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. Twelve dishes!

For any cook, 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. Plus, your vegetarian friends and family members rejoice.

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 CabbageInstant Pot beets and mushrooms served in a bowlInstant Pot marinated beetsPidpenky 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.

Skip to my Instant Pot Christmas Eve Menu

If you’re not Ukrainian (or Eastern European), Christmas Eve or Sviata Vecheria is an epic meal of twelve meatless dishes.  It has pre-Christian roots although the traditions have adopted Christian meanings.

What’s the real definition of “meatless” here?

  • No dairy products are used – no butter, no cheese, no cream
  • No meat is used
  • Fish is not a meat

Given the central role of butter in many Ukrainian dishes, recipes substitute vegetable oil for butter.  This is typically Mazola (corn) oil or canola oil.  So, this is a big vegan feast if vegans skip the fish.

Half of these twelve dishes involve cooked onions.  If you make one big batch of Instant Onions cooked in vegetable oil instead of butter, you’re way ahead of getting this done.

I’ll be adding new recipes all the time to complete a full Sviata vecheria meal.  Subscribe to the Instant Ukrainian newsletter for updates.

An Instant Pot Menu for Sviata vecheria

These are some of the recipes that bring everything together with the Instant Pot.  It’s still a lot of work to make twelve dishes – you’ll just be making those dishes faster.

Kutya

Kutia or Kutya is the first dish of the meal.  It’s deeply symbolic of the harvest and paganism and Christianity all at the same time.  I’ve got you covered with three different takes on boiled wheat.

Traditional Instant Pot Kutia
The traditional first-course of any Ukrainian Christmas Eve supper.
Check out this recipe
Modern Instant Pot Kutia
A more up-to-date version of kutia that uses some unconventional ingredients.
Check out this recipe
Gluten-free Instant Pot Traditional Kutia
A gluten-free alternative to the traditional Ukrainian wheat dish served on Christmas Eve
Check out this recipe

Borscht

Beet soup is really the definitive Ukrainian soup.  It’s even more special on Christmas Eve if you include a mushroom or fish dumpling in each bowl.

Vegetarian / Vegan Instant Pot Borscht
This brilliantly coloured vegetable-based soup is great for a cold winter day - or as part of Sviata Vecheria, the Ukrainian Christmas Eve meal.
Check out this recipe
Mushroom Vushka - Dumplings for borscht
These tiny parcels of mushrooms are the best dumplings inside a vegetarian borscht. These are made for freezing.
Check out this recipe

Cabbage rolls and other cabbage dishes

Rice or buckwheat filled cabbage rolls are an essential part of the Christmas Eve meal.  You can make them a few days ahead of time and keep them in the fridge until you’re ready to load up your oven.

Instant Pot Sour Cabbage Rolls - Holubtsi
Cabbage rolls made even better with sour cabbage. And, two cooking methods - finishing in the Instant Pot or in the oven.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls / Holubtsi
Speed up traditional meatless cabbage rolls with the Instant Pot
Check out this recipe
Three small cabbage rolls on a plate

Instant Pot Braised Red Cabbage
Braised red cabbage isn't a traditional Ukrainian dish. But, it makes for a colourful side for Christmas Eve. It's easy to make ahead!
Check out this recipe
  • Sauerkraut and peas

Beans

Beans are another staple that appear on Christmas Eve. I’ll be adding more options for different bean recipes like “Beeb” and green beans.

Instant Pot Mashed Beans - Kolocheni Fasoli for Sviata Vechera
A traditional dish for Ukrainian mashed beans - updated and sped up using an Instant Pot.
Check out this recipe
Ukrainian Mashed Beans for Sviata Vechera
  • Beeb (broad beans)

Pyrohy – Perogies – Varenyky

Dumplings are a highlight of the Christmas Eve meal.  When sticking to the meatless nature, pyrohy (pay-ro-hae) as my family calls them, are without any cheese.

Superstitious Ukrainians will tell you that young unmarried men and women count the number of dumplings on their plate.  If the number was even, they would get married in the coming year.

Baba's best perohe-varenyky-pyrogy dough
This is the best ever dough for whatever manner of Eastern European dumplings you make. It's easy to work with and simple to make.
Check out this recipe
Pyrohy-Varenyky dumplings lined up in neat rows
  • Potato and dill filling
  • Sauerkraut filling
  • Mushroom filling
  • Raisin filling
  • Poppy seed filling

Vegetable dishes

Instant Pot Pidpenky (Mushrooms) with Gravy
This traditional recipe for dried mushrooms is part of the standard menu for the Ukrainian Christmas Eve dinner - Sviata vecheria. The Instant Pot saves over a day of soaking time and makes preparing this dish a lot easier.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Beets and Mushrooms with roasted garlic
Beets and mushrooms - served cold or at room temperature - is great for a summer salad or an easy vegetarian side dish for Sviata Vecheria.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot beets and mushrooms served in a bowl
Instant Pot Marinated Beets
An easy side dish for any meal. These beets are served cold after a quick prep time.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot marinated beets

Desserts

Pampushky - Ukrainian Donuts with Poppy Seed Filling
Pampushky are filled Ukrainian donuts with a sweet yeast dough filled with poppy seeds and raisins.
Check out this recipe
Instant Pot Ukrainian Compote - Stewed fruit
A super easy recipe to make with dried fruit, and a simple end to a big Christmas Eve dinner.
Check out this recipe
Compote - stewed fruit with almonds ready to serve

My Sviata vecheria

  1. Instant Pot Modern Kutia
  2. Instant Pot Borscht with mushroom vushka (small mushroom dumplings)
  3. Rollmops (bought from my local fishmonger)
  4. Instant Pot Cabbage Rolls / Holubtsi
  5. Salmon fillet with dill
  6. Instant Pot Pidpenky / Mushrooms with gravy
  7. Boiled potato-filled varenyky / perohe served with onions cooked in oil
  8. Instant Pot Mashed beans / Kolocheni fasoli
  9. Steamed green beans
  10. Instant Pot Braised Red Cabbage
  11. Instant Pot Kolach / Braided Bread
  12. Instant Pot Compote / Stewed fruit dessert

 

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