30 Easy Traditional Bulgarian Recipes in 2024

Traditional Bulgarian recipes are some of the richest foods in all of the European countries. Bulgarian food is mainly based on meat and vegetables, but also includes dairy products and spices like pepper, cumin, cinnamon, thyme, and strawberry.

Bulgarians are famous for their hospitality to guests. In Bulgaria, it is common practice to invite friends over for dinner or lunch with a plate of fresh pickled vegetables.

Let’s discuss the Bulgarian food has some dishes which have been adopted by Mediterranean countries like Greece. There is evidence that the Byzantine Empire had a greater influence on traditional Bulgarian recipes than the Bulgarians themselves do.

The tomato is one of the most popular vegetables traditionally grown in Bulgaria. It is called “abanoz” (meaning ‘from Abanou’) in Bulgaria and “bajarouch” in Greece. There are also many other vegetables, some of which are: peppers, cucumber, lettuce, cabbage, onions, and more.

Expect chunky soups, fresh salads, slow-cooked stews, and more red meat. Pork tastes best in Bulgaria food since it is usually fed with herbs and garlic. Bulgarian food often uses sunflower oil for cooking instead of olive oil.

Olive trees are rare in Bulgaria, but it is common to grow olives in most households since they have many other uses such as for their health properties which help you lose weight when consumed raw, for the production of cosmetics, and for decoration.

Vegetable and meat stews are very common especially during winter when temperatures have dropped below zero. To keep the citizens warm the meaty soups are cooked and then a beaten egg is blended to further improve the flavor.

In summer, vegetables contribute the greater part to the huge bowl of salads. Additionally, soft brined cheese is crumped on top and seasoned with vinegar, salt, and a reasonable amount of sunflower oil.

Bulgarian Food

The women of Bulgaria are famous for their cooking. The Balkan region is home to the most fertile soil in Europe, and its people have a long tradition of cooking and baking. For every celebration, such as a birth, baptism, or wedding, there are special biscuits called banitsa.

Baking is a whole science in itself, part of the traditional Bulgarian recipe. It includes things like making the dough, decorating the bread with decorative figures (like birds or animals), and more. There are a lot of baked Bulgarian food choices like desserts like Banitsa, Kozunak, Tikvenik, Krushnik, and more.

The biggest and most famous festival in Bulgaria is Sveta Nedelya (Saint Sunday), which takes place on the second Sunday of May. Every year on this day many people gather in the streets to celebrate and have fun. They have picnics, cook their favorite dishes, and have a great time with their friends and family.

9 Most Popular Bulgarian Food Choices

Below are the most popular Bulgarian food choices, which are usually cooked and consumed in Bulgaria at home.

1. Shopska Salad

A very popular salad that is eaten with almost every meal. It is a combination of tomato, cucumber, peppers, onion, and feta cheese.

2. Mafani

A traditional Bulgarian food, thissoup that is usually made with chicken and white beans, but it can also be made with beef, veal, pork, or even lamb. It is normally served with a piece of bread on the side.

3. Chushki Salad

A sweet salad that is made from dried fruit and raisins.

4. Banitsa

A popular flaky pastry that is filled with white cheese and baked until golden brown. The word banitsa is derived from the word banichka, which means little white things. This is because of the puffs of dough which are filled with cheese and then baked to a golden brown. It is served as a traditional breakfast or as a snack. This is a great traditional Bulgarian recipe to try.

5. Kifla

It is very similar to the banitsa, but it is filled with ground meat and onions instead of cheese. This traditional Bulgarian recipe is filled with cheese, pumpkin, or potatoes and then deep fried in oil. There are many variations of Kifla in Bulgaria food, such as Kifla Tatarska, Kifla sarma, Kifla Grudi, and more.

6. Gevrek

A kind of cheese pastry. It can be made sweet or savory and is often served with a salad of tomatoes and cucumbers.

7. Kavarma

Meat stew cooked for a long time and served in a small earthenware pot and then topped with a fried egg.

8. Svinsko Kupalo

A dish which is made from Bulgarian lamb. It is cooked in wine and served with a garlic sauce.

9 . Gyuvech

A traditional Bulgarian food choice made by marinating pork in sour milk for about 12 hours.

5 Most Often FAQs About Bulgaria

1. What is the National dish of Bulgaria?

The National dish for Bulgaria is Shopska salad. It is a very popular salad that is eaten with almost every meal. It is a combination traditional Bulgarian Recipes of tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, onion, and feta cheese.

1. Is Bulgarian food healthy?

The traditional Bulgarian recipe is very healthy. The Bulgarians combine a lot of meat with a lot of vegetables which makes the food very nutritious. They also prefer olive oil to sunflower oil in cooking and they use herbs and garlic in most dishes to put additional health benefits into the food.

3. What meat do Bulgarians eat?

Bulgarian food is distinctly dominated by pork and chicken. Bulgarians do not have a strong-beef eating culture so they rarely eat beef.

4. What food are Bulgarians proud of?

Bulgarian food is very proud of its bread. Bulgarians are very proud of some kinds of bread, especially the banitsa, which is a traditional bread from Bulgaria.

5. What is the most popular kind of bread in Bulgaria?

The most popular kind of bread in Bulgaria is banitsa, which is a flaky dough filled with white cheese and baked until golden brown.

Bulgarian Palneni Chushki Feature Pin

30 Easy Traditional Bulgarian Recipes

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1. Palneni Chushki or Stuffed Bell Peppers

Palneni Chushki or Stuffed Bell Peppers

Stuffed peppers are one of those traditional Bulgarian recipes that are popular across the world, in cuisines as diverse as Middle Eastern, Central European or even Scandinavian!

The traditional Bulgarian food, palneni chuski, calls for fresh or dried bell peppers that are stuffed with meat, usually pork, beef or veal, as well as rice and spices including paprika and savory.

2. Gyuveche Traditional Meal From Bulgaria

Gyuveche Traditional Meal From Bulgaria

If you are wondering what kind of pot this is, it is a clay pot, called gyuveche, from my home country Bulgaria. This pot was a present from my Mom for me and my husband’s first anniversary. She also gave me the recipe for this meal.

Some traditional Bulgarian recipes are made in clay pots and they define the country’s Old World’s cooking practices. This cooking method enables full exposure of flavors and it further keeps the nutritious content of foods intact.

3. Bulgarian Sirene Po Shopski (Cheese Shopski Style) Recipe

Bulgarian Sirene Po Shopski (Cheese Shopski Style) Recipe

Sireni po Shopski is a traditional Bulgarian made made from tomatoes and Bulgarian “sirene” (feta) cheese baked in small earthenware pots with lids (“gyuveche” pots) . Like lots of other Bulgarian food it’s made from simple ingredients and simply prepared but has a delicious taste.

4. Bulgarian Chicken

Bulgarian Chicken traditional Bulgarian Recipes

With this traditional Bulgarian recipe its more about the method than the ingredients. Use a Dutch oven on the stovetop and cook it slow, but not so slow as to mimic a crockpot.

I do like to turn up the heat in the beginning to crisp up the chicken, but you don’t have to! Also, I love to add more paprika and sometimes throw in a jalapeno whole in this Bulgarian food (discard at end of cooking).

5. Meshana Skara (or mixed grill in English)

Meshana Skara (or mixed grill in English)

Another traditional Bulgarian recipe for a complete meal – meshana skara (or mixed grill in English) consists of one kebapche, one kyufte, one pork steak and one skewer of pork meat. This Bulgarian food comes with French fries, bean salad with chopped onions and lyutenitsa. Eat with at least three beers and follow up with a rakia.

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6. Bob Chorba

Bob Chorba traditional Bulgarian Recipes

Bob chorba (or bob chorpa) translates to “bean soup” in Bulgarian. This traditional Bulgarian recipe for bean soup is typically prepared with dry beans, onions, tomatoes, carrots, bell peppers and spearmint (dzhodzhen). Regional versions may exclude the carrots or add paprika, potatoes and even some meat.

Bob chorba has always been a very popular recipe in Bulgaria due to the large production of beans as well as their nutritious value. Interestingly enough, Bulgaria is not the largest bean producer in the world, Myanmar is.

7. Bulgarian Red Pepper Stew

Bulgarian Red Pepper Stew traditional Bulgarian Recipes

“My was the best cook ever! Well, that’s what I though while growing up anyways. He used to make what HE called a “Bulgarian red pepper stew”, and it was delicious authentic Bulgarian recipe.

One thing it is for sure is was delicious. This is perfect for a cold day and goes great with baked potatoes and his “Bulgarian Salad”. Also, make sure you have some fresh Italian or French bread to sop up the juice in the bottom of the bowl.

8. Tikvenik

Tikvenik traditional Bulgarian Recipe

Tikvenik is an authentic Bulgarian recipe for a coiled pumpkin strudel, with crisp filo pastry encasing a gently sweet pumpkin filling, warmed with cinnamon. It has a wonderful flavor, and this pretty pastry is easier than it looks.

I know filo (or phyllo) can be a little scary to some, but with a few pointers, as in my filo pastry post, it’s great for adding a wonderful crisp, light texture to dishes.

9. Roasted Eggplant & Bell Pepper Dip | Kyopolou

Roasted Eggplant & Bell Pepper Dip Kyopolou (1)

The authentic Bulgarian recipe for Kyopolou melds roasted, sweet peppers, eggplant, and ripe tomatoes to make a dipping sensation. Serve with pita bread or alongside white fish.

Be sure to prepare this Bulgarian food a day ahead (or at least several hours) so that the flavors can properly distribute. Otherwise the garlic will be too sharp and bitter. If you simply must serve this dish right away, use less garlic.

10. Mekitsi | How to make Bulgarian Fried Dough

Mekitsi How to make Bulgarian Fried Dough

For the second day of making a traditional Bulgarian recipe, I have a deep-fried flatbread called Mekitsi or Bulgarian Fried Dough. I think my country was almost decided when I read about this flatbread.

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11. Bulgarian Kufteta Recipe

Bulgarian Kufteta Recipe traditional Bulgarian Recipe

Kufteta is a traditional Bulgarian food which is served all year round – similar in taste to a savory meatball or a homemade burger… the perfect authentic Bulgarian recipe for those outdoor barbecues particularly if served with a well chilled beverage!

12. Patatnik

Patatnik traditional Bulgarian Recipe

Patatnik (пататник) or patetnik is a traditional Bulgarian recipe for a Bulgarian potato-based dish characteristic of the Rhodope Mountains. It is prepared with grated potatoes and onions, as well as spearmint. It is originally cooked over fire or a stove, but is nowadays also baked in an oven. Some variants add sirene (Bulgarian feta), eggs, or even peppers.

This Bulgarian food is from the Rhodope region, a mountainous region that offers a cuisine with regional products that is distinct from national Bulgarian cuisine. Straddling Greece and Bulgaria, this thickly forested region spreads over more than 4,000 square miles, and is scattered with scenic villages where life has changed little for centuries.

13. Lamb Skewers

Lamb Skewers Bulgaria Food

Perfectly moist and crispy succulent Bulgaruab lamb skewers! Get the fire started.. It’s barbecue time this weekend with this traditional Bulgarian recipe!

Lamb skewers are one of the most popular street Bulgarian food options in Bulgaria and for good reason! Juicy and well seasoned meat garnished with cooling tzatziki sauce, served or wrapped in a delicious crispy and fluffy pita! Well, one couldn’t ask for more!

14. Shkembe Chorba Recipe

Shkembe Chorba Recipe Bulgaria Food

This traditional Bulgarian recipe for Shkembe Chorba will show you one of those dishes that taste really good but it’s better not to know what it’s made of. Shkembe Chorba literally translates to tripe soup in English. In case you’re not familiar with the term, trip refers to the thick lining of the stomach of a cow.

15. Au-Gratin potatoes Bulgarian style

Au-Gratin potatoes Bulgarian style

This is a really good authentic Bulgarian recipe for Au-Gratin potatoes Bulgarian style. The addition of eggs in this recipe makes it light and fluffy. If you can’t find Bulgarian Feta, try Greek, or a good Farmers cheese. This makes a wonderful side dish, to any type of meat or can be eaten as a vegetarian entrée. It reheats well for left overs.

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16. Authentic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls from Bulgaria

Authentic Stuffed Cabbage Rolls from Bulgaria

Authentic Bulgarian recipe for cabbage rolls that are easy to make and are a guaranteed way to give some great taste to a vegetable that is exceedingly healthy but is often much-maligned. Traditional Bulgarian food at its best and true comfort food!

17. Potato Moussaka Recipe

Potato Moussaka Recipe Bulgaria Food

Potato Moussaka traditional Bulgarian recipe – a traditional Bulgarian dish made with cubed potatoes, ground beef and pork, tomatoes, onion and seasoning. Topped with thick Bechemel sauce. Perfect for a family dinner. Step by step instructions and photos how to make Bulgarian Moussaka.

This traditional Bulgarian meal has been a staple in my family for years. It is very popular in my home country and on the Balkan peninsula.

18. Tarator

Tarator Bulgarian Food

Tarator (таратор in Bulgarian, таратур or таратор in Macedonian, or tarator in Albania) is one of the most authentic Bulgarian Recipes.

Tarator consists of yogurt, cucumbers, garlic, walnuts, dill, oil (often sunflower) and water. It can be served with ice. Some local variations replace the yogurt with water and vinegar and nuts with bread. Other rarer variants replace the cucumbers with lettuce or carrots.

19. Mish-Mash Bulgarian Omelet Recipe

Mish-Mash or Kapama Bulgarian Omlet Recipe

Eggs have always been the symbol of new life, a metaphor for the rebirth of the body. Besides being nutritious, they may be the most important ingredient in our pantry since they are the basis of many recipes. Poached or hard-boiled, scrambled or omelet, en cocotte or fried, there are so many ways to cook an egg. Today’s mish-mash is an authentic Bulgarian recipe for a Bulgarian omelet.

20. Bulgarian Meatball Soup – Supa Topcheta

Bulgarian Meatball Soup – Supa Topcheta

Supa Topcheta, or Bulgarian Meatball Soup, is a favorite traditional Bulgarian recipe for comfort food at its best. The hearty soup is filled with vegetables and meatballs made with a combination of pork and beef. There are many variations of the recipe, some using rice, different vegetables such as tomatoes or chicken instead of beef stock.

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21. Parlenka (Flat Bread)

Parlenka (Flat Bread) Bulgarian Food

This savory bread is from Bulgaria! An authentic Bulgarian recipe for Parlenka. This bread is served at every meal and is a staple Bulgarian food.

22. Bulgarian Kawarma Stew

Bulgarian Kawarma Stew Bulgarian Food

Kawarma is a traditional Bulgarian recipe made from meat and lots of vegetables. In different regions of Bulgaria there are different variants of kawarma dishes. In this recipe, the is prepared from pork, various vegetables and mushrooms.

23. Traditional Bulgarian Kapama

Traditional Bulgarian Kapama authentic Bulgarian recipes

Traditional Bulgarian recipe for Kapama This Bulgarian food is made from sauerkraut, rice, spices – onions, black pepper, bay leaf, allspice, cumin, garlic, cloves, different kinds of meat.

24. Shopska Salata

Shopska Salata authentic Bulgarian recipes

White, green and red! These are the colors of the Bulgarian flag that you can find in this masterpiece of Bulgarian culinary art: shopska salata or shopska salata.

Hard to believe that this authentic Bulgarian recipe is such a gastronomic monument. This Bulgarian food is made with such simple ingredients including tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, bell peppers, parsley, and sirene, this famous Bulgarian cheese that resembles feta and and is also the star ingredient of delicious banitsa.

25. Ultimate Bulgarian Beef Stew Recipe

Ultimate Bulgarian Beef Stew Recipe

Let me introduce YOU to this authentic Bulgarian recipe for Beef Stew – it’s an easy beef stew with red wine and pearl onions. This is one of the BEST Bulgarian dishes! Have YOU ever tried any of Bulgarian Recipes before, which one have you tried?

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26. Kavarma Pork Stew

Kavarma Pork Stew authentic Bulgarian recipes

Kavarma is a delicious slow cooked stew that is made using a traditional Bulgarian recipe. This would authentically be cooked in an earthenware vessel called a Gyuvech. If you don’t have one by all means just use a cast iron casserole or Dutch oven. If you don’t like pork, use chicken…. But do make it, it is a wonderful main dish.

27. Banitsa


Banitsa is a traditional Bulgarian recipe for pie made with cheese, yogurt and eggs. It’s perfect for breakfast or as a snack and it’s best enjoyed warm!

28. Garash Cake

Garash Cake

Garash cake is Probably the most well-known Bulgarian chocolate cake of all times. a simplistic, hearty and rich chocolaty goodness that dates all the way back to the distant 1880s. Oddly enough, this authentic Bulgarian recipe for the cake usually requires a tiny amount of flour and some recipes don’t include any flour at all.

29. Masklenki

29. Masklenki

Many cultures and traditions make jam or jelly cookies for Christmas that looks like this—think kolache or Linzer cookies, for example. Bulgaria is no different and here is an authentic Bulgarian recipe to try. Even jam-filled thumbprint cookies are a simplified version of a cookie like this.

30. Delicious Bulgarian Baklava Recipe (Walnut pie)

30. Delicious Bulgarian Baklava Recipe (Walnut pie)

Delicious Bulgarian Baklava Recipe (Walnut pie) – flaky and super crispy but moisty at the same time. A delicious Thanksgiving Recipe from Delicious traditional Bulgarian Recipe for Baklava (Walnut pie) – flaky and super crispy but moist at the same time. This Walnut Pie is made of crispy filo pastry and lots of nuts.

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