This crazy easy Ukrainian borscht recipe is packed with tender bone-in beef, beets, potatoes, & veggies. Hearty & healthy, this soup is to-die-for!

Classic Borscht in a pot with a scoop.

There is truly nothing like a steaming bowl of borscht on a cold winter day. This classic borscht recipe is the way my Ukrainian grandma and mother made it. Easy to make, flavorful, and filling, this soup will have you hooked at first slurp.

What Is Borscht?

Borscht is a classic red beet soup loaded with veggies and bone-in beef with a savory, sweet and sour broth. It is typically served hot with a garnish of sour cream and dill and is a staple and comfort food in many Eastern European homes.

The most popular version of borscht is Ukrainian borscht, which is made with red beets. However, other common “borscht” soups include those made with sorrel (green borscht), rye (white borscht) and cabbage. The exact origin of the soup is unknown; however, it is commonly agreed that it does have strong Slavic roots.

How to Make Borscht Video

How to Make Borscht from Scratch

Preparing borscht is a game of layering – add in a couple ingredients, simmer the soup for a bit, then repeat the process until the soup is ready.

  • Boil the meat: In a large pot, boil the water. Slice the beef and simmer it in the water for 20 minutes.
  • Sauté the veggies: In a separate pan, sauté the carrots, onions, and grated beets in olive oil until they’re soft, then add them into the pot.
  • Add the beans: Drain and rinse the canned kidney beans and add them into the pot. Cook the soup for another 20 minutes.
  • Toss in the potatoes: Next, toss in the sliced potatoes and simmer for 15 minutes.
  • Put in the rest of the ingredients: Once the potatoes are nearly finished, stir in the cabbage. Season the soup with salt, black pepper, vinegar, and ketchup. Allow the soup to simmer for 10 minutes.
  • Garnish and serve: Serve the borscht with a dollop of sour cream or mayo. Ladle a big bowl up and enjoy!

Hot tip: If you’re not a fan of ketchup, substitute it with tomato paste instead! Add in a smidge more vinegar to compensate for a slightly sour flavor.

Handy Tips & Tricks

A few foolproof tips will ensure this beet soup has fall-off-the-bone meat, tender veggies, and scrumptious broth in every slurp.

  • Prepare the soup in a dutch oven: If you have a dutch oven, use it! This pot maintains heat and moisture wonderfully.
  • Keep the soup over medium heat: To prevent overcooking and not giving the ingredients enough time to develop their flavors, keep the soup over medium heat throughout the process.
  • Season the soup to taste: For a tangier soup, add in lemon juice or more vinegar at the end of cooking. If you like it salty, add more salt.
  • Add in more flavor: Optionally, add in chopped celery, bay leaves, or a couple of garlic cloves for more flavor.
  • Use a mandoline slicer: Make the sliced cabbage uniform by slicing it with a mandoline slicer.
  • Always use bone-in meat: When possible, always use bone-in meat for borscht. Bone-in meat adds a level of flavor that is unmatched.
Pot with Classic Borscht.

What To Serve With Borscht

Serve a warm bowl of borscht alongside a hunk of no-knead bread to dip into the savory broth. Ukrainian garlic rolls would also be a perfect match for this soup. If you like a heartier bread, a rye or honey wheat will do the trick. For a hearty side, try our savory piroshky filled with ground meat, or overnight piroshky for a traditional Ukrainian meal. In terms of garnish, borscht is classically served with a dollop of sour cream or mayo, minced green onions, and fresh dill/fresh parsley. If you’re a garlic-lover, you can also add marinated chopped cloves right on top.

Storing & Reheating Leftovers

The most amazing thing about borscht is that it continues to develop its flavors as it marinates. Honestly, day #3 borscht is actually the best! Here are a few tips on how best to store it so the flavors continue to improve.

  • Refrigerator: To keep borscht fresh for up to a week, store it in an airtight container in the fridge. Avoid freezing borscht, as the potatoes and beets tend to turn mushy and gritty upon thawing.
  • Reheating: To reheat borscht, place it in a soup pot or saucepan over medium heat and heat until warmed through.


What does borscht taste like?

Borscht is a hearty sweet and sour soup packed with beef and veggies. The veggies provide the sweetness and the vinegar and ketchup give a tang of sourness. It is the perfect soup to warm up to on a cold day.

Is borscht healthy?

Borscht is packed with tons of nutrients and vitamins essential in a healthy diet. It is full of protein, fiber, vitamin C, potassium, and more! Borscht is also naturally low in calories and cholesterol.

Can you can borscht?

Yes, you can can borscht and depending on how it is canned, it may be stored for up to a year in a cool place. It’s best to can it in large pint jars so you can reheat enough for a couple servings at a time.

Is borscht better the next day?

Yes, borscht is nearly always better the next day. This gives the soup time to develop its flavors overnight. Borscht is edible the day-of preparation, but waiting a day is even better flavor-wise.

More Classic Slavic Soup Recipes

About Author

Avatar photo

Natalya Drozhzhin

Natalya founded Momsdish to demonstrate that placing a homemade meal on the table is not hard at all. Natalya makes cooking easier and approachable, by simplifying the ingredients, while still producing the same great taste.