Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe (2024)

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Borscht is a beet-based soup that I grew up eating throughout the year, but especially on Ukrainian Christmas Eve. This Homemade Borscht Recipe is the easiest and quickest ever – ready in under 15 minutes!

If you know anything about beets you must be wondering how I can possibly make a beet-based soup in under 15 minutes. Beets take a long time to cook. Longer than 15 minutes for sure. And they’re a pain to peel. No way could it be done.

And right now we’re in the holiday season which always makes me think of Borscht since it is a staple at Ukrainian Christmas feasts. I had to find a way to make this soup easily!

Jump To:

  1. Video: Making Easy Borscht
  2. Can You Use Canned Beets For Borscht?
  3. Cooking Beets For Borscht
  4. Types of Borscht
  5. Why Is There Vinegar in Borscht?
  6. More Delicious Soup Recipes
  7. Podcast Episode About Making Borscht
  8. Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe
Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe (1)

Video: Making Easy Borscht

Can You Use Canned Beets For Borscht?

Last time I wanted to make Borscht,I remembered my mom telling me, years ago, that she tried making borscht using canned beets. I couldn’t remember if she’d said that it had worked or not. I called her and asked. She said, “Yes!”

Using canned beets for this soup is amazing. Not only are they already tender, but they’re also already peeled. Peeling beets is a time-consuming and messy business. It’s so great to not have to do it.

Cooking Beets For Borscht

I have discovered two ways to prepare fresh beets that are simple and not at all messy. You can roast the beets in their skins or cook the beets in the Instant Pot Both are done with the skins on. If you don’t peel the beets, they make much less mess. You then peel them after they’re cooked and cooled. It’s way less messy! So, if you want to make borscht using fresh beets instead of canned, use one of these methods. You’ll need 5-6 medium beets for the borscht recipe below.

Note that you can use the liquid from the Instant Pot in place of the liquid from the canned beets in the recipe below. If you roast the beets, you won’t get liquid to use but don’t worry, it will be fine. Just use an extra 1/2 cup of broth.

Types of Borscht

A note about this borscht and borscht generally. There are different kinds of borscht. In my family alone we eat three different varieties. There’s a special summer version with fresh garden vegetables, a wintery meaty version that can be a whole meal, and a more delicate vegetarian version that is always part of our meatless Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner. If you grew up eating borscht it might have been like one of these three. Or it might have been completely different. There’s even something called White Borscht that doesn’t involve beets at all!

I think you’ll like this one no matter what you’re used to though.

And if you want another soup with great Ukrainian flavors, try my Stuffed Cabbage Soup. All the great taste of cabbage rolls, in a wonderful soup.

Why Is There Vinegar in Borscht?

The key to delicious borscht is those sweet beets, of course, but also the dill and a good bit of cream (sour cream or heavy cream). But also, you need to have a bit of acid, usually in the form of vinegar.

My mom says that the acid is needed to keep the beets brightly colored. I don’t actually know if this is true since I’ve never omitted the vinegar to find out. Whatever the reason for adding it, I’ve noted nice acidity inevery borscht I’ve ever had and I don’t think it could really be borscht without it.

More Delicious Soup Recipes

I’m pretty much obsessed with soups, both making them and eating them. If you’re like me on this one, you’ve got to have a look at my other soup recipes. There are over 70 of them! I love them all and I know you will too. Here are some of my favorites:

  • Cabbage Soup
  • 13 Bean Soup Recipe
  • Easy Vegetable Soup
  • Broccoli Cheese Soup (With Frozen Broccoli)
  • Greek Lemon Soup Recipe
  • Easy Minestrone Soup Recipe
  • Cream of Chicken Soup

Podcast Episode About Making Borscht

Listen to learn how to make this recipe, along with some great tips from me along the way:

Listen to more Recipe of the Day episodes here.

And now, here’s my quick and Easy Borscht Recipe:


Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe (2)

Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe

5 Stars4 Stars3 Stars2 Stars1 Star5 from 2 reviews
  • Author: Christine Pittman
  • Prep Time: 10 minutes
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x
  • Category: Entrée
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Ukrainian
Print Recipe


Borscht is a beet-based soup that I grew up eating throughout the year, but especially on Ukrainian Christmas Eve. This Homemade Borscht Recipe is the easiest and quickest ever – ready in under 15 minutes!



  • 4 cups low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp. cooking oil
  • 1 medium potato, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 cup carrot matchsticks
  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1/2 cup fresh dill, chopped, divided
  • 1 cup frozen green peas, thawed
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans, thawed
  • 2 (15 oz.) cans “original cut” beets
  • 2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 6 Tbsp. whipping cream or sour cream to serve


  1. Measure the broth into a large microwave-safe bowl and microwave it for 5 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the oil in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the potato. Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir and then cover the pot.
  3. Roughly chop the carrot matchsticks. Add them to the pot along with the onion. Stir and cover.
  4. When the broth is done heating, add it to the pot along with the salt and pepper. Stir well.
  5. Increase heat to high, cover and let it come to a simmer. Reduce heat to a moderate simmer.
  6. Add half of the dill to the pot of soup.
  7. Put a colander over a bowl and pour in the cans of beets to drain them. Set the liquid aside and do not discard it because you’ll need it soon.
  8. Put the drained beets into a food processor and process until they’re in small pieces.
  9. When the potatoes in the pot are fork-tender, add the vinegar and stir. Then add the processed beets, the reserved beet liquid, the peas, and the beans. Heat on high until simmering.
  10. Stir in the remaining dill. Taste and add more vinegar and black pepper if needed.
  11. Ladle into bowls and serve with either whipping cream or sour cream on the side for people to add to their bowls of soup.

This post originally appeared in December 2014 and was revised and republished in October 2018.

Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe (3)

Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe (2024)


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