Easy Homemade Borscht 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!

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.

Here’s A Video Showing How To Make Borscht Quickly:

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!

I was thinking about it when 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.

RECIPE UPDATE: Since posting this recipe, I have discovered a way to prepare fresh beets that is simple and not at all messy. You roast the beets in their skins. If you want to make borscht using fresh beets instead of canned, this is the way to go. Follow the instructions for roasting beets here. You’ll need 5-6 medium beets for the borscht recipe below.

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.

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

The key is those sweet beets, of course, but also the dill and a good bit of cream (sour cream or heavy cream). 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 in every borscht I’ve ever had and I don’t think it could really be borscht without it.

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


Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe

  • Author: Allie McDonald
  • Cook Time: 15 minutes
  • Total Time: 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6


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 or no-sodium vegetable or chicken broth
  • 2 Tbsp neutral oil (like vegetable or grape seed)
  • 1 medium potato
  • 1 cup carrot matchsticks
  • 1 small onion
  • 1/2 tsp. salt
  • 1/4 tsp. coarse black pepper
  • 1 cup frozen green peas
  • 1 cup frozen cut green beans
  • 2 big handfuls of fresh dill
  • 2 (15oz.) 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.
  3. Chop the potato into a small (1/4 inch) dice. Add it to the pot. Increase the heat to medium-high. Stir and then cover the pot.
  4. Roughly chop the carrot matchsticks. Add them to the pot. Stir and cover.
  5. Chop the onion. Add it to the pot. Stir and cover.
  6. When the broth is done heating, add it to the pot along with the salt and pepper.
  7. Increase heat to high, cover and let it come to a simmer. Reduce heat to a moderate simmer.
  8. While the broth is simmering in the pot, put the frozen peas and beans in the microwave-safe bowl and heat until defrosted and warm, about 2 minutes.
  9. While the peas and beans heat, chop the dill. Add half of it to the pot of soup. Put the rest aside for now.
  10. Put a colander over a bowl and pour in the cans of beets. You need the liquid so do not discard it.
  11. Put the drained beets into a food processor and process until they’re in small pieces.
  12. When the potatoes in the pot are tender add the vinegar, the beets, and the beet liquid and the heated peas and beans. Heat on high until simmering.
  13. Stir in the remaining dill. Taste and add more vinegar and black pepper as needed.
  14. Serve with either whipping cream or sour cream on the side for people to add to their bowls of soup.

Video by Leigh Olson. Article, photos and recipe by Christine Pittman.

This post originally appeared in December 2014 and was revised and republished in October 2018.
Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe

17 responses to “Easy Homemade Borscht Recipe”

  1. Elizabeth says:

    I love beets and this looks delicious!

  2. Linda says:

    I have made borscht a number of times over the years. But I never use chicken broth – only beef. I also brown 500g of stewing beef. I have also used celery in the veg mix. My question is: do my additions make the soup better, or does it compromise its integrity.?

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Linda, I think there are many different kinds of borscht. My mom and Ukrainian grandmother made different kinds for different seasons. Summer borscht had beets and veggies from the garden. Christmas eve borscht was completely meatless, not even using chicken or beef broth. Fall borscht often had lots of beefy flavor and some meat. I’ve also had borschts with much less beets and sometimes some kind of sausage. I think what they all have in common is that there’s a strong beet flavor. Other than that, whatever you like works! NOte that the recipe I’ve given tastes pretty close to the meatless borschts that I had growing up. To make it totally meatless, use vegetable stock instead of chicken.

  3. William says:

    We are making this Soup tonight for dinner 

  4. Dr. Meena Amour says:

    Wow ! So delicious !
    We had Shallow fried Salmon steaks, garnished with red onions sliced lengthwise and spiced with salt and white pepper powder and a dusting of turmeric powder as per my Keralyte Indian roots as the 1st course, garnished with vinegered red onions sliced lengthwise, and marinatated by squeezing with a pinch each of salt and red chillie flakes.
    We topped off this meal with cubes of Baklava
    Dr. Meena Amour

  5. Alyssa says:

    Made this tonight!! Once I get off work either I eat something on the way home or cook something really quick. My husband is Russian and been wanting to surprise him with one of his favorite dishes. This recipe was perfect for what I was looking for. I knew I wanted it to be quick and to use can beets. I change a few things… instead of peas in used purple cabbage. I for got dill, so I used a little pickle juice (haha), and added two leaves of sage. Top off with sour cream at the end. I love how quick and easy to follow these directions. Plus, my husband was very impressed with how well it turned out. I did two tps vinegar then it said if you think you want more add more I wasn’t sure so I did a splash more. But my husband said two would of been perfect. But hey everyone is different! Thank you for this receip!! I will be using it for when ever I make borscht! 

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Alyssa, Thanks for letting me know. Your adjustments sounds great! Did you know that there is actually a soup called Pickle Soup that uses the juice from pickles? Here is a link https://cookthestory.com/dill-pickle-soup/ It’s a Polish soup. I wonder if it was adding the pickle juice to your borscht that made it seem too vinegary. The pickle juice is quite strong-flavored. Anyway, very happy that you both liked it!

  6. Alicia Riley says:

    Thanks for the quick and easy recipe! I made this for our book club, discussing War and Peace. Great Russian peasant food!

  7. 9mm says:

    A polish chef introduced me to the polish version of this. It’s less beetroot and red cabbage, and more normal cabbage and polish white sausage. Then it can be served in a cooked round loaf of bread – crusty on the outside with the inside scooped out – and then a boiled egg chopped in half and half a sausage. Delicious.

  8. Jane on Whidbey says:

    I’m so grateful to find your soup recipes. I love soup, and I hate to spend my life in the kitchen. As I like to say, “I like to have cooked.” lol Thanks for quick and delicious!

  9. […] used canned beets in hers. She said it was delicious and you couldn’t tell. I made that borscht (get the recipe here) and […]

  10. I just started liking beets a couple of years ago. I always did love the color, however. I am a soup lover, so this looks
    mighty tasty to me.

    • Christine Pittman says:

      Carol, yes, lots of people don’t seem to like beets. But once they get used to them they love them. Really sweet and flavorful. Thanks for the comment!

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