Jewish Potato Knish

Jewish Potato Knish

The Spruce 

Prep: 30 mins
Cook: 30 mins
Dough must be chilled: 2 hrs
Total: 3 hrs
Servings: 12 servings
Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)
433 Calories
35g Fat
18g Carbs
13g Protein
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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 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.

2:12

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Ingredients

  • 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 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 (2 cups) 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 the softened butter, cream cheese, and sour cream until smooth. 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 Recipe ingredients
     The Spruce
  2. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked and shredded potatoes, sautéd onions, eggs, instant mashed potatoes, salt, ascorbic acid, garlic powder, Tabasco sauce, and cheddar cheese, if using.

    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 the oven to 350 F.

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

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

    Jewish Potato Knish Recipe
     The Spruce
  5. 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
  6. Place about 1 tablespoon of filling on each square. Then fold the corners to meet in the middle, similar to an envelope.

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

Bake the Knishes

  1. Bake the knishes for 20 minutes or 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
  3. Enjoy.

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.