Three Delicious Traditional Albanian Recipes: Savory, Sweet and Buttery - Into Albania

Three Delicious Traditional Albanian Recipes: Savory, Sweet and Buttery

Simple yet rich, both heavy and light, and truly Albanian, these three dishes are a real treat as the weather gets chilly.

Picking three recipes from the array of countless delicious dishes that comprise the rich Albanian gastronomic tradition is no easy task. Yet, we’re confident that the ones we have selected will leave you speechless. Flija, the perfect complement to every meal, but a protagonist in its own right. Shëndetlie, the moist cake everyone simply loves. And, Albania’s own pasta with chicken, the likes of which you have not seen before. Read below to find the complete recipes and try them next time you find time and inspiration in the kitchen.

Flija, the scrumptious doughy complement to every meal

This is, by far, one of the most delicious recipes to try as the temperatures begin cooling! Falling neither in the phyllo-dough nor the pancake category, flija is difficult to compare to the other “doughs” that exist out there. Thin strips of dough are layered upon one another to create e scrumptious finish that perfectly complements every meal. Served savory or sweet, you can pair flija with goat or sheep’s cheese, fresh yogurt, honey, and jams. This typical food of the mountains was traditionally cooked by the embers of a fire, which make it extra toasty. Homemade flija is no less delicious, however. Using your oven, a few simple ingredients, some patience and love, you can whip this Albanian specialty for your next weekend gathering and impress your guests. For the complete recipe, click here.

Shëndetlie, the adorably delicious old-school dessert

For Albanians, this dessert is an iconic comfort food. Most locals have grown up eating it from their mother’s and grandmother’s kitchen. Although these days you can find shëndetlie in niche traditional restaurants and nostalgic cafés, it is one of those recipes that tastes best at home. Its name comes from “shëndet,” which means “health” in Albanian. This does not necessarily mean that shëndetlie is healthy, in terms of calories, but that it is good for your health, in terms of satisfying your taste buds (i.e. the Albanian definition of health). The easy 2-step recipe will not take up too much of your time and effort and it is sure to satisfy. For the complete recipe, click here.

Jufka with chicken, the melt-in-your-mouth northern delicacy

If you don’t know what jufka is, we got your back. The specialty pasta from the northeastern region of Dibra is very similar to tagliatelle, which you can substitute here and get very similar results. If you prefer something lighter, you can also go with angel hair pasta, as jufka’s consistency lies somewhere between the two. The dish can also be served with beef or lamb but we prefer the version with a whole farm-fresh chicken. The oven-baked buttery dish, which takes about an hour to prepare, is a bit of an Albanian paella. Pair it with your favorite white or red wine and invite friends. For the complete recipe, click here.

Bonus: For those of you who like to bake your own bread, here is a special recipe for rustic country bread, Albanian-style.