Polish Recipes to Make Your Grandmother Proud
Polish cuisine is rooted in tradition: many of the dishes we love today were passed down through generations and have hardly been changed since. Yes, Grandma knew what she was doing, and these recipes would definitely make her proud. Borscht, or beet soup, are on the menu, along with mashed potato–stuffed dumplings called pierogi. You'll also find cabbage every which way, from stuffed rolls to a speedy egg noodle and bacon sauté. Kielbasa, the king of smoked sausages, is also a must. And since your Polish grandma would never let you leave without a sweet treat, you'll also find classic quick breads, challah, and cookies.
Beef and Beet Borscht
"Marry me please!" That's how much Sundance000 loved Chef John's classic borscht recipe. The beet soup is made hearty and rich with beef shank and finished with a sprinkle of dill and dollop of sour cream— an absolute must.
Sausage and Sauerkraut
Pierogi (Polish Dumplings)
Many Polish reviewers gave these potato dumplings high praise, with more than a few "just like Grandmother's" comments. Here, an egg and sour cream dough encases a mashed potato filling with a little sautéed sauerkraut for brightness.
Halupki (Stuffed Cabbage)
You'll see a version of stuffed cabbage (also called Galumpki or Golabki) across Poland and Russia. In this recipe, the leaves are stuffed with rice and seasoned ground beef and pork, then baked with a layer of sweet-and-sour tomato sauce.
Smoked Paprika Goulash for the Slow Cooker
Though it's known as Hungarian, goulash is also a Polish favorite. The slow cooker does all the work here, making stew meat fall-apart tender and the paprika-laced sauce extra rich. "Absolutely delicious," says amourdevin.
Real NY Jewish Rye Bread
Dark, dense rye bread is on every Polish dinner table. This loaf is a bit lighter, with molasses for sweetness and color and dried potato flakes for tenderness. "The best recipe for rye bread I've ever encountered," says Cynthia C.
Grandma's Polish Pierogies
Add grated Cheddar to the filling for these traditional Polish potato dumplings and see how quickly they disappear. "The biggest complaint from my family was that I didn't make enough!" says allheart.
Nina's Cucumber Salad
Polish cuisine isn't all hearty stews and potatoes! You'll find lots of pickled, crisp, and creamy salads like this cucumber salad with sour cream and dill. Serve alongside breaded and fried pork cutlets or goulash for an authentic meal.
Polish Egg Bread
This sweet, eggy bread is a delightful cross between brioche and challah. It makes enough for an Easter feast — when the bread is usually eaten in Poland — so feel free to halve the recipe. You can also twist the braid into a ring for a more traditional shape.
Easy and Quick Halushki
Egg noodles, bacon, and cabbage make up this speedy Polish comfort classic. Shredded cabbage crisps in bacon drippings, then everything is tossed together in the pan. "This was nothing short of fantastic!" says Marylin Bligh Kumar.
Piernik - Honey Bread
Warm spices, raisins, walnuts, and honey make this quick bread a perfect tea time treat, especially with a little butter on top. "This is very similar to what my Polish grandmother used to make," says Semichee. "Definitely a keeper!"
Chef John's Bigos (Polish Hunter's Stew)
"This meaty stew is usually made with wild game such as venison or boar, but you can use beef, pork, or other meat — just use a lot," says Chef John. Here it's made with pork shoulder, beef chuck, Polish sausage, and bacon, along with sauerkraut, prunes, mushrooms, and wine. "It's perfect for feeding a crowd, especially when the weather turns cold and dreary."
Authentic Polish Pickle Soup
Recipe creator baginska developed this soup to remind her of home in Poland. Many first-time tasters also loved it as an alternative to the usual chicken soup, with some welcome dill and vinegar notes from the pickles. "This is now a regular soup in our house," says Daniella Munchen.
Ribbons of egg- and sour cream–laced cookie dough are fried until bubbled and golden to make these classic Polish holiday cookies. So many reviewers said this reminded them of the ones they made with their mothers and grandmothers.
Think of kotlets as a Polish take on German schnitzel: pork chops that are pounded then, breaded, and pan-fried until golden. For a truly traditional Polish meal, serve with roasted potatoes, pickled beets, and a lemon wedge.
Marinated Beet Salad
Beets are a staple of Polish cuisine, from borscht to salads, pickles to dips. Classic sweet and sour flavors from sugar and vinegar liven up the marinade here. Canned beets keep prep to a minimum. Try adding to the table with dishes like pork roast or fried chicken.