Like in most other parts of Europe, New Year (1st of January) is a holiday in Poland. In general, businesses and schools remain closed on this day and people use it as an opportunity to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. If you visit Poland during this time, you will find that the celebrations include balls, outdoor concerts and/or house parties. These could be larger gatherings or more intimate gatherings for families and friends. The outdoor concerts usually take place in the bigger Polish cities.
This is a really festive time of the year. In fact, the celebrations usually start out on New Year’s Eve (31st of December) and continue into the wee hours of the morning on New Year’s day. The New Year’s eve parties are packed with merriment, laughter, and camaraderie.
The last day of the year is called Sylwester in Poland. Why? Because it’s the name day of Sylwester! New Year is called Nowy Rok.
The one thing that you can be certain of is that no Polish party can be complete without food. If you attend a Polish New Year’s eve party, you will find that there are a number of traditional Polish dishes that are served. These range from tiny snacks to hot meals. Many of these recipes are pretty easy to make. Some however do take skill and time to make.
Polish New Year’s Eve Food To Serve At The Party
As I mentioned before, the Polish New Year’s eve food is overwhelming and delicious. There are so many options and recipes. Many of them are handed down over the generations. These delicacies not only satisfy the hunger cravings, they also evoke feelings of nostalgia. This is because, in Poland, New Year’s Eve celebrations are centered around making memories with your family and your friends.
The food is often homemade and the process of making the food is also a part of the tradition. There is nothing quite like the memories formed in the kitchen while prepping for holiday parties.
When it comes to planning the menu for the New Year’s eve party, many people wonder what to put in. Here are some of the most popular options.
Many people associate kanapka with canapes. In a sense, this may be partially true since many people believe that this delicacy was inspired by the French. No matter what its origins are, kanapka is a must-have at any New Year’s Eve party. They are little open-faced sandwiches that may not be filling but are certainly tasty and pretty to look at.
There are many reasons why kanapka is popular as a Polish New Year’s eve food. One of them is that it is very quick to make and doesn’t require any particular skills. You can get all the ingredients ready and assemble it at the last minute too.
If you are curious about the different variants of kanapka that you can make, check out my kanapka recipe. I’ve covered loads of sweet and savory options in it.
Zapiekanka is another great bread-based Polish New Year’s food that is easy to whip up. Like kanapka this is also cheap and easy to make. The recipe uses a baguette and is baked which gives it the characteristic crunch.
This dish is loved by both adults and children alike which means that it is great if you have any fussy eaters in the house. The open-faced sandwich comes with a variety of different toppings. The most popular of which are cheese, mushroom and ham. There are also vegetarian zapiekanka recipes too.
3. Pickled Veggies
No gathering in Poland is complete without pickled veggies. This is especially true during the winter season. That is why it should not surprise you that pickled vegetables are one of the top picks when it comes to Polish New Year’s Eve food to serve at parties.
There are a variety of different pickled vegetables that people serve. Pickled mushrooms, beets, and pickles are the top favorites. These pickled vegetables are made in advance which means that it reduces a lot of preparation time just prior to the party. If you don’t want to make them at home, you can also get them easily at the store.
Pierogi is something that no Polish party can take place without. These little Polish dumplings are well-loved. They do take a considerable amount of time to make but a seasoned pierogi maker can turn out dozens in no time. As I have mentioned time and time again, pierogi-making is an art. The more pierogi you make the faster and better you will get at making them.
One great aspect of making pierogi as Polish New Year’s Eve party food is the ability to make different types of pierogies without too much effort. All you need to do is to make multiple types of fillings. These fillings can be sweet or savory. The actual making of the pierogi will be the same. Only the stuffing will differ.
Here are some popular pierogi recipes that you should consider trying.
- Christmas sauerkraut and mushroom pierogi
- Pierogi Z Makiem or Polish poppy seed pierogi
- Polish sweet cheese pierogi
- Cherry pierogi
- Blueberry pierogi
- Strawberry pierogi
- Vegan pierogi
- Fresh cabbage pierogi
- Polish sauerkraut pierogi
5. Polish Cookies
The Christmas and New Year season calls for a lot of baking in Poland. During this season you will see some really popular Polish cookies that are served. They also make a great albeit sweet snack for a Polish New Year party.
The best part about Polish cookies is that you can make them well in advance and store them in an airtight container so that they retain their freshness.
Popular Polish cookies that are served at New Year’s Eve parties include
- Butter Cookies,
- Gingerbread Cookies,
- Angel Wing Cookies,
- Cream Horns,
- Carnival Rosettes,
6. Polish Pigs In A Blanket
Polish pigs in a blanket is easy to make. This is especially true if you use store-bought pastry dough. If you choose to make the pastry dough at home, it will take a significant amount of time and effort.
The key to making great Polish pigs in a blanket is to master the wrapping technique. There are many different types of wrapping techniques that people use. I use a rolling technique which is pretty simple and you can check out the steps in my Polish pigs in a blanket recipe.
This finger food is a great addition to any table. You can wrap the pigs in a blanket in advance and keep. That way you can just put them in the oven while the party is starting (or going on). It needs 20 minutes of baking time so plan accordingly. At the end of it, you will have hot, delicious, flaky pastry-based Polish pigs in a blanket to serve. It is the perfect Polish New Year’s eve food to serve at a party because the weather is cold and the food is piping hot!
7. Naleśniki Or Krokiety
Naleśniki and krokiety are two popular items at almost any New Year’s eve party. Naleśniki is a thin Polish crepe or pancake. These are served hot and are well received at parties because of the cold Polish winter.
The best part is that you can customize the Naleśniki recipe and serve it with either sweet or savory toppings.
Krokiety on the other hand are Polish croquettes. Croquettes are popular around the world as great finger food for parties. Poland is no exception. The Poles love their krokiety.
Interestingly enough, Polish krokiety is very similar to naleśniki . They are made of thin fried pancakes that are stuffed with kapusta kiszona, champignons and onions. If you have vegetarians who will be attending your party, you can be guaranteed that they will gravitate toward this dish. It is without a doubt one of the most popular vegetarian food in Poland.
8. Polish Donuts (Pączki Or Oponki)
Polish donuts are another really great option to have on your table as far as New Year’s eve party food is concerned. Unlike American donuts which are made with flour, Polish donuts are made with boiled and mashed potatoes and pumpkin puree. This gives the donut both a different texture and a taste.
These donuts are traditionally filled with wild rose jam. The jam is not always easily available which is why many people improvise and use other jams as fillings.
Irrespective of what jam you choose to use as a filling, you will find that the donuts will disappear as soon as they are placed on the table. They are after all one of the most popular sweet treats that are served every year.
9. Polish Deviled Eggs
Polish deviled eggs is a simple, quick recipe to whip up and serve for a New Year’s Eve part. The key ingredient to this recipe is perfectly boiled eggs. As with all deviled eggs recipes, the Polish deviled egg recipe that we use involves mixing the egg yolks with other ingredients. In Poland, popular options for other ingredients include mackerels, peas, spice, bell peppers, etc.
Deviled eggs are a very versatile dish. This is why you will find that people try to be really creative with it. If you are curious about all the other variants that can be used, I suggest checking my Polish deviled egg recipe.
If you can’t decide which one to use, maybe you can make two or three different varieties. The recipe is so simple that it will definitely not take much time.
10. Polish Gyros Salad
The Polish gyros salad is another great pick for Polish New Year’s eve party food. The salad is really pretty and is so colorful that it really attracts attention when placed on the table. An added benefit is that it is ultra-easy to prepare and can be made in under 20 minutes.
If you look at the Polish gyros salad from the side, you will notice that the salad is layered. That means that all you need to do is keep all the ingredients ready and layer it just before the party. The preparation of each of the ingredients is what takes time. The actual layering of the salad is a quick job and can be done by anyone.
Polish bigos or hunter’s stew is probably one of the top attractions when it comes to Polish New Year’s eve party food. It is called hunter’s stew because it was traditionally made with game meat. This could be venison from elk, deer or wild boar.
While people don’t really head out to hunt these days, they still love their bigos. The Polish bigos recipes in use today typically include ingredients like pork and kielbasa. As can be imagined, this dish is rich and heavy. It is a warm meal that works very well in cold weather.
One thing that you should really note when it comes to the Polish bigos recipe is that the key to good bigos is to use sauerkraut and not fresh cabbage!
Paszteciki are Polish meat pastries that are well-loved by everyone. The paszteciki z mięsem is a traditional minced meat pastry. This is made with a yeast-based dough which complements the minced meat filling perfectly. They can be served either hot or cold. Hot however is a great idea when the weather is really cold.
Paszteciki however can also be made with kapusta. These are called paszteciki z kapusta i grzybami. The recipe is very similar. The only difference lies in the filling. Both these recipes are very popular and well loved in Poland.
12. Sałatka Jarzynowa
Another great easy-to-make salad that is popular at Polish New Year’s eve parties is salatka jarzynowa. It is an authentic Polish vegetable salad that is actually present at almost all celebrations. All you need for this salad is a few vegetables, eggs, mayonnaise, salt, and pepper.
Another reason why this salad is popular is that you can use almost any vegetables you have at hand. It makes the ingredients easily accessible and cheap.
Traditionally you will find that this salad is served cold. This means that you can make the salad well in advance. It certainly saves time when it comes to party preparations.