Polish Open-Faced Sandwich (Zapiekanka)

Polish zapiekanka or open-Faced sandwich

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Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 15 mins
Total: 30 mins
Servings: 4 servings
Yield: 4 sandwiches
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
632 Calories
31g Fat
58g Carbs
32g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 4
Amount per serving
Calories 632
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 31g 40%
Saturated Fat 17g 83%
Cholesterol 84mg 28%
Sodium 1177mg 51%
Total Carbohydrate 58g 21%
Dietary Fiber 4g 14%
Total Sugars 8g
Protein 32g
Vitamin C 3mg 16%
Calcium 657mg 51%
Iron 5mg 29%
Potassium 468mg 10%
*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.)

Polish open-faced sandwiches (also known as French-bread pizzas) are popular street food in the bigger cities of Poland.

They're known as zapiekanki (plural) or zapiekanka (zah-peeyeh-KAHN-kah), which is singular. The word zapiekanka comes from zapiekac, which means "to bake," and is the Polish culinary term for a casserole.
Most zapiekanki sandwiches start with French bread, sautéed mushrooms, cheese, and ketchup, but there are Hawaiian-style zapiekanki with pineapple, Greek-style with olives and feta cheese, Italian style, and many more.

What makes the open-faced sandwich authentic is a thick drizzle of Polish ketchup across the top, no matter what cuisine the zapiekanka is trying to emulate.


  • 1 loaf bread,long French, cut in half and then cut in half horizontally to yield 4 pieces

  • Thinly sliced ham, or lunchmeat of choice, optional

  • 2 cups mushrooms, sautéed

  • Raw or cooked vegetables, of choice, optional

  • Mayonnaise, optional

  • 3 cups grated melting cheese of choice

  • Ketchup, for garnish

  • Chopped chives, optional

Steps to Make It

  1. If the bread is long, cut it into 3 pieces and halve each horizontally, otherwise, cut it into 2 pieces.

  2. Layer meat, sautéed mushrooms and cheese on each slice of bread and toast in a hot oven until the bread is crispy and the cheese has melted. Drizzle with ketchup and serve hot.

Recipe Variation

  • Although the traditional zapiekanka consists of mushrooms, cheese, and ketchup, newer versions include ham, salami, vegetables, fried onions or chives, spinach instead of mushrooms, and Highlander's smoked oscypek cheese instead of the melting cheese.