Romanian Food: Traditional Dishes In Romania

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Looking to learn about traditional Romanian food?

You’ve come to the right place to find out about some of the most popular and traditional dishes and desserts in Romania.

Romanian cuisine contains mixed influences from many cultures, the country being located in a special position where the Eastern and Western cultures combines.

It has many Turkish and Balkan influences, but also contains elements form Eastern and Central Europe traditional cuisines.

However, it has its own character and savor: it’s very tasty and many traditional dishes are really mouthwatering.

That’s why I recommend cooking and trying each and every single recipe that follows, to really grasp the richness and tastefulness of Romanian food.

Romanian recipes and dishes can be mainly categorized into:

  1. Soups (sweet and sour)
  2. Stews (any and all kind)
  3. Meat & Meatballs (mainly pork)
  4. Desserts (cakes & pastries)



🍽️ Traditional Recipes (Dishes) In Romania & How To Make Them

Below is a list of traditional Romanian dishes linked to their full recipe so you can cook and enjoy each and every single one of them.

Keep in mind that there are many versions of every recipe, as every household added to original recipe depending on regional traditions and influences.

These are recipes that I cook for my family, as their were passed on to me from my grandmother.

There are soul comforting foods, prepared with love for flavor and pleasure of cooking.



1. Romanian Food: Beef Salad (Salata De Boeuf)

Also known as Russian Salad, Salad Russe, Olivier Salad.

A traditional potato, carrots, meat (beef or chicken) and pickles salad bonded by a mayo dressing. It has many variants.

It serves as an appetizer or starter for important celebration meals. Very much loved and prepared often.

I always make a large batch and never gets to see 4 days.

romanian beef salad russian potato salad
Romanian Beef Salad (Olivier, Salad Russe, Russian Salad)


2. Romanian Eggplant Salad/Spread (Salata De Vinete)

A staple recipe in Romanian cuisine – this smoked eggplant spread/dip is made from roasted/grilled eggplants, chopped and then mixed with a pinch of salt, vegetable oil and finely chopped onion.

Very tasty, just spread it over crusty bread and top with tomato and bell pepper slices for complete deliciousness.

Click the image for detailed recipe.

Romanian Eggplant Salad/Spread


3. Romanian Dish: Potato Salad (Salata Orientala)

This is a simple vegetarian potato salad – a quick and cheap meal but incredible tasty to put together when in a hurry.

Traditional recipe does not contain lettuce, I like to add it for more freshness in its season.

It also contains radishes, bell peppers, boiled eggs, olives and dill pickles. With a simple oil and vinegar dressing.

potato salad with eggs
healthy colorful Romanian potato salad with eggs


4. Romanian Food: Meatball Soup (Ciorba De Perisoare)

Another staple recipe: this meatball soup is widely cooked as per daily basis. Very tasty, nutritious and full of color.

It can be made with pork or chicken meat, contains lots of vegetables and tomatoes.

It’s a sour soup, it is made sour with bran (a fermented agent) or upon serving with vinegar or lemon juice.

Romanian Meatball Soup


5. Romanian Garlic Sour Cream Chicken Soup (Radauteana)

This sour cream garlic chicken soup is very rich and full of flavor. It’s soooo tasty and indulgent that you really, really should cook and enjoy it at least once in a lifetime.

It’s delicate, silky and nutritious. It’s already famous all over the world and it surely deserves it.

romanian garlic chicken soup
Romanian Ciorba Radauteana


6. Romanian Cabbage Rolls (Sarmale)

Probably the most famous Romanian food as a traditional recipe – these sour cabbage leaves are filled with minced pork, rice and herbs and slowly cooked in delicious tomato sauce.

Highly recommended and be warned: you may become addicted. 🙂

romanian cabbage rolls recipe sarmale
Romanian Cabbage Rolls (Sarmale)


7. Romanian Stewed Cabbage And Sausage (Varza Calita)

Stove top stewed cabbage and sausage – also slowly cooked in tomato sauce. It can be made without sausages and enjoyed by vegetarians. Simple but very tasty recipe.

Delicious and easy to make, cooked especially over the summer.

romanian cabbages and sausages recipe
Romanian cabbage and sausage recipe (varza calita)


8. Romanian Stuffed Peppers (Ardei Umpluti)

The second most popular traditional Romanian dish internationally (I’m working on making them more famous all over the globe). 🙂

That’s another dish that may get you addicted.

Full of savor and taste, those pork & rice stuffed peppers are being slowly cooked on stove top (or oven) in the same delicious tomato sauce again.

We really, really love tomatoes!

A must try recipe.

Romanian Stuffed Peppers (Ardei Umpluti)


9. Stewed Beans With Sausage (Iahnie De Fasole Cu Carnati)

This stewed beans recipe can be cooked with or without sausage.

It’s often cooked in colder times and it’s very nutritious. A hearty, soul comforting recipe.

romanian foods: stewed beans
stewed beans with sausage (fasole cu carnati)


10. Romanian Food: White Bean Dip (Fasole Batuta)

Delicious white bean dip / spread made from scratch. It’s flavored with garlic and topped with tomato and onions.

It is a vegan dish, cooked and consumed mostly in vegan periods (usually 14-40 days) preceding big Orthodox celebrations.

Romanian Foods - Traditional dishes
traditional white bean dip (fasole batuta)


11. Romanian Desserts: Cozonac (Festive Sweet Bread)

This walnut roll is a traditional festive sweet bread named Cozonac and it is cooked every Easter and Christmas.

Its preparation is taken very serious and regarded as a sacred legacy.

Every family passes on its favorite recipe to the next generation to keep the tradition alive.

It’s very tasty and fills the house with delicious flavors when starts baking in the oven.

Romanian traditional desserts
Romanian traditional dessert: Cozonac


12. Romanian Traditional Rice Pudding (Orez Cu Lapte)

This old fashioned rice pudding recipe is my childhood dessert.

Rice pudding is made all over the world, however this is simple and full of flavor from that lemon zest.

Served with ground cinnamon on top and extra fruit jam and nuts as a more upgraded version. Yum!

creamy rice pudding
Romanian Rice Pudding (Orez Cu Lapte)


*Update: August 3. 2022

13. Romanian Chocolate Cake (Negresa)

This Romanian chocolate cake (Negresa) is very much enjoyed by Romanians and it’s cooked very often being a very easy to make dessert.

Romanian chocolate cake
Romanian chocolate cake


14. Romanian Loaf Cake (Chec)

Loaf cakes are quick and simple to bake desserts when in mood for dessert. Simple, with cocoa or fruits, these easy bakes are on Romanian tables all the time.

Romanian loaf cake


15. Romanian Fresh Pumpkin Squares (Placinta Cu Dovleac)

Simple layers of shortbread pastry dough and fresh pumpkin filling. Simple, sweet autumn Romanian dessert. This recipe can be made with apples too.

Romanian fresh pumpkin squares


16. Romanian Pork And Potato Stew (Mancare / Tocanita De Cartofi)

Simple but comforting, hearty recipe. This traditional dish is another staple recipe from Romanian cuisine. Can be made and enjoyed with or without meat.

Pork & Potato Stew (Mancare De Cartofi)


17. Romanian Green Peas Stew (Mancare De Mazare)

Simple, colorful, healthy and nutritious recipe. Enjoyed by children, too. Can be made with fresh or frozen peas.

green peas stew
Green Peas Stew (Mancare De Mazare)


Wrapping up

I really hope you liked what you saw,  so far.

This post will be updated as I continue to post more recipes.

Fell free to share this list with your FB friends, or pin the image below on Pinterest for future references.

Bon appetit & enjoy!

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