Jewish Potato Knish Recipe

Jewish Potato Knish

The Spruce 

  • Total: 60 mins
  • Prep: 30 mins
  • Cook: 30 mins
  • Dough must be chilled: 2 hrs
  • Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
433 Calories
35g Fat
18g Carbs
13g Protein
See Full Nutritional Guidelines Hide Full Nutritional Guidelines
Nutrition Facts
Servings: 12
Amount per serving
Calories 433
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 35g 45%
Saturated Fat 19g 97%
Cholesterol 240mg 80%
Sodium 789mg 34%
Total Carbohydrate 18g 6%
Dietary Fiber 2g 7%
Protein 13g
Calcium 219mg 17%
*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 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.
The recipe for this 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. Note that if you want to freeze the knishes before baking, the instant potatoes in this recipe help to stabilize the filling as it thaws while cooking, soaking up any excess water caused by the thawing.
The cream cheese and butter in this dough produces a flaky pastry. In kosher cooking, this would be considered a dairy meal and the dough should not be filled with meat. 


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  • For the Knish Dough:
  • 8 ounces butter (unsalted, softened)
  • 8 ounces cream cheese (softened)
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • For the Potato Filling:
  • 6 large potatoes (peeled, cut into chunks, boiled, cooled, and shredded in a ricer or grinder)
  • 1 pound onions (chopped and sautéed)
  • 2 large eggs (beaten)
  • 1/4 cup instant mashed potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 3/4 teaspoon ascorbic acid (or vitamin C powder, to keep the potatoes from turning dark)
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 tablespoon hot sauce (Tabasco)
  • Optional: 8 ounces cheddar cheese (finely shredded)
  • For the Egg Wash:
  • 1 large egg (beaten)
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • Optional: 1 drop of yellow food coloring

Steps to Make It

Note: while there are multiple steps to this recipe, this potato knish dish is broken down into workable categories to help you better plan for cooking.

Make the Knish Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  2. 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.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Turn dough out onto a sheet of plastic wrap. Using floured hands, form into a ball and wrap tightly. Refrigerate at least 2 hours or overnight.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce

Make the Potato Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. In a large bowl, mix together cooked and shredded potatoes, sautéd onions, eggs, instant mashed potatoes, salt, ascorbic acid, garlic powder, Tabasco sauce, and optional cheddar cheese.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce

Assemble the Knishes

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe ingredients
    The Spruice 
  2. Heat oven to 350 F.

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

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Roll the dough to a 1/4-inch thickness. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3-inch squares.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Egg wash the squares with 1 beaten egg mixed with 1 tablespoon water and 1 optional drop of yellow food coloring.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Place two cookie-size scoops of filling on each square. Then fold the ends in as for an envelope.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce

Bake the Knishes

  1. Place knishes on a parchment-lined baking pan and brush with egg wash. Continue with rest of dough and filling.

  2. Bake for 20 minutes or until knishes are golden brown on the top and bottom.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Serve warm as an appetizer, side dish or meatless main course.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Enjoy!