Autumn in the Czech Republic is a time to enjoy the breathtaking display of colorful leaves and sometimes the last touches of summer with the balmy weather we Czechs call "babí léto". However, this season also brings shorter daylight hours, cooler temperatures, increased rainfall, and a piercing chill that can creep under our coats.
Now is the ideal moment to whip up some hearty Czech recipes that will warm both your body and soul. Here is my collection of the best fall dishes to try!
Czech fall soups
Zelňačka Sauerkraut Soup
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Zelňačka Sauerkraut Soup
Who is up for a steaming bowl of authentic Czech sauerkraut soup with sausage? This hearty, thick delight is famously known as "Zelňačka" in Czech cuisine, and it's your ticket to warmth on those chilly days.
Dršťková polévka Tripe Soup
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Tripe Soup
Czech cuisine wouldn't be complete without “Dršťková polévka” tripe soup. It's a dish that divides opinion; some love it, while others avoid it because of their aversion to tripe. Regardless, tripe soup has earned its place among Czech fall recipes. Try it with a slice of fresh bread, and you may discover a new love for its taste!
Bramboračka Potato Mushroom Soup
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Bramboračka Potato Mushroom Soup
“Bramboračka” is probably the most famous soup from villages and towns in the Czech foothills. In the mountainous parts of Bohemia, potatoes flourished, and in the fall, the forests were full of mushrooms, which Czechs love to pick. Potato soup is full of the aromas of autumn: mushrooms, root vegetables, and potatoes. Try it and let your taste buds be pampered!
➜ Get the recipe: Wallachian Kyselica
Let me introduce you to Kyselica, a hearty white soup featuring sauerkraut, potatoes, and sliced sausage. This Moravian classic comes from Wallachia, a mountainous region in the eastern part of Czechia.
In the past, hardworking men would start their mornings with this soup to give them the strength they needed to work in the forests. If you're looking for a heartwarming and comforting meal during the brisk fall days, Kyselica soup is a great option.
Kyselo Sourdough Soup
➜ Get the recipe: Kyselo Sourdough Soup
Let's head to the Krkonose Mountains, the highest mountain in the Czech Republic. This is where Kyselo comes from, a simple but nutritious soup made from sourdough and mushrooms that grow in abundance in the Krkonoše forests in the fall. The soup also includes fried eggs and boiled potatoes. A nourishing and tasty soup that will fill your body with energy!
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Caraway Soup
Just so you know, caraway seeds are one of the most characteristic spices in Czech cuisine. There is no doubt about its beneficial effects, and even Czech grannies knew this well when they cooked a simple but delicious caraway soup (kmínová polévka) for their loved ones. A soup to warm you up in autumn!
Czech fall main courses
Strapačky Ham, Sauerkraut and Potato Dumplings
➜ Get the recipe: Strapačky Ham, Sauerkraut and Potato Dumplings
My mother shared this recipe with me when I needed a hearty dish for my boys. It's called Strapačky in Czech, and it's a simple, delicious one-pan meal combining sauerkraut, ham, and potato dumplings. I strongly recommend giving Strapacky a try.
Vepřo knedlo zelo
➜ Get the recipe: Vepřo Knedlo Zelo
This combination of three words promises excellent comfort food, which you can get in almost any Czech pub. It is the Czech abbreviation for roast pork, braised cabbage, and dumplings. Wash it down with a big gulp of cold beer!
➜ Get the recipe: Roast Goose
In the Czech Republic, roast goose is a traditional delicacy associated with St. Martin's Day, which falls on November 11. During this time, local pubs offer roast goose (pečená husa) as a special treat, and people partake in this festive feast, typically served with dumplings and red cabbage.
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Beef Goulash
Say in Czech "hovězí guláš" and your mouth will start watering! This dish holds a special place in Czech pubs and beyond. Beef goulash is all about tender beef chunks slowly simmered with a generous helping of onion. Enjoy it with soft bread dumplings and a refreshing cold beer.
➜ Get the recipe: Szegediner Goulash
While Szegediner goulash (segedínský guláš) may not have Czech origins, it has certainly found a warm spot in Czech cuisine! This dish features tender pork pieces cooked in a flavorful sauce with sauerkraut. As is customary with goulash, it pairs wonderfully with soft bread dumplings.
Hubník Mushroom Bread Pudding
➜ Get the recipe: Hubník Mushroom Bread Pudding
I invite you to the Krkonoše Mountains, the highest mountains in the Czech Republic! This is where the recipe for Hubník comes from: a bread pudding with mushrooms, which are abundant in the Czech autumn forests. Hubník is baked in the oven, diced, and served cold or hot. Interesting fact: there is also a sweet version of this mushroom dish!
Czech fall side dishes
Lepenice Sauerkraut Potato Mash
➜ Get the recipe: Lepenice Sauerkraut Potato Mash
Stay healthy and warm this fall with my nourishing Czech Lepenice Mash. It is a delicious blend of creamy mashed potatoes and tangy sauerkraut, that goes perfectly with sausage.
Hairy dumplings (Chlupate knedliky)
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Hairy Dumplings
Raised dumplings are a beloved Czech classic. But have you ever heard of hairy dumplings? Made from shredded raw potatoes, these dumplings (chlupaté knedlíky) are a fantastic accompaniment to the slow-roasted meats so popular in the autumn season.
Lokše Potato Flatbread
➜ Get the recipe: Lokše Potato Flatbread
Lokše are old-fashioned pancakes made from yesterday's leftover boiled, grated potatoes. These thin pancakes are cooked in a dry frying pan until they develop a lovely blistered texture on the surface. For an authentic touch, they can be brushed with goose fat. Lokše are a wonderful accompaniment to roast meats or can be smeared with plum jam for a delicious dessert.
Placky Potato Flatbread
➜ Get the recipe: Placky Potato Flatbread
Another simple Czech side dish made from leftover potatoes is placky pancakes. Made from grated potatoes, egg, and flour, these pancakes are fried in a pan with a little lard until golden brown. In our family, we used to eat them with a cup of white coffee, but they are just as good as a side dish, usually with meat dishes.
Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
➜ Get the recipe: Sweet and Sour Red Cabbage
The Old World Czechs considered cabbage an essential ingredient in the kitchen. Cabbage can be used in many different ways. One of the most popular Czech recipes is sweet and sour sauerkraut cabbage stew, served with meat and dumplings.
➜ Get the recipe: Braised Sauerkraut
Want to get a tangy side dish on your plate? Then there's braised sauerkraut to give your meal just the right twist! In autumn, the Czechs would grate the heads of white cabbage and leave them in barrels to ferment until they turned into sauerkraut. Sauerkraut was then used as a source of vitamins during the cold months or cooked as a side dish for meaty meals.
Czech fall sweets
Poppy Seed Horseshoe Rolls
➜ Get the recipe: Poppy Seed Horseshoe Rolls
Czech pastries come in a variety of shapes and flavors. In November, horseshoe-shaped rolls filled with poppy seeds are a thing! In Czech, these are known as “Martinské podkovy” because people bake them to celebrate the feast of St. Martin, who, according to legend, arrives in Bohemia every year on a white horse.
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Kolache
Kolaches (koláče) are one of the most famous baked treats in Czech cuisine. They usually have a round shape with a generous sweet filling at their center and are perfectly sized to be held in your hand. Autumn festivities (Hody) in the Czech Republic are brimming with these delightful kolaches. Whether it's poppy seed, plum, or Tvaroh cheese kolache, you can now make your own at home using my recipe!
➜ Get the recipe: Czech Apple Strudel
In the Czech Republic, apples thrive in nearly every backyard, making autumn the perfect season for delectable apple dishes. Among the favorites is apple strudel (jablečný štrúdl), featuring raisins and a scent of cinnamon. Give it a try and let the enchantment of apple strudel win you over!
Lívance Yeast Pancakes
➜ Get the recipe: Lívance Yeast Pancakes
Czech children remember their grannies standing by the stove, skillfully frying round, tender Lívance pancakes, dusted with a sweet sprinkle of icing sugar. These pancakes are more than just filling; they are a comforting balm for the soul. Czech Lívance pancakes are made from a liquid yeast dough, requiring a bit of patience, but the unique flavor they deliver is truly unforgettable.
Sweet Šišky with Fried Breadcrumbs
➜ Get the recipe: Šišky with Fried Breadcrumbs
Ever heard of Šišky dumplings made from potato dough and sprinkled with fried breadcrumbs mixed with sugar? My dad used to serve this Czech specialty on our family table, a sweet dessert that we would enjoy as our main course. While it might be an unconventional pairing for some, as a child, it remains one of the sweetest memories from my childhood
Škubánky with Poppy Seed
➜ Get the recipe: Škubánky with Poppy Seeds
Again, Škubánky (plural) put the spotlight on potatoes, a crucial ingredient in Czech cooking. This distinctive dish, made from boiled potatoes and flour, could be hardly found in other national cuisines. On the plate, Škubánky are generously sprinkled with a mixture of ground poppy seeds and sugar, then drizzled with melted butter. It's a taste sensation you can't help but love!
How about you? Have you made your choice? Share with me your favorite autumn recipe with Czech origins!