What makes Ukrainian breakfast foods unique, and how do they set the stage for a day filled with flavor and energy?
Ukrainian breakfasts are all about hearty, wholesome ingredients. They combine both traditional recipes and modern twists to give Ukrainian food that special touch.
I can’t lie, my breakfast isn’t always full of traditional foods and authentic recipes. I love avocado toast and chia pudding.
But, when I do get the chance to start my day with a traditional Ukrainian breakfast, I know I’m in for something special.
So what is a typical Ukrainian breakfast? Let’s find out!
11 Most Popular Ukrainian Breakfast Foods
Check out #2 to discover the Ukrainian version of pancakes and one of my staple foods for breakfast!
A popular breakfast dish in Ukraine is syrnyky, which translates to quark or cottage cheese pancakes.
These delicious pancakes are created with a combination of flour, eggs, and farmer’s cheese (cottage cheese) that are fried until golden brown.
Syrnyky are a go-to breakfast item because of the comfortable combination of sweetness and creaminess they provide, which is enhanced when served with sour cream or jam.
The word “syr” means cheese (and curd cheese) in Ukrainian, so it’s safe to say that these pancakes hold a special place in Ukrainian cuisine.
I recommend everyone try syrnyky at least once!
Traditional Ukrainian pancakes called oladky have a different texture and taste from the American ones.
Oladky are often made with a batter that is thicker and fluffier, consisting of flour, eggs, milk and baking soda. Yogurt, kefir, or soured milk are also common components.
Fruit preserves, fresh berries, or powdered sugar are some of the toppings I like to put on them. They’re one of my favorite hearty breakfasts of all time!
A variety of sweet or savory ingredients can be stuffed into thin pancakes called mlyntsi, which are also known as Ukrainian crepes.
Rounds of delicate, paper-thin batter, consisting of flour, eggs, and milk, are cooked and filled with a variety of ingredients to make nalysnyky.
Traditional fillings can be sweet, like cottage cheese, fruit preserves or poppy seeds or savory, such as ground beef or mushrooms.
A hearty and healthy Ukrainian morning staple is kasha, or porridge. Kasha is a hot grain dish typically made with buckwheat, semolina, rice or oats and cooked with milk or water.
Honey or dried fruits and nuts are common sweeteners and texture enhancers in Ukrainian cuisine.
In addition to being a tasty breakfast option, kasha also gives you a healthy boost to get your day started.
Ukrainian potato pancakes, known as deruny, are a delicious savory breakfast treat.
After combining grated potatoes with onions, eggs, and flour, they are fried in a skillet until they turn a golden brown color.
Deruny are traditionally accompanied by a dab of sour cream.
I think that deruny can also make an amazing snack between meals and you can learn more about traditional Ukrainian snacks here.
The Ukrainian dish “Linyvi Varenyky” means “Lazy Dumplings” in English.
The “lazy” moniker for these dumplings comes from the fact that they’re easier to prepare than the classic Ukrainian varenyky (dumplings) that require all the precise folding and sealing.
Lazy dumplings are little pieces of dough, sometimes with cottage cheese, that are boiled and usually accompanied by sour cream or fruit jam.
I love the savory version of this dish too, as these dumplings can be made with potatoes and served with sour cream and fresh herbs.
Chicken Kyiv (Kotleta Po-Kyivsky)
Chicken Kyiv isn’t usually served for breakfast, but every now and then it will make an appearance.
A chicken cutlet filled with herb-infused butter then breaded and cooked to perfection is the star of this popular dish from the Ukrainian capital.
As a result, Ukrainian cuisine shines through in this rich and decadent breakfast option, perfect for people who like a heartier start to the day.
You can also try this Chicken Kyiv casserole for a heartier take on the classic recipe!
Holubtsi (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
Ukrainian holubtsi, or stuffed cabbage rolls, are a hearty and flavorful way to start the day.
Cabbage leaves are filled with a mixture of rice, ground meat, and spices, and then simmered in a flavorful tomato sauce.
This meal is a popular choice for a full breakfast because of the exquisite blend of textures and tastes it produces.
I also love making holubtsi with leftover potatoes and mushrooms, and they taste amazing for breakfast.
One flavorful and protein-packed choice that is common in Ukrainian breakfasts is homemade sausage (kovbasa).
These sausages are often grilled or pan-fried after being prepared with a combination of pork, salt, pepper, bay leaf and garlic stuffed in a hog casing.
Homemade sausages are a delicious and filling addition to breakfast when served with sides such as eggs, fried potatoes, and pickles.
Ukrainian sausage is also an integral part of the Easter basket so you can learn more about it in my article on Ukrainian recipes for Easter.
Ukrainian breakfasts sometimes include kefir, a fermented milk beverage. You can drink this acidic, probiotic-rich drink straight up or mix it with your favorite breakfast cereal, granola, or pancake mix.
The digestive advantages and refreshing flavor of kefir make it a popular breakfast item among Ukrainians.
For additional drink inspiration to complement your breakfast or any meal, check out my guide to the most popular Ukrainian beverages.
Skillet Breakfast Potatoes
Skillet breakfast potatoes are often served for breakfast in Ukraine or at least where I’m from in Western Ukraine.
It’s a hearty dish made with potatoes, onions, and spices that can be eaten as is or served with fried eggs in a skillet.
You can easily customize Ukrainian breakfast potatoes by adding other ingredients such as meat, sausage, or mushrooms.
What’s your favorite dish on this list? Share your thoughts in the comments!
If you’re curious about more sweet dishes, you can read my article on Ukrainian desserts. If you’re looking for more unusual ideas, you can check out these weird Ukrainian foods to explore peculiar tastes.
11 Typical Ukrainian Breakfast Foods (#1 is a must-try)
- Kasha (Porridge)
- Linyvi Varenyky
- Chicken Kyiv (Kotleta Po-Kyivsky)
- Holubtsi (Stuffed Cabbage Rolls)
- Homemade Sausages
- Skillet Breakfast Potatoes