What are Russia’s main dishes?

What are Russia’s main dishes?

If you’re curious about the culinary delights that Russia has to offer, look no further! In this article, we will explore the traditional main dishes that are popular in Russian cuisine. From hearty soups and stews to savory meat dishes and indulgent desserts, Russian cuisine is known for its rich flavors and diverse range of ingredients. Whether you’re planning a trip to Russia or simply want to expand your knowledge of international cuisine, join us as we delve into the world of Russia’s main dishes and discover the flavors that make this cuisine so unique.

Traditional Russian dishes


Borscht is a classic Russian soup that has gained popularity worldwide. This hearty and flavorful dish is made with beets, cabbage, potatoes, carrots, onions, and sometimes meat such as beef or pork. Its vibrant red color and rich taste make it a favorite among Russians and a must-try for visitors to the country. Borscht is often served with a dollop of sour cream, which adds a creamy and tangy element to the soup.


Pelmeni are small dumplings that are a staple in Russian cuisine. These bite-sized delights are usually filled with a mixture of ground meat, such as beef, pork, or lamb, and wrapped in a thin dough. They are typically boiled and served with butter or sour cream. Pelmeni can be enjoyed as a main course or as an appetizer, and they are loved for their simplicity and comforting taste.

Beef Stroganoff

Beef Stroganoff is a classic Russian dish that has gained international fame. This creamy and savory dish features tender beef strips cooked with onions, mushrooms, and a rich sauce made with sour cream. It is traditionally served over egg noodles or rice, and the combination of flavors creates a truly satisfying meal. Beef Stroganoff is known for its indulgent taste and is often enjoyed during special occasions or as a comforting winter dish.

These traditional Russian dishes offer a glimpse into the country’s culinary heritage and are beloved by locals and tourists alike. Whether you’re a fan of hearty soups, dumplings, or creamy beef dishes, exploring the flavors of Russia’s main dishes is sure to be a delicious and memorable experience.

Regional Specialties

Olivier Salad

One of Russia’s most famous dishes is Olivier Salad, also known as Russian Salad or Olivier. This traditional dish is a must-try when visiting the country. Olivier Salad is a delightful mix of diced boiled potatoes, carrots, pickles, boiled eggs, and peas, all combined with chopped sausages or ham. The ingredients are dressed in mayonnaise, giving the salad a creamy and tangy flavor. Often served during special occasions and holidays, Olivier Salad has become an integral part of Russian cuisine.


Pirozhki are another popular main dish in Russia. These small baked or fried buns are filled with various savory fillings, making them a versatile and delicious option. From meat and cabbage to mushrooms and potatoes, the fillings can vary depending on the region and personal preferences. Pirozhki are often enjoyed as a quick snack or paired with a bowl of soup for a satisfying meal. The crispy exterior and flavorful fillings make them a favorite among locals and visitors alike.


Ukha is a traditional Russian fish soup that holds a special place in Russian cuisine. This hearty and flavorful dish is typically made with freshwater fish such as salmon, trout, or pike. The fish is simmered in a rich broth with vegetables like onions, carrots, and potatoes, along with aromatic herbs and spices. The result is a comforting and nourishing soup that showcases the natural flavors of the fish. Often served with a side of bread or sour cream, Ukha is a popular choice, especially in coastal regions where fresh fish is readily available.

With these regional specialties, Russia offers a diverse culinary experience that reflects the country’s cultural heritage and rich flavors. Whether you indulge in the classic Olivier Salad, savor the delightful Pirozhki, or warm your soul with a bowl of Ukha, these main dishes truly showcase the essence of Russian cuisine.

Russian Desserts


Medovik is a classic Russian dessert that holds a special place in the hearts and palates of many Russians. This mouthwatering treat is a multi-layered honey cake with a rich, slightly tangy flavor. The name "Medovik" comes from the Russian word for honey, "med," which is one of the key ingredients in this delectable dessert.

Each layer of the Medovik cake is made from thin and tender honey-infused dough, which is then generously spread with a creamy filling made from a combination of sweetened condensed milk, butter, and sour cream. The layers are stacked on top of each other, creating a beautiful and irresistible dessert that is both sweet and satisfying.

Ptichye Moloko

Ptichye Moloko, which literally translates to "bird’s milk," is another popular Russian dessert that is sure to delight your taste buds. This delightful treat consists of a light and airy marshmallow-like cream covered in a thin layer of smooth chocolate. The name "bird’s milk" is used metaphorically to describe the incredible softness and delicacy of this dessert.

To make Ptichye Moloko, a sweet and fluffy cream is created by whipping egg whites, sugar, and gelatin until it reaches a cloud-like consistency. The cream is then poured into individual molds and chilled until set. Once firm, each piece is coated in a thin layer of velvety chocolate, adding a delightful contrast of flavors and textures to the dessert.

Napoleon Cake

Napoleon Cake, also known as "Napoleonka," is a beloved Russian dessert that has become a symbol of celebration and indulgence. This classic pastry features multiple layers of crispy and flaky puff pastry filled with a rich and creamy custard.

To create the Napoleon Cake, each layer of puff pastry is carefully baked until golden and crisp. The custard filling, made from eggs, milk, sugar, and flour, is cooked to a thick and velvety consistency. The cooled custard is then generously spread between the layers of pastry, forming a beautiful striped pattern when the cake is sliced.

The Napoleon Cake is often finished with a dusting of powdered sugar or a drizzle of chocolate on top, adding an elegant touch to this decadent dessert.

These Russian desserts, including Medovik, Ptichye Moloko, and Napoleon Cake, showcase the rich and diverse culinary traditions of Russia. Whether enjoyed on special occasions or as a sweet treat after a meal, these desserts are sure to leave a lasting impression with their delightful flavors and beautiful presentations.

Russia’s rich culinary heritage boasts a diverse array of main dishes that are sure to tantalize the taste buds of food enthusiasts. From the iconic Borscht, a hearty beet soup, to the succulent Pelmeni, a type of dumpling filled with various fillings, Russian cuisine offers a delightful blend of flavors and traditional cooking techniques. Whether it’s the renowned Beef Stroganoff or the beloved Olivier salad, Russia’s main dishes showcase the country’s love for hearty and comforting meals. Exploring Russia’s gastronomic offerings not only provides a glimpse into its culture and history but also guarantees a satisfying dining experience for all.

Share This Post: