Authentic Polish Kartacze: A Hearty Dumpling Delight

by Jan Vasil
Authentic Polish Kartacze: A Hearty Dumpling Delight

Polish Kartacze, a delightful comfort food from the heart of Poland, are hearty potato dumplings filled with savory ground meat. This recipe offers a taste of traditional Polish cuisine and is perfect for a satisfying meal.

Most Popular Ways of Serving Kartacze

Kartacze are often served with a side of fried onions or crispy bacon, adding a delightful crunch and richness to the dish. They can also be enjoyed with a dollop of sour cream or alongside a salad for a lighter meal. During the colder months, Kartacze are a perfect match for rich stews or soups.

  • Served hot with a side of crispy, fried onions or bacon bits for added texture and flavor.
  • Accompanied by a dollop of sour cream or a creamy mushroom sauce.
  • Paired with pickled vegetables like cucumbers or sauerkraut for a tangy contrast.
  • Enjoyed alongside rich, meaty stews or gravies, soaking up the flavorful sauces.
  • Served as part of a traditional Polish feast, especially during celebrations or festive occasions.

My Advice to Make the Best Kartacze

Achieving the perfect texture for Kartacze involves ensuring the potato dough is not too wet and properly squeezing out any excess liquid. The meat filling should be seasoned well and cooked until just tender to keep the dumplings juicy and flavorful.

  • Ensure the potato dough is neither too dry nor too wet for the perfect consistency.
  • Thoroughly squeeze out any excess liquid from the grated potatoes to prevent the dumplings from falling apart.
  • Use high-quality minced meat for the filling for better flavor and texture.
  • Seal the dumplings properly to ensure they stay intact during cooking.
  • Cook the Kartacze at a gentle simmer to maintain their shape and texture.

Spices and Other Variations for the Best Kartacze

Traditional Kartacze are seasoned with marjoram, but you can experiment with other herbs like thyme or parsley. For a spicier kick, a pinch of paprika or cayenne pepper can be added to the meat filling. Vegetarian versions can substitute meat with mushrooms or a mix of veggies.

  • Experiment with herbs like thyme, parsley, or dill in the meat filling for varied flavors.
  • Add a pinch of paprika, cayenne pepper, or black pepper for a spicy kick.
  • Substitute the meat with mushrooms, lentils, or cheese for a vegetarian option.
  • Incorporate finely chopped vegetables like carrots or celery into the meat filling for added nutrition.
  • Serve with a variety of sauces, from traditional gravy to modern, lighter options like yogurt-based sauces or herb-infused oils.

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Authentic Polish Kartacze: A Hearty Dumpling Delight

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Recipe by Jan Vasil Course: Recipe bookCuisine: PolishDifficulty: medium


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  • Dough:
  • 12 12 potatoes (same size), 1 onion, 1 tbsp salt, 1 tbsp sour cream or mascarpone, potato starch.

  • Filling:
  • 1 1 onion, 1 tbsp clarified butter or oil, 1 garlic clove, 9 oz minced meat, 1 tbsp dried marjoram.

  • Others:
  • Gauze or thin kitchen cloth, potato starch, fried onion or bacon for serving.


  • Prepare the Filling:**
  • Sauté diced onion in butter or oil, add crushed garlic, minced meat, and marjoram. Mix until smooth, then divide into 6 portions.
  • Make the Dough:**
  • Cook 3 potatoes, grate the rest. Combine grated potatoes, onion, and salt, and squeeze out the juice. Mix mashed and grated potatoes with sour cream or mascarpone.
  • Form Kartacze:
  • Flatten a piece of dough, place a portion of the filling in the center, and wrap the dough around it. Shape into an oval.
  • Cook Kartacze:** Boil in salted water with potato starch for 15-20 minutes.
  • Serve: Enjoy with fried onions or bacon.

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Can I use a different type of meat for the filling?

Yes, pork, beef, or a mixture can be used.

How can I ensure the Kartacze doesn’t fall apart while cooking?

Make sure the dough is not too wet and seal them well.

Are there any vegetarian alternatives for the filling?

Mushrooms or a mix of vegetables can be a great substitute.

How long can Kartacze be stored?

They are best enjoyed fresh but can be refrigerated for 1-2 days.

Can Kartacze be frozen?

Yes, freeze them before cooking and boil directly from frozen.

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Dive into the rich tapestry of Central Eastern European culture with “Taste Is Yours,” a culinary journey that celebrates the region’s deep-rooted gastronomic traditions. From the hearty stews of Hungary to the iconic dumplings of Poland, our blog is a tribute to the authentic dishes that have graced family tables for generations.


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