Around Finland, Recipes, Side dishes
Comments 20

Rosolli Salad – Colourful Finnish Salad For Christmas Table

I am writing this blog post in a very, veeeery relaxed mode at the moment. I just came home from swimming and then a hot, nice sauna! Once you start enjoying sauna, you easily get addicted to it! Anyway, after that very Finnish sauna, I had to come home and continue the blog post series about Finnish Christmas cuisine! So here is a colourful and delicious salad for your Christmas table (and of course you can also make it in other times of the year too!). If you know a different version of this salad, write about it in the comments below!


The Finnish word for Christmas table is “Joulupöytä” (Joulu: Christmas, pöytä: table; simple enough, eh?). Rosolli salad is a very colourful and easy part of traditional joulupöytä.






I’ve been living in Finland for 5.5 years now but I have only been once in a traditional Finnish Christmas table – 3 years ago, I was invited to my friend’s family’s home in Nuuksio for Christmas dinner, and I ate and ate and ate!






The recipe, as you will see below is very easy. There is just a bit chopping to do, and a bit of boiling. But this simple recipe with simple ingredients makes a very humble but delicious salad. You can serve it mixed with the sauce or you can serve sauce separately.


So go ahead and try it!




Difficulty: ★☆☆ (easy)
(serves 4 people)


4 beetroots boiled and cut into cubes, or equivalent amount of pickled beetroot (I used pickled beetroot)
2 potatoes, boiled and cut into cubes
2 carrots, boiled and cut into cubes
1 onion, cut into small pieces
1 apple, cut into small pieces
2-3 pickled cucumbers, cut into small cubes (the original recipe I adopted this from, on, says only 1 cucumber but I love pickled cucumber so I used more..)


1 dl. / 6 tbsp. + 2 tsp. heavy cream (kuohukerma in Finnish)
1/2 tsp. vinegar (the original recipe uses white vinegar, but I used organic apple cider vinegar as it is my favourite..)
1/4 tsp. sugar
1/4 tsp. salt





1. Put all the salad ingredients in a bowl / plate and mix.






2. In a separate bowl, put cream and whip a little.






3. Add vinegar, sugar and salt in the cream and whip a bit more. Serve mixed with salad or separately.








  1. Thank you for having these wonderful looking dishes available for viewing. I’m looking for a healthy, side dish to feed at least 40 people next week. Help?

    • You’re welcome! :) Did you check the whole side dishes category in the blog?
      For instance the quinoa salad is really healthy, gluten free and you can add to it whatever you like! Or, if you are into ethnic food, you can check “Kisir” salad in the same category – a very delicious couscous salad from Turkish cuisine.

  2. Hi, I live in Canada and the rosolli my mom makes only has cooked beets and carrots and raw onions. Some other people added small anchovy bits but I’ve never heard of apples or potatoes. I don’t know if this is a newer version (our recipe would be from the 1950s) or if it depends on what part of Finland you are from.

    • Hi! Anchovy bits sound interesting! I’m not from Finland but several Christmas dinners i’ve been invited to in various parts of Uusimaa, i’ve always had this salad this way. I may try with anchovy too! Cheers!

  3. Anonymous says

    Our family recipe includes pickled herring in it. The dressing we use is sour cream nowadays.

  4. Pingback: Finland | Globetrotting at Home

  5. LaVerne Antilla says

    I am a Finnish American and my grandmother made this on occasion. She cut her ingredients quite small and often did not mix them together but decorated the items in a pinwheel design, keeping each item separate. Of course it mixed together when you spooned it out or put it on your plate. I know she used vinegar as a dressing and I don’t know what else. Also maybe mayo sometimes. It was always a favorite of mine and I think I’d like to make it soon. Perhaps with some herring on the side.

  6. Lasse says

    Hi! Christmas greetings from Prague from a Finn! Our family’s rosolli is usually just beatroot, carrot, pickled cucumber with onions, served with the dressing on the side, but it is also common to have it with cubed apples and potatoes, if that is your preference. If you add pickled herring, the salad is called “sillisalaatti”. It’s all good. Hauskaa Joulua!

  7. Helena says

    Hi I have just looked at your recipe as I want to make it for the Jewish Breaking of the Fast meal, instead of a Russian salad which has no beetroot. My mother used to add pieces of herring!
    Greeting from South Africa!

    • Oh yes, i’ve heard about adding herring in the salad or serving with it from some other people commenting here too! Enjoy!

  8. In reference to the pickled cuccumbers … are they sweet? or kosher and garlicky? I am always looking for beet and carrot recipes.

    • Here in Finland the pickled cucumbers are rather sweet and not so garlicky. But you can adjust this recipe according to your own taste and try it with more garlicky cucumbers too!

  9. Anonymous says

    It’s also quite common to add some liquid from the beetroot to the sauce to make it pink :)

  10. Anonymous says

    Hi, I am making this for our family starter again this year. We always include it in our Christmas Eve meal. My late father was English and my mother is Finnish, so we always had 2 main Christmas meals – the 24th and 25th.

    Our version of Rosolli includes everything mentioned above (except the herring as it’s a different dish), all cut up into small cubes. My Mother was born in 1937 and uses her Mother’s old cook book – before 1950, so on that basis is possibly quite traditional. The recipe is not very precise, it says things like, “take some carrots and potatoes, add some beetroot, some of this etc…” with no measurements whatsoever – I guess post war they did not want to be too prescriptive. You do end up maiking it to taste and from memory!

    The key, I think, is in cubing the ingredients quite small and then making sauce – double cream whipped up with sour cream added and then the beetroot juice (if the quantity of beetroot does not add enough colour). We have always added the sauce to the salad and mixed into one dish.

    Have some fun and enjoy!

    ps – we find sharper apples, like bramley work best, however, mixing a sour and sweeter apple works fine – just empty your larder!!

  11. Pingback: 85/200 – Finland – Cook From Every Country

  12. Pingback: Salad: Two Ways - Mighty Cricket

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.