Special Report

20 Classic Ukrainian Dishes

Ukraine is one of the largest and most populous European countries, and its traditional cuisine is incredibly varied. As the country faces the Russian invasion, we’re honoring the resiliency of the people of Ukraine by celebrating its most popular foods.

Ukraine is known as “the breadbasket of Europe” due to the crops that grow in its abundance of rich, dark soil. Therefore, many of its traditional foods involve grains such as wheat and rye; many also descend from ancient peasant dishes that made good use not only of grains but also of such staples as potatoes, cabbage, mushrooms, and beets. (Grains, seed oils, and other agricultural products are among the items exported to some of Ukraine’s top trading partners.)

Another hallmark of Ukrainian cuisine is the multi-stage cooking process of many dishes; they’re fried and then stewed, for example. Pork and sour cream also make regular appearances.  

The majority of Ukraine’s staple dishes can also be found in some form in other Eastern European, including Russia. Some are Russian in origin, in fact, but have also become typical in Ukraine – yet another indication of the extent to which the two countries and cultures are intertwined. 

Borscht, the well-known beet soup that has countless iterations, is the national dish of Ukraine – where it is known as borshch. Other dishes virtually synonymous with the country’s cooking include varenyky (boiled dumplings similar to Poland’s pierogi) and a stuffed cabbage preparation called holubtsi.  

To assemble a list of classic dishes of Ukrainian cuisine, 24/7 Tempo consulted several epicurean and cultural sites, including Ukrainian Food, Taste Atlas, Chef’s Pencil, and The Culture Trip.

Click here to see 20 classic dishes of Ukrainian cuisine

Classic Ukrainian cuisine is full of variety and bursting with big, comforting flavors. This list includes a wide range of soups, salads, baked goods, appetizers, and main dishes. Perhaps they’ll inspire you to cook up some traditional Ukrainian fare, and share the cuisine of Ukraine with your own family.

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