16 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 16

    Hungarian Plum Dumplings - Szilvas Gomboc

    Hungarian plum dumpling
    Gillian Vann / Getty Images

    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 16

    Croatian Plum Dumplings - Knedle s Sljivama

    HomeMaker / Pixabay / CC0 Public Domain

    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 16

    Bohemian-Czech Bread Dumplings - Houskove Knedliky

    Traditional Czech Bread Dumplings

    The Spruce / Julia Hartbeck

    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 16

    Polish Steamed Yeast Dumplings - Kluski Na Parze

    Polish fruit filled potato dumplings
    Fotosearch / Getty Images

    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 16

    Lithuanian Meat Zeppelin Dumplings - 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).

  • 06 of 16

    Polish Drop Potato Dumplings - Kartoflane Kluski

    Potato dumplings with cress sauce
    Try these potato dumplings with a cress sauce.


    Eising/Getty Images

    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!

  • 07 of 16

    Polish Potato Finger Dumplings - Kartoflane Kluski

    Potato Finger Dumplings
    © Barbara Rolek

    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.

  • 08 of 16

    Czech Potato Dumplings - Bramborove Knedliky ze Studenych Brambor

    Kneading Dough with Hands On the Table
    GMVozd / Getty Images

    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.

    Continue to 9 of 16 below.
  • 09 of 16

    Ukrainian Blueberry Dumplings - Varenyky

    Blueberry Dumplings

    gorchittza2012 / Getty Images

    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.

  • 10 of 16

    Polish Lazy Pierogi - Leniwe Pierogi

    Preparing fresh homemade gnocchi pasta with potatoe dough.


    GMVozd/Getty Images

    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.

  • 11 of 16

    Polish Little Ears Dumplings - Uszka

    Uszka Dumplings

    Zbigniew Lewczak / 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.

  • 12 of 16

    Russian-Ukrainian Pampushki

    Deep Fried Cheese Balls
    LauriPatterson / 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.

    Continue to 13 of 16 below.
  • 13 of 16

    Polish Dumplings - Pierogi

    Pierogi from Polana Foods online store. © Polana Foods

    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.

  • 14 of 16

    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.

  • 15 of 16

    Jewish Potato Knish

    Jewish Potato Knish

    The Spruce 

    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.


  • 16 of 16

    Jewish Meat Knishes

    Knish with Mustard
    Envision / Getty Images

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