Learn how to make different flavored Russian Tea Sandwiches using European cold cuts and get educated on what deli meats Russians use for their sandwiches! It’s the perfect snack for teatime or a delicious breakfast sandwich to enjoy in the morning to a cup of tea!
Tea sandwiches aren’t only for a mid-day snack! They make one of the quickest breakfast staples on a slice of hearty brown bread and a soft yogurt cheese with some cucumbers, simply delicious! It’s one of the easiest things to put together but is so different than an English Tea Sandwich because it’s all about the meat! And the meat you have to get at a European market, Polish Deli or Russian deli which makes it unique and well, like the tea sandwich a Russian or Ukrainian mom would make.
Russian Deli Meats (Kielbasa)
As easy as it is to make deciding what kielbasa or deli meats, are another world. There are so many cold cuts to choose from and which ones are tasty would be the common question for anyone, especially if they have no clue about the kinds but want to make a Russian Tea Sandwich. I’m sharing the Kielbasa I usually buy and some good ones I’ve tried from others and of coarse some that are made in family circles.
What makes Russian cold cuts stand out from English or American cold cuts is the aroma and spices! A slice of bologna from the grocery store is much sweeter and way different than the one you’d buy at the European market! Which, is why it’s worth the extra trip, and luckily there is a Polish Deli Store nearby so I have the privilege to choose from a variety.
There are many kielbasa varieties, from salami to bologna and many pork blends. I like ham varieties and ones that aren’t marbled with too much fat. As of a result, the best kind of cheeses for Russian Tea sandwiches are usually soft yogurt cheeses similar to Havarti. I’ll cover the names of the Kielbasa, photos, what kind of bread and cheese to buy at a European Market down below in the Q&A box but in the meantime, all you need to make a basic Russian Tea sandwich is a hearty brown bread, soft yogurt cheese, Russian cold cuts and cucumbers or tomatoes for a classic Russian Tea Sandwich! Dropdown your favorite Russian Cold Cut Meats down in the comment section to widen the world of Kielbasa!
How to make Russian Tea Sandwiches:
Russian Tea Sandwiches
Russian Tea Sandwiches:
- 4 slices hearty wheat bread (Lithuanian Bread or Russian Sourdough Bread)
- 5 oz kielbasa (any cold cut European deli-meat)
- 3 oz cheese (Havarti-style)
- 4 tbsp mayo
- 1/4 English cucumber (sliced)
How to make Russian Tea Sandwiches:
- Lightly toast the bread. Spread 1 tbsp of mayo on each slice. Place 2-3 slices of deli meat over the top and 2 small pieces of cheese.
- Garnish with thinly sliced cucumbers and serve.
- Cold Cut Meats that I used: Osoboya Salami, Krakowska sausage, Honeycomb Sausage (ham), and Royal Baked Pork Shoulder Sausage.
- To Make Ahead- garnish with fresh cucumbers before serving. Keep sandwiches cold.
Nutrition per serving
What is the best bread to use for Russian Tea Sandwiches?
The most commonly used bread for Russian tea sandwiches is a hearty wheat loaf of bread or a sourdough kind of bread. You’re likely to find a hearty loaf of bread in the bread section of most European markets. I like Lithuanian Bread or Country-style Sourdough bread but the bread can’t be your super fluffy sandwich bread. It has to be hearty which in most cases is some kind of wheat bread due to its heartiness. If you don’t like chewy bread simply toast it on low to soften it up a bit and boy will your house smell nice!
What Kielbasa or Russian deli meats are best?
Decisions, decisions! Here are my favorite European deli-meats:
- Honeycomb Sausage- a type of ham cured into a flower shape. (Pictured on far left.)
- Evreyskaya (Jewish) Osobaya- a dark soft salami sausage. Pricey but very aromatic and good. (Darker marbled Salami to the far top right.)
- Royal Baked Pork Shoulder- very tasty ham-style sausage with a peppered seasoned skin. Some marbled fat throughout but not too much. (Top far left.)
- Dry Krakowska- a ham sausage typically paler in color and speckled with black pepper. Slightly larger sausage than Osoboya salami. Very aromatic. (Pictured center top right and is light marbled sausage.)
- Krakowska Sucha- is a Bacik brand of dry sausage and is sold by the log. It looks like ham but a much smaller cylinder and has barely any marbled fat in it. (Pictured in the center. The shorter log.)
- Arbatskaya Bologna- is smoked bologna and is a children’s favorite! The longest log in the photo.)
- Schmalz’s Bologna- not pictured but I like it for Ukrainian Potato Salad (Olivier Salad). Alex’s Meat Bologna is also another kind I’d use.
- Moskovskaya- also not pictured but a very aromatic pale salami sausage and is usually on the cheaper side. Moskovskaya.
- Natural Casing Bologna– not pictured a large pale soft sausage paired well dark Osoboya salami when making sandwiches. It can also be fried to pair with eggs.
- Doktorskaya- not pictured but is wide large bologna also good for frying and pairing with eggs. There is Doktorskaya with minced fat throughout but I prefer less fat.
Krestyanskie- is a kielbasa in the shape of a tied ring. It’s thick and is great for sandwiches and pizza. (Not pictured.)
What are Tea Sandwiches?
Tea Sandwiches are typically small sandwiches to satisfy a hungry craving before a meal. Russian and Ukrainians like to make open-faced tea sandwiches anytime of the day or for unexpected guests. They come together with European cold cuts and yogurt or mild cheeses and occasionally some cucumbers or tomatoes. They also make great breakfast sandwiches and are fairly quick to put together. A classic Russian tea sandwich would consist of hearty wheat bread, mayonnaise, Kielbasa, and cheese with fresh cucumbers.
What can you serve Russian Tea Sandwiches With?
A sweet pastry or dessert makes a great snack to an afternoon cup of tea along with an open-faced Tea Sandwich. Here are some Delicious Russian Tea Pastries to choose from:
- Nutella Rogaliki (Russian Rugelach Recipe)
- Oreshki Recipe (Russian Walnut Cookies)
- Russian Peach Cookies (Persiki)
- Cream Filled Pizzelles Recipe (Trubochki)
What are the Best Russian Cheeses for Tea Sandwiches?
Mild cheeses or soft yogurt cheeses with small holes are the best for Tea Sandwiches. Here is a list to choose from:
- Salami Cheese- one of my favorites! It’s a cylinder-shaped cheese similar to Havarti. (Pictured.)
- Edamski Cheese- is a mild cheese and comes in a large rectangular block. It’s also a similar kind of cheese to Havarti.
- Yogurt Cheese- is plain mild cheese also similar to Havarti.
- Havarti Cheese- you can find Havarti in most grocery stores.
Can I make Ahead Tea Sandwiches?
Russian Tea Sandwiches are best freshly made since the bread is lightly toasted and the cucumbers start to wet the cheese when on too long. They are fairly quick to put together so making them fresh shouldn’t be a big fuss. However, if you do wish to serve a crowd beforehand here is how:
How to make Tea Sandwiches Ahead of Time: simply leave out the cucumbers until ready to serve. Make sure the bread is toasted. If wishing to make ahead with the cucumbers then layer cheese first, kielbasa, then cucumbers on top to not sog up the bread or cheese.
What spreads are the best for Russian Tea Sandwiches?
Once you have the right bread, meat, and cheese the spreads come into play easily. Here are 3 different sandwich spreads.
- Mayonnaise- good on any kind of sandwich.
- Butter- spread a thin layer of soft or cold butter over each slice of bread.
- Cream cheese- especially good with dark cold cuts like Osobaya Salami.
What’s the Best Russian Tea?
I personally like to drink green tea throughout the day but will occasionally drink some black tea, especially if I’m drinking tea over coffee in the morning. Here are the ones I pick up at my local Polish Deli.
- Earl Grey Tea
- English Tea no.1
- Raspberry Tea
- Use hearty Wheat Bread or Sour Dough bread and lightly toast it.
- Buy European Cold Cuts.
- Use mild Cheese like Havarti.
- Garnish with fresh cucumbers or tomatoes.
Other Tea Sandwiches to explore:
- Wild Garlic (Ramsons) Tea Sandwiches
- Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches (Canapés)
- Russian Mushroom Canapés Recipe
- Salmon Avocado Canapés