What to Serve With Borscht?

What To Serve With Borscht
Image by Liz West via Wikimedia

Borscht, or beet soup, as it’s known in some countries, typically contains beets as the primary ingredient. And can be served hot or cold, depending on your preferences.

When serving this traditional Ukrainian dish to guests, it’s important to pair it with appropriate food. It will help you enjoy borscht’s full flavor and create the perfect meal combination that complements its distinct taste.

This guide features the best foods for what to serve with borscht so that you can impress your family and friends at your next dinner party.

1. Rice

This is the first on our list of what to serve with borscht. Saffron rice is a Persian dish that is traditionally served with Iranian borani (platters) or Persian stews. The saffron rice can be steamed, cooked in boiling water, or fried. 

Traditionally, steamed or boiled saffron rice will be used. But it can also be fried and tossed in butter like polenta. 

The purpose of the saffron rice is twofold: to serve as a starch and carbohydrate filler alongside the borscht and to provide flavor through turmeric and other spices. If you want to serve it with borscht, saffron rice is a great option. 

2. Fresh Garden Salads

What to serve with borscht? Any fresh garden salad will be great, but some favorites are arugula, beet greens, and spinach. 

For this recipe, if you have baby spinach and arugula on hand. You will be debating between the two types of lettuce. In the end, 

Meanwhile, Baby leaf spinach has a bit more flavor than baby leaf arugula due to its intense peppery taste. So it adds some kick to an otherwise mild borscht soup, while arugula balances out any spiciness in an earthy fashion.

3. Rye Bread

Rye bread is the perfect accompaniment for borscht. Its flavor enhances the sweet and savory taste of this Ukrainian soup.

Rye bread can be served in two ways by simply slicing a loaf and setting it out alongside bowls of borscht or by spooning a slice of rye into the soup and tearing off some of the crust as you eat. 

If opting for the latter, make sure also to use an additional spoon to scoop up every last drop. It is also customary in Ukraine to offer guests an extra piece at the end, often crowned with a dollop of sour cream or creme fraiche. So why not toast a piece right now?

4. Garlic Bread

Garlicky, buttery, and crispy on the outside. Soft and chewy on the inside. This is everyone’s favorite way to serve a humble loaf of bread. 

Topping it off with a spoonful of borscht, or bortsch as they call it in Russia, creates a perfect combination of tangy tomato soup and earthy beets seasoned with garlic.

5. Mashed Potatoes

Mashed potatoes are a popular side dish for borscht. As the potatoes break down, they thicken the soup and can help people who need to chew a bit more than usual as their mouths heal.

They add texture and saltiness, too. You can make them in advance and serve them with your borscht when you’re ready.

Potatoes aren’t always considered a winter food, but that doesn’t mean they’re not delicious all year round. 

We often think of mashed potatoes as something that is served alongside turkey, gravy, cranberry sauce, and green beans on Thanksgiving day.

6. Cucumber Salad

Cucumber salad is often served as a side dish for borscht, but it also makes for a refreshing summertime snack. Cucumbers are often used in salads because they’re low in calories and easy to include in many dishes 

their mild flavor can blend nicely with other flavors while still adding crispness and crunch. I always enjoy this chilled cucumber salad recipe on a hot day. If you are wondering what to serve with borscht, you can’t go wrong with cucumber salad. 

7. Fruit Salad

Borscht, the red beet soup often served during the Christmas and New Year seasons in Eastern Europe and Russia, is packed with goodness.

When it comes to what to serve with borscht, a simple fruit salad is about as refreshing as you can get!

Rather than traditional accompaniments like herring or other fish, many people enjoy fruit salad when they have borscht. 

A wide variety of fruits can be used in a fruit salad and can be made using dried fruits if fresh ones are unavailable.

To make a basic recipe, you will need some apples and oranges. Dice up each of these into pieces so they will be ready to eat.

8. Roasted Vegetables

Looking for a tasty side dish for your bowl of borscht? We have got the perfect recipe that we guarantee will be a hit. It is perfect for what to serve with borscht.

This hearty and savory dish bursts with flavor. We recommend adding any leftover roasted vegetables as a garnish in the broth at the end. 

Roasted vegetables are quick and easy to make, but even if you are short on time, these roasted broccoli and mushrooms should satisfy your taste buds!


It may not be obvious, but a few foods make fantastic borscht accompaniment. Applesauce is another delicious side dish that offers a tart contrast to the sweetness of the cabbage-based soup. That rounds out our list of what to serve with borscht.

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