NO CHOPPING REQUIRED! This Ukrainian Borscht is a Shortcut borscht soup (with beef) recipe using canned beets. It's a quick (done in 30 minutes), homemade healthy and easy dinner recipe that is low-fat and delicious.
You can realistically get home from work and make it that evening. If you are not a red meat eater, then substitute ground chicken or turkey. I have done this and you really can't tell the difference. Or for a vegetarian borsct, simply leave out the meat and use vegetable soup broth instead of beef. Even with the extra lean ground beef, this Shortcut Ukrainian borscht is very Weight Watchers friendly too!
I love being Ukrainian for a multitude of reasons....
We have awesome food and dancing, among other things. Really, the only part I am not a fan of is the long, complicated last names, of which I was plagued with for the majority of my life (then happily ditched when I got married). And then there's also the stereotype of being cheap (like borscht). That is not a fun part of being Ukrainian either. Because, well, I'm not cheap.
Although I do love borscht (and all Ukrainian cuisine)! I grew up on it. But Baba's traditional Ukrainian borscht takes a long time to make and I don't have the time that she had in the kitchen. I'm guessing you don't either. That is exactly why I created this quick and easy Ukrainian beef borscht recipe with canned beets. And it is THE BEST! Baba would definitely have approved.
When I had kids and became a working Mom, I had even less time for making traditional recipes, so shortcut cooking became even more necessary. You don't have to chop anything for this borscht and it calls for canned beets. And you don't have to be Ukrainian to love it either, especially when it's this quick and delicious!
Along with lean ground beef, I have also added non-fat evaporated milk as an option in this recipe. I love using it, as it gives the soup a rich, creaminess. I got the idea from a friend who once made me borscht with whipping cream and it was absolutely magical! But since I don't want all the fat and calories from whipping cream, I used non-fat evaporated milk and trust me, it's just as divine.
For this Beef Borscht recipe, you'll need:
- ground beef (extra lean)
- broccoli slaw
- beef broth/beef stock
- canned beets (sliced)
- canned tomatoes (diced)
- onion powder
- onion flakes
- celery seed
- brown sugar
- red wine vinegar
- bay leaves
- dill (fresh is best)
- evaporated milk (fat-free) optional
NOTE: It will lighten the borscht a little. Here is how it looks with the evaporated milk added in:
📖 Variations & Substitutions
- Vegetarian Borscht: skip the meat and use vegetable broth/vegetable stock
- Ground beef: you can use ground turkey or ground chicken to further lighten up this recipe
- Dill: fresh dill is ideal, but you can use dried dill (just use ½ the amount)
- Broccoli Slaw - you can substitute a coleslaw mix
- Cook up ground beef ahead of time and keep it portioned in zip lock bags in the freezer until needed. Then just drop it into the soup and it defrosts while cooking.
- Cook up the whole bag of broccoli slaw, then freeze the remainder for next time
- Use minced or pureed garlic in a jar- this saves a lot of time mincing garlic
👪 Serving Size
This Ukrainian borscht soup makes 6 servings. However, you can half, double or triple the recipe by clicking on the blue serving number and selecting the number of servings you'd like. The ingredient quantities will automatically adjust.
This Beef Borscht is Weight Watchers friendly @ 2 WW points on my plan. You can plug it into the app to see how many WW points it is on your plan!
You can eat this Ukrainian Borscht as a side dish, but it's a hearty soup and really is a meal in and of itself. I love to serve it with a side salad or rye bread, crusty bread or bread sticks. For a lighter bread, try it with WW friendly Cloud Bread!
However, if you want to serve it as a side, it's a great starter for my Ukrainian Daughter's Crock pot Casserole (shown) and goes well with a Ukrainian meal of Potato and Cottage Cheese Perogies, Ukrainian Cabbage Rolls and Air Fryer Kielbasa (Kovbasa).
You can use a Dutch oven(affiliate link) to brown the ground beef, then make the borscht soup in the same pot (after draining the beef) or simply use a frying pan and a large pot.
Store this leftover Ukrainian Borscht in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 5 days. This beef borscht soup freezes well for up to 3 months.
❔Frequently Asked Questions
Traditionally, borscht is served with a dollop of sour cream and sprig of fresh dill on top and rye bread on the side!
Borscht has a nice balance of sweet and sour and a bit of an earthy taste from the beets.
- Cook ground beef to a minimum temperature of 160 °F (71 °C)
- Do not use the same utensils on cooked food, that previously touched raw meat
- Wash hands after touching raw meat
- Don't leave food sitting out at room temperature for extended periods
- Never leave cooking food unattended
- Use oils with high smoking point to avoid harmful compounds
- Always have good ventilation when using a gas stove
See more guidelines at USDA.gov.
So, if you are looking for an easy beef borscht recipe, this is your soup! Enjoy....
If you love Ukrainian food, then give my other Ukrainian recipes a try!
For more great Ukrainian recipes, follow my Ukrainian Food Board on Pinterest!~
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📋 Ukrainian Borscht Soup Recipe (with beef) Recipe
- 1 500 g pkg extra lean ground beef approximately, or substitute ground chicken or turkey or no meat for vegetarian
- ½ pkg (340g/12 oz) fresh washed broccoli slaw about 1.5 cooked cups - see NOTES for recipe for remaining ½ bag of broccoli slaw
- 4 cups water
- 6 cups beef broth use vegetable broth for vegetarian
- 2 14 oz cans sliced beets drained
- 1 28 oz can diced tomatoes and juices
- 1 teaspoon minced garlic
- 3 tablespoon onion flakes
- 1 teaspoon onion powder
- ½ teaspoon celery seed
- 2 tablespoon brown sugar
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 ½ tablespoon dill fresh is best, but freeze-dried or dry is fine (just use ½ the amount)
- ½ 12 oz can fat-free evaporated milk OPTIONAL
- Dollop of sour cream (light or fat-free) or non fat greek yogurt (optional)
- Add 4 cups of water to broccoli slaw and cook in microwave safe bowl with lid for 10 minutes in microwave, removing and stirring during cooking time (at halfway point – 5 minutes). Drain when done.
- While broccoli slaw is cooking, brown ground beef.
- Add all the remaining ingredients (except evaporated milk and Greek yogurt/sour cream) to large pot and bring to a boil on high on stove top.
- Reduce to medium and add drained ground beef and drained broccoli slaw. Continue to simmer on medium for about 15 minutes until broccoli slaw pieces are tender.
- Remove from heat and stir in evaporated milk (if desired). Remove bay leaf and serve with dollop of sour cream (about 1-2 tsp), if desired.
This really does look easy Terri! Love that you add in the notes for us veggie lovers. I do buy the pre minced garlic. Great tips on making larger portions and then freezing them.
Thank you, Sue. Yes, not everyone likes the red meat in it (I was thinking mostly of you when I wrote it)! 🙂
Megan @ Food & Whine
This is so great! I love borscht but it does take a while so I usually don't bother, but this version sounds perfect for me. I'm not Ukrainian but my half-sisters are, and we celebrate Ukrainian Christmas with them every year. Borscht is one of my favourite parts.
Thanks Megan! I hope you enjoy it and have a wonderful Ukrainian Christmas!
The Olive Blogger
Thanks for sharing this, I too grew up on the traditional stuff (which I loooove but have no patience to make) this will make it to our table a lot more often now! Looking forward to giving it a try (maybe I can even turn my hubby into a Borscht lover!)
Thanks-I hope you like it! Good luck converting hubby... 🙂
I'm about to harvest all the beets from my garden and this is a great way to use them up! Soup is one of the most difficult dishes to photograph. I think you did a great job!
Thanks! Fresh beets are even better! 🙂
Do you have to use broccoli slaw? Can you use broccoli florets instead, or should I skip it entirely?
Sorry for the delay in getting back to you, but yes, you could substitute broccoli florets or use regular coleslaw in addition!
FANTASTIC! Even though I had to substitute with what I had: ( to broccoli florets instead of slaw, balsamic vinegar instead of red wine vinegar, chuck roast instead of ground meat, still the best !!! Loved the sweet and sour combo!
I'm so glad you loved it and all the substitutions worked! 🙂