Cuisine of Belarus


Belarus cuisine has evolved over many centuries. Traditional dishes from Belarus remain popular – why not try some favourite Belarusian recipes?


Delicious and warming, modern-day Belarusian cuisine is a mix of two key factors:

the people’s relationship with the land and local produce

influences from neighbouring countries and migrant settlers

For these reasons, you will find that food in Belarus is quite similar to the cuisines of Russia, Lithuania, Ukraine and Poland. The European community has also contributed much to modern-day food in Belarus.

Belarus dishes are typically based on local vegetables and cereals, especially:

  • potatoes
  • beetroot
  • mushrooms
  • berries
  • barley

Potatoes deserve a special mention as they have formed the basis of many of the dishes of Belarus for hundreds of years.

The following products are popular in Belarus:

  • pork, pork sausages and salami (kolbasy), salted pork fat
  • beef
  • chicken
  • river fish such as trout, perch, carp
  • milk and dairy products as fresh white cheese (tvorog), sour cream (smetana), fermented cheese (siyr)

Typical Belarusian appetizers

Salads are popular in Belarus, in particular:

  • cabbage salad
  • beetroot salad
  • tomatoes, cucumbers and garden radish salad

Onions, garlic and greens (fennel, parsley, a coriander and basil) are widely used.

Soups are a firm favourite in Belarus too. Some of the most popular are:

  • beetroot soup (borshch)
  • bouillon
  • cabbage soup (shchy)
  • chilled soup (khaladnik)

Cold appetizers – meat rolls, balyk, ham, salads, dipping sauces, etc.

Dishes are usually served with rye bread.

Main courses in Belarus

Many traditional Belarusian dishes are potato based, including:

  • potato dumplings
  • thick potato pancakes (draniki)
  • baked grated potato pie (babka)

Potato dishes are often stuffed or accompanied with vegetables, mushrooms or meat. Other popular dishes in Belarus include:

  • pork stew (machanka)
  • stuffed chicken
  • chopped beef sausage (zrazy)
  • local ravioli (pelmeni)
  • meat or cabbage pasties (pirozhki)

Belarus desserts

Berries and dairy products form the basis of most desserts in Belarus. Popular choices are:

  • fruit (strawberries, bilberries, cranberries)
  • ice-cream, whipped cream
  • sweet cakes

Kvas is a traditional drink in Belarus, made from fermenting bread baked with wheat, rye or barley.

Kompot is a popular homemade juice, usually made with red berries, stewed in sugar and a large quantity of water. This is served cold.