This Swedish Beet Salad (Rödbetssallad) recipe is delightfully simple and SO delicious...pickled beets (homemade OR store bought) and apples are cubed and tossed in a quick mixture of mayonnaise, sour cream and horseradish. Add a shower of chopped parsley and that's all there is to it!
Not only is Swedish Beet Salad tasty, it's also drop dead gorgeous with its stunning pink hue. A real pop of color on the dinner table! Ready to make a batch? It only takes a few minutes to whip together, I promise. Keep reading for step-by-step instructions!
Why This Recipe Works
- It's got big flavor for little effort. You can certainly start with homemade pickled beets (try my quick pickled beet recipe here), but for maximum ease go ahead and use store bought pickled beets.
- The creamy dressing has only 3 ingredients.
- I've got a few tips and tricks for recreating that GORGEOUS pink color you see in the photo above.
- Pickled beets are the star of this recipe. Feel free to make your own (start with my recipe for Spicy Quick Pickled Beets if you like) or use store bought pickled beets. Both work great in this recipe.
- Peeled and cubed apples are traditional, but I've left them as an optional ingredient. They add a pleasing crunch and a bit of tart sweetness but you can certainly make the salad with just pickled beets if you prefer.
- A combination of mayonnaise and sour cream or creme fraiche forms the creamy base of this recipe.
- A few teaspoons of prepared horseradish lends a bit of tang and spice, but I've also listed it as optional as you can certainly choose not to include it.
- Chopped fresh parsley adds a bit of welcome herby freshness and a pop of green color which is lovely with the pink salad.
How to Make This Recipe
- Whisk the mayonnaise, sour cream and horseradish (if using) together in a medium bowl. Set aside.
- If you want to include the apple, cut it in half and reserve one of the halves for another use. Core and peel the remaining half and dice into ½ inch cubes.
- Drain the beets and reserve the pickling juices. Cut the beets in ½ inch cubes.
- Fold the beets, apples and chopped parsley into the mayonnaise mixture. Add 1-3 tablespoons of the reserved pickling juices until you achieve a bright pink color. Season to taste with salt and pepper and serve!
Be sure to reserve the pickling juice and add it to the salad at the end, one tablespoon at a time, until you achieve a bright pink hue. Without adding the pickling juice, your salad will be very pale in color.
Yes! The salad keeps well tightly covered in the refrigerator for a couple of days.
It goes well as a side dish for nearly anything (my mind naturally drifts to Swedish meatballs and salmon) and is a cheerful addition to a smörgåsbord table, particularly at the holidays. It also makes a nice topping for an open face sandwich (smörgås or smørrebrød). It's traditional to serve this creamy beet salad on rye bread with leftover Swedish meatballs (it sounds odd, I know, but is is so delicious). For the sandwich pictured below, I used buttered rye bread for the base and toped it with lettuce, Swedish Beet Salad, capers and a hard boiled egg.
Looking for more Nordic-inspired recipes for beets? I've got you covered:
Swedish Beet Salad (Rödbetssallad)
- 12-15 ounces pickled beets homemade, try my recipe for quick pickled beets here OR storebought, drained and diced into ½ inch cubes (reserve the pickling juices)
- Half of a Granny Smith apple peeled, cored and diced into ½ inch cubes, optional
- ⅓ cup prepared mayonnaise
- ⅓ cup creme fraiche or sour cream
- 2 teaspoons prepared horseradish optional
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- Whisk the mayonnaise, creme fraiche and horseradish (if using) together in a medium bowl. Gently fold in beets, apple and parsley. Add 1-3 tablespoons of the beet pickling juice until the salad has a lovely pink hue. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate until ready to serve.
If you loved this recipe, give it a star review! Also, snap a picture of your Swedish Beet Salad(Rödbetssallad) and share it with me on Instagram using the hashtag #truenorthkitchen and tagging me @true_north_kitchen.