10 popular Ukrainian borsch recipes

Some people wonder why the taste of borsch can be so different if you try this dish in different places. The fact is that Ukrainian borsch recipes differ. On the one hand, in each region of the country, borsch is cooked in its way. On the other hand, there are a lot of different varieties of regional recipes.

Today we encourage you to discover 10 and 1 more best recipes for traditional Ukrainian borsch.

Borsch recipes in different regions

Borsch (beetroot soup)

It may be surprising, but borscht is not one single dish but a “family of recipes.” Yes, there is a classic version of cooking. We’re glad to share the most common, traditional recipe for borsch.

Meat broth is used as the base. It is boiled for a long time to get a rich taste. Beetroot is the key ingredient. It is this vegetable that gives the dish its deep red color and sweet aftertaste. Cabbage and tomatoes are among the key ingredients. Salt and black ground pepper are added as a seasoning.

Read our blog for a detailed traditional borsch recipe. You will find all the necessary ingredients, step-by-step instructions, and additional tips there.

But in addition to the classic recipe, there is a countless amount of other recipes for Ukrainian borsch. Don’t forget that Ukraine is a large country stretching hundreds of kilometers from north to south and west to east. Each region has its varieties of the beetroot soup recipe. Yet all of these recipes are no less tasty than traditional borsch. Moreover, Ukrainians love the borsch for this wide variety of versions. 

Regional borsch recipes

Borsch (beetroot soup)

Traditional beet soup recipes may differ and include specific ingredients. For example, in Halychyna (Galicia), Ukrainians cook borsch of transparent color using beetroot kvass and adding ears (dough squares stuffed with mushrooms and prunes). People from the Carpathians put pickled cabbage in their beet soup.

In Poltavshchyna, Ukrainians cook borsch based on chicken broth and always put halushky (a type of dumplings made with thicker dough) that is traditionally cooked in that region. 

The residents of the Zhytomyr region have two borsch recipes: “korostenskyi ” – the beet soup cooked with dried fruits and “poliskyi” – borsch with dried loaches and mushrooms. 

In the Southern regions, Ukrainians don’t add beetroot to the soup. Instead, they put loads of tomatoes or tomato paste. And in Hutsulshchyna, there is a unique white borsch cooked using a fodder beetroot.

The myth about the only correct recipe for borsch

Borsch (beetroot soup)

One of the most common myths about Ukrainian borsch is that all housewives follow the same recipe. But right now, we will debunk the myth.

If you invite 10 housewives to one room and ask them how to cook borsch, you can write down 10 different recipes. Not only can the ingredients differ, but also the methods of heat treatment (boiling, frying, stewing, sauteing), the order in which vegetables are put in the pan, and so on.

Though the Ukrainian beet soup has dozens of tasty variations, depending on the region where it is cooked. Moreover, each family has its preferences. Yet borsch always and everywhere remains to be borsch.

The conclusion suggests that there are many varieties of borscht in the world, and each is unique. There is Romanian, Polish, Lithuanian borscht…  All of them are delicious and worthy of attention. And there is Ukrainian borscht – a symbol of Ukrainian gastronomic culture and a favorite dish of Ukrainians.

Therefore, we invite you to cook borsch according to several recipes and choose which one you like the most. Let’s explore the heritage of Ukrainian culture.

Ukrainian borsch recipes for every taste

Try different Ukrainian borsch recipes. And then choose which one will be your and your family’s favorite.

1 Cold borsch

Borsch (beetroot soup)

Cold borsch is the perfect recipe for a hot summer. The dish is very light and refreshing. Its special ingredient is a fresh cucumber (you can add meat optionally).

As the name implies, this borsch is always served cold. What could be better when there’s summer heat outside?

2 Quick borsch

Borsch (beetroot soup)

At first, it may seem that the process of cooking borsch is very long. This is because it consists of many processes: from cutting vegetables and their step-by-step adding to giving the soup its unique taste with spices.

But if you want to spend a minimum of time and get as tasty Ukrainian borsch as traditional classic soup, then this recipe is for you. It turns out very tasty, and most importantly – quickly!

3 Vegetarian borsch

Borsch (beetroot soup)

Often cooking borsch involves the use of meat and salo. But you can easily prepare a vegetarian version of this national dish.

Check out this easy lean borsch recipe. Beans play an important role in the cooking process, which gives the dish the desired richness.

4 Kyiv borsch

Borsch (beetroot soup)

Do you want to try the Kyiv borsch recipe? Here is a recipe for cooking this dish in Kyiv style.

The borsch recipe that comes from Kyiv is similar to the classic recipe. The recipe contains traditional ingredients, such as beet kvass, and not a common type of ingredients like mutton.

5 Navy borsch

At first glance, this is a fairly simple and familiar recipe for borscht. It includes: beets, potatoes, cabbage, carrots, onions, greens, tomatoes, and so on.

But it is called navy borsch for a good reason. This recipe involves using a bone broth and animal fat (for example, lard) – that is, long-term storage products.

6 Borsch with apples

Borsch (beetroot soup)

If you like the sourness of borscht, then you will enjoy the recipe for this dish with apples. They give the soup an exciting taste, different from recipes based on beet kvass or tomato paste.

You can buy ready-made soaked apples, or you can make your own. The main thing is to choose sour varieties of apples.

7 Village borsch

Borsch (beetroot soup)

Village recipes are synonymous with simplicity and satiety. After a hard day at work, this is the perfect dish to give strength and energy.

Usually, rustic borsch is served with pampushky. The combination of tender airy buns with a butter-garlic dressing and rich Ukrainian borsch is the perfect dinner idea!

8 Borscht with pork ribs

Borsch (beetroot soup)

If you like hearty dishes, pay attention to the recipe for borsch with pork ribs. It is believed that it is equally tasty hot and cold.

This dish has an incredibly piquant taste. Aromas of spices such as ground black pepper and bay leaf perfectly complement the rich taste of this meaty soup.

9 Borscht with halushky

This is the original version of the traditional borsch from Poltava. The main ingredient is halushky (a type of dumplings made with thicker dough).

Dumplings add richness to borsch and make it thicker. They are added to the soup at the end of cooking, 10-15 minutes until the soup is ready.

10 Green borsch

Borsch (beetroot soup)

Ukrainian borsch is famous for its bright red color. But besides red borsch, there is another borsch – green borsch.

The borsch is based on sorrel, which appears in early spring. That’s why green borsch is also called spring borsch.

As you see, there is a great number of tasty borsch recipes, and all of them are worth trying to cook and taste.