Poland might be most famously known for its rich history and plethora of landmarks and classic European architecture, but did you know that Poland also has a fantastic cuisine?
Polish food is extremely varied, consisting of a range of meats, vegetables, sauerkraut, and much more. Just because it’s not the most famous cuisine in the world doesn’t mean we shouldn’t shine a light on Polish food.
Whether you want to delve into your Polish ancestry or simply expand your culinary knowledge, we’ve got you covered. Here are 23 easy Polish recipes to try at your next dinner party!
While a cabbage casserole might not sound appealing to you, this is actually a hearty and flavorful dish that’s perfect for keeping you warm in fall and winter.
This casserole is filled with inexpensive ingredients and goodness, with a surprising amount of flavor thanks to the inclusion of bacon.
This is one of those “chuck it in the baking dish and see what happens” meals – perfect for using up veggies!
Surówka Z pora, also known as Polish leek salad, is a traditional salad served as a side dish.
This salad is a mixture of leeks and apples, making for a deliciously crunchy and refreshing mixture of flavors that work well alongside meat.
The best part about this salad is that it is super quick and easy to make!
If you ask any Polish person about their favorite childhood memory, it’s probably going to include something to do with sauerkraut.
Grilled Polish sausage and sauerkraut is a classic recipe that will remind any Polish person of their Grandmother.
Plus, it’s a great dish to serve at a grill – especially when you’ve got beers flowing and sausages grilling throughout the day.
If you’ve got some cabbage to use up, it’s time to make haluski.
Haluski is a traditional Polish dish that consists of caramelized cabbage, egg noodles, and onions, and can be served as either a side dish or main dish.
While it may only include a handful of ingredients, this is a surprisingly flavorful dish – especially thanks to all that yummy butter.
Polish borscht, or barszcz, is a traditional beetroot and vegetable soup. This soup is tasty enough to turn even the most passionate haters of beet into lovers of the vegetable.
It’s brightly-colored appearance is matched with its flavor, so it’s no surprise that this is a popular soup across a lot of Eastern Europe.
Just try not to spill the soup, because it will stain!
Pierogi are Polish dumplings that typically consist of potatoes and cheese. While they might look like Chinese dumplings in appearance, Polish dumplings are prepared differently.
Also, while Polish dumplings aren’t exactly the easiest dish to make, the results are definitely worth it.
These dumplings are typically served after being boiled, but you can lightly fry them to make them crispy.
Steak tartare, or befsztyk tatarski, is such a popular dish in Poland that you can actually buy pre-made versions at local stores.
This is typically served as a starter in restaurants across the world, consisting of raw filet mignon with an egg in the middle, covered by a delectable sauce.
While a fairly posh starter, this dish takes only minutes to prepare.
Polish pork goulash (or gulasz) is a hearty meat-based stew that can be served alone, in a bread bowl, and even over potato pancakes.
This is a traditional stew that can be found all over Central and Eastern European countries, consisting of either pork or beef along with various vegetables.
The best time to make goulash is in fall, winter, or when you’re in need of comfort food.
Potatoes are a staple in Polish food, to the point where you can even make pancakes out of them!
Also known as placki ziemniaczane, these savory pancakes consist of potatoes, an egg, onions, flour, salt, and pepper. They are then fried in oil to make them crispy and golden on the exterior.
These pancakes are typically served with goulash.
Zurek, or polish sour rye soup, is a traditional dish most commonly served at Easter (though it is eaten year-round).
Each region has their own version of the soup, but it typically consists of fermented rye flour, boiled eggs, smoked meat, and white sausage. It’s not as creamy as it looks, as the flavors are certainly unique.
This soup is typically served in a bread bowl.
As the name suggests, these dumplings originate from the Polish region of Silesia.
These differ greatly to pierogi, as Silesian dumplings are made from potato and shaped like a circle with a dip in the middle, which is reserved for small bits of bacon or gravy.
It’s most common to see these on the side of roast beef.
Also known as flaki, this soup turned a once-ignored piece of meat (beef tripe) into a delicacy. Polish tripe soup first originated in the 14th century, and quickly became a favorite across Europe.
The tripe is slowly cooked to tenderize the meat and enhance the flavors of the vegetables, including celery root and carrots.
Bigos, or Polish hunter’s stew, is a stew containing meat that can be caught in the forest and eaten after a hunt, such as boar, venison, pheasant, and hare.
It is also cooked with wild mushrooms, sauerkraut, and either beer or wine. This is a hearty dish designed to keep hunters strong and healthy.
Bigos is also the national dish of Poland!
14. Polish Plum Cake
Placek ze Śliwkami is a Polish plum cake that is typically made at the start of and during fall, when plums are in abundance.
This cake balances flavors beautifully, thanks to the fluffy and light cake batter along with the naturally sweet yet tart plums, making for a deliciously light dessert after a heavy meal.
Polish plum cake is typically served alongside a hot drink.
Angel wings are a beloved Christmas recipe, though they are also served on the last Thursday before Lent.
These sweet treats consist of twisted, thin, crispy dough that is then covered in powdered sugar. They are a lovely sweet snack to eat throughout the day or to finish a heavy meal.
Make sure to eat these angel wings quickly, because they don’t keep very well.
Piernik is a Polish gingerbread loaf cake that is beautifully spiced, dense, satisfyingly sweet, and soft.
This cake has been made in Poland since the 12th century, and every household has their own twist on the original recipe.
While it can be eaten as a dessert, it’s commonly eaten alongside a hot drink or even for breakfast.
17. Polish Babka
Babka is a type of sweet bread most commonly made during Easter. This Polish sweet bread is kind of like a bundt version of brioche, except with the inclusion of raisins and an icing glaze.
As with most Polish cakes, every household has their own way of cooking babka, with some including flavors such as lemon.
If you like sweet pancakes, you need to try this recipe. Polish apple cakes are the perfect start to your day, made of peeled apples amongst the pancake batter and fried until golden.
This is a great way to use up apples that are about to go off – plus, they don’t take long to make!
Sernik is a Polish cheesecake made of a traditional farmer’s cheese known as ‘Twaróg’ or ‘Ser Biały’.
This cheese is naturally quite sweet and creamy, yet firm, making for a good cheese for cheesecake. Sernik sometimes comes with a base, and is baked with dried fruits like raisins.
Strawberry kissel (or kisiel) is a popular dessert in Poland during the summer, when the weather is too warm for a heavy dessert.
It’s actually technically a drink made of strawberries and thickened with potato starch, making for a slightly thick soup-like consistency. It can be served either hot or cold.
21. Polish Apple Pie
Szarlotka is a traditional Polish apple pie found in bakeries across the country. This pie isn’t like the apple pies we know – instead, it’s not as sweet, and features a thinner base and crust.
The flavors are still fantastic, though, especially when the pie is eaten on the second day when the flavors have had time to enhance.
Poles love plums and dumplings, don’t they? Knedle ze śliwkami are a popular potato dumpling with a sweet plum surprise hidden inside, which is boiled and then sprinkled with sugar.
These dumplings are most typically eaten at breakfast.
Rogaliki are small, crescent-shaped almond cookies that are designed to melt in the mouth.
Sometimes, these cookies are filled with jam, but it’s not often necessary if you just want to bake some simple cookies. Be careful, though, because once they’re cooked, they’re gone within seconds!
So, there you have it! Hopefully, this guide has introduced you to some new Polish recipes to try out. Happy cooking!
Frequently Asked Questions
What Is The Most Famous Polish Dish?
The most famous Polish dish is arguably pierogi, which are dumplings traditionally filled with potato and cheese.
The national dish of Poland is bigos stew, also known as hunter’s stew, which consists of a game meat (such as pheasant, venison, or hare) and various vegetables.
If you walk into any Polish restaurant, these two dishes are undoubtedly the most popular on the menu.