Around Finland, Recipes, Side dishes
Comments 15

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!

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