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Rosolli – Finnish beetroot salad served at Christmas

One of my favourite salads eaten at Christmas time is Rosolli. I rarely eat beetroot, not because I don’t like it I just seem to forget to buy it. So when Rosolli appears on the Christmas table I make the most of it.

Rosolli is a beetroot salad mixed with potato, carrot, onion and pickle. Pickled herring is optional. With my love of all things salty from the sea, I find the herring a delicious accompaniment to this dish. The sweetness of the beetroot is complimented by the saltiness of the herring. Combined with pickle and the starchy vegetables, this little pink salad is a winner by account of my taste buds!

Traditionally the salad is all mixed up in a bowl with the dressing served to the side, however my grandmother used to arrange the ingredients separately on a plate so that people could choose what they wish. If you didn’t like herring, no problem, leave it out. I mostly dive into the beetroot first since I eat carrot and potato all year round.

This is the first time I have ever cooked fresh beetroot, I can see it becoming a regular in my kitchen. Also, I would dice the vegetables a little smaller next time, they were a tad too big for my liking. I remember my grandmother’s version looking nicer as the vegetables were cut smaller.


2 potatoes

2 carrots

2 beetroot

1 onion, peeled

3 pickles

2-3 pickled herring (optional)

Salt & pepper

2 eggs, hard-boiled, for garnish



100ml sour cream

1 tbsp mayonnaise


Water the beetroot was cooked in (for colour)



Boil the potatoes and carrots in their skins together, peel and allow to cool.

Boil beetroot in their skins. Once tender, peel and allow to cool. Reserve about 2 tbsp of the beetroot water for the dressing. (Now apparently by adding the beetroot water to the dressing it makes it pink, however the water from my beetroot pot was more brown than red. I added a few pieces of beetroot instead, mixed them around then removed them, to give the dressing a pink colour.)

Dice the potatoes, carrots, beetroot, peeled onion, pickles and herring into equal-sized, small cubes. Lay them out onto a dish in a decorative display, or you can mix all the ingredients together like a mixed salad. Season with salt and pepper.

Hard boil 2 eggs, dice into cubes or roughly mash. Garnish the top of the salad.

Combine sour cream and mayonnaise, add a few drops of beetroot water for colour (or as I did, a few cubes of beetroot – stir then remove once colour has transferred), season with pepper and serve to the side of salad.

** If you want an overall pink colour to the entire salad, combine all ingredients and let sit to allow the beetroot colour to transfer through the salad. You’ll have the cutest, pinkest salad you’ve ever seen!

If there was ever a dish that represents Finnish Christmas, this would be it. No Christmas table is complete without it, but then again, I say that about all the Finnish Christmas dishes.


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  • Carly @ Charlie and Bella - Saved. Bookmarked. Pinned.
    This looks DELICIOUS and I can’t wait to try this. Thanks Peggy.ReplyCancel

    • Peggy Saas - Why thank you lovely! Thanks so much for pinning it. :)

      It is very delicious Carly. It was always one of my faves when my mum and grandmother catered for our Christmas dinner each year. Glad I tried it myself. xoReplyCancel

  • Smitten Foodie - What a colorful salad!ReplyCancel

    • Peggy Saas - It’s very colourful! If you let it sit after mixed it turns bright pink. I should have let it sit before I photographed it to show how beautiful it looks.ReplyCancel

  • keiju - Voi löysin just tämän sivun ja oon ihan innostunut.
    Oon suomalainen mutta asun saksassa ja tänä vuonna koko perhe haluaa taas viettää joulua yhdessä,
    jokainen tuo oman osan ja mie mietin koko ajan mitä mie voisin tehdä jouluks ja ottaa mukaan.
    Pitää olla jotain helppoa mutta suomalaista jouluruokaa joka sopii kinkun kera jota vanhemmat tekee.
    Sinun sivu tuo just niin paljon inspiraatioo, rakastan tätä sinun blogia nyt jo. :>
    Kiitos! :D :D :DReplyCancel

    • Peggy Saas - Oh thank you! So nice of you to drop in and say hello. My apologies for not replying in Finnish, although it is my first language my Finnish is now terrible, I can’t remember how to write it at all although I can read enough to understand it.

      Jouluruokaa has been a longstanding tradition in our family, and with my mum moving far away I knew that I need to start learning how to make it myself. Surprisingly it is very easy. And so very delicious!

      Thank you again for dropping by Keiju, so lovely to hear from you. :)ReplyCancel

  • Feeding my new beetroot obsession: Smoked salmon and beetroot salad - [...] I bought some and cooked it when I made my Mum and grandmother’s famous traditional Finnish Rosolli, a beetroot salad. It wasn’t as messy as I initially thought and my goodness is it delicious [...]ReplyCancel

  • Rebecca - Hello, I love the look of your Christmas Finnish beetroot salad but I am unsure about one of the ingredients. What do you mean by pickles? Is it a vegetable? Or a type of sauce (which I have come to know as what a pickle is).

    Thank you! I look forward to making this!

    Rebecca, (Newcastle, UK)ReplyCancel

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