International Recipes

Olga's Ukrainian Filled Dumplings
(Varenyky - Perogies)

For Christmas Eve potato and cabbage fillings prevail. The dough should be thin, but not too thin, and resilient to the bite, but not tough; the filling should be distinct, but not overwhelming, in flavor.

Varenyky recipe



  • 5 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 1 cup evaporated milk
  • 1/2 cup water (more or less as needed)

Mother's Potato and Cheese Filling

  • 6 medium size potatoes
  • 2 large onions, chopped fine
  • 1 stick butter (1/4 pound)
  • 1 cup shredded Cheddar cheese or dry bryndzia (sheep's milk cheese)
  • 2 teaspoons salt, or to taste
  • 2 teaspoons pepper, or to taste

Sauerkraut and Cabbage Filling

  • 1 pound sauerkraut
  • 2 large onions, chopped fine
  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) butter
  • 3 cups shredded white cabbage
  • 1 bouillon cube
  • 2 teaspoons pepper



  1. Combine the flour and salt in a large bowl, forming a well in the center.
  2. Add the soft butter and evaporated milk gently until all the flour is absorbed.
  3. Add water as needed. Knead dough until it sticks together. Let rest 5 minutes, then knead until smooth. Cover and set aside.
  4. Place dough in a greased bowl, turn to coat, and cover. Let set for about half an hour.
  5. Take 1/3 of the dough, leaving the rest covered.
  6. Roll out into a circle on a floured surface. Flip dough over and roll it out until it is 1/8 inch thick. Cut into 3-inch rounds.
  7. Place a tablespoon of filling on one side of the round, flip over the other half and press edges together to seal.
  8. Place the dumpling on a floured tray and keep covered.
  9. In a 3-quart saucepan, drop 10 or so dumplings into boiling water. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes.
  10. Drain in a colander.
  11. Place on a lightly oiled dish to coat with a thin layer of oil. Coat dumplings so they don't stick together.
  12. Serve Dumplings with fried onions and sour cream. Cold dumplings can be fried in oil and butter for a nice crispy surface.

Mother's Potato and Cheese Filling

  1. Peel and dice potatoes, cover with water, and boil until soft. Drain. Sauté the onions in butter. Add the cheese, onions, salt and pepper to the potatoes and mash together, mix well. Allow to cool, stirring occasionally. Once cooled, it is ready to use as dumpling filling.

Sauerkraut and Cabbage Filling

  1. Pour off the sauerkraut juice and set aside. Use homemade sauerkraut or bottled. Sauté the onions in butter and add to the sauerkraut. Add the cabbage, bouillon, and reserved juice. Stirring often, cook over low heat until liquid evaporates. Add the pepper. Remove from heat and let cool. Run the mixture through a meat grinder or food processor. The filling is then ready to use in the dumplings.


There are as many variations on this dough as there are Ukrainian cooks. Potato filling is by far the most popular for varenyky. Many non-Ukrainians are under the false impression that potato is the only filling for varenyky. Before the nineteenth century, however, the potato was scarcely used in Ukraine; varenyky were filled with a turnip and onion filling.

These half moons of dough may be filled with a variety of fruits, vegetables, meats and cheeses, although for Christmas Eve potato and cabbage fillings are the favorite.


Posted by Olga at Recipe Goldmine 2/12/2002 8:13 am.

Source: Festive Ukrainian Cooking

Photo credit: (c) Can Stock Photo / olegd

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