Jewish Meat Knishes

Knish with Mustard
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Prep: 50 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Dough must chill: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 20 mins
Servings: 12 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
497 Calories
39g Fat
9g Carbs
27g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 497
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 39g 50%
Saturated Fat 19g 96%
Cholesterol 282mg 94%
Sodium 302mg 13%
Total Carbohydrate 9g 3%
Dietary Fiber 1g 3%
Protein 27g
Calcium 86mg 7%
*The % Daily Value (DV) tells you how much a nutrient in a food serving contributes to a daily diet. 2,000 calories a day is used for general nutrition advice.
(Nutrition information is calculated using an ingredient database and should be considered an estimate.)

A Jewish meat knish (kuh-NISH) is a baked dumpling filled with meat, potatoes, kasha, sauerkraut, onions or cheese (and lately spinach, sweet potatoes, and other ingredients), that is traditionally baked but sometimes fried. It's similar to a British pasty, Mexican empanada, Russian pirozhki, and an Italian calzone. Since this dough recipe is made with butter, cream cheese, and sour cream, and filled with beef, it would not be considered kosher.

The recipe for the filling was provided by Lloyd Weinstein of Benjie's Deli in Santa Ana, Calif. The knishes can be individually quick frozen on baking sheets and transferred to freezer bags for storage if desired.

Here is a potato knish recipe you might like to try.


  • Knish Dough:
  • 8 ounces butter (unsalted, softened)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/2 cups flour (all-purpose)
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • Meat Filling:
  • 1 large onion (chopped)
  • 1/8 cup vegetable oil
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef (80%-lean)
  • 5 ounces pastrami (chopped)
  • 2 large eggs
  • 1/4 teaspoon white pepper
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon water (beaten with egg)

Steps to Make It

Make the Knish Dough:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare the knish dough in a food processor fitted with a metal blade. Process butter, cream cheese, and sour cream until smooth. Add flour and salt and pulse to blend.

  3. Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap.

  4. Using floured hands, form into a ball and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

Make the Meat Filling:

  1. Gather the ingredients.

  2. Prepare the meat filling by sautéeing the onions in vegetable oil until translucent.

  3. Add the ground beef and brown. Add pastrami and mix well. Remove from heat.

  4. Pass meat through a grinder with the small hole setting.

  5. Transfer meat to a large bowl. Let cool to room temperature. Add eggs and seasonings, and mix well.

  6. Flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Cover with plastic wrap and let it rest 15 minutes.

  7. Preheat oven to 350 F.

  8. Roll the dough to 1/4-inch thickness.

  9. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3-inch squares.

  10. Egg wash the squares with 1 beaten egg mixed with 1 teaspoon water.

  11. Place two cookie-size scoops of filling on each square. Then fold the ends in as for an envelope.

  12. Place knishes on a parchment-lined baking pan and brush with egg wash. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling. Bake for 20 minutes or until knishes are golden brown on the top and bottom.

  13. Serve warm as an appetizer, side dish or main course.

  14. Enjoy!