Polish Wilted Lettuce Salad (Salata z Boczkiem)

Polish Wilted Lettuce Salad (Salata z Boczkiem)

The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 20 mins
Total: 35 mins
Servings: 6 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
230 Calories
14g Fat
13g Carbs
14g Protein
Show Full Nutrition Label Hide Full Nutrition Label
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 6
Amount per serving
Calories 230
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 14g 17%
Saturated Fat 5g 23%
Cholesterol 37mg 12%
Sodium 695mg 30%
Total Carbohydrate 13g 5%
Dietary Fiber 3g 9%
Total Sugars 9g
Protein 14g
Vitamin C 5mg 26%
Calcium 44mg 3%
Iron 1mg 8%
Potassium 483mg 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.)

A common way to enjoy salad in Poland is to wilt the lettuce with a warm dressing. This recipe for Polish wilted lettuce salad, or sałata z boczkiem (sah-WAH-tah zeh BAWCH-kyem), is made with a warm bacon vinaigrette that includes onion, vinegar, and sugar. Be sure to use a firm type of lettuce, such as romaine or iceberg; tender lettuces like bibb or Boston will wilt too much and become soggy.

This flavorful salad pairs nicely with beef, chicken, or pork (including sausage), as well as pierogi or potatoes. Or, turn the salad into a main course by adding chopped hard-cooked eggs.


  • 1 head romaine or iceberg lettuce (washed, dried, and torn into coarse pieces)

  • 1/2 pound bacon (cut into 1/2-inch pieces)

  • 1 large onion (finely chopped)

  • 1/4 cup water

  • 1/4 cup vinegar

  • 3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste

  • Salt and pepper to taste

Steps to Make It

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Polish Wilted Lettuce Salad (Salata z Boczkiem) ingredients

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  2. Place the lettuce in a heatproof bowl.

    lettuce in a heatproof bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  3. In a large skillet, fry the bacon until half cooked.

    bacon cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  4. Add the onion and continue to fry along with the bacon until crisp but not burned.

    onions and bacon cooking in a skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  5. Carefully drain all but 1/4 cup of the bacon grease from the skillet. Add the water, vinegar, and sugar. Bring to a boil, stirring to dissolve the sugar.

    add vinegar and sugar to the bacon mixture in the skillet

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  6. Pour the hot vinaigrette over lettuce.

    bacon mixture on top of the cabbage in the bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

  7. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Toss the salad to coat with the dressing and wilt the lettuce. Serve immediately.

    Polish Wilted Lettuce Salad (Salata z Boczkiem) in a bowl

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck


  • If you are worried you'll lose some of the bacon and onion when draining off the bacon grease, remove them from the pan to a bowl first. Then pour all of the grease into a measuring cup and measure out 1/4 cup. Add to the skillet and then return the bacon and onion.
  • There are a few ways to quickly wash and dry lettuce leaves. A salad spinner is the most efficient as it washes and dries the lettuce, but if you don't have one, you can rinse the leaves in a bowl of cool water and then gently roll in a clean dish towel.

Recipe Variations

  • This hot bacon salad dressing lends a smoky, sweet-and-salty flavor to any greens or vegetables, especially green beans or a salad of baby spinach, hard-cooked egg, red onion, and sliced mushroom.
  • For variety, you can swap out the white vinegar for balsamic or red-wine vinegar, or use olive oil in place of the canola or vegetable oil. You can also use light brown sugar instead of white sugar, and red onion instead of white or yellow onion.
  • If you like a little heat, add a pinch of cayenne pepper to the dressing.
  • You can also add a poached egg on top to make it similar to a French bistro frisse-lardon salad.