How To Make Ukrainian Borscht

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Table of Contents
  1. What is Borscht?
  2. What Vegetables are in Borscht?
  3. How to Make Borscht
  4. Shredded or Diced Beets
  5. Beef Broth or Vegetable Broth
  7. How To Make Ukrainian Borscht Recipe
Ukrainian Borscht with sour cream and dill in a pot like white bowl

Everyone has their own version of borscht.

This is our family version, this is how my Grandma made it, my mom made it and now I make it. We make it meatless (you know us Ukrainians and our meatless dishes). We sometimes add vinegar, always add dill, and occasionally top it with sour cream. I don’t use meat, I don’t use cabbage, however, a lot of recipes do.

What is Borscht?

Borscht is a traditional Ukrainian/Russian/Polish beet-based soup that is a fabulous way to use up summertime vegetables, which is also why we don’t use meat. It just doesn’t make sense to me, to load up a summertime soup with meat of any type.

For real, traditional soup, you should be boiling beef bones for the broth. That is the traditional way to make it, the farm way. Boil beef bones, make a broth and then cook your vegetables in it.

What Vegetables are in Borscht?

  •  peas
  •  green beans
  • carrots
  •  potatoes
  •  beets
  • dill
  • cabbage and onions are also used

How to Make Borscht

  • Combine all ingredients into a crock pot and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  • Alternately, cook on top of the stove until the vegetables are soft enough to eat.
  • Serve topped with sour cream and dill. If you like, add in a dash of vinegar.
top down shot of chunky Ukrainian Borscht topped with sour cream and dill in a pot like white bowl

Shredded or Diced Beets

My grandma would spend forever shredding up her beets, which is how I prefer to make my own borscht. I use a food processor to speed up the process!

When you make slow cooker borscht, you can use larger diced beets so that you have a chunkier soup at the end of the day if desired.

close up of chunky Ukrainian Borscht topped with sour cream and dill on brown background

Beef Broth or Vegetable Broth

I use beef broth in this to give it the most authentic taste, as I usually don’t have the time to make homemade beef broth (there is nothing like a real, beef bone broth however).You can certainly use vegetable broth for a vegetarian version, but there is definitely something lost from the traditional taste when you do so. It’s really the best with beef broth!

This is also a serious powerhouse of nutrition here folks. This is all so good for you. The beets, the fresh vegetables, just amazingly healthy. I’ve been eating it for days now, happily finishing up the pot of soup.

So, who has had borscht before? Do you make it often? What is your family recipe?

Happy cooking everyone!




How To Make Ukrainian Borscht, the delicious classic Ukrainian beet soup recipe. #beets #soup #healthy
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How To Make Ukrainian Borscht

How To Make Ukrainian Borscht, the delicious classic Ukrainian  beet soup recipe.
5 from 6 votes
top down shot of chunky Ukrainian Borsch topped with sour cream and dill in a pot like white bowl
Prep Time
20 minutes
Cook Time
45 minutes
Total Time
6 hours 20 minutes
Karlynn Johnston


Borscht Ingredients

  • 8 cups strong beef broth
  • 3 cups shredded beets peeled, then shredded
  • 2 cups diced carrots
  • 2 cups chopped potatoes
  • 1 1/2 cup chopped green beans
  • 1 cup green peas
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh dill


  • 1-2 tablespoons white vinegar
  • sour cream
  • extra dill


Stove Top Instructions

  • In a large lidded stockpot, mix together all of the listed borscht ingredients/
  • Cook on medium heat, at a low simmer, until the vegetables have softened.
  • Once all of the vegetables are softened, stir in vinegar to taste.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with sour cream and fresh dill.
  • Serve topped with sour cream and dill. If you like, add in a dash of vinegar.

Slow Cooker Instructions

  • Combine all of the listed borscht ingredients into a crockpot and cook on low for 6-7 hours.
  • Once all of the vegetables are softened, stir in vinegar to taste.
  • Ladle into bowls and top with sour cream and fresh dill.

Recipe Notes

Fresh vegetables are the best in this, but you can use frozen if desired. 

Nutrition Information

Calories: 86kcal, Carbohydrates: 15g, Protein: 5g, Sodium: 960mg, Potassium: 570mg, Fiber: 4g, Sugar: 6g, Vitamin A: 5645IU, Vitamin C: 15.8mg, Calcium: 47mg, Iron: 1.5mg

All calories and info are based on a third party calculator and are only an estimate. Actual nutritional info will vary with brands used, your measuring methods, portion sizes and more.

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Karlynn Johnston

Iā€™m a busy mom of two, wife & cookbook author who loves creating fast, fresh meals for my little family on the Canadian prairies. Karlynn Facts: I'm allergic to broccoli. I've never met a cocktail that I didn't like. I would rather burn down my house than clean it. Most of all, I love helping YOU get dinner ready because there's nothing more important than connecting with our loved ones around the dinner table!

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Site Index Beets Carrots Potatoes Vegetable soup

Reader Interactions

Comments & Recipe Tips Share a tip or comment!

  1. Sue Lassesen-Fowler says

    my Baba always canned it for the winter. We loved it!

  2. DellaRose Reimche says

    I LOVE borscht but my husband doesn’t like it so I never get to make/have it \U0001f615

  3. Barb Overton says

    Borscht, borscht, beautiful borscht! I make mine the same, except I add apple cider vinegar or red wine vinegar to finish it.

  4. Barb Overton says

    Easily converts to a vegan meal by using vegan “beef bouillon cubes.” Add a little red wine vinegar or apple cider vinegar before serving. A can of diced tomatoes and 1/2 head chopped cabbage make a good addition; add water accordingly. Serve with a big dollop of vegan “sour cream.” Make sure you have a good rye bread for this.

  5. Alisha Duncan says

    This is hands down my favorite meal ever. I still use my Baba’s recipe!

  6. Barb Overton says

    Okay, maybe it is a Ukrainian/Polish prairie thing?

  7. Kim Harback says

    I’m Ukrainian, born and raised here, close to Edmonton. I’ve heard ‘cheap as borscht’ all of my life, and still use the phrase! \U0001f609

    • thekitchenmagpie says

      LOL I am sure it’s a Ukrainian saying! And I use it all the time!

  8. Seanagh Strebchuk says

    Doukhobor borcht from the West Kootenay, BC – no beef; cabbage, tomatoes, one beet (yes only one) potato mashed with cream and dill, onion, carrot greenpepper and perhaps celery or beet tops and garlic in the water and butter and cream and green onion, so yummy, with pyrahi.

  9. knoxfoodie says

    Alberta_Foodie KitchenMagpie definitely going to try!

  10. Kim Mattice says

    Just pinned it – I always made a vegetable soup with cabbage, so this will be a very yummy change!! thanks šŸ™‚

  11. Kendyl Hudson says

    No offense, but ewwwww! I like beets (pickled especially), but warm, and in a slurry type soup? I’ve always called it “blood clot soup” because that’s exactly what it looks like! (And again, I’m not bashing anyone’s cooking, I cannot stand it, no matter who it was made by!)

  12. The Kitchen Magpie says

    Hahah one of my favorite sayings is “cheap as borscht!” we are from Winnipeg originally, so perhaps it’s totally a Manitoba thing! My husband had no idea what I was talking about when I first said it.

  13. Barb Overton says

    I grew up in Winnipeg and ate many variations of borscht. It’s cheap and filling and delicious. We all used to say “Cheap as borscht!”

    As an adult I made borscht late summer every year. I would add shredded cabbage, red cabbage if possible, chopped cooking onions, and canned tomatoes. A small amount of garlic would be added with the onions. My variations are more for a Polish borscht, which would be spelled “barczcz.”

    Some people like to add cereal cream before serving and it was served this way in Alycia’s Ukrainian Restaurant in Winnipeg. Me, I prefered to add a big dollop of sour cream just the way you show in your photo.

    Some people simmered smoked spare ribs in the soup, and others added ground beef or leftover chopped beef from a roast. There is a Mennonite tradition of using meat, tomatoes and no beets at all. But we called all the variations borscht in Winnipeg.

    My own personal touch: red wine vinegar or cider vinegar instead of the regular white vinegar. I use a fair bit of the vinegar and go for a sweet and sour flavor. The fresh beets usually give a sweet taste, but if you use older beets maybe a little plain white sugar is needed.

    I have never heard of raisins as an addition, but maybe that is a way of getting that characteristic sweet and sour flavor?

    Certainly, there are endless variations as you have noted. I’ve never had “bad borscht.” Borscht is wonderful and just writing about it makes me crave some. šŸ™‚

  14. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I can kinda wrap my head around raisins… a bit, I love them in Indian family would revolt however, I’m sure LOL!

  15. Melanie Harmsma says

    Mmm… Not even kidding try it next time. Half a cup in a big pot. Adds a hint of sweet and nice morsels of sweet every few bites. šŸ™‚

  16. The Kitchen Magpie says

    It sure is the time! Everything is in season right now, so it tastes extra amazing!

  17. The Kitchen Magpie says

    That ‘s pretty much ours exactly. Add vinegar (those who want it) and the always sour cream and dill dill dill!

  18. The Kitchen Magpie says

    I think I would love it with meat, BUT in the winter time! Not in summer…I like a light veggie soup in the summer.

  19. Kristy Young says

    My Baba’s Ukrainian Borscht was literally Beet soup. Definitely no meat and as I recall no other veggies…. My sister married a Polish guy and his Mom makes a Russian Borscht which is delish…..Ham stock, ham, garden veggies and of course sour cream and lots of dill! I make the Russian Borscht now and have made with turkey stock/Beef sstock….anything goes!

  20. Heather Nestmann says

    Meatless with every veg you can find in the garden and fresh garden dill. My husbands family serves with vinegar at the table adds zip to it.
    Don’t forget the whipping cream or sour cream.

  21. Sharon Thomas says

    I’ve never tried it…maybe nows the time?

  22. Jane Dowdall Miska says

    Looks so delicious!! I could just go for a bowl right about now…

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