Polish-American Wedding Food Recipes

Polish-American wedding food is slightly different from what you'd find in Poland and even from state to state, and family to family in America, but the basics are the same—good hearty soup, braised meats, sausages, sauerkraut, salads, breads and desserts galore. 

  • 01 of 09
    Polish Chicken Noodle Soup
    Fancy/Veer/Corbis / Getty Images

    After the wedding march into the dining room, the priest, who had said High Mass in the morning and performed the wedding ceremony, prayed over the food before guests tucked into a golden bowl of chicken soup with kluski or czarnina (see below).

  • 02 of 09
    Polish Czarnina or Duck's Blood Soup
    Polish Czarnina or Duck's Blood Soup. © 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    The soup course was typically chicken noodle (above) or duck's blood soup, known as czarnina, served with kluski . Sometimes, a blood-free version, known as slepo czarnina (blind czarnina), was offered. Lest this is upsetting to you, read about the global practice of cooking with blood.

  • 03 of 09
    Polish potato salad
    Jennifer Levy / Getty Images

    Then it was time for either a lettuce salad or a mayonnaise-based salad like Polish spring salad or Polish Potato Salad. 

  • 04 of 09
    Polish White Kielbasa Sausage
    Courtesy of Barbara Rolek

    Fresh, pan-roasted Polish white sausage - biala kielbasa - was usually the kielbasa of choice, but occasionally smoked sausage or skinny stick sausages, known as kabanosy, were served according to the family's preference. Regardless of the sausage type, it was always served with horseradish condiments known as chrzan and ćwikła .

    Continue to 5 of 9 below.
  • 05 of 09
    Polish wedding chicken
    mikroman6 / Getty Images

    This baked chicken dish became known as Polish wedding chicken because that's when it was most often served. It was an economical dish that could be prepared in huge quantities for the, usually, huge numbers of guests. But there is nothing ordinary about this poultry if smothered with onions and baked slowly until it caramelizes and almost falls off the bones. Delicious!

  • 06 of 09
    Pork Steaks and Sauerkraut
    Courtesy of Barbara Rolek

    Some type of cabbage dish was de rigueur, either brined sauerkraut or braised fresh cabbage. Sometimes it was mixed with noodles or dumplings, or smoked neck bones or hocks and barley. Often it was at the whim of the female Polish cooks who ruled the roost at many reception halls.

  • 07 of 09
    Cauliflower in the Polish Style
    Courtesy of Barbara Rolek

    Steaming bowls of mashed potatoes were supplemented with vegetables like cauliflower or green beans prepared a la Polonaise, that is with buttered breadcrumbs, or one of the ubiquitous beet recipes Poles are so well-known for.

  • 08 of 09
    Braided Egg Bread
    Courtesy of Barbara Rolek

    Bread of all types were featured in baskets on the long tables where guests were served family style. Typically, however, the two most popular were rye bread and braided egg bread.

    Continue to 9 of 9 below.
  • 09 of 09
    Polish Wheel Cake or Kolacz
    Courtesy of Barbara Rolek

    Wedding cake was not served at the end of the meal. Instead, it was sliced and wrapped in napkins and given to guests as they were leaving. The most popular desserts served with pitchers of steaming coffee at Polish weddings were angel wings known as chrusciki, kolaczki, babka and paczki. A traditional Polish wedding dessert is a wheel cake, known as kolacz, and common among the gorale in Lesser Poland in the southeastern part of the country.