15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

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15 Polish dishes that will complement your Thanksgiving 

“Do you guys celebrate Thanksgiving in Poland?” was a questions I was asked many times around this time of the year when I first came to the US. Well, we don’t, but after making turkey, green beans, mashed potatoes and green bean casserole for my family and friends in Poland we just may start. We were in Poland one year around Thanksgiving and wanted to celebrate this delicious holiday with my family, even though the only American there was my husband. Dinner was a great hit, and my family talks about it still, even though its been probably close to 10 years since.

Whole turkey is not a bird that’s cooked often in Poland, as a matter of fact I’ve never seen it cooked whole before moving the US. Turkey breast, yes, but not the whole turkey. They were pleasantly surprised to see that there is an easy way to cook it, without it being dry. I can say I “American-ed” my Polish family. I’ve made the dish for them many times since.

I’ve lived in the US for over 17 years, a few years ago I’ve decided there is no reason we can’t Polish our Thanksgiving a bit and include some of my traditional dishes in the menu. Here are some of my favorites that I think would complement the traditional turkey dinner. 15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

1. Polish Cabbage and Mushrooms {Kapusta z Grzybami}

Every Polish holiday is marked with a cabbage dish. Kapusta z grzybami is a tangy vegetarian dish served during Christmas, and now Thanksgiving in my home. 15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

2. Pumpkin Potato Dumplings {Kopytka Dyniowe}

Kopytka dyniowe is my Polish fusion dish. They are doughy and savory potato dumplings that will be a perfect vessel for turkey gravy, can be made ahead of time (even the day before) and will fit right in between the green bean casserole and sweet potatoes. 15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

3. Drop Noodles {Kluski Kładzione}

Kluski kładzione are a much simpler dumplings than the above kopytka. They are quickly made of flour, egg and water mixture without any kneading. They will soak up your turkey gravy like a champ. 15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

4. Polish Fried Beets {Buraczki Zasmażane}

Warm and creamy beets, slightly sweet and tangy make a great addition to a meat-and-potatoes kind of dinner. It will compliment a roasted turkey and mashed potatoes greatly and put a truly Polish spin on your holiday dinner. Also can be prepared ahead of time and warmed up right before serving. 15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

5. Polish Braised Red Cabbage with Raspberries {Modra Kapusta z Malinami}

Recipe for Polish braised red cabbage with raspberries

Modra kapusta [moh-drah capoo-stah] in Poland is normally served with roasted duck or goose and Silesian dumplings. I love the combination of sweet and sour in this dish. Raspberries give the sweetness and a bit of vinegar and red wine will help with the sourness and will preserve the nice deep pinkish/purple color. Smooth and creamy roux gives that comfort food feel.

6. Buttered String Beans {Fasolka Szparagowa}

Buttered string beans is an absolute comfort food and will add another perfect side option to your Thanksgiving dinner. It’s easy to make and will allow you to focus on other, more time consuming dishes. Prepare ahead of time and keep warm until ready to serve. 15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

7. Fried cabbage {kapusta zasmażana}

polish food recipe

A creamy cabbage (with a little crunch) with bits of bacon and onion, finished off with fresh dill. Super easy and fast to make, but delivers a great flavor and satisfaction.

8. Buckwheat and Cheese Pierogi {Pierogi z Kaszą i Twarogiem}

Pierogi z kaszą i twarogiem [pyeh-roh-gee z kah-show ee tvah-roh-gyem] are another savory version of the favorite Polish dumpling. Buckwheat and farmer’s cheese make a great pair: cheese is slightly tangy and buckwheat, deep, almost smoky. A topping of sweet onions and bacon bits complete this classic combination.

9. Cabbage and dumplings {Łazanki z kapustą}

Two in one: starch and veg combined into one dish – soft noodle-like dumplings and creamy cabbage with bacon.

10. Polish Peas and Carrots {Marchewka z Groszkiem}

15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Marchewka z groszkiem is a mild and smooth mixture of the two vegetables in delicious lightly sweet sauce. Simple and quick dish and kids love it too.

11. Polish Veggie Salad {Sałatka Jarzynowa}

This upgraded potato salad is often made when the veggies of the summer are no longer in season, and we’re back to the basics: carrots, potatoes, eggs, pickles, onions. It is ALWAYS served during Christmas or Easter, and it’s the ultimate flavor of the holidays. Making it a day or two ahead of time will only improve the taste.

12. Potato Babka {Babka Ziemniaczana}

This is a savory baked dish made of grated potatoes, spiked with golden pieces of smoked bacon and sautéed onion. With the addition of a few spices and herbs this side dish is a perfect (and affordable) way to bring a delicious variety to the usual meat-and-potato kind of dinner. Babka can be prepared a couple of days ahead of time and grilled or lightly fried in butter before serving.

13. Onion Rolls {Cebulaki}

Cebulaki are soft yeast rolls, covered in sautéed onions mixed with spices and poppy-seeds, baked until golden brown. Make instead of dinner rolls.

14. Stewed Pears {Kompot Gruszkowy}

Because there really isn’t a traditional Thanksgiving drink, I think this would make a great addition to the combo. Soft pears in sweet and aromatic juice. Serve hot or cold to clean the palette or to accompany a delicious dessert.

15. Polish Gingerbread {Piernik}

It’s soft and aromatic with cinnamon, ginger, allspice and cloves coming through, and also a bit citrus flavor of orange zest and marmalade added to the dough. Dark chocolate glaze adds complexity to the mix  and ties this dessert together.

15 Polish Dishes That Will Complement Your Thanksgiving Dinner

Good luck cooking my hungry friends! I hope you enjoy this holiday season and extend your favorite flavors to your loved ones.

Smacznego!

Anna


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11 Comments

  1. Hi Anna, my mom used to make a stew using veal shanks, sour cream, onions, etc. Served with kluski. It was called chelenchila. Do you have recipe if you know what I mean.

  2. Anna, I just found your site I’m 72
    My grandparents on both sides were from Poland. My mom made a dish that had a firm dumplin and there was also some fried bacon the dish.
    Can’t remember much but it was delicious.
    Of course, I’ve been looking for the recipe.
    Hopefully youll know what I’m talking about.
    Ty

  3. Very impressive list for dishes for thanksgiving dinner. I would like a little sweetness in the Polish Veggie Salad {Sałatka Jarzynowa} of my version.

  4. Here in Canada, we celebrate diversity. Our family holds many nationalities. We have enjoyed recipes from many cultures.

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