Classic Zapiekanka: The Ultimate Polish Open-Faced Sandwich


Dive into the heart of Polish street food with our Classic Zapiekanka, the ultimate open-faced sandwich that has captivated the taste buds of Poles for decades. Originating from the communist era as an affordable yet delicious snack, zapiekanka combines a crispy baguette, smothered with sautéed mushrooms, melted cheese, and a generous drizzle of ketchup or your favorite sauce. This iconic dish, customizable with a variety of toppings, offers a simple yet irresistible blend of flavors that promise to make it a favorite at any gathering or a comforting solo treat.

Classic Zapiekanka: The Ultimate Polish Open-Faced Sandwich

Preparation and Cooking Times

  • Preparation Time: 15 minutes
  • Cooking Time: 10 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes

Servings and Serving Size

  • Servings: 4
  • Serving Size: 1/2 baguette (about 6-8 inches long)

Nutritional Information (Per Serving)

  • Calories: 400 kcal
  • Protein: 15 g
  • Carbohydrates: 45 g
  • Fat: 18 g
  • Fiber: 3 g
  • Sugar: 4 g
  • Sodium: 600 mg


  • 2 baguettes, cut in half lengthwise
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 cups sliced mushrooms
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups grated cheese (mozzarella, cheddar, or a mix)
  • Optional toppings: cooked ham, bacon, bell peppers, olives, etc.
  • Ketchup or your choice of sauce for drizzling
  • Chopped chives or green onions, for garnish

Detailed Method of Preparation

  1. Preheat your oven to 400°F (200°C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  2. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the mushrooms, onion, and garlic. Sauté until the vegetables are soft and golden. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Place the baguette halves on the prepared baking sheet. Spread the sautéed vegetable mixture evenly over each half. Add any additional toppings as desired.
  4. Sprinkle generously with grated cheese.
  5. Bake in the preheated oven for about 10 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and bubbly and the edges of the baguette are crispy.
  6. Drizzle with ketchup or your choice of sauce. Garnish with chopped chives or green onions. Serve hot.

Tips for Culinary Success

  • For a crunchier base, lightly toast the baguette halves before topping them with the vegetables and cheese.
  • Experiment with various toppings to customize your zapiekanka to your liking.
  • A broiler can be used for the last few minutes of baking to achieve a beautifully browned and bubbly cheese topping.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Can I make zapiekanka ahead of time?

It's best enjoyed fresh, but you can prepare the vegetable mixture in advance and assemble just before baking.

What type of baguette should I use?

A traditional, crusty baguette works best for the base to hold up the toppings and maintain its crispness.

Can zapiekanka be reheated?

Yes, reheat in the oven at 350°F (175°C) for about 5 minutes or until warm and crispy.

Classic Zapiekanka is more than just an open-faced sandwich; it's a bite into Polish history and culture, offering a deliciously simple yet satisfying experience. Whether you're reminiscing about a trip to Poland or exploring its flavors from home, zapiekanka brings a piece of Polish street food tradition to your kitchen. Gather your favorite toppings, bake to perfection, and enjoy the ultimate comfort food that has brought joy to generations.