Bulgarian Fried Cheese (Kashkaval Pane)

Bulgarian Fried Cheese (Kashkaval Pane)

The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Prep: 20 mins
Cook: 10 mins
Total: 30 mins
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
4221 Calories
137g Fat
531g Carbs
202g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Amount per serving
Calories 4221
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 137g 175%
Saturated Fat 69g 344%
Cholesterol 916mg 305%
Sodium 5438mg 236%
Total Carbohydrate 531g 193%
Dietary Fiber 25g 89%
Total Sugars 26g
Protein 202g
Vitamin C 5mg 25%
Calcium 3029mg 233%
Iron 38mg 211%
Potassium 1609mg 34%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

Bulgarian Fried Cheese or Kashkaval Pane is an appetizer that is made by breading and frying kashkaval cheese. Kashkaval is Bulgaria's popular yellow, semi-hard cheese made from sheep's milk that can be spicy or bland. It's great for grating, cooking and melting, and is similar to Italian pecorino or Greek kasseri, but can variously taste like provolone and even pungent blue cheese (without any hint of mold). 

If kashkaval cheese isn't available, Italian provolone or fontina, or halloumi from Cyprus can be used.

Kashkaval Pane is an Eastern European street food favored for its portability and crunchy, melty goodness. It's also popular in pubs and clubs, and is similar to Czech Syr Smazeny except the Czech variation is made with Edam, Gouda or Swiss cheese.

Another way to enjoy Kashkaval is in this Eastern European grilled cheese sandwich on dark rye bread. Read more about Bulgarian cheeses and dairy products, below, after the directions to this recipe.


  • 1 pound kashkaval, provolone, fontina, or halloumi cheese

  • 2 to 3 cups all-purpose flour, as needed

  • 2 to 3 large eggs, beaten

  • 2 to 3 cups fresh breadcrumbs, panko crumbs, or matzo meal

  • Flat-leaf parsley, or lovage, for garnish

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Bulgarian Fried Cheese (Kashkaval Pane) ingredients

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  2. Pour canola oil to a depth of 2 to 3 inches in a large, heavy-bottomed skillet and heat until it reaches 350 F (use a fryer thermometer if possible).

    oil and thermometer in a cast iron skillet

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  3. Cut 1 pound of kashkaval cheese into 1/2-inch-thick slices.

    kashkaval cheese sliced into pieces on a cutting board

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  4. Dredge slices first in flour, then in beaten eggs and finally in breadcrumbs, panko or matzo meal.

    kashkaval cheese coated in an egg mixture and breadcrumbs, in a bowl

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

  5. Fry cheese in batches, turning once, until golden brown. Drain on paper towels and serve immediately, garnished with parsley or lovage.

    Bulgarian Fried Cheese (Kashkaval Pane) frying in a cast iron skillet full of oil

    The Spruce / Ali Redmond

Bulgarian Cheeses and Dairy Products

Bulgarian cheeses are made from cow's milk, sheep's milk, and goat's milk. In addition to kashkaval, the most popular Bulgarian cheeses include:

Bulgarian Brinza Cheese: Brinza is another popular cheese in Bulgaria. It's a salty sheep's milk cheese similar to Bulgarian feta (sirene) that is spreadable when young and crumbly when it's aged. It's good in salads or melted.

Bulgarian Sirene or Feta Cheese: Bulgarian feta cheese (sirene) is a white brined cheese made with sheep or cow's milk and considered by some to be superior to Greek feta. Sirene is said to have originated in the Trakia region in southern Bulgaria. It is used in everything from shopska salata to savory banitza (see below for links to these recipes).

Bulgarian Yellow Cheeses: These include Vitosha made with cow's milk, Venetsia made from cow's milk or sheep's milk, Cleopatra made from sheep's milk or cow's milk, and smoked kalina made from cow's milk and smoked with oak.

Bulgarian Yogurt: Bulgarian yogurt is legendary for its health benefits. Known as kiselo mliako (literally meaning "sour milk"), this yogurt is created by the lactobacterium bulgaricum bacteria, one that grows nowhere else in the world, which is why some say it's the best-tasting yogurt in the world. Bulgarians use yogurt in everything from soup to dessert and drink it in a beverage known as ayran.