10+ Most Popular Ukrainian Dishes (With Photos!)

Ukrainian cuisine is a treasure trove of flavors and traditions, shaped by the country’s diverse landscape and strong agricultural heritage. The unique combination of ingredients and cooking techniques has given rise to a wide range of comforting and delicious dishes that have been passed down through generations.


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In the realm of soups, Borscht stands out as a beloved favorite among both vegetarians and meat-eaters. This vibrant red hot beetroot soup is often paired with a tangy dollop of sour cream or plain yogurt, accompanied by a side of crispy garlic doughnuts.

Borscht’s versatility lies in its ability to be prepared using various meats such as chicken, fish, or other types for meat-eaters, and without any meat for vegetarians. The soup is typically made with an abundance of sour beets, which are combined with broth, sautéed vegetables like cabbage, carrots, onions, potatoes, and tomatoes.

What’s unique about Borscht is its adaptability – it can be served hot or cold, and in various forms: a hearty one-pot meal, a clear broth, or even a smooth drink. This quintessential Ukrainian dish has earned a special place in the country’s culture, with Borscht being a staple at holidays, everyday meals, as well as funeral wakes.

Paska (Easter Bread)

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In Ukraine, a revered Easter tradition called Paska has deep roots in Eastern Orthodox culture and Byzantine heritage. On Holy Saturday, families traditionally fill their Easter baskets with pysanky eggs, kovbasa sausage, butter, salt, and other ceremonial foods. This bounty is then blessed at church on Easter morning before being devoured in feasts featuring paska bread, cold meats, and other treats. Paska remains a staple in Ukrainian homes during the Easter season, as well as in markets throughout the country. Contemporary versions typically sport a white glaze made from sugar and egg, adorned with colorful wheat grains or poppy seeds. However, an old-world custom persists: crafting dough ornaments inspired by spring’s themes for the paska. Additionally, it’s believed that whispering positive thoughts to the dough as you work on it – a tradition passed down through generations – yields the most scrumptious results.


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In Ukraine, a staple comfort food is the humble Varenyky, small dumplings with a surprising array of fillings. From vegetables to meat, cheese, sauerkraut, eggs, mushrooms, and even fruit, each bite packs a punch of flavor. Typically boiled or steamed, they’re finished off with a drizzle of oil or melted butter, and served with a generous dollop of sour cream.

While the fillings may be simple in concept, preparing Varenyky is a time-consuming process that requires patience and dedication. But despite the effort required, these little bundles of joy are often found at small village gatherings and city food festivals, where the variety of fillings on offer can range from traditional choices like cottage cheese and mashed potatoes to more adventurous options like olives, pumpkin, nettle, or even strawberries.

For those short on time, Varenyky can also be purchased ready-made in Ukrainian supermarkets. Simply thaw, boil for 10 minutes, and enjoy the fruits of someone else’s labor.


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In Ukraine, a beloved dish is the humble holubtsi, which essentially consists of boiled cabbage rolls. The process of preparing these rolls involves wrapping each leaf of cabbage around a filling made from cereal and meat – although some variations use vine leaves instead. Regional nuances play a significant role in shaping the recipe, with corn grits being the preferred choice in the Carpathian region and buckwheat taking center stage in Poltava. The cereal component is lightly cooked and combined with ingredients such as fried onions, shkvarky (pork cracklings), or raw minced meat to create a flavorful base. For added variety, holubtsi can be stuffed with vegetables like carrots or mushrooms, which are typically lightly fried before being stewed in a mixture of tomato and sour cream or another sauce.

Deruni (Potato Pancakes)

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Deruni, a beloved staple in northern Ukraine, takes the form of shallow-fried pancakes crafted from a harmonious blend of grated potato, matzo meal or flour, and a binding agent like egg or applesauce. The mixture is often infused with pungency from grated garlic or onion and a pinch of seasoning. These delectable treats are typically served alongside a dollop of creamy sour cream or yogurt. A traditional Ukrainian Sunday dish, Deruni is frequently devoured at breakfast or dinner, offering a comforting and indulgent respite from the day’s hustle and bustle.

Olivier Potato Salad

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In Ukraine, salads are an integral part of the culinary landscape, often featuring simple ingredients that are readily available in the country. A classic Ukrainian salad typically consists of fresh or salted cucumbers and sauerkraut, paired with onions and oil. One popular variation is the Olivier potato salad, which is a staple at any Ukrainian gathering. While it can also be found in Russia, the ingredient profiles differ depending on the establishment. The dish typically includes a choice of meat, potatoes, hard-boiled eggs, and peas as core components. Variations may include onion, cucumbers, and sour cream instead of mayonnaise. Interestingly, this salad gained popularity during the Soviet era when a more affordable version was created to replace the original, which is believed to have been named after a Belgian chef who introduced it at a Moscow restaurant in the 1860s.


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In Ukrainian cuisine, a beloved cold dish that may not be as well-known outside of the country is holodets, also referred to as aspic. This traditional delicacy has been passed down through generations and is typically made by boiling pork leg for an extended period of time – around 6-7 hours – until it reaches a thick jelly-like consistency. The resulting meat jelly is then infused with flavors from garlic and spices, making it a staple at Ukrainian winter celebrations and Easter gatherings. Interestingly, similar dishes can be found in Russia and other Eastern European countries, highlighting the shared cultural heritage of these regions.

Chicken Kyiv

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Chicken Kyiv, a beloved staple in Ukrainian cuisine, has gained popularity worldwide, but its origins remain rooted in Ukraine. This delectable dish typically consists of pounded chicken fillets wrapped around a generous serving of cold butter, which is then coated with eggs and breadcrumbs before being either fried or baked to perfection.

Interestingly, Western versions often incorporate garlic butter for added flavor, whereas traditional Ukrainian recipes stick to regular butter and add fresh herbs like parsley and dill for an extra burst of freshness. This subtle difference highlights the dish’s adaptability while maintaining its core essence.

Nalesniki (Nalysnyky)

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Delicate nalesniki crepes are a Ukrainian staple, typically filled with a blend of cheese and dill, then smothered in tangy sour cream and baked to perfection. While cheese and dill is a classic combination, other popular fillings include earthy mushrooms and sweet treats made with canned berries or creamy cottage cheese. The traditional preparation involves using wheat, buckwheat flour, or cornmeal as the base, often served as a palate cleanser between the main course and dessert. Interestingly, this beloved dish plays a significant role in Shrovetide, a Christian period of preparation leading up to Lent, where it’s a cherished tradition among Ukrainians.

Walnut Stuffed Prunes

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For many Ukrainians, the festive season wouldn’t be complete without a nostalgic treat that evokes memories of childhood. A classic dessert that’s surprisingly straightforward to prepare is one that combines the sweetness of prunes with the crunch of walnuts and the creaminess of sugar and sour cream. The indulgent delight involves filling prunes with chopped walnuts, then drizzling them in a sweet and tangy cream made from the simple ingredients. To add an extra touch of luxury, some people like to sprinkle shredded chocolate on top for decorative purposes. This dessert is best served fresh or chilled for a couple of hours to allow the cream to set and intensify its flavor. What’s more, the ingredients are not only easy to find in Ukraine but also affordable, making this comfort food a true treat for those looking for a homemade indulgence.

Final Verdict

Comforting Ukrainian cuisine is a treasure trove of hearty, flavorful dishes that evoke the country’s rich history. Hearty bowls of borscht, crispy potato pancakes, and sweet walnut-stuffed prunes are just a few examples of the culinary delights that can be found on Ukrainian tables. What sets these dishes apart is their deep connection to Ukraine’s past, as well as their reliance on locally sourced ingredients.

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