Princessa Recipe

Lastest Updated April 19, 2024
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Princessa (Принцеса) is a famous Bulgarian meat sandwich recipe made from crusty bread, minced meat, eggs, cheese, and various spices. It can be easily prepared at home for breakfast or a quick snack, though you can find it at restaurants and cafes, too.

Princessa is literally “princess” in Bulgarian, so other popular names for the dish include “Princess sandwich” or “Princesses.” In contrast to the lofty name, this dish has a very humble beginning, which I will tell you in detail.

But that isn’t the only thing that this post delivers. You will also learn about what makes Princessa special, what tools and ingredients are necessary to make it at home, how to make it from scratch, and tips for preparing it, as well as serving suggestions.

Princessa1

What Are the Highlights of Princessa?

Princessa is a wonderful Bulgarian sandwich recipe in many ways, not just in its exquisite name. It first appeared in the mid-1960s, when meat was usually an expensive foodstuff. Princessa was a clever idea to use a minimal amount of meat for maximum enjoyment.

Since then, the sandwich has been a classic breakfast and brunch staple for Bulgarians. It is also a popular snack and fast food in the country.

This dish consists of slices of grilled bread topped with a spiced mixture of minced meat, eggs, and cheese. Some recipes include vegetables, such as tomatoes (like mine), cucumbers, or bell peppers, but Princessa is highly delicious on its own. Its name has an intriguing story, too.

Where Did the Name Princessa Come From?

There is no definitive answer to how a sandwich came to be called a “princess.” But there is a possible theory. When Princessa was created, it was an established custom in Bulgaria to name a new dish or food product after a significant location or event.

And at that time, the excavation of the Mogilan burial mound in Vratsa province, northwestern Bulgaria, generated enough buzz to fit the criterion. The place was the burial site of a Thracian princess, so before long, the sandwich recipe became known as Princessa.

Read on to see what tools you need to make Princessa from scratch.

What Tools Should I Use to Prepare Princessa at Home?

Like all the convenient breakfast recipes, Princessa doesn’t require any fancy cooking tool. You can easily find the needed tools in your kitchen. As for the grilling equipment, you can use an oven, an electric grill, or a traditional grill.

  • Cutting board: For cutting the bread more easily.
  • Bread knife: Since Princessa requires even, well-shaped slices of bread, a sharp knife with a serrated blade will do the job better.
  • Kitchen grater: For grating the cheese.
  • Bowl: A medium bowl is ideal for mixing the ingredients of the sandwich.
  • Fork: For distributing the meat mixture of the bread. You can also use a spoon or a butter knife instead.
Princessa Tools

What Are the Main Ingredients of Princessa?

You’re going to need minced meat, bread, cheese, eggs, and spices to make Princessa from scratch. Some ingredients are easier to find in Bulgaria than in other countries, so I will give you a few substitution ideas as well.

  • Minced meat: You can use pork or beef mince or a mixture of both. This recipe uses a mix of 70% minced pork and 30% minced beef.
  • Bread: Any type of crusty bread will do, regardless of white or wholemeal bread. But you shouldn’t use sweet bread because it isn’t suitable for this savory sandwich.
  • Yellow cheese: My recipe uses kashkaval, a traditional Bulgarian yellow cheese, for authentic flavors. If you can’t find it, replace it with hard mozzarella.
  • Eggs: Fresh, medium-sized eggs are the best. They prevent the minced meat from shrinking and not fully covering the bread after baking.
  • Savory: A ubiquitous spice in Bulgarian cuisine. The leaves, harvested just before flowering begins, are the most commonly used part of the plant. They have a hot and peppery flavor.
Princessa Ingredients

There are two main types: summer savory and winter savory. The former is more popular and has a stronger taste, so I use it in my recipe. If you can’t find savory, substitute it with a mix of dried oregano and dried thyme.

  • Cumin: For adding warmth and an earthy flavor to the dish.
  • Salt and black pepper: Typical seasoning for many dishes.

What Are the Instructions for Creating a Homemade Princessa?

To prepare Princessa for breakfast, you only need to slice the bread, prepare the meat mixture, and grill the bread slices after spreading them with the meat mixture. Here are detailed instructions on how to get them right.

Step 1: Slice the Bread

Cut the bread into thin slices of equal thickness (about 0.4 – 0.5 inch). Set them aside.

Princessa Step 1 Slice the Bread

Step 2: Create the Meat Mixture

Grate the cheese on the kitchen grater.

Princessa Step 2 Create the Meat Mixture

In a mixing bowl, combine the minced meat, grated cheese, eggs, and the spices.

Princessa Step 2 Create the Meat Mixture1

Mix well until all the ingredients are thoroughly combined.

Princessa Step 2 Create the Meat Mixture2
Princessa Step 2 Create the Meat Mixture3

Step 3: Grill the Bread

Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).

For each slice of bread, spread a generous amount of the meat mixture on the entire surface of the top side.

Repeat with the remaining slices of bread until you have used up the mince mixture.

Princessa Step 3 Grill the Bread

Cook the sandwiches on the grill in the oven until the top side is golden. This usually takes 10 minutes.

The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the minced meat layer and the heat level. Make sure the minced meat is thoroughly cooked before you take them out.

Princessa Step 3 Grill the Bread1

Remove the sandwiches from the grill and place them on a serving plate. You can garnish the sandwiches with fresh herbs and tomato slices.

Princessa Step 3 Grill the Bread2

What Tips Can I Use to Make Princessa?

My favorite tricks with Princessa are using more spices but no butter and spreading the minced mixture evenly, even the edge of the bread slices. Let me break them down for you!

In this section, I will also introduce suitable dishes for pairing with Princessa, how to store and reheat it at home, and suggestions for more Bulgarian dishes.

  • More spices: besides savory, fenugreek (or sminduh in Bulgarian) is another popular spice in Bulgarian cuisine. If you can use it to make your Princesa, your breakfast will be more delicious.
  • No need for butter: it is a common habit to butter up the bread slices before grilling them, but most Bulgarians don’t do so with Princessa.
  • Spread the meat mixture evenly: many people tend to add more minced meat to the middle of the bread slice than other parts, leading to the middle being undercooked. Therefore, make sure to flatten the middle part carefully.
  • Cover the edges: if the edges of the bread slices are exposed, they will burn during baking. Don’t make this mistake!
Princessa3

What Dishes Can I Pair With Princessa?

There are several Bulgarian side dishes to accompany Princessa, such as Shopska salad (Bulgarian cold salad) and Tarator (Bulgarian cold yogurt-based soup). If you don’t need to enjoy Princessa like a local, feel free to pair it with onion rings, potato chips, or other types of salads.

What Are the Best Ways to Store and Reheat Princessa?

Princessa can stay good for several days if you wrap it in an airtight container and refrigerate it. For a longer storage time, like two to three months, you should put the sandwiches in a freezer-friendly bag, arrange them in a single layer, and transfer them to the freezer.

Reheating Princessa can be easily done with a microwave or a skillet. It is a terrific make-ahead recipe: you can prepare a big batch, store them in the fridge, and reheat a few sandwiches each morning.

What Other Bulgarian Dishes Can I Try?

You can easily cook and enjoy Bulgarian dishes like Tikvenik, Supa Topcheta, Palneni Chushki, Banitsa, and Meshana Skara. They range from main dishes to snacks and desserts and can fulfill all kinds of culinary fantasies.

  • Tikvenik (Bulgarian pumpkin strudels): This is a famous Bulgarian sweet pastry for Christmas and winter months. But you can also come across it as a dessert and snack at other times of the year.
  • Supa Topcheta (Bulgarian meatball soup): Like Princesa, savory contributes an addictive flavor and scent to this soup. It consists of meatballs and a rich mixture of fresh eggs and tangy Bulgarian yogurt that few can resist.
  • Palneni Chushki (Bulgarian stuffed peppers): The vivid red color of these stuffed peppers always captures my imagination. The rich and flavorful meat stuffings inside are another delight that I love very much.
  • Banitsa (Bulgarian cheese pie): Arguably the most popular pie in Bulgaria, Banitsa is the epitome of Bulgarian indulgence. It is often at the center of Christmas and New Year’s Eve celebrations, associated with many interesting customs.
  • Meshana Skara (Bulgarian mixed grill): Meshana Skara is more than a mere dish; it is a full platter of sizzling grilled meats and vegetables. Imagine succulent sausages, savory meatballs, and juicy pork chops that are grilled to perfection and full of irresistible aromas.

How About Making Your Breakfast Great Again With Princessa?

Is it weird that having Princessa every morning makes me feel like royalty? I hope it isn’t! Though simple and convenient to make, Princessa is full of exquisite flavors that will help you start your day on a high note. The sandwich is royally addictive!

To spread give your friends the joy of a wonderful breakfast, don’t forget to share this Princessa recipe with them! Let me know what you think in the comment section. Do you have more ideas for a wonderful breakfast? I’m all ears!

Princessa

Princessa (Bulgarian Meat Sandwich)

Princessa is a famous Bulgarian recipe for breakfast or a quick snack. It is effortless to make at home to satisfy your taste buds and give you the vibe of a royal meal!
5 from 2 votes
Print Pin Rate
Course: Breakfast, Brunch
Cuisine: Bulgarian
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6 Servings
Calories: 127kcal

Ingredients

  • 8.8 ounces 250 grams minced meat
  • 2.8 ounces 80 grams kashkaval cheese
  • 2 eggs
  • A small loaf of bread 1 pound
  • 0.5 teaspoon cumin
  • 0.5 teaspoon savory
  • 0.25 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 0.25 teaspoon salt

Instructions 

  • Cut the bread into thin slices of equal thickness (about 0.4 – 0.5 inch).
    Princessa Step 1 Slice the Bread
  • Grate the cheese on the kitchen grater.
    Princessa Step 2 Create the Meat Mixture
  • In a mixing bowl, combine the minced meat, grated cheese, eggs, and the spices together until thoroughly combined.
    Princessa Step 2 Create the Meat Mixture2
  • Preheat the oven to 180°C (356°F).
  • Spread the meat mixture over the top side of each bread slice, including the edges.
    Princessa Step 3 Grill the Bread
  • Cook the sandwiches on the grill in the oven for 10 minutes or until the top side is golden.
    Princessa Step 3 Grill the Bread1
  • Remove the sandwiches from the grill. Garnish them with tomato slices and fresh herbs.
    Princessa Step 3 Grill the Bread2

Video

Notes

  • The instructions apply to preparing 6 servings.
  • You can add fenugreek to the spice mix.
  • This recipe doesn’t need butter.
  • Don’t overspread the meat mixture in the middle.
  • Make sure to cover the edges of the bread slices completely.
  • The cooking time may vary depending on the thickness of the minced meat layer and the heat level.

Nutrition

Calories: 127kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Protein: 9g | Fat: 10g | Saturated Fat: 4g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 1g | Monounsaturated Fat: 4g | Trans Fat: 1g | Cholesterol: 84mg | Sodium: 146mg | Potassium: 137mg | Fiber: 0.04g | Sugar: 0.1g | Vitamin A: 82IU | Vitamin C: 0.02mg | Calcium: 18mg | Iron: 1mg
Mia Dimitrova

Mia Dimitrova

Content Writer

Expertise

Home Cooking, Meal Planning, Food Styling, Food Photography, Culinary Storytelling, Cooking-video Maker, European Food Content Creator, Bulgarian Food Evaluation Expert

Education

Sofia University “St. Kliment Ohridski”

  • Program: Bachelor of Fine Arts in Photography
  • Focus: Captured the soul of Bulgarian and European dishes, emphasizing the interrelation between visual appeal and culinary history.
    Completed a thesis titled “Bulgaria on a Plate: A Photographic Journey through our Gastronomic Legacy.”

European Culinary Arts Academy

  • Program: Certified Course in Food Styling
  • Focus: Gained expertise in presenting dishes from Bulgaria and beyond, understanding the intricacies of European culinary aesthetics.

Maria Dimitrova, or Mia, is a Contributing Writer from Sofia, Bulgaria. Her work beautifully intertwines the rich flavors of Bulgarian and European dishes with their visual storytelling, capturing the soul of each cuisine. Through engaging content and stunning photography, Maria explores the intricate relationship between food’s aesthetic appeal and cultural history.

Specializing in home cooking, food styling, and photography, she brings European culinary traditions to life, offering a unique glimpse into Bulgaria’s gastronomic heritage. Maria’s expertise highlights her deep appreciation for culinary art and invites her audience to embark on a flavorful journey through Europe’s diverse food landscape.

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