Wake up to the smell of traditional Polish breakfast recipes!
From the chewy Bialys with their savory onion-poppy seed stuffing to crispy potato pancakes, a breakfast favorite for starting your day off right.
And let’s not forget about sweet treats, like nalesniki and szarlotka! When I’m in the mood for a sweet breakfast, these are the Polish foods that come to mind.
Polish food traditions often resonate with Ukrainian cuisine so it’s no surprise that I love everything they have to offer.
I hope you enjoy these delicious recipes as well!
15 Polish Breakfast Recipes
On my trips to Poland, my go-to breakfast choices are different kinds of open-faced sandwiches (kanapky) or one-pan Polish breakfasts which often feature kielbasa.
Here are more ideas to get you in the breakfast mood!
Bialy is a kind of traditional Polish bread that has a distinctive spin on the classic bagel.
These yeast-leavened dough rounds are known for their chewy texture and dimpled core; they originate from the city of Białystok.
Filling the center depression with a combination of sliced onions and occasionally poppy seeds gives the rolls a savory flavor that goes well with their chewiness.
Cabbage and kielbasa are two staples in Polish cuisine, and this one-pan dish brings them together for a delicious and hearty breakfast.
Traditional Polish sausage, kielbasa, is sautéed with cabbage, onions, and occasionally potatoes in a single skillet for this easy yet delicious dish.
The savory kielbasa and sweet cabbage make a lovely contrast, and the one-pan cooking technique makes cleanup so much easier.
Polish apple pie, or “Szarlotka” as it is more commonly known, is a renowned delicacy with a buttery shortcrust dough that forms the base of this classic apple pie.
Apples, both sweet and tart, along with sugar, and cinnamon make up the filling. The pie is topped with a cookie-like dough woven into a lattice pattern.
I love this apple pie served with a dollop of whipped cream or a scoop of vanilla ice cream for an extra indulgent treat.
Grated potatoes are mixed with eggs, flour, and seasonings, then pan-fried to make potato pancakes, which can be served as a typical Polish breakfast dish.
My favorite topping for potato pancakes is sour cream with a bit of flaky sea salt. But you can serve them with virtually anything: ketchup, applesauce, or even smoked salmon for a unique combo.
Potato pancakes can also make an amazing snack. For more authentic snack ideas, check out this article on Polish snacks.
Polish crepes, or nalesniki, are a popular and adaptable dish in Polish cooking.
Flour, eggs, milk, and a dash of salt form the basis of the batter. The batter is poured thinly onto a hot griddle or frying pan, creating delicate, lacy crepes.
Fillings for Polish nalesniki can be sweet or savory. Sugared farmer’s cheese, fruit preserves, fresh fruit, or powdered sugar are used to sweeten them.
Savory nalesniki often contain meat, mushrooms, cheese, or spinach.
You’ll find a similar traditional dish among Ukrainian breakfast foods called “nalysnyky”.
Buckwheat groats are commonly used in various cuisines, including Eastern European and Asian, where they feature in dishes like kasha or pilaf.
Polish kasha can be topped with a variety of seasonings or combined with sautéed mushrooms, onions, or herbs to make a savory dish.
I can eat buckwheat for breakfast, lunch, or dinner; it’s a staple in Ukrainian cooking too.
Oh, and this Polish recipe with mushrooms sounds absolutely delicious!
Kotlet Schabowy is the Polish equivalent of breaded pork schnitzel. A boneless pork chop is coated in breadcrumbs and fried till crispy and golden brown to make it.
In a traditional recipe, a cutlet of pork is first marinated in milk, then sprinkled with black pepper and salt, coated with flour, whisked eggs, and breadcrumbs.
What you get is pork that is both soft and tasty on the inside and crispy on the outside.
Kotlet Schabowy can be served with mashed potatoes or potato salad, stew and other side dishes.
Polish farmers’ cheese cheesecake, sernik, is a popular breakfast food or dessert.
Farmer’s cheese, or twaróg, gives this cheesecake its dense, creamy texture. The filling is a delicious mix of farmer’s cheese, sugar, eggs, and sometimes vanilla or lemon zest.
Sernik can be made with or without a crust base; I like both versions!
This Polish treat is usually served with fruit compote, powdered sugar, or chocolate ganache.
A delicious twist on the traditional Reuben sandwich, this Polish Reuben incorporates traditional Polish ingredients.
The principal protein in a Polish Reuben sandwich is typically kielbasa or Polish sausage rather than corned beef.
This hearty sandwich typically includes layers of thinly sliced kielbasa, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese, and Thousand Island dressing, all sandwiched between slices of rye bread.
Polish honey cake can be made in different ways but all of them feature a rich blend of honey, flour, spices like cinnamon and ginger, and sometimes coffee, resulting in a moist and flavorful treat.
If you can get some buckwheat honey, I highly recommend trying it in this recipe. I loved it!
If you like honey cakes, you can also check out these Ukrainian cake ideas offering similar flavors.
“Polish Placek” is shorthand for a classic Polish sponge cake or sweet bread topped with a buttery crumb.
You can eat it plain or with butter or jam, and either way, it’s a real treat!
Among the many traditional Polish sweet breads, “Chocolate Pumpkin Babka” adds a wonderful new spin.
This variant makes a moist and tasty bread by mixing pumpkin puree and warm spices into the batter. The chocolate filling is rolled into the dough creating a swirl pattern.
If you want to try other aromatic breads, you can check out this lemon babka recipe—another authentic breakfast recipe from Poland.
The open-faced toasted sandwich known as “zapiekanka” is a common street dish in Poland.
Sautéed mushrooms, cheese, and occasionally ham or other seasonings are spread over a half-bagette or other kind of bread in this dish.
After the sandwich is put together, it is either baked or broiled until the cheese is melted and bubbling.
I think zapiekanka is an amazing choice for a casual setting especially if you’re on the run.
When I went to Warsaw with my friends for a concert, zapiekanka, kanapka and kynsza (Polish kebab) kept us going.
The thick texture and distinctive flavor of “Polish Rye Bread” make it a staple in Polish cuisine.
This type of bread is often leavened with sourdough (zakvas) or regular yeast after being mixed with wheat and rye flours.
This honey & rye loaf (chleb żytni z miodem) is made with honey for added flavor and sweetness. It is a great option for breakfast when served with butter, twaróg, cream cheese or a drizzle of honey.
One of Poland’s most famous and beloved dishes, pierogi have become a global phenomenon.
These dumplings are filled with a variety of foods and prepared from a thin dough that is usually produced from flour, water, and eggs.
Although there are many sweet and savory versions, the most typical filling is a combination of potatoes and farmer’s cheese.
You can have either savory pierogi filled with potatoes, meat, sauerkraut, or mushrooms or sweet pierogi filled with fruit like berries, apples, or cherries.
Here are some pierogi ideas for a typical breakfast spread:
- Potato and Cheese Pierogi
- Baked Potato Pierogi With Bacon, Chives, Sour Cream and Cheddar Cheese
- Gluten-Free Pierogies with Cabbage and Eggs
- Vegan Pierogi With Potato and Caramelized Onion
- Sauerkraut Chickpea Flour Pierogies with Spiced Applesauce
What’s your favorite recipe from this list? Let me know in the comments!
15 Best Polish Breakfast Recipes (+5 Pierogi Ideas)
- Bialys (Chewy Rolls)
- One Pan Cabbage and Kielbasa
- Apple Pie (Szarlotka)
- Potato Pancakes (Placki Ziemniaczane)
- Roasted Buckwheat Kasha (Kasza Gryczana)
- Kotlet Schabowy
- Sernik (Polish Farmer's Cheese Cheesecake)
- Polish Reuben Sandwich
- Polish Honey Cake (Miodownik)
- Polish Placek
- Chocolate Pumpkin Babka
- Polish Rye Bread