Classic Beef Borscht Recipe (video)
The most iconic dish of the Ukrainian cuisine – borscht! This Ukrainian beet soup is made with tender chunks of beef tri-tip, potatoes, cabbage, loads of veggies and of course, beets! This delicious, tomato-based soup is hearty, warming and perfect anytime of year! I have enjoyed this incredible borscht recipe since childhood! This traditional recipe has been passed down from my grandparents, to my parents and now I make it at home, too!
It’s also the star dish from my newest cookbook, Beyond Borscht! Now available at all major book retailers. Get order links HERE.
Watch My Borscht Video Tutorial
Watch my YouTube borscht video tutorial for step-by-step instructions for making this delicious Ukrainian soup recipe! Want to receive new recipe emails in your inbox? Make sure to subscribe to my website email list and my YouTube channel and turn on notifications!
Ingredients for Making Ukrainian Borscht
Here are some of the main ingredients you’ll need to make this delicious beef and beet soup at home. You can find the full list of ingredients in the printable recipe card below.
- Beef: I love to use beef tri-tip or beef chuck for my borscht. I let it cook for a long time until it’s super tender!
Note: You can prepare this recipe using chicken, pork or even lamb. Keep the cooking time the same. I recommend going with bone-in chicken thigh or drumsticks. Brown the chicken all over just like the beef and use chicken broth in place of the beef broth. Pork ribs work really well for borscht; use them with veggie or chicken broth. Use beef broth with lamb.
- Beets: look for large, firm red beets for the best results. If you can get beets with the greens intact, use those in place of the cabbage!
- Cabbage: regular green cabbage or softer Napa cabbage both work great.
- Dill & Parsley: fresh herbs will add tons of amazing flavor and aroma!
- Onion, Carrots & Celery: for making the mirepoix, or soup base.
- Potatoes: you can use regular potatoes and cube them into bite-sized pieces, or cut small, baby potatoes in half.
What Makes Borscht Red
Traditional Ukrainian borscht has a very rich and vibrant red color to it. I often get asked how I make mine so deep red? You can achieve this beautiful color by using lots of beets, tomato sauce, and allow the borscht cook for longer. I find that the borscht gets more beautiful in color after about an hour of cooking. The beets release more of their color, and combined with the tomatoes, make the borscht super rich! The longer cooking time also gives the soup more flavor!
How to Make Classic Beef Borscht
After making this soup for decades, I’ve perfected and simplified the process down to one pot to make this soup effortless and delicious! I like to start with the meat first. This beet soup can be made with beef, chicken, pork or even lamb. If you are using chicken or pork, consider using chicken broth instead of beef broth.
- Brown the meat all over and season generously with salt and pepper. Once browned, remove the meat from the pot, and set it aside.
- Add in the butter and prepare a simple mirepoix – onions, carrots and celery. Later, add in the garlic and spices – I like to toast the spices briefly to really bring out the aromas!
- Next, add the beets, tomato sauce, broth, water and seasonings and let the soup simmer away for 1 to 1 1/2 hours. This longer cook time allows the soup to develop a really rich and deep flavor and makes the beef extra tender!
- Once the soup has cooked for an hour, add the potatoes and cook for another 15 minutes. I really like to use baby or young potatoes – they are more sweet and the soup tastes so great with them!
- Last, add the shredded cabbage or beet greens, dill and parsley. If you can find beet greens, try using them in place of the cabbage for more flavor and more nutrition!
Different Borscht Varieties
While borscht originated from Ukraine, it’s has become a staple dish in many countries, including Russia, Moldova, and Poland to name a few. Each region has adjusted the recipe slightly to fit their needs, resulting in hundreds of different borscht recipes!
Classic beef borscht is my favorite, followed by my other favorite – ‘Green Borscht’ – made without beets with sour sorrel and eggs. Get that recipe in my new cookbook, too! There are also lighter versions with less beets and more tomatoes; versions with chicken or pork; and even varieties that don’t include any cabbage. My dad really likes to make this recipe and adds canned cannellini or kidney beans at the very end. I would love to hear how you make your soup at home! Leave me a comment below!
Beyond Borscht Cookbook
This delicious Ukrainian recipe is from my newest cookbook, Beyond Borscht. When I was tasked with coming up with the title to my cookbook, I thought of the most iconic Ukrainian or Russian recipe and borscht instantly come to mind! It’s the one dish that many people have heard of or tried. Also, it’s so delicious and a really great example of how incredible the cuisine really is!
My new book has 75 recipes for appetizers, salads, soups, side dishes, main entrees and even some desserts! The book is available starting March 31st, 2020 at Barnes&Noble, Amazon, Powell’s City of Books, IndieBound and other major book retailers. Order your copy today! Learn more about my book HERE.
Enjoyed this delicious Ukrainian recipe? Check out the other recipes I have on my website you’re sure to enjoy!
- Ukrainian Stewed Beef & Potatoes – this easy dish is made with tender chunks of beef and potatoes in a tomato sauce!
- Meat & Rice Stuffed Peppers – aromatic and delicious peppers with meat and rice filling, cooked in a tomato sauce.
- Beef Stroganoff – the best recipe for this classic dish, with tender slices of beef tenderloin, creamy mushroom sauce and noodles!
- Ukrainian Braised Pork – the most delicious braised pork shoulder in a mushroom gravy with mashed potatoes!
- Braised Cabbage with Sausage – easy, one-pan braised cabbage with zucchini, peppers, smoky sausage and more! Perfect for busy weekdays!
- Easy Chicken Plov – this classic rice pilaf is so easy to make! With juicy chicken, garlic and carrots!
Share it on Pinterest!
Classic Beef Borscht Recipe (video)
- 1 1/2 lbs beef tri-tip or roast
- oil for frying
- Salt and black pepper
- 2 tbsp butter
- 1 large onion, diced
- 3 medium carrots, diced
- 2 large ribs celery, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground coriander
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tbsp sugar
- 3 medium beets, peeled and diced
- 4 cups beef broth
- 4 to 8 cups water; more for thinner soup
- 1 cup tomato sauce or puree
- 4 to 5 medium young potatoes, cubed
- 2 to 4 cups shredded cabbage or beet greens
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh dill
- 1 tbsp lemon juice; optional
- rustic bread, for serving
- sour cream, for serving
- Preheat a large pot over medium-high heat and add the oil. Once the oil is hot, add the beef, season it with salt and increase the heat to high. Cook the meat until it is well browned all over, 7 to 8 minutes. Remove the beef from the pot and set aside.
- Into the same pot, add the butter and allow it to melt. Add the onion, carrots and celery and toss to combine. Reduce the heat to medium and cook the mixture for 4 to 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent.
- Add the garlic, then season the mixture with more salt and the black pepper, cumin, coriander and sugar. Add the beets, broth, water and tomato sauce. Add more water for a thinner soup. Return the browned beef back into the pot.
- Cover the pot with a lid and bring the mixture to a simmer. Reduce the heat to low and cook the soup for 45 minutes to 1 hour, covered, until the beef is tender.
- Once the beef is tender, add the potatoes and cook the soup for 15 minutes. Add the beet greens or cabbage, lemon juice (optional – add for more sour soup), dill and parsley and cook for an additional couple of minutes. Remove the soup from the heat, cover the pot and let the soup stand for 15 minutes before serving with a dollop of the sour cream and the bread.
- This soup gets more delicious after it stands overnight in the refrigerator. I love to reheat a few cups at a time on the stovetop when I'm ready to enjoy it!
- You can prepare this recipe using chicken, pork or even lamb. Keep the cooking time the same. I recommend going with bone-in chicken thigh or drumsticks. Brown the chicken all over just like the beef and use chicken broth in place of the beef broth. Pork ribs work really well for borscht; use them with veggie or chicken broth. Use beef broth with lamb.
Looks so delicious ? So appetizing .
My favorite is Borscht . With fresh bread I make it once a week for sure
It’s one of those dishes you can never get tired of! 🙂
This looks good! I’ve always wanted to make it.
Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂
I’m so excited to try this recipe for borscht!! Beautiful presentation:)
Thank you so much!! 🙂 Hope you enjoy it!
Love borscht !
I love Russian food!! All of it is my favorite. I love especially love how everyone’s Borsht recipe is so different but incredibly delicious at the same time.
My all time favorite Russian food is shuba salad!
Would love to win this cook book!
My family loves Borscht! We make it about once a week!
Favorite dish would be vareniki because of the variety that there is and room for creativity in the filling.
Mmm, I love vareniki, too! 🙂
I love your website/channel because you have both our traditional Russian cuisine and recipes from other kitchens around the world. Thank you for what you do!
Have been making this soup for years, but seeing your recipe just brought my Borsch to a whole new level of good
Amazinggggggg!!! Definitely give this borscht a try!
Love me a hot bowl of borscht ?
This looks like such comfort food! Perfect for the season!
I have always been so nervous & anxious to cook any Russian/Ukrainian foods, ESPECIALLY Borscht!! (living up to my moms/mom in laws recipe) but. Then I found Tanya & her super easy to follow & delicious recipe for it; plus many more! I made borscht for the first time & it was such a success!!! Can’t wait to make many many more! Thank you!!
You’re so sweet! Thank you so much – I’m so glad you enjoy my recipes! 🙂
Looking forward to trying out your recipes!!
This looks soo delicious!! Can’t wait to try your recipe
Thank you!! Enjoy! 🙂
Looks delicious. What a beautiful color. Can’t wait to get some beets from the store.
While at a friend for dinner she made us the most delicious cake. I found the recipe on your site and made it for my husband for his birthday. It was almost as good as our friend Natasha. It was your chocolate spartak cake. Such a labor of love. My daughter is requesting it for her wedding cake. Thank you for such a great recipe and new family favorite.
I’m so glad to hear that you enjoyed the recipe! That one is a classic! 🙂
Definitely one of the best borscht recipes out there !!! I have been cooking borscht for over 20 years and this recipe is by far one of the best!
Aww, I’m so glad you enjoy it!! 🙂
This looks so delicious! Will have to give this version a try!
Must try this recipe! Need to check out your new cookbook!
Love borscht! That’s pretty much the only Russian resile I make the most. Would love a copy of your cookbook and that beautiful mixer!
So glad you enjoy it! Thanks for entering! 🙂
We love borshch at our house too! I like your tip to cook it on low heat at the end. I think that when I cook it on higher heat it cooks out the color and it becomes more orange than red.
It’s a staple at our house, too! 🙂 Yes, try cooking at lower temp – the beet color really comes out!
Your borscht looks so vibrant and delicious! It’s my favorite European dish. I can’t wait to try your recipe.
Thank you! 🙂 Mine, too! Hope you enjoy my version!
My dad’s side of our family is Eastern European. Summers as a kid we’d go visit his family in Kansas City. My favorite entree would be a stuffed cabbage my great aunt made. As a kid I never ate the cabbage leaf but the inside stuffing meat was delish. But my all time favorite Eastern European dish would be English Walnut Povitica. We’d go through several loaves every Christmas! Just thinking about it makes me hungry for it!
Thank you so much for sharing! It’s funny because I used to do the same exact thing growing up! Same thing with stuffed peppers – I would only eat the filling! 🙂
Borscht and Pelmeni all the way! Can’t wait to get this cookbook!
I just got the book!
Awesome!!! 🙂 Hope you enjoy all the recipes!
This looks really good! We like to add some sauerkraut for a little extra acidity!
Oh, I love that idea! 🙂 Will have to try that, too! I like to add sauerkraut to vinaigrette beet salad 🙂
Love borsht. My mom makes it hot and spicy, getting married I have to learn how to cook it myself. Love that I can make it from such simple directions with US measurements. ? life saver!
Oh, I’ve never had it spicy! That sounds delicious, too! 🙂 That’s exactly why I wanted to write this book – make it super easy to make all those classic Slavic dishes with US measurements! 🙂
I’m so looking forward to trying your version.
It’s so hardy and delicious! 🙂 Enjoy!
Looks delicious. Excited to try your version of it. Would love to win your cook book and mixer.
Thank you and enjoy! Good luck and thanks for entering! 🙂
This looks so good. Can’t wait to try it
I’ll have to try your recipe, it looks very appetizing!
Looks wonderful! So many recipes I am going to try….you make it look so easy!
Hope you enjoy all of them!! 🙂
Can’t wait to try this amazing recipe! Love a real good hearty red borscht! ❤️❤️❤️
You’re going to love this recipe!! 🙂
I love all kinds of Russian food but if i had to choose a favorite it would be the shuba salad ?
I love shuba, too! 🙂 So unique and delicious 🙂
Happy to see your success! Will be glad to get your book!
Thank you so much! 🙂 Good luck and thanks for entering!
My favorite is cabbage rolls! Would love to win the cookbook!
Love, love cabbage rolls! 🙂 Just made some last week! Thanks for entering and good luck!
This looks so good! I love vareniki with fried onions. That’s probably my favorite Slavic dish ?
Ooh, those are soo good! I have a recipe in the cookbook, too! 🙂
This looks so good! Borscht is such a Ukrainian staple! Can’t wait to try out your recipe for it.
Thank you! One of my all-time favorite dishes. Enjoy!! 🙂
Im a huge fan of Europe’s food! Love the classics we grew up with such as borscht & plov!
You can never go wrong with either one!! 🙂
Your book looks like a work of art, very beautiful!!!
My favorite recipe is shuba, but my kids love pelmeni.
Thank you for making such a wonderful book.
Thank you so much!! 🙂 I love shuba, too! 🙂
Love your beautiful book! My family enjoys pelmeni and I would like to t your variation of borcsht.
Thank you so much! 🙂 Definitely give it a try! 🙂
Hi Tatyana! ??
Crossing my fingers for luck! ??
Big congrats on your new book!!
Looking forward to making your version of Borscht, it looks so delicious and filling.
I enjoy eating Meat & Rice Stuffed Peppers, Vareniki with Fried Onions, Paska.
Of course ALL desserts are my top picks……LOL!!
Thank you for this chance to win these wonderful gifts Tatyana!
Just wanted to show my gratitude for all the support I get from everyone!! Those are all very good choices! 🙂
What a great giveaway, thank you!
Good luck everyone, I’m crossing my fingers for luck!
My favorite for sure are the desserts…..LOL!!
Have a nice day Tatyana!
Hi Dalila!! Thank you so much for entering and best of luck! 🙂
My Daughter loves borsht. She’d have anytime of the day.
Looks Good ?
Thank you! 🙂
Love your recipe! Borscht is such comfort food for me, and syrnyky too yuuuummmm!
It really is the best comfort food! 🙂
As a newly wed whos husband loves loves LOVES borscht, this is a really awesome version of making it! More simple than the way I was taught! Haha can’t wait to try it!!!??
Perfect!! I hope you both enjoy the recipe! 🙂
Too hard to chose a favorite dish, way too many delicious ones?.
Would love to win the mixer and cookbook.
Thank you for entering and good luck! 🙂
I love this borscht. I don’t make it too often but if i do I make a huge pot and it goes fast.
I always have to make a big pot, too! 🙂
Borshch is a family favorite! Will definitely be trying out this recipe soon.
Really hoping to win. In desperate need of a mixer.
I love borsht its my favorite. Also your dough recipe for pelimeni is the best. Ive been using it ever since I discovered it. Thank you for all the recipes you put out. I have made several dishes from your site and everything is delicious.
Seriously the best borscht I have tried ?? so flavorful!
Aww, thank you so much for the compliment! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe!
I love this soup. I’ve tried many different kind of russians soup but this is by far my favorite. My husband and babies love it
So glad to hear that your family enjoys it! 🙂
This looks amazing ??
Thank you! 🙂
Made this today and it was delicious!! Loved having the tri tip meat in there! Thanks for the recipe!! Also ordered your cookbook!! Can’t wait to get it!!
Awesome! 🙂 I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂 Thank you so much for ordering – hope you enjoy all the recipes!! 🙂
It’s so hard to choose a favorite recipe as so many are so so good. I’d have to say pelmeni though if I were to choose just one. I wish they weren’t so time consuming though…
Pelmeni are so delicious! And I agree with you – so time consuming! 🙂
This looks very delicious!
thank you!: )
Great recipe! My husband is Ukrainian and he lives red borscht, now I can learn and try to make a red borscht!
Hope you enjoy the recipe! 🙂
Amazing recipe! This was the first time I made Borscht and the whole family loved it! Cant wait to make it again!!! 🙂 I used off the bone lamb shanks but next time I will try it with beef. 🙂 Thank you so much and I can’t wait for the book to arrive next week so I can make more of your amazing recipes! 🙂
I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! I love the idea of using lamb meat! 🙂
Picture of your borsch is the reason why I bought your cookbook,. Though I make my own version of borsch, love trying new variations:) All of your recipes are easy to follow and authentic.
Aww, thank you so much for buying the book and hope you enjoy all the recipes! 🙂
This is my ultimate favorite russian food! So yummy and perfectly paired with homemade bread 😋
So glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂
my mom makes the best rolls with poppy seeds yum yum
I’m Chinese and I’ve made this Borscht a few times following Tatyana’s recipe. The spices (coriander, cumin, pepper, etc) make it incredibly flavorful. I actually just throw all the veggies in the pot, meaning I don’t make a separate mire-poix. The last few times, I nixed the beef roast because we’re trying to cut down on our meat intake. Regardless, my Ukrainian husband really likes it!
Hi Annie! That’s awesome! I’m so glad to hear that you and your husband have been enjoying this recipe! 🙂 It’s one of my all-time favorites!
Hello, this is a delicious recipe. My family loves it I’m making it twice in as many weeks. My family is half Russian my grandmother made borscht at least once a month. It reminds me of how hers used to taste. I always wanted a recipe that reminded me of hers this will do the trick thank you.
Hi Larry! I’m so glad to hear that you and your family have been enjoying my recipe! This recipe was my parents and they learned from their parents. I’m glad you found a recipe to remind you of your grandmother’s! I hope you continue to enjoy it!
My family always made borscht with ham, then there was corn, green beans, peas, and carrots. At the end shoe string beets were added along with fresh heavy cream. It was always served with a great artisan bread, to put the ham on. I seriously have been looking for someone who does it this way, to no avail. It’s so amazing I eat it for breakfast too.
That sounds delicious! It’s definitely a family recipe as I haven’t tried a borscht like that before. Perhaps you can adjust this recipe and include all your favorite fillings?! My dad makes this recipe but also likes to add beans! Hope you enjoy it!
Thanks for some great recipes!
I noticed that you have essentially two recipes for borscht: 1 on the video and one that was printed but not videoed. I LOVE the recipe that was not videoed (it had a bit of ketchup in it). It has such a depth of flavour that puts it in a class of its own. I made it about two weeks ago and went to make it again the other day and I see it is no longer on your website :(. I made the one from the video, and although it is good, it just doesn’t hold a candle to the other one. Any way I can talk you into putting it back on your website?
Thanks for considering.
Hi Diane! I’m so sorry about removing the original recipe. I’ll try to get it back up asap! I also have the video posted on YouTube and I’ve added the ingredients to the video description box. You can find it here: https://youtu.be/hVoNivSH9sE
Can I assume this recipe freezes well?
My store had no fresh beets this time of year so I am trying this with canned beets. They taste delicious out of the can so are better than nothing!
Yes, this would be a great soup to freeze, too! I hope you enjoy the recipe! When you have fresh beets again, try those, too! They will add even more flavor! 🙂
I assume the beets are used raw? So peel and dice raw beetroots and cook them in the soup?
I have a few other recipes that use cooked (roasted) beets so I need to clarify this as I’d love to try this recipe! 🙂
Hi! Yes, this recipe uses raw beets. They will cook beautifully with the beef. Hope you enjoy my recipe!
thanks for the refresher course on Borscht – my mother in law since passed made this regularly in the 80’s being from Odesa it was a little different then I have been searching for but yours was the closest I could find- made today ( minus the celery) but adding green pepper turned out wonderful! thanks so much God Bless Ukraine!
Wonderful! I’m so glad you enjoyed the recipe! 🙂 It’s my mom’s recipe. Her side of the family came from Poland, hence the celery. It’s one of my favorite dishes ever. Thank you for your support for Ukraine!
Amazing borscht, thank you, Tatyana! The flavours were perfect. My stepdaughter told me to tell you that she ate it faster than she’s ever eaten a soup/stew before… and she definitely gobbled it up!
I made the dish with ground pork and beef, because that is what I had on hand. And instead of tomato sauce I used tomato paste. Again, because that is what I had. It all turned out fabulous. A definite keeper!
That’s so wonderful to hear! I’m so glad my borscht recipe was a huge hit with your family! It’s my favorite soup! I’m glad it worked out well with your substitutions, too. Thank you for taking the time to leave a review!
Can I use precooked beets? If so, when would I add them to the pot?
Hi! Sure, you could use precooked, too. I would add them at the end with the cabbage, otherwise they’ll get overcooked and mushy. Just let the soup stand for about 30 minutes before enjoying.
I’m in the middle of preparing the Classic Beef Borscht (using this recipe for the first time, super excited to try out this delicious looking borscht recipe) and have learned that you dice the beets in this recipe in. Is that your personal preference vs. grating it? Or is there a beneficial reason to do it that way? My family has always used the grater, that’s why I found it interesting.
*Since beets are dark, it was hard to tell in the video wether they were diced into larger pieces or not vs other veggies? I was hoping to find out how do you dice your beats.
Also, Is it OK to substitute beef tri-tips for sirloin? Our local grocery stores don’t seem to carry it. Would have to try a butcher’s shop next time.
Thank you so much for the recipe!!
Hi! I’m so glad you found my recipe! I hope you enjoy it. In my family, we always diced the beets but I think if you grate them, that should work well, too. I think it’s just a matter of preference; it shouldn’t affect the recipe.
And yes, sirloin or beef chuck/roast will also work great for this recipe. Hope you enjoy the recipe!
Thank you so much! It came out great!
I love how you add cumin and coriander and even lemon juice as optional. It makes such a difference. The flavor was spot on. Even with minor mistakes of mine, it still came out absolutely delicious! My second day having it and it tastes even better! Those who make borscht on regular basis know what I’m talking about. My dad loves borscht and he approved! 😉
Thank you Tatyana!
So wonderful to hear! I’m so happy you loved it! 🙂 I totally agree – borscht gets better the second day. Something about letting it stand overnight works like magic. Thank you for leaving a review!
My Babushka made it, my mom, also Tatyana, made it. I never got the recipe, and want to make it for mom. She argues over the ingredient lists I’ve read from so many sites. Since your stroganoff recipe is THE BEST, I’m going to make yours. Wish me luck!
Hi Karen! I’m so glad you found my website! I hope you enjoy my borscht and the stroganoff recipe!
Hi Tatyana. I have a piece of beef arm roast. Do you think I can use it for Borscht recipe? Thanks
Hi Jessica! That would be fantastic for borscht! Make sure to let it braise until tender before adding the potatoes and cabbage. Enjoy!