Slovenian Food – 23 Delicious Dishes You Simply Must Try

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If you’re visiting Slovenia for the very first time, and are keen to try Slovenian food, many treats lay in wait for you.

Whether you’re a foodie that’s feeling adventurous, or you want to inject a little Slovenian flavor into your home cooking, our article is packed to the brim with hearty and unique Slovenian dishes for all tastes.

Below, we take a closer look at 23 traditional Slovenian foods. All of them are unique in their own little way, with a fascinating history behind them.

No matter what your palette, there’s something for everyone on this list of foods you simply have to try when you visit Slovenia.

Introduction to Slovenian Food

best slovenian food

Slovenia is a small country with a surprisingly diverse culinary landscape. Slovenian cuisine is unique and colorful.

The food is influenced by the cuisines of neighboring Austria, Italy, and Hungary, as well as the countries of the Balkans, as one of the members of the former Yugoslavia.

The country itself is divided into 30 gastronomic regions. There are at least 22 Slovenian food products and foods protected at the European level.

Most Slovenian foods are hearty and simple. Cream is part of many dishes, such as sour pork soup or mushroom soup.

Potatoes and bread are staples of Slovenian food. Expect to find many dishes with these two foods included in the recipe. Mushrooms are also a big part of Slovenian cuisine.

So, without any further ado, here are 23 of the most delicious traditional Slovenian foods you should definitely try while visiting this beautiful country.

23 Traditional Slovenian Foods You Simply Must Try

1 – Ajdovi Žganci

Ajdovi zganci - Slovenian food

This Slovenian national dish is a buckwheat spoonbread. It used to be considered a poor person’s food and a substitute for bread.

Traditionally, it’s made with water and buckwheat flour, but different regions often use different flours such as wheat, barley, or corn wheat to make it. Sometimes, semolina and potatoes are added to this dish.

There are many ways to prepare žganci. Flour can be roasted in a pan, and boiling water can be added later. Or it can be cooked in boiling water, straight away. Pork crackling is commonly used for garnish.

Today, this Slovenian specialty is served as a side dish with sour turnips, sour cabbage, and mushroom soup. For a truly authentic taste of Slovenian food, this is an excellent place to start.

2 – Belokranjska Povitica

Belokranjska Povitica - Slovenian food

This traditional Slovenian pastry is commonly shaped into a spiral of crispy and flaky dough with a delicious filling. The dough is made with flour, salt, water, and vinegar.

Belokranjska povitica is filling and very decadent. Once stretched out into thin sheets, the dough is spread with a filling of eggs, curd cheese, oil, heavy cream, and butter.

The dough is then rolled into a swirl and baked. Finally, the pastry is sliced and served warm.

3 – Bujta Repa

Bujta Repa - Slovenian food

Bujta repa is a rich hot pot of pork, pickles, and grated sour turnips. It is a traditional Slovenian food, most commonly prepared in the north-eastern part of the country.

The preparation includes stewing fatty parts of a pig’s head, skin, and neck together with sour turnips, spices, and seasonings such as bay leaves, paprika, garlic, onion. A good dose of lard and millet are also included.

Bujta repa is a hearty main dish. It is essentially a thick soup of pork and other ingredients. It’s a much-loved Slovenian food, especially during winter.

4 – Jota

Jota - Slovenian food

Jota is a hearty vegetable and meat stew, and a popular Slovenian winter food. It is made with beans, onions, turnip, potatoes, and, sometimes, smoked pork ribs.

There are many variations of this Slovenian food throughout the country. In some parts, Slovenians prepare it with beans and sour cabbage without potatoes. In other parts of Slovenia, it is made with barley and local vegetables.

This soup or stew is usually prepared during the cold winter months. In some regions of Slovenia, it is eaten with polenta.

5 – Štruklji

Struklji - Slovenian food

Štruklji is the national food of Slovenia. It consists of rolls of filo pastry filled with a wide range of savory and sweet fillings.

The dough can be boiled, steamed, or fried. The filling can include meat, cottage cheese, apple, poppy seed, and even tarragon.

Traditionally, struklji has a cottage cheese filling. However, other versions have now become popular, such as walnut.

Štruklji can be served as a side dish to meat, or as a dessert topped with breadcrumbs. It is a truly delicious Slovenian food.

6 – Žlikrofi

Zlikrofi - Slovenian food

This specialty is the Slovenian version of ravioli. Žlikrofi consists of pasta pockets filled with bacon, potato, spices, and minced pork fat.

This Slovenian dish is served with different sauces. These include rabbit or lamb sauce, vegetable sauce, or fruit jam. It can also be eaten on its own, seasoned with cheese, crackling, and butter.

Žlikrofi is the first Slovenian dish to have gained protected status. It can be enjoyed as a main dish as it is quite filling, but also as a side dish or a starter.

With so many rich flavors to choose from, you just know this is going to be a flavorful Slovenian food.

7 – Bograč

Bograc - Slovenian food

This Slovenian dish is a complex stew that originates from the famous Hungarian goulash. Bograč combines three sorts of meat; beef, pork, and game, as well as plenty of onion, sweet paprika, potatoes, and wine.

These diverse ingredients help give the dish a distinctive flavor. Sometimes mushrooms are included in the recipe.

Traditionally, bograč prepared in a cauldron over an open fire. The cooking process is long, taking from two to four hours, but the end result is a delicious stew with the perfect consistency. It’s a Slovenian food steeped in rich history.

8 – Prekmurska Gibanica

Prekmurska Gibanica - Slovenian food

This delicious and moist Slovenian dessert is a type of layered cake. The cake has such an important history in the country, it is a protected European food.

It consists of layers of poppy seeds, walnut and apple filling, cinnamon, and cottage cheese. Prekmurska gibanica has a mild sweetness, hence is perfect for those who prefer desserts that aren’t too sweet.

It’s a divine combination of sweet and savory, and is a Slovenian food you should definitely try while traveling through this beautiful country.

9 – Potica

Potica - Slovenian food

This iconic Slovenian food, a roulade-like pastry, is very similar to štrukli. Potica is a multi-layered dessert made of dough and filled with young cheese and walnuts.

However, there are more than a hundred different fillings, so there’s definitely a potica for every taste.

Common potica fillings include tarragon, poppy seeds, cracknels, and walnut. In the past, the dessert was often filled with honey. This is one of the oldest recipes in the country, dating back to 1689.

10 – Šelinka

Selinka - Slovenian food

Šelinka is a delicious thick soup or hearty stew made with plenty of celery. Other ingredients used in the recipe include beans, potato, rice, and occasionally meat or bacon.

The stew is most often prepared during winter. It is served hot with a spoonful of vinegar or dry wine for a little injection of acidity.

This was a very popular soup in Slovenia of decades gone by. It is commonly served at dinner as a main dish with polenta or potatoes.

11 – Pražene Gobe z Jajci

Prazene Gobe z Jajci - Slovenian food

The recipe for this Slovenian national dish comes from the Štajerska region. Pražene gobe z jajci consists of baked mushrooms with fresh parsley and eggs, served as an independent dish or as an appetizer.

The preparation of this beloved dish includes cutting the cleaned mushrooms into thin slices and sautéing them with onions. Garlic, pepper, and parsley are then added to the mushrooms and, finally, whisked eggs.

The mixture in the pan is seasoned with salt, and left in the pan until the eggs are thoroughly cooked. As Slovenian foods go, this is one of the country’s most important dishes.

12 – Pohorska Gibanica

Pohorska Gibanica - Slovenian food

You can find different versions of this layer cake in different parts of Slovenia. However, Pohorska gibanica is typical for the region of Pohorje. This rich and filling dessert made with homemade cottage cheese and yeast dough.

Pohorska gibanica can have many different fillings. Traditionally, you will find it made with seasonal ingredients such as forest fruits, apples, dried pears, or tarragon.

The dessert is served cool and dusted with powdered sugar. It is one of Slovenia’s sweetest delights and a must-try dish.

13 – Regratova Solata

Regratova Solata - Slovenian food

Did you know that Slovenians have a dandelion salad? That is precisely what Regratova solata is.

The dandelion greens are hand-picked while young and tender, without the flower buds. This unusual but delicious salad is made with dandelion greens, hard-boiled eggs, thin slices of boiled potatoes, bacon, red wine vinegar, and olive oil.

The preparation includes tossing the ingredients together and seasoning the mixture with olive oil, vinegar, bacon fat, and salt. As a Slovenian food, it’s definitely one of the most refreshing and delicious.

14 – Štrukljeva Juha

Strukljeva Juha - Slovenian food

This popular Slovenian fasting dish is essentially a dumpling soup that originates from the Maribor region.

Strudel dough is used to make Štruklji dumplings, which are filled with cottage cheese. The dumplings are then cut into smaller pieces and put into a pot with salted boiling water until cooked.

While the dumplings are cooking, the cottage cheese thickens the soup, making it more filling and wholesome. The dish is served sprinkled with chopped parsley or chives.

15 – Tlačenica

Tlacenica - Slovenian food

This Slovenian pressed pork sausage known as tlačenica, presvuršt, or švargl, is originally from Croatia. It is made with cooked pork parts, most often pig’s head meat, tongue, heart, cheeks, and skin.

To prepare, the meat is deboned and cut into chops. It is then seasoned with salt, pepper, garlic, and sweet or hot paprika, and mixed with a little oil.

The meat mixture is stuffed into a clean pig’s large intestine or stomach to form a sausage. The sausage is then cooked in water, chilled, and pressed.

Tlačenica can be smoked and dried in traditional smokehouses for up to a couple of weeks. Or, it can be consumed right after it has been properly cooked and pressed.

It is served as a cold cut with bread and garlic. If you a big meat-eater, you’ll definitely enjoy this iconic Slovenian food.

16 – Mežerli

Mezerli - Slovenian food

Mežerli is the national dish of Slovenia. It consists of pork lungs, eggs, rice, and bread. This dish dates back to a time where no part of the animal could go to waste.

The offal, often lungs and heart, are mixed with eggs, rice, and bread. Once the ingredients are mashed, the mixture is heavily seasoned.

The mash is then baked and served warm as an appetizer or main dish. It is commonly accompanied by potato salad, boiled potatoes, or bread.

17 – Matevž

Matevz - Slovenian food

Matevž, belokranjski mož, medved, or krompirjev mož is a delicious, creamy bean and potato purée. This traditional Slovenian delicacy is usually paired with turnip, sauerkraut, roasted meat, sausages, ham, or pork crackling.

Traditionally, matevž is served as a main dish. Nowadays, however, it is often eaten as a side dish or snack, especially during winter.

The preparation is simple and involves boiling beans, soaked in water overnight, with laurel leaf, and butter. Separately, peeled potatoes are cooked and mixed with sour cream, butter, and crackling.

The two mixtures are then combined together and pureed with some garlic. This is a scrumptious Slovenian food to warm the stomach and soothe the soul.

18 – Ajdnek

This old Slovenian folded cake is made with soft, yeasted, buckwheat dough and sweet walnut filling. The dough often requires mixing buckwheat and wheat flour in equal amounts.

When it comes to the sweet filling, walnuts, cinnamon, honey, and vanilla flavoring are all used, which give it a truly harmonious taste. As a Slovenian food, it’s one you simply have to try.

19 – Kobariški Štruklji

Kobariski struklji - Slovenian food

This heavenly dessert and popular Slovenian food used to be served only during the festive period. Luckily, nowadays, it’s one of the most popular local desserts throughout Slovenia, especially in the Kobarid region.

Kobariški štruklji is made with a thin layer of dough, spread with a sweet walnut filling.

Besides walnuts, the filling includes lemon zest, raisins, rum, and vanilla. Once filled, the dough is carefully wrapped.

The štriklji are then pressed in the middle, to set into their beloved and recognizable shape.

Kobariški štruklji are best served warm. Typically, these pastries are doused in syrup and sprinkled with buttered breadcrumbs.

You can also find them dusted with sugar, cinnamon, and ground walnuts. This is a dessert you simply need to try.

20 – Obara

Obara - Slovenian food

Obara is a traditional Slovenian stew. Traditionally, it is prepared with various cuts of meat and internal organs.

Modern versions of the stew contain different vegetables such as celery, carrots, onions, turnips, beans, and peas.

In the past, this hearty Slovenian food was only prepared for special occasions and holidays. Nowadays, it is an everyday dish for Slovenians from all walks of life.

The stew is very filling. It is served as a main course, and it is often paired with ajdovi žganci.

Polšja obara is a truly unique version of this stew, which uses dormouse as the primary meat. You will be able to try this delicacy in select restaurants and eateries in Slovenia.

21 – Belokranjska Pogača

Belokranjska Pogaca - Slovenian food

This mouth-watering pastry is a type of flatbread made with four basic ingredients. It is round in shape, traditionally with a thickness of a few centimeters.

The surface of pogača is traditionally sliced in a cross-hatched pattern. This beautiful Slovenian dish is another of the country’s EU-protected specialty foods.

The dough is made with flour, yeast, salt, water, and a little sugar and oil. It is glazed with egg wash and sprinkled with cumin and coarse salt before baking.

Belokranjska pogača is considered ready to eat once it develops a light brown or golden color. It is usually broken by hand and eaten warm.

22 – Prežganka

Prezganka - Slovenian food

This classic Slovenian soup is simple, delicious, and nourishing. It is made with water, spices like paprika, caraway seeds, pepper, and salt, and flour, slightly browned in oil.

For more thickness and flavor, a lightly whisked egg is added.

The soup is served warm, most often with toasted bread or croutons on the side. Slovenians eat it as a homemade hangover remedy and for many other occasions.

23 – Kranjska Klobasa

Kranjska Klobasa - Slovenian food

Krainer sausage, kranjska klobasa, or carniolan is a sausage that has a very specific meat-to-bacon ratio. It consists of 20% bacon and 80% coarsely ground, high-quality pork cuts such as the neck, shoulder, and leg.

The 12-16 cm long sausages are funneled into natural casings and twisted into links, tied and held together with the help of a wooden skewer.

The production process involves pasteurizing and hot-smoking the links until they get a slightly red-brown color. Kranjska klobasa is traditionally seasoned with salt, pepper, and garlic.

The secret of the perfect Slovenian kranjska klobasa is not by boiling it in water, but just letting it simmer for a while. This delicious, unique sausage with a smoky aroma is usually eaten with mustard and sauerkraut.

Slovenian Food Summary

We’ve come to the end of our wonderful list of Slovenian foods you simply must try when you visit.

Whether your palette caters to rich, creamy soups, baked delights, or sweet treats, there is plenty on that list to get you excited for your visit.

One final time, here’s the full list of all foods covered in the article. Be sure to have this list of Slovenian food handy when you visit, so that you can try one or more of these delicious foods from a street vendor, at a restaurant, or from a bakery.

1 – Ajdovi Žganci
2 – Belokranjska Povitica
3 – Bujta Repa
4 – Jota
5 – Štruklji
6 – Žlikrofi
7 – Bograč
8 – Prekmurska Gibanica
9 – Potica
10 – Šelinka
11 – Pražene Gobe z Jajci
12 – Pohorska Gibanica
13 – Regratova Solata
14 – Štrukljeva Juha
15 – Tlačenica
16 – Mežerli
17 – Matevž
18 – Ajdnek
19 – Kobariški Štruklji
20 – Obara
21  – Belokranjska Pogača
22 – Prežganka
23 – Kranjska Klobasa

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