Jewish Potato Knish

Jewish Potato Knish

The Spruce 

Prep: 65 mins
Cook: 35 mins
Chill Time: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs 40 mins
Servings: 24 to 25 servings
Nutrition Facts (per serving)
208 Calories
12g Fat
21g Carbs
4g Protein
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Nutrition Facts
Servings: 24 to 25
Amount per serving
Calories 208
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 12g 15%
Saturated Fat 7g 35%
Cholesterol 46mg 15%
Sodium 144mg 6%
Total Carbohydrate 21g 8%
Dietary Fiber 1g 4%
Total Sugars 1g
Protein 4g
Vitamin C 3mg 17%
Calcium 27mg 2%
Iron 1mg 7%
Potassium 224mg 5%
*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 that is then baked or fried. This Ashkenazi snack food is similar to a British pasty, Spanish empanada, Russian pirozhki, and an Italian calzone.

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 would not be filled with meat. This recipe's filling calls for boiled and shredded potatoes as well as sauteed and chopped onions; it also includes instant mashed potatoes, which help control the moisture, and ascorbic acid, which prevents the potatoes from turning a dark color. Serve the knish as a snack, appetizer, or side dish with brown mustard, sour cream, or horseradish.


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"Jewish Potato Knishes are one of the ultimate comfort foods. Now you can make them fresh in your own kitchen. You can make this recipe in steps, freeze them for quick snacks, side dishes, or any occasion. These tasty knishes go well with anything and easily take the place of fried, mashed, or baked potatoes." —Diana Andrews

Jewish Potato Knish Recipe Test
A Note From Our Recipe Tester


For the Knish Dough:

  • 8 ounces (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened

  • 8 ounces (1 brick) cream cheese, softened

  • 1/2 cup sour cream

  • 3 1/2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt

For the Potato Filling:

  • 3 large potatoes (about 1 3/4 pounds), peeled, cut into 1-inch chunks, boiled in well-salted water, cooled, and passed through a ricer

  • 1 medium onion (about 1 pound), chopped and sautéed

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1/8 cup pre-made instant mashed potatoes, prepared according to package directions

  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt, or more to taste

  • 1/2 teaspoon ascorbic acid (or vitamin C powder), to keep the potatoes from turning dark, optional

  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

  • 1/2 tablespoon hot sauce, such as Tabasco

  • 4 ounces (1 cup) finely shredded Cheddar cheese, optional

For the Egg Wash:

  • 1 large egg, beaten

  • 1 tablespoon water

  • 1 drop yellow food coloring, optional

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.

    Potato Knish Ingredients

    The Spruce

  2. In a food processor fitted with a metal blade, process the softened butter, cream cheese, and sour cream until smooth and well-combined, scraping down the bowl once or twice. Add the flour and salt and pulse to blend.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Turn the 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 filling ingredients

     The Spruce

  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked and shredded potatoes, sautéd onions, eggs, instant mashed potatoes, salt, ascorbic acid, if using, garlic powder, Tabasco sauce, and cheddar cheese, if using. Adjust the seasoning with salt to taste.

    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. Position 2 racks in the upper and lower part of the oven and heat the oven to 350 F.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe ingredients
    The Spruice 
  2. Flour a work surface and place the dough on it. Cover the dough with plastic wrap and let come to room temperature, 15 to 20 minutes.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  3. Roll the dough to a rectangle that is 1/4-inch thick. Using a pizza cutter, cut the dough into 3-inch squares. Re-roll any remaining dough scraps until all the dough is used.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  4. Make the egg wash by combining the beaten egg with 1 tablespoon water and 1 drop of yellow food coloring, if using. Brush each square with the egg wash.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. Place about 2 tablespoons of filling on each square. Then fold the corners to meet in the middle, similar to an envelope, pinching the edges closed.

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  6. Place the knishes on a two parchment lined baking sheets and brush with more egg wash. Continue with the rest of the dough and filling.

Bake the Knishes

  1. Bake the knishes for 30 to 35 minutes, rotating the pans half-way through baking until they are golden brown on the top and bottom.

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

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce

Recipe Variation

  • Once the knishes have been egg washed, before baking, you can sprinkle with flakey sea salt, sesame seeds, or poppy seeds for a little extra crunch.  

How to Freeze Knish

The knishes can be quickly frozen on baking sheets and transferred to freezer bags for longer storage if desired. Note that if you want to freeze the knishes before baking, you can bake them while still frozen; 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.