3 delicious Russian dishes for your Lent table spread (RECIPES)

These recipes are suitable for believers during Lent and vegetarians all year round. 

These recipes are suitable for believers during Lent and vegetarians all year round. 

Restaurant Matreshka.
The bright holiday of Easter is preceded by Lent, when believers limit themselves to food of no animal origin. What to cook without meat and eggs during Lent?

Vlad Piskunov, chef of the Russian cuisine restaurant ‘Matryoshka’ shared with us a few choice recipes for the Lent menu, which you may want to cook not only during Lent!

1. Mushroom selyanka

Selyanka is a rich dish with cabbage and a lot of ingredients. Cooked in a deep pan, it can be made with different kinds of meat or fish and a “lean” version of the dish is usually made with mushrooms. In a traditional selyanka, Russians use porcini mushrooms, beech mushrooms, milk mushrooms, but, if there are no suitable mushrooms, you can always try it with champignons.

Ingredients (for 2-3 servings):

  • Sauerkraut - 400 g
  • Salted mushrooms (honey fungus, milk mushrooms) - 300 g
  • Dried porcini mushrooms - 50 g
  • Carrot - 1 pc
  • Onion - 1 pc
  • Vegetable oil - 50 ml (it’s allowed on weekends and some Lenten days)
  • Salt to taste


  1. Soak dried mushrooms in cold water. After 10-15 minutes, drain the water and pour new water in again. Soak them for another 2 hours, then boil in the same water, adding a little salt.
  2. Cut the onion in half rings, dice carrots or cut in slices. Paste everything together in vegetable oil in a frying pan with a high rim.
  3. Add the cabbage and stir. Braise for 20 minutes. Gradually add broth of mushrooms and continue to braise until the cabbage is tender.  
  4. Finely chop the boiled porcini mushrooms and add to the pan with the cabbage. Add chopped salted mushrooms. Stir and leave to stew for 10 more minutes.
  5. Mushroom selyanka can be served hot or as a cold appetizer. You can also add olives, sun-dried tomatoes and fresh herbs to the dish.

2. Carrot and apple cutlets

This low-calorie dish will also be appreciated by those who adhere to a dietary diet. Carrot cutlets can be found in Soviet cookbooks and children are used to eating them in kindergarten, thus, it’s a dish familiar to many Russians from childhood. This recipe adds some apples to get a sour-sweet flavor and soy milk for a delicate texture.

Ingredients (for 2 servings):

  • Carrots - 500 g
  • Soy milk - 100 ml
  • Onions - 20 gr
  • Cream of wheat - 30 g
  • Apples - 125 g
  • Salt - 5 g
  • Nutmeg - 1 g
  • Cumin - 1 g
  • Thyme fresh - 1 g
  • Bread crumbs - 60 g
  • Vegetable oil - 50 ml (for frying)


  1. Boil the carrots. Then grate the carrots.
  2. Grate the apples. Chop the onion finely.
  3. Mix all the remaining ingredients, except the breadcrumbs. Pour the soy milk gradually, so that the mixture is not too liquid. Form patties by hand and roll in breadcrumbs. Then fry them.
  4. Serve the carrot cutlets as a separate dish or with mashed potatoes.

3. Pie with dried fruit

For dessert during Lent, or just for a family tea party on a day off, you can make a sweet closed pie with dried fruit and nuts.

Ingredients (for 6-8 people):

For the dough:

  • Water - 500 ml
  • Yeast (pressed) - 30g
  • Sugar - 170 gr
  • Salt - 15 gr
  • Vegetable oil - 150 ml
  • Flour - 1200 gr

For stuffing:

  • Prunes - 200 gr
  • Dried Apricots - 200 gr
  • Pears - 200 gr
  • Dark raisins - 200 gr
  • Fresh apples - 500 g
  • Lemon juice - 30 ml (or juice of half a lemon)
  • Sugar - 100 gr
  • Walnuts (peeled) - 100 g
  • Sunflower halva - 500 gr (If you don't have any halva, you can increase the share of dried fruits)

For the sugar syrup:

  • Water - 800 ml
  • Sugar - 400 gr


  1. Dough: mix warm water with yeast and sugar and leave it for 10 minutes. Add butter and salt. Knead the dough and leave in a warm place for 25-30 minutes under a plastic cling wrap or towel.
  2. Sugar syrup: Add sugar in the water and mix.  
  3. Stuffing: put dried apricots, prunes, raisins and pears in a vacuum bag and add the sugar syrup, then seal it and cook for an hour. Then cool and chop everything.
  4. Mash the halva with a fork.
  5. Peel the apples, cut them, then fry with sugar in a pan. Mix all the ingredients for the filling.
  6. In a round form (ideally 24 cm diameter) put a little more than half of the dough and roll out on the form. Spread the filling on top.
  7. Take the rest of the dough, roll out to the shape of the pie and cover the pie with it. Trim off any excess dough and pinch the bottom and top of the dough together with your fingers.
  8. Bake at 160°C for 35 minutes. (If you are baking in a ring mold, remove the side after 17 minutes and finish baking for 15 minutes until the pie is slightly brown).

READ MORE: 7 Russian dishes for religious holidays

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