Eastern European Dumpling Recipes

A Dumpling a Day ...

If an apple a day keeps the doctor away, it's probably fair to say a dumpling a day keeps depression at bay. Beyond providing sustenance, their sole purpose in life seems to be to give the tummy a big hug -- comfort food extraordinaire. Eastern Europeans don't have the corner on dumplings, but it comes pretty close. There are Jewish kreplach and knishes, Russian piroshki, Ukrainian vareniki, Lithuanian koldunai, and Polish pierogi, to name a few. Jump on the carbohydrate bandwagon with...MORE these dumpling recipes.

  • 01 of 18
    Nicubunu/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 3.0
    Hungarian plum dumplings can be eaten as dessert, a meatless main dish or side dish. Like Polish, Croatian and Romanian plum dumplings, the dough is made with mashed potatoes. This dough, however, is rolled with a pin, rather than forming the dumplings by hand.
  • 02 of 18
    Croatian Plum Dumplings
    Croatian Plum Dumplings. © 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.
    Croatian plum dumplings are made with a mashed potato dough and can be eaten as a dessert when sprinkled with sugar, as a meatless main course or as a starch accompanying a meat dish. Plum dumplings are common throughout Eastern Europe among Poles, Hungarians, Romanians and wherever plums are plentiful. The small, Italian prune plum works best.
  • 03 of 18
    International Food
    Eddie Gerald/Moment Open/Getty Images

    Bohemian-Czech bread dumplings are steamed and just made for soaking up lots of gravy. They are typically served with roast pork with sauerkraut, roast goose and duck, chicken paprikash, roast beef and dill sauce, and more. This recipe calls for bacon and onion in the dough, but some versions are just plain.

  • 04 of 18
    Enrico Matteucci /Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 2.0

    Not every Pole is familiar with kluski na parze, literally "dumplings on steam." It was a treat my busia Durski made when the weather turned cooler. She learned the technique from a Polish landowner in Denmark whose farm she worked with my dziadzia Durski before they came to the United States. Busia beat the dough by hand until it blistered, as did my mother, but I use a stand mixer. These kluski can be served with meat and gravy or sauteed in butter and sprinkled with sugar.

    Continue to 5 of 18 below.
  • 05 of 18
    Zsemlye Gomboc
    Romi/Pixabay/Creative Commons CC0

    Instead of being rolled into a loaf or log as in the Czech bread dumplings recipe, above, the Hungarian bread dumplings are rolled into balls or dropped from a spoon or cookie scoop into boiling water. They're delicious with chicken paprikash soup.

  • 06 of 18
    Tobin/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 2.0

    Lithuanian potato-meat dumplings are known as zeppelins because of their shape. These are hearty affairs that take some time to make but are well worth the effort. There are also potato-cheese cepelinai (see below).

  • 07 of 18
    Polish Potato Drop Dumplings or Kartoflane Kluskii
    Polish Potato Drop Dumplings or Kartoflane Kluskii. © 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    This recipe for Polish drop potato dumplings uses raw, grated potatoes instead of mashed potatoes as this potato finger dumpling recipe (see below) does. These dumplings couldn't be easier -- no rolling or cutting. The slack or loose dough is dropped into the water by spoonfuls and boiled until tender. And there are no eggs in the recipe!

  • 08 of 18
    Knedle or Kluski (in Galicia) with fried bacon from Poland
    Silar/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 3.0

    Potato finger dumplings can be eaten in soup, as a side dish with butter, or as the main course when combined with caramelized onions and fried bacon or other smoked meats. Every Eastern European region has a variation of this dish.

    Continue to 9 of 18 below.
  • 09 of 18
    Potato Dumplings in Pan Juices
    Potato Dumplings in Pan Juices. © 2009 Barbara Rolek licensed to About.com, Inc.

    This recipe for Czech potato dumplings is made with cold, unseasoned mashed potatoes. There are varieties made with raw grated potatoes and some with hot mashed potatoes.

  • 10 of 18
    Pierogi with blueberry, cut open
    Martali44/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 3.0

    Ukrainian filled dumplings that are boiled are known as varenyky. They are analogous to Polish pierogi. When Ukrainian filled dumplings are made with yeast and baked, they are known as pyrohy. The filling used here is blueberry, but any of the fillings for and can be used.

  • 11 of 18
    Maciarka/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 3.0
    This recipe for potato dumplings with sheep's milk cheese, preferably Liptauer, is known as dodole in Hungarian or strapacka in the northern part (Slovakia) of Hungary.
  • 12 of 18
    Pierogi leniwe z cynamonem
    Przykuta/Wikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 3.0

    Lazy Pierogi are actually dumplings similar to kartoflane kluski (above), except baker's cheese, also known as dry curd cheese, or ricotta is incorporated into the dough instead of potatoes. The dough is hand rolled and left unfilled.

    Continue to 13 of 18 below.
  • 13 of 18
    Little Ear Dumplings
    Ian O'Leary/Getty Images

    Polish uszka, also known as "little ears" because of their shape, are one of the three main Polish filled dumplings/crepes along with pierogi and nalesniki. They are typically made with savory fillings and boiled in broth. Mushroom-filled uszka served in beet barszcz are a favorite for Christmas Eve wigilia dinner.

  • 14 of 18
    Red borsch with traditional Ukrainian bread pampushki
    Lisovskaya Natalia/Alloy/Getty Images

    This recipe for pampushki is common in Russia, Ukraine, and other parts. Some fry their pampushki, others poach them in stock. Eastern Europeans love to hide food in other foods as is evident here. The basic premise of these dumplings is a potato ball stuffed with something, usually cheese. The rest is up to the imagination of the cook.

  • 15 of 18
    Close-Up Of Pierogi With Sauce Served In Plate
    Harald Walker /EyeEm/Getty Images
    Pierogi dough can be as simple as a flour-egg-water combination or made with sour cream, cream cheese, potatoes or be dairy- and egg-free. Pierogi fillings range from vegetables to meat, fish, fruit, and sweet or savory cheese.
  • 16 of 18
    Chicken soup matzo balls
    Penina Meisels/Photolibrary/Getty Images
    My mother taught me how to make matzoh balls. As many times as she made them, however, they turned out like lead sinkers, hard and small. For some reason, mine always turned out big and fluffy so I became the designated matzoh-ball maker in my family.
    Continue to 17 of 18 below.
  • 17 of 18
    Schimmel Knish
    Eric HuntWikimedia Commons/Creative Commons 2.5
    A Jewish potato knish (kuh-NISH) is a savory single-serving pie filled with meat, potatoes, kasha, sauerkraut, onions or cheese (and lately spinach and other ingredients) that is baked or fried. It's similar to a British pasty, Mexican empanada, Russian pirozhki and an Italian calzone.
  • 18 of 18
    Owner of a Knishery proudly displaying his knishes
    xPACIFICA/The Image Bank/Getty Images
    Meat knishes, like potato knishes (above), are single-serving meat pies or dumplings.