5 Delicious Polish Thanksgiving Recipes

Thanksgiving isn't celebrated in Eastern Europe the way North Americans do (Canada also celebrates but on the second Monday in October), but many of the same foods typically associated with this holiday are enjoyed year-round by Eastern Europeans.

While not a dinner centered around Native Americans and Pilgrims, Most Eastern European countries have some type of harvest festival or "giving thanks for the grain." It is spelled variously Obzhynky in Ukrainian, Obzhinki in Russian, Dożynki...MORE in Polish, Prachystaya in Belarusian, Dožínky in Czech, and so on. Jews have the Feast of Tabernacles or Sukkot and Shavuot which are harvest festivals and an opportunity to give thanks for bountiful blessings and the receiving of the Torah.

Shake things up a bit and try one of these Eastern European recipes at your Thanksgiving feast this year! 

  • 01 of 05
    Roasted Duck Breast
    Roasted Duck Breast. © 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
    This recipe for pan-roasted filet of duck breast is fast and easy, and delicious when served with a honey-brown sugar sauce. Eastern Europeans love turkey and whole roasted birds, but this is a nice change of pace, and can be found at many of the upscale restaurants in Poland.
  • 02 of 05
    mashed-rutabaga-potato.jpg
    Mashed Rutabagas and Potatoes. © Diane Miller / Getty Images
    Rutabagas and potatoes are two favorite vegetables among Poles because they overwinter so well and winters can be very harsh in Poland. Here they are cooked in chicken stock and mashed with as much butter as your diet will allow.
  • 03 of 05
    Stewpot with roots
    Thorsten Suedfels / Getty Images
    Common root vegetables include potatoes, onions, garlic, carrots and beets. Their not-so-glamorous, but equally delicious, cousins include turnips, rutabagas, parsnips, and celeriac (celery root), and they show up on most Eastern European tables in late fall and winter.
  • 04 of 05
    Creamed Pumpkin
    Creamed Pumpkin. © Tara Fisher for "The Viennese Kitchen"

    This creamy side dish combines pumpkin, onion, sour cream and dill. It's not something you see everyday. Polish pumpkins are naturally very sweet. If yours is on the bland side, add a little sugar to brighten the flavor.

    Go to the next page for bread and dessert recipes.

    Continue to 5 of 5 below.
  • 05 of 05
    Photo of Polish Potato Bread - Okregly Chleb Kartoflany
    Photo of Polish Potato Bread - Okregly Chleb Kartoflany. © 2008 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
    Polish potato bread is firm enough to accommodate sandwiches made of leftover turkey AND cranberry sauce without falling apart. And its flavor won't compete with the meat the way rye bread would.