This bright beetroot soup is loaded with flavor and absolutely delicious.
The recipe is made with fresh and nutritious produce. The pressure cooking makes this rich vegetable soup even more hearty!
The borscht stores well and tastes better the next day. You can even freeze it!
What you’ll need
Here is a visual overview of the ingredients you will need for this recipe with step-by-step photos and tips below. If you are looking for a simple recipe card, scroll down to the bottom of this page.
Meat – I used beef round stew meat.
Onion – choose sweet onion for a mild flavor.
Carrots – peeled and grated.
Beets – fresh beets, peeled and shredded. I used red beets; if using golden beets, the beet flavor would make this soup sweeter.
Cabbage – green or purple cabbage.
Potatoes – Russet, golden, or Yukon will work.
Liquids – use vegetable broth, beef stock, or water.
Fresh garlic – this ingredient is important, don’t skip it.
For serving – use sour cream or Greek yogurt, fresh dill, and crusty bread.
How to Make Instant Pot Borscht
Step 1. Gather the ingredients. Wash, peel, and prep all vegetables: slice cabbage, cut potatoes into small cubes, peel and dice onion, dice garlic, peel and shred beets, and slice cabbage thinly.
Step 2. Turn the instant pot to the ‘saute” setting. In the instant pot insert, add ghee or olive oil, wait till completely melted, and cover the bottom of the pot.
Step 3. Once the ghee has melted, add stew meat and cook till browned on all sides but not completely cooked through.
Step 4. Once browned, add diced onions and saute till translucent and see-through; turn the “saute” function off.
Step 5. Add the rest of the vegetables to the instant pot insert shredded beets, thinly sliced cabbage, carrots, and potatoes. Add water or veggie broth and tomato paste. Mix well to combine.
Step 6. Seal and pressure cook. Close the instant pot, press pressure cook, and set the setting to high pressure for a cooking time of 18 minutes.
Step 7. Once the timer is up, safely do a manual, quick release following instant pot instructions.
Step 8. Once the pressure release process is done, open and add flavorings: minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, dill, salt, black pepper.
Step 9. Stir well, taste, and adjust flavor based on your taste buds. Your pressure cooker borscht is ready; serve with sour cream and enjoy!
Adjust the instant pot borscht amount based on your needs. This instant pot borscht recipe makes 8 servings.
I used organic Russet potatoes with skin on, just a good scrub before, and some imperfections removal.
To speed up the process of making instant pot borscht, you can use a food processor for slicing and grating vegetables. I used a box grater.
Eat borscht with sour cream, thick plain yogurt, or a dollop of mayo. Top the bowl of borscht with fresh chopped dill. Served with sourdough or fresh rye bread.
Some variations of the borscht include adding add canned beans like red kidney beans. Rinse well and add them at the end of the cooking process.
For best flavor, add some bay leaves before pressure cooking, and remove before serving.
How to Make Borsch Taste Good?
Use quality ingredients.
Start with fresh and high-quality ingredients. Use fresh vegetables, preferably seasonal ones, to ensure the best flavor. Beets are the star ingredient in borscht, so choose ones that are firm and have vibrant colors.
Seasoning is crucial for enhancing the taste of borscht. Use a combination of herbs and spices to add depth and complexity. Common seasonings include bay leaves, dill, parsley, garlic, and black pepper. Adjust the amount of seasoning to your taste preferences.
Balance the Sourness.
Borscht typically has a slightly tangy or sour taste. Achieve the right balance by using an appropriate amount of acid. Traditionally, sour ingredients like vinegar or lemon juice are added to achieve the desired tartness. Start with a small amount and gradually increase until the desired level of sourness is reached.
Allow Time for Flavors to Develop.
Borscht often tastes better after the flavors have melded together. Allow the soup to simmer for an extended period, to allow the flavors to develop and deepen. The borscht will tatse even better the following day.
To enhance the taste and texture of borscht, consider adding a touch of richness. This can be achieved by stirring in a dollop of sour cream or yogurt just before serving. The creamy element adds a luxurious and velvety texture to the soup.
The choice of garnishes can elevate the taste of borscht. Popular options include fresh herbs like dill or parsley, a dollop of sour cream, a squeeze of lemon juice. These garnishes not only add visual appeal but also provide additional layers of flavor.
Remember that these substitutions may alter the overall flavor profile of borscht, but they provide alternatives for different dietary needs or ingredient availability.
Acid. Instead of using apple cider vinegar or lemon juice, you can use other acidic ingredients like red wine vinegar, white wine vinegar, or even a squeeze of lime juice. Adjust the amount to achieve the desired level of acidity.
Meat Substitutes. Traditional borscht often contains meat, such as beef or pork, for added flavor and richness. If you’re looking for a vegetarian or vegan alternative, you can omit the meat or replace it with plant-based protein sources like tofu, tempeh, or seitan. These substitutes can still contribute to the overall taste and texture of the soup.
Vegetable Broth. If you’re aiming for a vegetarian or vegan version of borscht, using vegetable broth instead of beef or chicken broth can provide a flavorful base for the soup. It will still add depth and savory notes to the dish.
Herbs. Dill is commonly used in borscht, but if it’s unavailable, you can use parsley or cilantro instead. Fresh herbs, such as chives or green onions, can also be used to add a burst of flavor.
Garnishes. Traditional garnishes for borscht include sour cream or yogurt, but you can substitute them with dairy-free alternatives like coconut yogurt or cashew cream.
How to store Leftovers
To store leftover borscht properly, follow these guidelines:
Cool the Borscht: Allow the borscht to cool down to room temperature before storing. Leaving it at room temperature for more than two hours can promote bacterial growth, so it’s important to refrigerate it promptly.
Use airtight containers: Transfer the leftover borscht into airtight containers or resealable bags. Make sure the containers are clean and food-safe. Divide the soup into smaller portions if desired, as this allows for easier reheating and portion control.
Refrigerate promptly: Place the containers of borscht in the refrigerator within two hours of cooking or once they have cooled down. This helps prevent bacterial growth and maintains the soup’s quality. Store it in the coldest part of the refrigerator, typically the back shelves.
Label and date: To keep track of the storage time, label the containers with the date of preparation. Borscht can typically be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3-4 days.
Reheating: When ready to enjoy the leftover borscht, reheat it on the stovetop over medium heat until it reaches a simmer. Stir occasionally to ensure even heating. Avoid boiling it vigorously to prevent overcooking and loss of flavor.
Can I freeze leftover borscht?
If you have a larger quantity of leftover borscht that you won’t consume within a few days, consider freezing it.
Place the cooled borscht in airtight freezer-safe containers or freezer bags, leaving some headspace for expansion. Frozen borscht can be stored for up to 3 months. Thaw it overnight in the refrigerator before reheating.
It’s better to thaw borscht before reheating it in the microwave or in a saucepan, especially if you decide to use water rather than broth when preparing the soup because otherwise, you will dilute its flavor.
What is borscht?
Borscht soup (beetroot soup or cabbage soup) is a bright red soup served hot, traditionally with a dollop of sour cream on top and garnished with fresh dill.
It’s a very common dish in Eastern European countries and is cooked often in the winter season.
This soup is very tasty and filling; it’s made with beets, meat, seasonings, and other vegetables.
The color of borscht varies depending on the exact ingredients used. Traditional borscht can be bright pink or deep red, but there are more variations than that.
The ingredients to make borscht vary depending on location and personal taste preferences.
Borscht is usually prepared with beef broth or chicken broth, but the vegetarian borscht option will work just fine if skipping the meat and using water or vegetable broth. When making a vegan version, you may want to replace the beef with mushrooms or tofu cubes.
Traditional borscht can be made using any kind of meat, such as beef (roasted or boiled), chicken (roasted or boiled), pork (roasted), or beef short ribs.
Beef borscht is usually made with beef broth to give it its rich flavor, which is why it’s also called “beef-beet soup” because it uses both beets and beef products.
Borscht is a versatile soup, and there are several variations of this traditional dish across different regions and culinary traditions. Each region and culinary tradition has its own unique take on this classic soup, incorporating local ingredients and flavors.
Here are some notable variations of borscht:
Ukrainian Borscht: Ukrainian borscht is perhaps the most well-known and traditional version. It typically features beets as the primary ingredient, along with cabbage, potatoes, carrots, and onions, and often includes meat like beef or pork. Ukrainian borscht has a vibrant red color and hearty flavor.
Russian Borscht: Russian borscht shares similarities with Ukrainian borscht but may have some variations in ingredients and preparation methods. It usually includes beets, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, and sometimes meat like beef or lamb. Russian borscht may also feature additional ingredients like tomatoes or tomato paste for added richness.
Polish Borscht (Barszcz): Polish borscht, or barszcz, is a beet-based soup that can be served hot or cold. It is typically made with beets, vegetable or meat broth, and flavored with garlic, marjoram, and sometimes sour cream. Barszcz is often served with traditional Polish dumplings called “pierogi” or with sour cream on top.
Lithuanian Borscht (Šaltibarščiai): Lithuanian borscht, called šaltibarščiai, is a cold beet soup that is particularly popular during the summer months. It is made with beets, kefir or buttermilk, cucumbers, dill, and sometimes boiled eggs. It has a refreshing and tangy flavor, perfect for hot weather.
Romanian Borscht (Borș): Romanian borscht, known as borș, is a sour soup made with fermented wheat bran or fermented wheat germ. It often includes vegetables like carrots, potatoes, onions, and meat or sausage. Borș has a distinct tangy flavor and is sometimes thickened with sour cream or flour.
Jewish Borscht: Jewish borscht is a variation commonly found in Jewish cuisine. It typically includes beets, cabbage, potatoes, and beef or chicken broth. The flavor profile can be enriched with sweet and sour elements like honey or lemon juice. Jewish borscht is often served with a dollop of sour cream or yogurt.
Delicious instant pot borscht loaded with vegetables and flavor and looks presentable as well! This recipe is truly simple, the most time-consuming part is to chop the vegetables, the rest is a breeze and almost hands-off cooking experience since the instant pot will do the rest of the work.
Prep veggies. Gather the ingredients. Wash, peel, and prep all vegetables: slice cabbage, cut potatoes into small cubes, peel and dice onion, dice garlic, peel and shred beets, slice cabbage thinly.
Saute meat and onions. Turn instant pot to ‘saute” setting. Add ghee, wait till completely melted, and covers the bottom of the pot. This technique is called “deglazing”. Add meat and cook till browned on all sides but not completely cooked through. Add diced onions and saute till translucent and see-through. Once cooked, turn the “saute” function off.
Pressure cook. Add the rest of the vegetables to the instant pot insert: shredded beets, cabbage, carrots, potatoes. Add water or vegetable stock and tomato paste. Mix well to combine. Close and seal the instant pot, set the setting to “high pressure” for a cooking time of 18 minutes. Once the timer is up, safely do a manual quick release following instant pot instructions.
Quick-release. Once pressure release is finished, open, add flavorings: minced garlic, apple cider vinegar, dill, salt, black pepper.
Taste and adjust. Stir well, taste, adjust flavor based on your taste buds. Borscht is ready to be served!
This recipe makes a large amount of borscht, adjust it based on your needs.I used organic potatoes so no peeling was needed, just a good scrub and some imperfections removal.To speed up the process you can use a food processor for slicing and grating vegetables. I used a box grater.Serve with sour cream, thick plain yogurt, or a dollop of mayo, top with fresh chopped dill. Served with sourdough or fresh rye bread.Some variations of the borscht include adding add canned beans like red kidney beans. Rinse well and add them at the end of the cooking process.
Natalia is a recipe developer, food photographer, and home cook. She started Flavorful Home to document her recipes and share home cooking tips. She loves creating flavorful and nutritious meals while keeping the cooking process simple and joyful!
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Hi there, I’m Natalia. I’m so glad you stopped by! Here you’ll find the most useful cooking tips and answers to food questions. I focus on creating simple recipes and making sure they are extra flavorful and worthy of your time! Browse our step-by-step recipes and explore new flavors!