Traditional Ukrainian Food: Beginners Guide

Ukrainian’s love to eat. As a result, there is a variety of dishes to choose from. Light flavours and heavenly taste is what describes Ukrainian food the best. However they’re not easy to prepare. You cannot prepare Ukrainian food as taco in seven minutes. It takes time, and it’s totally worth it. Traditional Ukrainian food consists of a lot of ingredients like meat, vegetables, seasonings, some herbs, etc. There is a diversity of ingredients and that is what brings out the unique taste it has.Fact! Ukrainians love black bread with everything. So don’t be surprised when you go to a fancy restaurant and find a complimentary bread basket.

A cuisine yet to be fully discovered by the world, I present to you 10 traditional Ukrainian recipes


A typical Ukrainian soup whose key ingredient is meat. With its light flavours, it can be very appetising. It can be made with beef, potatoes, onions, carrots and is served with a spoonful of sour cream on top.

Varenyky, aka Black Dumplings

Another Ukrainian side dish, but for a twist these dumplings are black! Filled with pork and veal, it serves for a mouth watering dish. Heavy with all the stuffed meat, these dumplings are nothing like you’ve tried before.


Savour the different layers of egg, brynza cheese and pork, all in one masterpiece of a dish. Traditional Ukrainian side dish!


Salo is a Ukrainian starter made of pig fat and is considered highly nutritious. It can be preserved for a very long time and is usually accompanied by black bread.

Ukrainian salad

This salad has everything one can ask for! It has veal, goat cheese, zucchini, tomatoes and mushrooms. To flatter its taste, it is served with a honey mustard glaze.


Relish the rich flavour of this Ukrainian bread bowl of potato pancakes with a creamy sauce made of dill, carrots and garlic. But first you need to dig your way through the bread. Totally worth burrowing!

Cabbage rolls

Dig into these mouth watering cabbage rolls stuffed with rice, beef and vegetables. Rich and savoury with typical Ukrainian sour cream on top, this one is a must try.

“7 pigs”

Quite contrary to the name, it is basically one huge pork leg with tender meat for one to satiate their appetite. It is enriched with the sharp and tangy taste of mustard sauce.


End your meals the Ukrainian way! Another delicacy perfect for dessert. These are thin pancakes stuffed with fillings of fruits and chocolate.

Ukrainian cheesecake

Fancy a cheesecake without a bottom? Well, Ukraine has one for you! This mouthwatering cheesecake has a pure dense cheesecake without a bottom layer. For a surprise, there are pieces of dried resins in the middle.That’s all for now.

Big thanks to my interns for helping me: Aiman Mumtaz and Mahima Mishra.

(c) Hackernoon


  1. Very delicious. After my last vacation in Ukraine i gained almost ten pounds. Took a while to lose them again. But since Suzanna can’t cook it wasn’t too hard for me. 😎

  2. Yeah! Now you’re talking! Great stuff, but not salo; I can’t understand why they like that nasty stuff, when all the other dishes are world class.

    • I agree, I’ve never eaten salo, and have no intention of doing so. In the UK that’s the part we throw away, or give to the dog.

      • There is one way to make it palatable. (Just). Which is wafer thin slices on fresh Ukrainian black bread with garlic and dill. (And a shitload of horilka). Funnily enough it was served to me in the company of a Jewish doctor (!) who swore by it. He believed it lowers cholesterol, prevents diabetes and promotes good health for the liver. One of those weird but true stories.

        • What does amaze me about Ukraine, the supermarkets are full of pork, yet you can’t find bacon anywhere. I feel they are missing a trick here. You can buy a joint of pork, salo, sausages in a million varieties, yet no bacon ham or gammon.

          • When I was there, it was incredibly hard to find fillet steak, despite the place being full of cows and impossible to find fresh sea fish, apart from imported Norwegian farmed salmon, which was unpleasant to taste. It seems to me that anyone offering these two basic products, locally sourced, will make good money!

            • Not so many cows in Ukraine now, or sheep either. Farmers seem to concentrate on pork and chicken. Most of the fresh fish probably ends up in the south of the country, that way they don’t need to pay for transport.

              • Cows are good money. McDonald’s Europe, based in Bavaria, has a huge need for cows (and worms 😂) to make burgers. Chickens are inferior and one does not get much cash for exporting them. Cows and beef could be a good investment.

      • Aha! That’s why salo saved thousands of lives during the Holodomor, even the Soviets didn’t want it. That’s usually when I eat it is after a toast or memorial to the Holodomor. Salo was the hero :))

Enter comments here: