Bryndzove halusky served with sour milk
Recipe

Bryndzove halusky: Slovakia's national dish

Bryndzové halušky isn't just potato dumplings with cheese and bacon. It's Slovakia's delicious national dish.

This dish is traditionally made from five simple ingredients: grated potatoes, flour, egg, salt and bryndza, topped with chopped crispy bacon.

You may be wondering what bryndza is.

Bryndza is a unique flavourful Slovak cheese made from sheep's milk, and it is what gives halušky that extra cheesy boost. 

This dish is a bit like the Slovak version of mac and cheese or cheesy Italian gnocchi, only a lot better (although, as a Slovak, I may be biased).

A plate of bryndzove halusky with a cup of žinčica (sour milk)

I understand that bryndza isn’t an easy ingredient to get unless you're visiting Slovakia. 

But not to worry, you can supplement it with cream cheese or pecorino instead. That's what I've been doing since I moved to Canada when I get homesick and crave bryndzové halušky. Although it’s not the same, it still tastes pretty delicious. 

The dish is very hearty and filling, and it's sure to leave your belly smiling. Slovaks usually drink a glass of žinčica (sour milk) with halušky.

While in Slovakia, it's one food you absolutely shouldn't miss. You can find bryndzové halušky in local restaurants, such as Slovak Pub in Bratislava, Liptovská Izba in Liptovský Mikuláš, Terchovská Koliba in Janošíkové Diery and many more.

But if you don't have a trip to Slovakia planned anytime soon, here's how to make them yourself.

Prep: 20 min
Cook: 5 min
Total: 25 min

Ingredients

  • 3 potatoes, peeled and finely grated (do not squeeze out moisture)
  • 2 cups (250g) all-purpose flour
  • 2-3 bacon slices (use more if you like)
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 large egg
  • 250g bryndza or cream cheese
  • 4-5 tbsp milk or sour cream
  • Fresh parsley or chives for garnish (optional)

Directions

  1. 1
    Mix the grated potatoes, flour, salt, and egg in a large bowl until it forms a thick yet malleable dough. This mixture should be loose enough to push it through the large holes of a colander but hold its shape when boiled in water. If the dough is too dry, add a bit more water. If it's too wet, add a bit more flour until you reach the desired consistency.
  2. 2
    Place a large pan over medium heat and fry a few slices of bacon until golden and crisp.
  3. 3
    While the bacon is getting ready, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After the water boils, reduce the temperature to medium heat.
  4. 4
    Use a colander with large holes or a spaetzle maker (you can get one on Amazon) and a wooden spoon or spatula to scrape the dough into the boiling water in batches. Stir the bottom lightly to unstick any dumplings.
  5. 5
    Once the dumplings float to the surface (about 3 mins), remove them with a slotted spoon to a bowl or drain all the water through a large strainer.
  6. 6
    Mix bryndza or cream cheese with the milk or sour cream to get a nice creamy consistency. It shouldn't be too watery.
  7. 7
    Pour the cheese mixture over the potato dumplings in the bowl and stir everything together.
  8. 8
    Sprinkle the fried small bacon pieces on top and add garnish to your halušky - chopped parsley or chives (optional).

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Kamila Jakubjakova

Author - Kamila Jakubjakova

Kamila is a freelance writer and a blogger. On her blog Expat in Canada she and her partner share useful tips for life in Canada. When she isn't writing, you can find her on a yoga mat or drinking a cup of tea.

Last Updated 2 January 2023

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