9 Traditional Czech & Slovak Recipes

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)

A shallow and ornate white bowl full of Segedinsky gulas and tender pork shoulder pieces with sauerkraut.
Photo Credit: The Peasant’s Daughter.

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.

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Slovak Bryndzové Halušky (Potato Dumplings with Cheese & Bacon)

A bowl of creamy bryndzové halušky topped with caramelized onions and bacon.
Photo Credit: The Peasant’s Daughter.

An authentic recipe for Slovak bryndzové halušky from my Slovak mother-in-law who taught me how to make this popular national dish from her homeland. Creamy cheese coats the halusky dumplings, and the dish is topped with caramelized onions and bacon. You don’t need Slovakia’s famous bryndza sheep cheese to make it; Slovak immigrant women figured out how to replicate the flavor with what they had available in their new American homes. I’ll show you both ways.

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Slovak Strapačky Halušky (Sauerkraut and Bacon)

A bowl of strapačky, halušky with sauerkraut and bacon. Next to it is a bowl of bryndzové halušky.
Photo Credit: The Peasant’s Daughter.

Slovak strapačky (or strapatchki) are halušky potato dumplings served with sauerkraut, caramelized onions and smoky bacon. Here’s an authentic, traditional, and delicious recipe for strapačky halušky from my Slovak mother-in-law.

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Buchty – Sweet Filled Buns

Buchty buns.
Photo Credit: Whisked Away Kitchen.

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.

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Liver Dumpling Soup

Liver dumpling soup.
Photo Credit: The Peasant’s Daughter.

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.

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Semmelknodel With Mushroom Sauce

Bread dumplings in mushroom sauce.
Photo Credit: Recipe Mash.

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.

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Carlsbad Dumplings – Czech Bread Knedliky

Knedliky bread dumplings.
Photo Credit: Whisked Away Kitchen.

I love knedliky and this version is very special and unique.

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Molasses Cookies (Moravian Cookies)

Stacked cookies.
Photo Credit: What A Girl Eats.

Simple cookies that can be enjoyed year-round but make for a traditional Christmas treat.

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Slovak Goulash

Slovak gulas.
Photo Credit: The Top Meal.

A hearty and filling goulash, nothing is better than this on a cold night.

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Explore German Recipes

Plate of braised red cabbage.
Photo Credit: The Peasant’s Daughter.

Hearty, comfortable, and satisfying: Traditional German Recipes.

Check Out Some Hungarian Recipes

Photo Credit: Envato Elements.

Try some traditional and inspired Hungarian recipes too.

Sauerkraut Recipes

A brown bowl full of thick stew with meatballs, sauerkraut, and vegetables. Sour cream is served on the side in a separate bowl next to a basket of sourdough bread.
Photo Credit: The Peasant’s Daughter.

A key feature in many Slavic cuisines and across Central Europe: Sauerkraut Recipes.

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