ingredients as much.

6. Mix together beets and the rest of ingredients with the 2nd Tbsp of Sunflower or Olive oil and 1 Tbsp of vinegar. If desired, add more sauerkraut or pickles to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

Enjoy 🙂

Russian Vinaigrette Recipe with Beets and Sauerkraut

4.89 from 18 votes
Prep Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Total Time: 1 hour 30 minutes
Author: Natasha of NatashasKitchen.com
Skill Level: Easy
Cost to Make: $3-$5
Servings: 8 -12

Ingredients

  • 3 medium beets or 2 (14.5 oz cans of beets, drained)
  • 3 medium potatoes
  • 3 medium carrots
  • 1/2 cup sauerkraut drained
  • 3 medium pickles
  • 2 Tbsp sunflower or olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp white vinegar
  • 1 small onion finely chopped (about 1/2 cup)

Instructions

  1. In a medium pot, boil beets for 1 hour or until it can easily be pierced with a knife. OR use canned beets which don't require any cooking. I peeled beets before cooking, much easier than peeling them boiled.
  2. In a separate pot, boil potatoes and carrots about 30 minutes or until a knife goes smoothly through the potatoes. Don't overcook the potatoes.
  3. Drain the vegetables and refrigerate or let them stand until they cool to room temp (or cooler).
  4. Peel the skins from the potatoes, beets and carrots, than dice pickles, beets, potatoes, carrots & finely dice onion. Place diced beets in a separate bowl.
  5. Mix beets with 1st Tbsp of Sunflower Oil separately, so that beets coloring will not get on the other ingredients as much.
  6. Mix together beets and the rest of ingredients with the 2nd Tbsp of Sunflower or Olive oil and 1 Tbsp of vinegar. If desired, add more sauerkraut or pickles to taste. Refrigerate until ready to use.

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natashaskitchen

Welcome to my kitchen! I am Natasha, the blogger behind Natasha's Kitchen (since 2009). My husband and I run this blog together and share only our best, family approved recipes with YOU. Thanks for stopping by! We are so happy you're here.

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Read comments/reviewsAdd comment/review

  • Irina
    October 16, 2018

    Hello. I like this salad so much, because it’s tasty and it’s not have a much calories. I wanted to share with you my recipt. It’s the same, just I use instead olive oil – mustards oil, and I cook without vinegar. I think it’s more tasty. And I boil beets with the peel. It’s not difficult to peel it after boiling, because the peel separates easy. Reply

    • Natashas Kitchen
      October 16, 2018

      Thank you for sharing that with me, Irina! Reply

  • Haley
    February 21, 2018

    Looks delicious!! As a recommendation there are pre-cooked beets available at many grocery stores now, the brand is Love Beets. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      February 21, 2018

      Great tip Haley, thanks for sharing! Reply

  • Ak1999
    November 22, 2017

    Can you put salt in it if is for the next day or will it get soggy and mushy? Also, this recipe is my favorite. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 22, 2017

      This particular salad won’t get soggy even if you add salt and keep it overnight 🙂 It keeps well in the refrigerator. Reply

  • Katerina
    June 16, 2017

    I made it today and it was so good. My instant pot came in handy for cooking the vegetables which made it a breeze. I ommited the onion since my family isn’t big on onions, other than that I followed the recipe. Will be making it many more time. Thanks Natasha for all the work that you put into this blog, as it is my go to site for the recipes. Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      June 16, 2017

      I’m so glad to hear that Katerina! Thanks for following and sharing your great review! 😀 Reply

  • Helena Melnyk
    April 4, 2017

    My Ukrainian mother made this all the time. So delicious. Everything she made was from scratch, no canned veggies. All homegrown, don’t remember carrots but she added I believe was navy beans. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 4, 2017

      I love the idea of adding beans. Thank you for sharing that with me! 🙂 Reply

      • Susan U
        July 22, 2018

        Yes, I made this for the 1st time last year and added chick peas. I was told about this recipe from the woman at my health food store. I lost the recipe and found yours today..thank you.
        BTW..do I add seasoning like pepper or salt? Reply

        • Natasha
          July 23, 2018

          Hi Susan, seasoning is usually not necessary here. Instead we add more sauerkraut or pickles to taste if you prefer a tangier salad. Between, that and the vinegar, there should be enough sweet/tangy contrast without needing seasoning. You can add a touch of salt and pepper if you like but we usually do not. Reply

          • susan cantor-uccelletti
            July 24, 2018

            Thank you natasha, I added black pepper and you were right, no extra seasoning was necessary. Turned out great!!

          • Natashas Kitchen
            July 24, 2018

            That’s so great!

  • Avivit
    March 23, 2017

    Thank you for the recipe! I actually started substituting potatoes with a celery root in vinaigrettes and Olivier salads. It has much less calories, but still feels starchy 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha's Kitchen
      March 23, 2017

      Thanks for the tip! 🙂 Reply

  • Erika
    October 12, 2016

    Thank you Natasha for this recipe. This is great! I love vinaigrette and this recipe is definitely a keeper. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 12, 2016

      Thank you Erika! 🙂 Reply

  • Irina
    October 5, 2016

    My favorite!!!! I also add canned beans and/or canned peas. That way I have more salad with less dicing. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      October 5, 2016

      Thank you for the tip Irina! Work smart, not hard 😀. Reply

  • Tzivia
    September 16, 2016

    Omg yo Natasha kinda sorta made this salad except I’m calling it naked vinaigrette beet salad made it with one large beet sliced a quarter or a third of red onion a few pressed garlic cloves a diced pickle a splash of vinegar salt pepper garlic powder a little red pepper and a few tsp of sugar and here’s hoping it’s all good thanx tons 4 all ur gr8 yummy delish healthy and even not so healthy lmao recipes hunny bunny have a really gr8 awesome fantabulous blessed weekend cheers Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 16, 2016

      I love that you got creative with it! Thank you for the wonderful review! 🙂 Reply

      • Tzivia
        September 19, 2016

        Awwwww thanx Natasha darlin it was such a big huge hit between me and my momma mind u it was about a pound or three quarters of a pound and we totally just went right into it finished the salad today @ a side with my lunch next time I’ll try it with potatoes and carrots am wondering can they be roasted or are they best boiled my pleasure for the review have a gr8 fantastical cool blessed night and week ahead cheers Reply

        • Natasha
          natashaskitchen
          September 19, 2016

          Hi Tzivia, I think roasting would be fine and even healthier! 🙂 Reply

  • Katherine
    July 20, 2016

    Hi Natasha! I have pure white vinegar that I use to clean my tea kettle. Is this the same white vinegar I should use in the salad? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 20, 2016

      Hi Katherine, yes the same Distilled White Vinegar is used in this recipe. I agree, white vinegar is great for descaling the tea kettle! 🙂 Reply

  • Ksenia
    April 17, 2016

    I’m so glad I looked through this recipe. The ratios of vinegret veggies are definitely spot on but the chopping can be so time-consuming. I ended up buying a similar cutting thing in TJMaxx! It saves me soon much time and I make this and olivie much more often now. I also cook the beets in the pressure cooker while the potatoes and the carrots are cooking on the stove. Great idea for this chopper! Thank you! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 17, 2016

      I’m so happy you discovered a time saver! We were so excited when we figured out how useful a chopper like that is for this salad and other salads like olivye 🙂 Reply

  • Ms. Martynenko
    April 13, 2016

    Delicious and so healthy (when using fresh ingredients)! Thank you!!
    P.S. I actually find it easier to push the beet out of its skin once boiled. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 13, 2016

      Thank you for the nice review and for the tip 😀. Reply

  • Robert HALES
    April 1, 2016

    Is it good with canned diced potatoes? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 1, 2016

      Hi Robert, to be honest, I’ve never tried it with anything but freshly cooked potatoes and I’ve never purchased canned potatoes so the quick answer is: I’m not sure. If you experiment, let me know! 🙂 Reply

  • Mark
    January 26, 2016

    Natasha,

    This recipe looks amazing. May I ask what type of vinegar do you suggest using for this recipe? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 27, 2016

      Oh sorry about that. It’s normal white vinegar. I specified that in the recipe. Reply

  • Jess
    January 12, 2016

    My nanny use to make this salad! I wasn’t sure what went into it, think she used all the ingredients listed except saeurkraut. I vaguely remember her adding ham, or telling me years later that it had ham? Her name was Svetlana and she had a daughter in law named Natasha 🙂 thanks for the recipe, going to try your borscht and then try this, cannot thank you enough! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 13, 2016

      Welcome to the site Jess 😀. I would love to hear how they turn out. Reply

  • d
    January 2, 2016

    What kind of pickles do you use ? Sweet/dill, etc…? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 2, 2016

      I use dill pickles. Reply

  • Jennie
    April 3, 2015

    On the Russian Vinaigrette Salad, you mention that you need 2 cans of beets, but you don’t define the size of the cans. Did you mean 2, 14.5oz cans, or 2, 9oz, or other?

    I can’t rate it if I can’t use an accurate recipe. Please answer. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 3, 2015

      Jennie, the recipe calls for two 14.5 oz cans and I will update the recipe. Thanks for the tip :). Reply

  • Natalie
    September 21, 2014

    I wrote you on another post asking for “Vinegrette”, but I have found the recipe here!

    Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 21, 2014

      I hope you and your husband love it! 🙂 Reply

  • Marina
    July 3, 2014

    My recipe is almost the same, I just don`t add white onion, instead I put spring onion on the top, which makes it ideal for summer meal! And I cooked it recently for my guests, they loved it and asked for the recipe. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      July 3, 2014

      I love the idea of putting spring onion over it. Sounds so fresh and nice! Thanks for sharing 🙂 Reply

  • Irishka
    April 5, 2014

    Thanks fir the recipe. Hubbys grandmother makes the best one and adds beans. This is the closest I’ve found to hers!
    P.s. that vidalia chopper is $19.99 at BB&B. 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 5, 2014

      Thank you for the great review, I’m glad it reminds you your grandmother’s recipe. P.s. don’t forget to use 20% coupon when buying one :). Reply

  • Marina
    March 27, 2014

    Buy the way, it is hearing in Old Russian Venegret recepie! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 27, 2014

      Oh, really? I thought it was just in shuba! We’ve never had this salad with herring. Reply

  • Marina
    March 27, 2014

    Hello Natasha. I’m so need this cutting tool and I’m gonna buy it. I have stupid question: Do I have to slice veggies first and then put in slicer (as I understood according pictures of slicer)? Because I think if you put the whole beet (for example) it’ll be long pices, right? Just wont to be sure before I buy it.
    Thanks,Marina Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 27, 2014

      Yes, slice the veggies first or you will have long pieces. This makes for perfect dice! Reply

  • Ian
    March 8, 2014

    As a Rusophile living in an area where it is nearly impossible to get good Russian food unless you make it yourself, this recipe was fantastic. I ended up adding a little extra smetana and dill (with some dark xleb and shproti on the side), but this was about as authentic as it gets. It was a smash hit at a dinner party, too…never realized there were so many beet lovers out there! Thanks! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 9, 2014

      Ha! I’ve never even heard that term “Rusophile” before, so I googled it, naturally. A term “used to denote individual or collective admiration of Russia or Russian culture.” Nice, I like it! I like how your version sounds too! I want to give it a whirl now! Reply

  • Kathleen
    November 28, 2013

    THANK YOU! You just saved Thanksgiving with my Russian partner. He always talks about this salad and I had never even heard of it! I will definitely be coming back here for more recipes; Russian food is a bit confusing to make without thorough instructions. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      November 28, 2013

      I’m so glad you both enjoyed it 🙂 You’re so welcome 🙂 Reply

  • leena
    July 15, 2013

    how was it Reply

  • George
    March 6, 2013

    If you want to give your vinaigrette a bit of “zip” add in a bit of Russia style hot honey mustard. Also, I agree with the comment that it’s better to use either good kosher (or better, homemade) dill pickles (Vlasic is very good) or sauerkraut – but NOT both. I go for the pickles. By way of veggies you can also add in red kidney beans and/or cut canned green beans. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 6, 2013

      Thanks for the tips George, I should try them next time I make the dish :). Reply

  • Edita
    March 3, 2013

    Thanx for posting. I wanted to make this today but forgot if I was missing anything. And ur recipe is pretty much the same as my moms.. Thanks again def 5 stars. But it only lets me put 3…hmmm. ps. So happy to have found ur site. Its really hard to find authentic russian/ukrainian recipes . And urs are pretty much right on. Thanks again!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      March 3, 2013

      Thank you for your nice complements. 🙂 That’s strange about the stars; It seems to be working for me but let me know if you have the same problem in the future. Reply

  • Zina P
    February 4, 2013

    I tried making the vinaigrette using two cans of beets. Mine didn’t come out so good and I can’t pinpoint what it was missing….seems too many beets from 2 cans. I’m sure if I tasted yours I would understand what went amiss with mine. Also, I think the potatoes made a difference also….I used russet potatoes and I think I over cooked them to boot. Would a waxy potato make a difference in the taste? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 4, 2013

      I think its probably more of a problem with the canned beets. The home cooked ones take awhile and can be a little messy, but the flavor is much better 🙂 Reply

      • Zina P
        February 6, 2013

        Thank you….I will try with fresh cooked beets next time, although I have never used fresh I imagine the flavor is better….canned is always not as good. Reply

  • Vera Nika Tinova
    December 24, 2012

    Where DID you get that cutting tool?? This WILL make my life easier…:))) Reply

  • November 18, 2012

    O! I love your cutting tool!
    I love your pictures!
    Everybody cooks a bit differently. Hope you don’t mind if I add…
    In my salad-Vinegret you wouldn’t see sauerkraut, but the rest of ingredients + canned beans and parsley. Reply

    • November 18, 2012

      Oh, forgot to mention – I usually bake my beats in the foil in oven for this salad. Thank you. Reply

  • Lidiya
    October 20, 2012

    Sorry just noticed it says vinaigrette. Reply

  • Irina8007
    September 2, 2012

    Does anyone know how many calories is a cup of Vinaigrette? Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      September 2, 2012

      Hmmm, no idea. Sorry… Reply

    • Lidiya
      October 20, 2012

      There is about 52 calories in a cup of vinegar. Reply

  • Liliya
    August 22, 2012

    This is such a staple for our family! We add fresh cucumbers also giving it a fresh smell and taste 🙂 Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      August 22, 2012

      oooh fresh cucumbers sound great! Thank you! 🙂 Reply

  • Camille
    June 23, 2012

    Agree with mixing the beets with oil, separately to the rest of the mix, so you don’t colour the rest of the salad. Also, I add a bit of mustard and vinegar(v.small amount) to the dressing. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 18, 2013

      I should try mustard next time :). Reply

  • Slava
    June 8, 2012

    No, herring is not eaten with vinegret, but with shuba, which is another style of beetroot-potato-carrot based salad when all the veggies are layered with mayonaise with herring at the bottom, ok? Please don’t confuse the two.:) Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      June 8, 2012

      Hi Slava, I do have a recipe for shuba posted too, but I don’t like herring in there so I use smoked salmon. Reply

  • May 12, 2012

    Yes, we always have vinigrette on lenten Christmas Eve – after the first star has been spotted, of course! – making sure we have 12 different dishes for the apostles and one more for Christ, though vinigrette is not limited to Christmas Eve. We add an apple (nice crispy crunch and gives more texture) as well as kidney beans, but not canned. The boiled beans have a much nicer texture. We also make it the day/night before so the flavors can mesh a bit too. Yes, we use sauerkraut as well as dill pickles. As anything Russian/Ukrainian, a bit of dill can be added. BTW: always herring for Christmas Eve, so I always do associate vinigrette and herring!
    Ира Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      May 12, 2012

      Thank you for sharing! I definitely want to try apple next time I make this salad. Reply

  • childML
    April 7, 2012

    Also before mixing, you can pour an oil on the beets and stir, so that they do not colour all salad… Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      April 7, 2012

      Thanks for the tip! Reply

  • childML
    April 7, 2012

    Beets can be prepared in a bit shorter time: Boil them approximately 35-40 mins in water with vinegar, but without salt, then immediately put them under cold water and cool them that way… They should be ready for post-processing 🙂 Reply

  • Kennedy
    January 12, 2012

    Tasted this salad last weekend on Ukrainian Christmas dinner,.. so delicious and love to look at.. I am making it this weekend for a Christening dinner! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 12, 2012

      So glad you enjoyed it!! Reply

  • Irina
    January 6, 2012

    Love Vinigret! I add kidney beans to it. yumm!!!! Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      January 6, 2012

      Just when I thought it couldn’t get any healthier; you proved me wrong. Thanks for the tip! Reply

  • LoveDanger
    October 18, 2011

    My recipe is very similar, though I love going “all the way Russian” and use unrefined sunflower seed oil, which is much more popular in Russia. Reply

  • Angie
    October 9, 2011

    sunflower seed oil and salt is best for the dressing.. Reply

    • Natasha
      natashaskitchen
      February 18, 2013

      Thanks for the tip Angie :). Reply

  • Peg Gluntz
    July 12, 2011

    I love eating this salad at a local Ukranian restaurant, and was so pleased to find your recipe. Can you give me any advice on what kind of pickles to use? I’m limited to what is found in American chain groceries. Thank you! We’re all really looking forward to it. Reply

    • Natasha
      July 12, 2011

      You can really use any kind of pickles – I used Vlasic (see second picture with all the ingredients) Reply

  • Max
    December 4, 2010

    I think Irina is right on with the pairing with salted herring. Not sure whether that was tradition, or how that pairing came along, but it works! I also like to use a can of peas to my vinaigrette recipe. Reply

  • naminami
    November 15, 2010

    Here’s my version of the Russian vinaigrette, Natasha: http://nami-nami.blogspot.com/2007/12/russian-vinaigrette-salad.html 🙂 Reply

  • A11a
    June 25, 2010

    Now where did you get the idea to use canned beets? Reply

    • Natasha
      June 26, 2010

      Hmmm… I guess I am just pure genius. Ok, if you read the first paragraph, you would see that I gave you credit for it. But, snap; I didn’t mention your name!!! Ok, so you, Alla, are the genius!! Reply

  • Irina
    June 21, 2010

    Yum! I love “vinegret.” I don’t normally add onions and I use either pickles or sauerkraut, but not both. Otherwise, my recipe is essentially the same as yours. I don’t eat fish any more, but, if I remember correctly, vinegret pairs really well with salted herring. Have you ever tried this combination? Reply

    • Natasha
      June 22, 2010

      I’ve never tried that combination. Sounds interesting. Reply

    • DaMa
      August 17, 2012

      Irina you are talking about shuba…thats different from vinegret Reply

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