Polish Beets With Sour Cream


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Prep: 5 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
140 Calories
11g Fat
9g Carbs
2g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 140
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 11g 14%
Saturated Fat 6g 29%
Cholesterol 34mg 11%
Sodium 202mg 9%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 7g
Protein 2g
Vitamin C 2mg 12%
Calcium 67mg 5%
Iron 0mg 3%
Potassium 228mg 5%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Polish beets with sour cream, buraczki ze śmietana (boo-RRAHTCH-kee zeh shmyeh-TAH-nah), can be enjoyed hot or cold. The magenta color of the salad is so beautiful.

Because beets are naturally sweet, start with 1 teaspoon sugar for the dressing. If you like a sweeter salad, add more.


For the Beets:

  • 4 medium beets, see note below

For the Dressing:​

  • 1 cup sour cream

  • 1 teaspoon sugar, or to taste

  • Salt, to taste

  • Freshly ground black pepper, to taste

  • Fresh dill sprigs, or chopped dill, for garnish

Steps to Make It

Prepare the Beets

  1. Wash the beets and pat them dry. Boil or roast them in their jackets until a thin knife tip can be inserted easily into the flesh, but they are still somewhat al dente.

  2. When they are cool enough to handle, peel them and set aside until they finish cooling. To use canned beets, see the Note below.

  3. Cut cooled beets into strips or julienne.

Make the Dressing

  1. In a medium bowl, combine sour cream, sugar, and salt and pepper to taste, mixing well.

  2. Fold julienned beets into the dressing being careful not to break up the beets.

  3. If serving hot, transfer mixture to a saucepan and warm just until you notice small bubbles starting to appear around the edges. You don't want to bring to a boil because the sour cream will break.

  4. If serving cold, cover the bowl you mixed the beets in and refrigerate until thoroughly cold.

  5. Transfer the beet mixture to a serving bowl and garnish with dill sprigs or chopped fresh dill.


  • You can speed things up by using 2 cups well-drained canned or jarred sliced beets and cutting them into julienne strips.

Sour Cream in Polish Cuisine

Śmietana is the Polish word for "sour cream," and it is used in dishes across the board. You will find it as one of the ingredients for certain doughs including pierogi, in soups, sauces, as a salad dressing, in desserts and as a condiment dolloped on other foods.

But European sour creams are vastly different from the types known in the States. Typical Polish sour cream contains up to 40% butterfat whereas those sold in the U.S. contain 12% to 16% butterfat.