Czechia and Slovakia are countries that border each other in Central Europe and have a shared — often tumultuous — history. Once, they were joined together in a union known as Czechoslovakia. The cuisines of these Slavic peoples are often so intertwined that it makes more sense to share recipes from both countries despite their differences in language, culture, and other essential things.
Being married to a Slovak man, I inherited a lovely Slovak mother-in-law who has shared with me and taught me many of her traditional recipes. Slovak and Czech food is hearty, filling, and satisfying. Lots of meat (especially pork), bread, dumplings, potatoes, cabbage, sauerkraut, and other root vegetables make up the rustic fare. This is a food history borne of hardship and demanding lives. My in-laws fled communism much the same way my own family did, and while you may not think this is relevant to a list of recipes — every single recipe you have ever eaten has a history.
As we explore these recipes, you'll notice culinary similarities between Slovakia, Czechia, Austria, and Germany, showcasing the shared heritage of Central Europe. Let's appreciate not only the flavors but also the cultural stories behind these dishes.
Segedínský Guláš (Pork & Sauerkraut Stew)
An example how bold but simple flavors come together to make something incredible. This goulash features pork shoulder, bacon, onion, sauerkraut, and paprika, and is finished off with sour cream. Eaten with the traditional dumplings, it is one of my favorite recipes and is frequently requested by my husband.
Buchty – Sweet Filled Buns
I had buchty for the first time in Slovakia at my mother-in-law's childhood home. These are seriously amazing desserts of soft sweet buns filled with different delicious things.
Liver Dumpling Soup
A German recipe that is traditionally eaten in Slovakia and Czechia too. If you "hate" liver — try this soup, trust me. It doesn't taste like liver.
Semmelknodel With Mushroom Sauce
Another example of a German recipe that is part of both Slovak and Czech cuisine and culture. Bread dumplings with various sauces are so common in these cultures and they are such a delicious food worth trying if you never have had the privilege.
Carlsbad Dumplings – Czech Bread Knedliky
I love knedliky and this version is very special and unique.
Molasses Cookies (Moravian Cookies)
Simple cookies that can be enjoyed year-round but make for a traditional Christmas treat.
A hearty and filling goulash, nothing is better than this on a cold night.
Explore German Recipes
Hearty, comfortable, and satisfying: Traditional German Recipes.
Check Out Some Hungarian Recipes
Try some traditional and inspired Hungarian recipes too.
A key feature in many Slavic cuisines and across Central Europe: Sauerkraut Recipes.