Slovenia is a picturesque country with such a warm culture that you will fall in love. With forests, castles, and winter sports there is so much to discover in Slovenia. To truly experience and understand the country you must get to know Slovenian food and all the delicious flavors Slovenia has to offer!
What Is Special About Slovenian Food
Slovenian cuisine is varied and deeply influenced by history and region. The food in Slovenia takes influence from the cooking styles of the Balkans, the Mediterranean, and European styles of cuisine. Landscape and historic availability of ingredients also influences the food in Slovenia.
There are so many delicious flavors to discover in this forested country. Stews, soups, and potatoes are common here, but Slovenia cuisine is built on complex one-pot dishes. Tourists and locals agree that there is something truly welcoming and special about the deliciously varied foods in Slovenia.
Most Famous Slovenian Food
This humble and delicious food is beloved by locals for its ease and delicious flavor. Žganci is a simple dish that is designed to fill you up through a long day of work or play in Slovenia. Part porridge and part crumble, this Slovenian food is sure to please for breakfast, lunch, or dinner.
Žganci (Buckwheat Spoonbread)
Žganci combines buckwheat, corn flour, and potato flour with liquid to make a porridge that is cooked until crisp and crumbly. The starchy crumbles are served with honey, bacon, or dried fruit. To make this Slovenian dish extra satisfying, it is sometimes topped with milk or thin yogurt.
Traditional Slovenian Food
Ritschert (Barley and Bean Porridge)
This mouth-watering Slovenian food will fill you up after a day on the mountain! Ritschert is made with barley, beans, vegetables, potatoes, and cured pork. The beans and barley are thinned down to a consistency that is more soup-like and the flavor is salty, fatty, and delicious!
Idrijski Žlikrofi (Potato Dumplings)
These wonderful dumplings are so important to Slovenian cuisine that they have a European Traditional Specialty Guarantee. These small bites are a true testament to the Slovenian cooking tradition. The traditional recipe for these tasty dumplings dates back to the 19th century.
Idrijski žlikrofi are made of thin dough with a potato filling and they are typically boiled. Some enjoy these simply topped with breadcrumbs and others with hearty sauces or gravy. Idrijski žlikrofi are often enjoyed alongside rich meaty main dishes.
Matevž (Potatoes and Beans)
This tasty food is considered Slovenia’s national dish. It has lower-class origins but today it is enjoyed by everyone! It is a very filling and inviting side dish thanks to the potatoes and beans.
Matevž is made from laurel-infused beans that are mixed with potatoes, sour cream, and cracklins to make a velvety delicious puree. The beans add a pleasing texture to potato mash and the dairy makes everything smooth and sumptuous.
Take one bite of matevž and you might want to forever replace traditional mashed potatoes!
Pražen Krompir (Roasted Potatoes)
This side dish is so well-known that it might seem basic, but the flavor of this Slovenian food is anything but basic! Pražen krompir are roasted potatoes, but in Slovenia, they are a way of life!
Potatoes are seen as simple food, but local chefs strive to prove that simple food can be absolutely delicious when prepared in Slovenian style! Slovenians like to make their roasted potatoes with onions and pork fat, but no matter how you enjoy this Slovenian food, take a moment to appreciate its humble roots!
Štruklji (Cheese Dumplings)
“Dumpling” may not be what comes to mind when you see Štruklji, but these little bites are truly spectacular! This Slovenian food might actually be more of a pastry than a dumpling, but its creamy layers will have you wanting more!
Štruklji can be enjoyed as a side dish or dessert so you have plenty of opportunities to try this tasty Slovenian food.
Štruklji are made with layers of phyllo dough laid out then filled with a rich cheese filling and rolled. The end result resembles a pinwheel and unlike other phyllo pastries, these tasty bites are boiled. They can be topped with breadcrumbs, honey, jam, or even savory sauces.
Slovenian Food: Breakfasts and Bread
Močnik (Buckwheat and Corn Porridge)
This comforting food is the perfect dish to begin your Slovenian day with. Močnik is a traditional Slovenian food made from buckwheat, corn, and other cereal grains cooked with dairy to make porridge. It has an earthy and toasted flavor that works very well with bacon or honey as an easy Slovenian breakfast.
Mining was a common classic career in Slovenia and this dish was made to please the local miners. Funšterc is an omelet cooked in lard. It is a simple and satisfying way to start the day in Slovenia and a true testament to the humble history of many traditional Slovenian dishes.
Frtalja is a Slovenian egg dish made with tons of delicious herbs. Herbs usually include dill, chives, and cilantro and these will be mixed with an eggy batter. Frtalja is pan-fried or baked to give it a nice crisp exterior.
This herbaceous offering is a great illustration of the Mediterranean influence on Slovenian food. It’s a rustic breakfast that is beloved for group gatherings or celebrations. This egg dish is a simple, beautiful Slovenian breakfast!
Gorenjska Prata (Egg and Ham Bake)
This Slovenian food is a speckled delight of savory breakfast flavors. Gorenjska prata is a dish made from an egg batter that is studded with bits of ham and bread and baked into a loaf. It is salty and the perfect dish to fuel up before a day on the slopes or to share at a celebration.
Belokranjska Pogača (Caraway Flatbread)
This special bread is a celebratory treat in Slovenia. Belokranjska pogača is yeast-leavened flatbread traditionally made for holidays and special occasions. This Slovenian food has a dough that uses the wonderful flavor of caraway to make it aromatic and delicious.
Pogača is a delectable bread in Slovenian that shows the Mediterranean influences in this area’s cooking. This Slovenian food is wonderfully flavorful and airy bread. Pogača is similar to focaccia in style and preparation.
The dough for this special bread is often leavened and uses wheat and sometimes barley flour. Slovenian chefs like to flavor it with herbs, spices, and sometimes vegetables. Pogača is cooked in a brick oven or fireplace with the ashes to get a rich, crusty flavor.
FLAVORS AROUND THE WORLD
Slovenian Food: Meat Dishes
Tlačenica (Pressed Pork Sausage)
Visitors to Slovenian who are familiar with the American food scrapple may find the flavor of this dish familiar. It’s a waste-not product that makes use of the whole animal.
Tlačenica is a pressed pork sausage that uses all the underused parts of the animal, including the head. The pork is cooked down and then cased in the animal’s stomach. This rich sausage is enjoyed cold with bread as a light snack.
Kranjska Klobasa (Carniolan Sausage)
This traditional Slovenian food is an icon of their local cuisine. It originated in the mountainous region but its popularity has grown worldwide. Their ingredients are tightly controlled but this closely protected Slovenian recipe makes for a sensational sausage!
Kranjska klobasa uses pork, bacon, sea salt, spices, and water to craft an unforgettable link. The sausages are hot smoked to give them a nice fiery finish. They are beloved on a white bread-style bun with a little mustard or kraut.
Štefani Pečenka (Meatloaf with Hard Boiled Egg)
Cultures around the world all have variations of meatloaf, this is Slovenia’s beloved version of meatloaf. What makes Slovenian meatloaf so special is the hidden surprise inside.
Štefani pečenka is made like other meatloaves with minced meat, breadcrumbs, and seasonings, but then it is shaped around hard-boiled eggs. Every slice has a surprise egg inside and it makes this meatloaf a real showstopper. This Slovenian food is delicious with roasted potatoes or fresh vegetables.
Kraški Pršut (Prosciutto)
This salty Slovenian food has Geographic protection and can only be made in Slovenia. Kraški Pršut is a local form of prosciutto made simply using traditional curing methods. It has an incredibly rich and salty ham-like flavor that makes a great snack after a day exploring in Ljubljana.
This classic Slovenian dish traditionally celebrates the slaughter and it’s a great way for ranchers to use the whole animal. Mežerli are meatballs similar to a blood sausage in that they use bread, pig, lamb, and/or veal blood, and spices. They are baked and served with warm potatoes and vegetables to make a perfectly rustic Slovenian meal.
Slovenian Food: Soups
Mineštra (Minestrone Soup)
This hearty Slovenian soup has been exported around the world and is beloved by locals. Mineštra is a filling soup made from a wide array of veggies and beans in a tomato broth. It is comfort food at its finest and an illustration of the culinary melting pot that is Slovenia.
Bujta Repa (Sour Turnip Hot Pot)
This Slovenian food is a tradition in the Northern portion of Slovenia. It is a warm and comforting stew with roots in ranching and farming culture. Slovenian stews and soups often make delicious use of what’s available and Bujta repa is that type of dish.
Bujta repa is made by boiling the pig’s head with sour turnips to make an unctuous and filling soup. It’s perfect with bread on a cool night in Slovenian.
Prežganka (Egg Soup)
This soup is beloved by locals and eaten to stave off the cold during Slovenian winters. Prežganka is a soup made from a mixture of a thin caraway-infused roux and scrambled eggs. This soup is so well-liked in Slovenia that it is considered the national soup.
Štrukljeva Juha (Dumpling Soup)
This decadent soup is popular in the Maribor wine country area of Slovenia. It is a sumptuous soup made with cheesy, strudel-style dumplings. It is seasoned with herbs to make this soup as aromatic as it is flavorful. Since this soup originates in wine country, it is often paired with a beautiful local white wine.
Slovenian Food: Stews
Jota (Bean and Bacon Stew)
Jota is the hearty dish you want on a cold night. It has big comforting vibes and tons of authentic Slovenian flavor. Like many other Slovenian foods, jota uses humble ingredients in expert ways to craft delicious dishes.
Jota is made by stewing bacon, spare ribs, and beans with sauerkraut. The addition of the kraut gives the stew a tanginess and acidity that the salty meat needs. It is an inviting Slovenian food that will make you want more!
Obara (Meat and Potato Stew)
This traditional Slovenian food is a meat and potatoes meal that is just right for making you feel at home in Slovenia. This stew is a catch-all for any ingredients you have. It was a traditional Sunday meal made to use up some of the ingredients from earlier in the week.
Obara is made with a mix of meats, roots, and vegetables. Turnips are a favorite to add to this stew. Obara can be served with bread or potatoes for a fully satisfying Slovenian dish.
Pasulj (Bean Stew)
This lovely winter stew is a traditional Slovenian food that today is enjoyed around the world. Pasulj is a bean stew made with white and pinto beans. The beans are stewed with fatty smoked meat, like bacon to give them a rich flavor.
Today, modern Slovenian chefs put their own twist on this dish by stewing up vegetarian versions of this smoky stew.
Bograč (Meat Stew)
Bograč is a traditional Slovenian food that bears the name of its cooking vessel. A bograč is both the name of the dish and the classic Slovenian cauldron that is used for cooking this delicious stew. It was originally developed by shepherds during the Hungarian rule as a satisfying dish for winters.
Bograč traditionally uses four types of meat, potatoes, onions, and red wine. It is a lush, satisfying dish that tastes more like fine dining than its humble roots. Enjoy this Slovenian food with bread and a glass of Slovenian wine.
Bakalca (Mutton Stew)
This rich and unctuous stew is a staple of the western region of Slovenia. It uses the luxurious flavors of mutton and wine to create the perfect stew base. Carrots and potatoes take this stew over the top. This is the perfect Slovenian food for filling up at exploring the old mining country.
Slovenian Food: Dessert
Prekmurska Gibanica (Layered Quark Pastry)
Slovenia has a wonderful tradition of crafting beautiful layered desserts. Prekmurska gibanica is the most iconic of these sweet Slovenian treats. It has everything you want from a dessert with plenty of authentic Slovenian flavor.
Prekmurska gibanica is made from extra thin layers of pastry that are stuffed with a sweet filling. The filling is made from quark cheese, poppy seeds, walnuts, apples, and other sweet flavors. It is a lush and decadent dessert that begs to be paired with hot coffee.
Potica (Nut Roll)
This Slovenian dessert is a local favorite for celebrations and everyday treat time! This beautiful and sweet Slovenian food is made from a walnut-filled pastry that is rolled into a log and typically baked in a wreath shape. It is served sliced to show off the beautiful spiral within.
This local favorite comes in many varieties. Some bakers make versions with quark cheese or fruit fillings, but walnut remains the most popular. Enjoy this Slovenian sweet with a cup of hot coffee or tea for a nice afternoon respite.
Cmoki (Dessert Dumplings)
These sweet dumplings are a highlight of the Slovenian dessert menu. They use a creamy potato dough that encases sweet and tart fruits like plum or strawberry. The dumplings are cooked and then served with lush cream or fruit sauces.
Kremna Rezina (Cream Cake)
This Slovenian food is a dairy lover’s dream with plenty of smooth and creamy Slovenian dessert flavors. This layered dessert is similar to an English vanilla slice or the Austrian cremeschnitte. This perfectly sweet cake is an ideal way to chase rich Slovenian dishes.
Kremna Rezina is composed of three layers. The bottom is a light sponge cake followed by a thick layer of cream and topped with a thin layer of phyllo pastry. It is typically seasoned with vanilla but some variations include citrus seasonings or the addition of rum or other liquors.
If you want to discover more incredible Slovenian desserts, check out the 10 best desserts in Slovenia to try.
Discovering Traditional Slovenian Food
The hearty and inviting food in Slovenia is as beautiful as the Slovenian mountains. There are so many delightful flavors to find in this forested country. From breakfast to dessert, Slovenian food is full of delicious wonders. Pull up a plate and get ready to be amazed by all the flavors of Slovenia.