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 these dumpling recipes.

  • 01 of 18

    Hungarian Plum Dumplings - Szilvas Gomboc

    Nicubunu

    Nicubunu / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0

    Hungarian plum dumplings can be eaten as a 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 - Knedle s Sljivama

    Croation Plum dumplings
    izzzy71 / Getty Images

    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

    Bohemian-Czech Bread Dumplings - Houskove Knedliky

    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

    Polish Steamed Yeast Dumplings - Kluski Na Parze

    Kluski

    Enrico Matteucci / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 2.0

    Not every Pole is familiar with kluski na parze, literally "dumplings on steam." This authentic Polish dish is always a treat to make when the weather turns cool. These Polish steamed yeast dumplings can be served with meat and gravy or sautéed in butter and sprinkled with sugar.

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  • 05 of 18

    Hungarian Bread Dumplings - Zsemlye Gomboc

    Zsemlye Gomboc

    Romi / Pixabay / Creative Commons CC0

    Instead of being rolled into a loaf or log as in the Czech bread dumplings, 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

    Lithuanian Meat Zeppelin Dumplings - Cepelinai

    Cepelinai

    Tobin / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 2.0

    Lithuanian meat zeppelin 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 Drop Potato Dumplings - Kartoflane Kluski

    Polish Potato Drop Dumplings or Kartoflane Kluskii

    The Spruce / Barbara Rolek

    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

    Polish Potato Finger Dumplings - Kartoflane Kluski

    Knedle or Kluski (in Galicia) with fried bacon from Poland

    Silar / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0

    Polish 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.

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  • 09 of 18

    Czech Potato Dumplings - Bramborove Knedliky ze Studenych Brambor

    Czech Potato Dumplings

    The Spruce / Barbara Rolek

    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

    Ukrainian Blueberry Dumplings - Varenyky

    Pierogi with blueberry

    Martali44 / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0

    Ukrainian blueberry 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

    Hungarian Potato Dumplings With Sheep's Milk Cheese - Dodole or Strapacka

    Sztrapacska

    Maciarka / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0

    This recipe for Hungarian potato dumplings with sheep's milk cheese, preferably Liptauer, is known as dodolestrapacka in the northern part (Slovakia) of Hungary.

  • 12 of 18

    Polish Lazy Pierogi - Leniwe Pierogi

    Pierogi leniwe z cynamonem

    Przykuta / Wikimedia Commons / Creative Commons 3.0

    Polish 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.

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  • 13 of 18

    Polish Little Ears Dumplings - Uszka

    Little Ear Dumplings

    Ian O'Leary / Getty Images

    Polish little ears dumplings, 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

    Russian-Ukrainian Pampushki

    Red borsch with traditional Ukrainian bread pampushki

    Lisovskaya Natalia / Alloy / Getty Images

    The Russian-Ukrainian pampushki recipe is a common dish in those parts of the world. 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

    Polish Dumplings - Pierogi

    Close-up of Pierogi With Sauce

    Harald Walker / EyeEm / Getty Images

    Polish dumplings - 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

    Jewish Matzoh Balls

    Chicken soup matzo balls

    Penina Meisels / Photolibrary / Getty Images

    Jewish matzoh balls is a well-known classic Jewish comfort food. The matzo balls are lightened with whipped egg whites, but if it's too fussy, there are plenty of variations including a no-chicken option for vegetarians.

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  • 17 of 18

    Jewish Potato Knish

    Schimmel Knish

    Eric Hunt / Wikimedia 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 empanadapirozhkicalzone.

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  • 18 of 18

    Jewish Meat Knishes

    Owner of a Knishery proudly displaying his knishes

    xPACIFICA / The Image Bank / Getty Images

    Jewish meat knishes, like potato knishes (above), are single-serving meat pies or dumplings.