Instant Pot Studenetz – Head cheese – Jellied Pork Meat

If you’re a vegetarian – look away and head over here now. Studenetz is a Ukrainian version of head cheese – with garlic. Studenetz is a staple all year round but mostly pops up at Easter.

A traditional recipe takes way over four hours to cook on the stovetop plus assembling time – but less than half that time in the Instant Pot. It’s not “instant” but end-to-end I made this recipe in 4 hours total (then refrigerated everything overnight). This recipe uses the same ingredients as my baba’s recipe.

You either love studenetz or don’t touch it.

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Instant Pot Ukrainian Farm Cheese – Dry Curd Cottage Cheese

It’s easy to make your own dry curd cottage cheese.  This recipe makes a cottage cheese with small curd – perfect for nalysnyky (Ukrainian cheese crepes) or Easter cheese babka.  My homemade Instant Pot dry curd cottage cheese is destined for perishke (or pyrizhky, basically a bread-based baked perohe or pyrogy)

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Instant Pot Braised Red Cabbage

For Christmas Eve, I like to make braised red cabbage.  It’s not a Ukrainian recipe – but what Ukrainian doesn’t like cabbage?  (Ukrainians are allowed to not like cabbage)

This braised red cabbage is colourful and easy to make ahead of time.  Just refrigerate and reheat when you’re ready to serve it.

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Instant Pot Traditional Chicken Soup

Chicken soup is one of those things that’s special for everyone.  This is the way that my baba would serve her chicken noodle soup.  First off, she made her own noodles from scratch.  But, you can get great egg noodles that have that rustic feel at the store.

The key is that she served the noodles separately from the soup.  Everyone could add that they wanted at the table.  Plus, serving cold noodles cooled down the soup for kids.

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Vegetarian / Vegan Instant Pot Borscht

Як ви готуєте борщ? (yak veh ho-too-yet-eh borsch) I’ve been learning Ukrainian with Duolingo.  It’s been fun and sometimes frustrating.  If you’d like to try it out, you can use this link which would give me a free week of the “pro” version.  The other day, the lesson asked me Як ви готуєте борщ? How do you cook borscht?

Here it is.  This is a vegan borscht with a lot of flavour, and it’s pretty straightforward.  I save time by using pre-cooked beans and pre-cooked onions.  A quick steam for the beets makes them easier to peel.  And, dill and beet leaves (or swiss chard) adds a fresh flavour in the middle of winter.

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An Instant Pot Sviata Vecheria – Ukrainian Christmas Eve Menus

Christmas Eve is coming soon, as they say.  I say it’s the most important Ukrainian food holiday of the year.

Sviata vecheria is an overwhelming meal to make.  But, a lot of the cooking time can be sped up using the Instant Pot with the recipes here on Instant Ukrainian.

A small bowl of kutiaHolubtsi / Cabbage rolls ready to eatFinished mashed beans piled in a serving dishBorscht in a bowl ready to eatMushroom vushkaVarenyky - Pyrohy Dough
Instant Pot Braised Red CabbagePidpenky with gravy ready to be servedCompote - stewed fruit with almonds ready to servePampushky - Ukrainian Donuts with poppy seed and raisin filling
There are a lot of options for making a traditional or more modern version of the Sviata vecheria meal.

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Instant Pot Mashed Beans – Kolocheni Fasoli for Sviata Vecheria

Beans are a fairly pedestrian thing. This recipe made for Sviata Vecheria, the Ukrainian twelve-dish meatless Christmas Eve meal. As such, it’s made with vegetable oil and is totally vegan. With a cup of Instant Onions, you’ll save even more time on your way to Christmas Eve.

Mashed beans may not look like much but they’re tasty and garlicky.  They’re kind of the Ukrainian version of refried beans.

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Instant Pot Nachynka – Cornmeal Casserole

For one of my favourite foods, I grew up thinking that “nachynka” (also nachinka or начинка) was the word for cornmeal.  It actually means stuffing.  Also known as Bukovynska nachynka.  But, this is a basic but delicious cornmeal side dish at heart.

Nachynka starts out as a basic polenta recipe to which you add eggs and onions and bake it in the oven.  I made this an embarrassing number of times trying to get this one right for the Instant Pot – and it’s worth it.  Instead of stirring the cornmeal on the stove for 45 minutes, the Instant Pot makes that a quick 9 minutes!

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Saturday Night Noodleburg for the Instant Pot

Cookbooks like Culinary Treasures published by the St. Basil’s Ukrainian Women’s League have been my go-to for figuring out the right proportions for the recipes here.  Originally published in 1967, it must have been popular because my copy is a reprint in 1972.

It’s the collective knowledge of the women at St. Basil’s in Edmonton, Alberta as well as women from across Canada.  Mrs. A. Hlynski of Toronto, your Saturday Night Noodleburg should be a classic – and it’s an easy casserole for an Instant Pot Saturday Night. Inspired by her 1967 recipe, I’ve adapted it for the Instant Pot and sped up the process a little bit, too.

You can’t go wrong with a casserole that’s topped with corn flakes.

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Instant Pot All-purpose Instant Onions

Onions.  They go with everything, don’t they?

It’s the first step to so many recipes – heat oil or butter and saute onions, blah, blah, blah.  So simple.  But, time-consuming.  My baba would simmer onions on low heat in butter for what seemed like hours. They never browned and these aren’t caramelized.  They’re just wonderfully cooked onions.

My solution: chop and cook a lot of onions all at once in the Instant Pot.  Maybe use some now, freeze the rest to use later.  Then you’re covered when you need a fast topping for those frozen perohe (Sure, the box or bag says perogies but you’re stubborn and call them perohe). Or, you just want a head start on filling some traditional cabbage rolls or some summertime beet leaf holubchi.  All-purpose onions are here for you.

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