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A bowl of borscht, garnished with sauerkraut, dill, and sour cream, sitting in a white bowl on a red and white tablecloth.


This traditional Ukrainian dish is hearty, nourishing, and profoundly versatile. This gluten-free recipe includes both vegetarian and vegan options, and it can be made either on the stovetop or in a slow cooker.
Prep Time 30 mins
Cook Time 4 hrs
Total Time 4 hrs 30 mins
Course Main Course, Soup
Cuisine Eastern european, Polish, Russian, Ukrainian
Servings 8 servings


  • Slow cooker (optional)


  • 2 onions diced
  • 2 teaspoons avocado oil
  • 2 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 pound chopped stew beef thawed (optional)
  • 2 medium carrots sliced into bite-sized pieces
  • 3 large beets diced (or two 15-oz cans of beets)
  • 2 small potatoes cubed
  • 4 to matoes diced (or one 15-oz can of diced tomatoes)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons lemon juice
  • 2 teaspoons dill
  • 4 cups broth vegetable or beef
  • ¼ head red cabbage shredded
  • Salt to taste
  • Black pepper to taste

For garnish

  • Dill
  • Sour cream can substitute vegan sour cream
  • Sauer kraut


  • In a small pan, sauté onions in avocado oil over medium heat. Once the onions are translucent, stir in garlic.
  • Once the garlic is aromatic (after 1-2 minutes), add thawed stew beef (if using). Saute briefly, just until the meat is slightly browned along its edges.
  • Remove from heat and transfer to a large stock pot, a Dutch oven, or your slow cooker.
  • Add carrots, beets, tomatoes, potatoes, bay leaves, lemon juice, dill, and broth to your slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-8 hours or high for 4 hours.
  • 30 minutes prior to serving, turn heat to high and stir in shredded cabbage.
  • Once cabbage is tender, add salt and pepper to taste.
  • Ladle into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with dill, sour cream (vegan or traditional) and sauerkraut as desired.
  • Borscht will stay fresh in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for several months.


If preparing on the stovetop, feel free to saute your onions in the bottom of a Dutch oven to make this a one-pot meal. Add the carrots, beets, and broth to your pot; simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in tomatoes, bay leaves, lemon juice, and dill. Bring to a simmer and cook for at least 45 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Next, mix in the tomatoes and shredded cabbage. Cook until the potatoes and cabbage are tender, at least 30 minutes. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste; ladle into bowls and serve hot. Garnish with dill, sour cream (vegan or traditional) and sauerkraut as desired.
Keyword crock pot, gluten free, slow cooker, soup, vegan, vegetarian