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Beets And Horseradish Polish Ćwikła Recipe

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Cwikla in a green bowl.
Cwikla: A Polish salad you either love or hate!

The beets and horseradish Polish side dish or salad called cwikla z chrzanem is usually served for Easter with blessed bread and ham. Making your eyes sting, this traditional Easter sidedish is a must-have!

What Is Ćwikła?

The cwikla recipe is a beets and horseradish Polish side dish or salad that’s really easy to make. After making their way here from Germany or Italy in the  15th century, they’ve been eaten in Poland since the Middle Ages.

Did you know that the cwikla is often added to the Polish Easter basked along with eggs, ham, kielbasa, babka, cheese, and butter so that the priest blesses it before Easter?

This condiment of beets and horseradish is often served for Easter or Christmas meals along with meaty dishes. You’ll also find it as an accompaniment to kielbasa sausages, roasted duck meat or other cooked meats.

Since beetroot are available throughout the year, they’re added to a lot of salads and side dishes. Horseradish on the other hand is more scarce and you need to have some chrzan stored at home or you can buy the store version. The dish is sometimes also called Ćwikła z chrzanem in reference to the horse radish added to it! 

How To Make Polish Horseradish With Beets

This is the easiest Polish horseradish with beets recipe to make. You start by boiling or baking the beetroot and grating them fine. Wear disposable gloves or dishwashing gloves to avoid getting pink hands. Beetroot color is very strong!

Grate horseradish and start crying. You’ll find that horse radish stings your nose or makes you sneeze while grating it, and does it way more than onions do!

Mix the grated beets with grated horseradish, lemon juice or vinegar, and salt. Adding sugar is optional. Serve cold!

Ingredients for the cwikla salad.
Ingredients for the Cwikla: Beetroot and Horseradish
Cwikla salad in a bowl next to Easter bunnies.
Cwikla salad: For those zingy times!

Tips For Polish Beets And Horseradish Recipe

  • Add a few teaspoons of sugar if you like.
  • This recipe is vegetarian, vegan, gluten free and dairy free.
  • If you don’t want it to make you cry too much, you can reduce the amount of horseradish. 
  • Use a medium sized grater for serving.  
  • You can prepare grated horseradish at home using this recipe.
  • Serve with meaty dishes or kielbasa sausages. 
  • You can prepare big batches of cwikla with chrzan and store in jars for months. 
  • Keep the salad refrigerated till you serve it!
Cwikla in a green bowl.
Cwikla: A Polish salad you either love or hate!

FAQs About Making Polish Ćwikła 

Do Any Other Countries Make Cwikla?

Cwikla is made in Ukrainian cuisine and called tsvikli. The Ashkenazi Jews make something similar called Chrain. And the Russian hron can either refer to plain horseradish or horseradish with beetroots.

How To Pronounce Cwikla?

Polish cwikła  is prononuced chweek-wah.

Which Vinegar Should I Use?

You can use any vinegar of your choice – regular vinegar, apple cider vinegar, balsamic vinegar or white wine vinegar. If you don’t want it too tangy, replace the vinegar or lemon juice with red wine. If you’re too lazy to squeeze lemons, use 5 tablespoons of lemon juice concentrate

What Other Ingredients Can I Add To The Cwikla?

The cwikla recipe can also be made with these additions:

What To Serve Cwikla With?

Cwikla can be served with many different dishes. Some popular choices are:

How To Store Cwikla?

Store cwikla in a the refrigerator and consume within a week. If you pasteurize the cwikla, you can store it for months. Read this post for the pasteurization method.

Beets And Horseradish Polish Ćwikła Recipe

Yield: 4 servings

Beets And Horseradish Polish Ćwikła Recipe

Cwikla in a green bowl.

The beets and horseradish Polish side dish or salad called cwikla z chrzanem is usually served for Easter with blessed bread and ham. Making your eyes sting, this traditional Easter sidedish is a must-have!

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 10 minutes


  • 6 beets
  • 7 oz (200g) of grated horseradish
  • 2 lemons OR 2 tbsps of vinegar
  • 1 tsp of salt


  1. Cover the beets with water and cook until soft. Alternatively, you may wrap them in aluminum foil and bake them in the oven for 1 hour in 356°F (180°C).
  2. If you don't use vinegar, juice lemons.
  3. When the beets are cold, peel them. Wear disposable gloves otherwise, your hands will be hard to wash.
  4. Finely grate the beets.
  5. Mix all the ingredients together. Serve cold.


If necessary, you may also add 3 tsps of sugar.

Use this recipe to make homemade grated horseradish.

Nutrition Information:



Serving Size:


Amount Per Serving: Calories: 51Total Fat: 0gSaturated Fat: 0gTrans Fat: 0gUnsaturated Fat: 0gCholesterol: 0mgSodium: 677mgCarbohydrates: 12gFiber: 3gSugar: 8gProtein: 2g

These data are indicative and calculated by Nutritionix

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