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30 Classic Eastern European Recipes to Try Today

Take a trip with these Eastern European recipes. Russian tea cakes, Hungarian goulash, Polish cabbage rolls and so much more will have you getting in touch with your roots.

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Hungarian Nut Rolls

It isn't officially the holidays until I've made this treasured nut roll recipe from my husband's grandmother. The apple-walnut filling is moist, subtly sweet and flavorful. —Donna Bardocz, Howell, Michigan
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Beef Paprikash with Fire-Roasted Tomatoes

Beef paprikash, a Hungarian dish, makes a marvelous Sunday dinner. We prefer it with kluski egg noodles, or try mashed potatoes. —Gloria Bradley, Naperville, Illinois
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Caraway Seed Rye Bread

My parents were immigrants from Czechoslovakia and my mother would pull out this rye bread recipe when guests came over for dinner. Every time I bake it, I get nostalgic for those days. —Millie Feather, Baroda, Michigan
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Homemade Polish Pierogi

My mother made many dozens of these and measured ingredients using the palm of her hand. We've passed the recipe down over the years as the family has grown. —Veronica Weinkauf, South Bend, Indiana
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Beet Borscht

My mother used to make this hearty soup from her garden's bountiful crop of beets and other vegetables. —Ruth Andrewson, Leavenworth, Washington
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Mom's Potato Pancakes

These old-fashioned pancakes are fluffy inside and crispy outside. Onion adds nice flavor. Mom got this recipe from Grandma, so we've enjoyed it for years. —Dianne Esposite, New Middletown, Ohio
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Hungarian Short Ribs

This is a special meal in our house—as soon as I get ribs, I know which dish my family will ask me to make. My husband and I have three children, so I've learned to be a versatile cook! —Joanne ShewChuk, St. Benedict, Saskatchewan
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Belarus Pickled Carrots

My mom’s holiday buffet always included these pickled carrots. I kept the tradition going, then passed the recipe to my daughter. In our family, it isn't a party without this dish. —Lily Julow, Lawrenceville, GA
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Chocolate Chip Mandelbrot Cookies

Mandelbrot in Yiddish literally means "almond bread." The twice-baked cookie made with oil and almonds dates back to 19th century Eastern Europe. There are many variations made of different dried fruits and nuts. My chocolate chip version is more modern-American. —Kimberly Scott, Kosciusko, Mississippi
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Beef & Rice Stuffed Cabbage Rolls

This recipe is special to me because it’s an easy one-pot meal that tastes like you spent the whole day in the kitchen. My family loves it. —Lynn Bowen, Geraldine, Alabama
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Bohemian Kolaches

This kolache recipe was given to me by my mother-in-law, who received it from her mother! It was a standard treat in their family, made nearly every week. Now I make these kolaches for my own family for special occasions. —Maxine Hron, Quincy, Illinois
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Slow-Cooker Mushroom Beef Stroganoff

I love to make this for my husband and myself to have on a cold night. It warms us right up! Greek yogurt can be substituted for the sour cream. —Meg Hilton, Atlanta, Georgia
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Meringue Snowballs In Custard

My family has passed down this elegant dessert generation by generation. It started with my Russian great-grandmother, who traveled to America more than 100 years ago. I love continuing the tradition with her recipe. —Tonya Burkhard, Palm Coast, Florida
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Khachapuri

While in Russia, where we adopted our two children, my husband and I discovered these marvelous cheese pies. The traditional pastries, named khachapuri, can be served with a salad for a celebratory supper or shaped into bite-sized hors d’oeuvres. —Rachel Sauder, Tremont, Illinois
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Barley Risotto and Beef Stroganoff

I was missing my Russian grandma's barley porridge and beef stroganoff, so I combined the two dishes. Cook the barley using the risotto method to keep the grains whole and irresistibly chewy. —Tatiana Kireeva, New York, New York
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Sour Cream Cucumbers

We have a tradition at our house to serve this creamy cucumber salad with the other Hungarian specialties my mom learned to make from the women at church. It’s especially good during the summer when the cucumbers are freshly picked from the garden. —Pamela Eaton, Monclova, Ohio
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Hunter's Stew (Bigos)

Moist, tender meat and thick, rich gravy are the hallmarks of my classic recipe simmered in a cast-iron pot. —Joyce Worsech, Catawba, Wisconsin
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Polish Poppy Seed Loaves

Traditionally, these loaves were eaten after sundown on Christmas Eve as part of a 12-course meal. At our house, we never can wait that long to bite into the pretty spiral slices of this tender, coffee cake-like treat.—Linda Gronewaller, Hutchinson, Kansas
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Roasted Cabbage & Onions

I roast veggies to bring out their sweetness, and it works wonders with onions and cabbage. The piquant vinegar-mustard sauce makes this dish similar to a slaw. —Ann Sheehy, Lawrence, Massachusetts
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Aunt Dorothy's Russian Tea

When I was growing up I always looked forward to the Russian Tea that my Aunt Dorothy made every Christmas Eve. As soon as the weather turned chilly, I would start longing for a hot, steamy cup. It wasn't unitl I was away at college that I finally thought to ask her for the recipe! I place the whole cloves into a tea ball strainer so they're easy to remove when the tea is ready. If you don't have a tea ball, you can place the cloves in cheesecloth as directed. —Sharon Flenniken, Charlotte, North Carolina
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Slow-Cooker Golombki

I modified my mom's classic Polish dish to fit my hectic life. Instead of boiling the cabbage and then filling it with beef, I just toss the ingredients in the slow cooker. It's much easier and tastes just as delicious. —Mary Walker, Clermont, Florida
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Russian Tea Cakes

I like to present my favorite holiday cookies in a special way. I pile this fresh-baked Russian tea cakes recipe on pretty plates that I buy throughout the year, then wrap them with colored cellophane to give friends. —Valerie Hudson, Mason City, Iowa
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Best Chicken Kiev

From holiday dinners to potluck suppers, this is one of my favorite meals. Folks love the mildly seasoned chicken roll-ups. —Karin Erickson, Burney, California
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Hungarian-Style Green Beans

A vacation to Hungary inspired this flavorful side of green beans with paprika and mushrooms. Being a vegetarian, I welcome these tasty ideas. —Sherry Johnston, Green Cove Springs, Florida
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Roasted Beet Jam

This spicy jam recipe is from my Russian grandmother, who had no written recipes and who gave a few jars of the jam as gifts. I re-created the recipe from memory and think of her each time I prepare it. If you want to increase the yield, it's easy to double the recipe. I like to serve the jam on buttered toast or with cream cheese on toasted pita. The jars, which are dark red from the beets, make a welcome gift.—Susan Asanovic, Wilton, Connecticut
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Hungarian Goulash

Talk about your heirloom recipes! My grandmother made this Hungarian goulash recipe for my mother when she was a child, and then Mom made it for us to enjoy. Paprika and caraway add wonderful flavor, and sour cream gives it a creamy richness. It’s simply scrumptious! —Marcia Doyle, Pompano, Florida
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Hungarian Mushroom Soup

You'd think you were eating at a fine restaurant when you taste this cream soup. It's so delicious! —Sandy Vaughn, Central Point, Oregon
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Russian Krendl Bread

While dinning with a Russian immigrant family, I jumped at the chance to add this wonderful bread they served to my recipe collection. Of course, I never turn down hugs from my grandchildren after I've prepared something special...and this recipe always works! —Ann Sodman, Evans, Colorado
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Bohemian Pot Roast

I love this pot roast recipe because it's so easy to prepare and serve. You can put this "meal in one dish" together to cook, then practically forget about it until dinnertime. Coleslaw is a great accompaniment. —Vera Melvin, St. Ann, Missouri
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Grandma's Polish Cookies

This traditional khruchiki recipe has been handed down through my mother's side from my great-grandmother. As a child, it was my job to loop the end of each cookie through its hole. —Sherine Elise Gilmour, Brooklyn, New York

Lisa Kaminski
Lisa is an editor at Taste of Home where she gets to embrace her passion for baking. She pours this love of all things sweet (and sometimes savory) into Bakeable, Taste of Home's baking club. Lisa is also dedicated to finding and testing the best ingredients, kitchen gear and home products for our Test Kitchen-Preferred program. At home, you'll find her working on embroidery and other crafts.