Home Recipe Roundup 14 Traditional Russian Side Dishes

14 Traditional Russian Side Dishes

These tasty Russian side dishes will make your meals more unique and interesting!

If you’re assuming that Russian sides must be heavy and warm, you aren’t alone.

Russian Chicken Pie or Kurnik
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Given the climate in Russia, many of the traditional rich meals are perfect for keeping everyone cozy during the long, long winters.

But I was so pleasantly surprised to see so many fresh, inventive, and colorful side dishes when researching this list!

From a traditional beet salad to a wonderfully unique buckwheat blini, there are a few things on this list of 14 Russian side dishes that will quickly become your new favorites.

1.  Olivier Salad – Classic Russian Salad

If you’ve never had Russian salad before, you’ll love it. 

As much as I adore a traditional potato salad, this dish has so many yummy extras. 

It includes carrots, peas, pickles, hard-boiled eggs, and smoked ham. 

While some potato salads can be a touch bland, this is bursting with flavor. 

2. Kurnik (Russian Chicken Pie)

This authentic Russian pie can be seen on the table during the holidays and at celebrations such as weddings. 

For the classic dome look, work from the base up, packing the fillings into shape before draping the second half of the pastry over the top. 

An ideal way to keep the layer separate is to add a crepe between each new addition.

Decorate the outside with pastry cut-outs, or use a pie dish for a more straightforward approach. 

3. Russian Potatoes

If you’re like me, you often find yourself turning to the trusty potato for a quick and easy side to your weeknight dinner. 

But I do like to try to find something different now and then.

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At first glance, this dish looks like a slice of vanilla cake with maybe an apple filling and a simple vanilla glaze. 

Looks can be deceiving!

This is actually a wonderful mashed potato and caramelized onion layered side. 

The combination of sour cream and dill with the mashed potatoes is already pretty special, but the layer of caramelized onions in the middle is out of this world. 

4. Rzhanovi Khleb (Easy Russian Rye Bread)

You may have seen rye bread recipes before that call for sourdough starters and syrups and long fermentations. 

As tasty as these will inevitably be, you don’t always have the time or the resources. 

This recipe may not give you the sour notes of other rye bread, but it will be moist and tender in the end. 

Feel free to throw in some of your favorite seeds, and if you like it lighter, try substituting some of the rye flour for all-purpose. 

5. Тушеная капуста (Braised Cabbage)

You’ll find this kind of dish at most tables in eastern Europe. 

The sweet and savory crunch of the shredded cabbage with sauerkraut is quite refreshing when paired with the right kind of meat. 

And you know I love a shortcut!

This one-pot wonder uses ready-made sauerkraut to speed things along.

6. Creamy Russian Mushroom Julienne

You’ve probably had this dish, just with one difference: it was full of potatoes. 

The decadent creamy sauce, with all that melted cheese on top… I’m drooling just at the thought!

But I have to say, I never considered making it with a mushroom base. 

And it works!

The mushrooms add an earthy flavor to all that milky goodness, and the texture is terrific. 

7. Baked Piroshki (Russian Stuffed Rolls)

What’s better than a batch of fresh bread rolls?

A batch of fresh bread rolls that are stuffed with tender beef and flavorful cabbage!

You can make this straightforward dough in a bread machine or a stand mixer.

Once smooth, it needs to double in size, which should take about an hour. 

While the dough works away, you can make the fillings, so they’re all ready at the same time. 

The fillings, when combined, are quite similar to a dumpling or egg roll filling. 

When you fill your rolls, be sure to pinch the edges closed to keep the filling inside. 

8. Russian Pan Fried Potatoes

I suppose most countries have their own version of fried potatoes. 

And the truth is, they are all quite similar. 

This Russian dish is a simple pairing of thinly sliced potatoes and onions, fried until crisp and then seasoned with salt, pepper, and green onions. 

It really is as easy as it sounds, and I don’t know anybody that doesn’t like a big helping of fried potatoes!

9. Zucchini Fritters Recipe

Oladi are small thick pancakes that are usually served as a savory side to a variety of dishes. 

They are easy, inexpensive, and tasty bites to serve alongside pork or beef. 

Though, it’s not uncommon to see shredded veggies making their way into the mix. 

And I love zucchini fritters!

Not only are they beautifully colored, but they are also a tasty way to give a healthy dish more flavor.

10. Sbiten (Russian Hot Honey Beverage)

A lot of different cultures serve tea alongside their meals. 

Rather than a cold beer or soda, tea is a warm palate cleanser that can be sipped in between bites. 

Served warm, this drink combines honey, cloves, and a few familiar spices – cinnamon, ginger, and nutmeg. 

Where it gets interesting, though, is the inclusion of jam. 

This recipe uses blackberry jam, which I think makes for a bold flavor against the honey and spices. 

But I think I’ll be experimenting with some other flavors too. Maybe marmalade?

11. Russian Blini (Buckwheat Pancakes)

I don’t think I’ve ever had a blini made with buckwheat, which is unfortunate because it adds a fantastic nutty flavor to the mix!

Whether served with smoked salmon and lemon-dill cream cheese or a handsome helping of caviar, blini are light and mild enough not to overpower the toppings.

If you’ve never made blini before, you might be surprised to see yeast on the ingredient list. 

Blini are essentially little pancakes, it’s true. But they are yeast-based, and once you have the batter mixed, it needs time to rest and rise.  

12. Kvashenaya Kapusta (Homemade Sauerkraut Recipe)

Maybe you can’t find it in the stores, or maybe you’re just looking for something fun to try. 

Either way, this recipe walks you through how to make the best sauerkraut at home. 

Bring this to the next BBQ and watch those hot dogs fly off the grill!

13. Russian Radish Cucumber Salad Recipe

There’s no escaping the use of certain ingredients in many of these dishes.

If you’re not a fan of boiled eggs, mayonnaise, and dill, some of these recipes may not be for you.

But if you’re still with me, this salad is definitely one to try.

The crunch and peppery flavor of the radishes perfectly compliment the tender cucumber, and the entire thing is rounded out with a great garlic and dill dressing. 

14. Russian Beet Salad

Beets have such a distinct and earthy flavor. 

And they’re the perfect way to brighten up a meal.

I would recommend roasting the beets to help enhance their flavor, but you can boil them if you prefer. 

I like to dice them relatively small and fold through some chopped nuts and seeds for a little crunch.

14 Traditional Russian Sides (+ Easy Menu)

Russian side dishes are a fun way to make your meals more unique! From beet salad to buckwheat blinis, these Russian sides are sure to impress!


  • Select your favorite recipe.
  • Organize all the required ingredients.
  • Prep a Russian side in 30 minutes or less!
Russian Side Dishes

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Kim - InsanelyGood
Hey there! I'm Kim. I love running, cooking, and curling up with a good book! I share recipes for people who LOVE good food, but want to keep things simple :)

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