Jewish Potato Knish

Golden brown Jewish potato knishes on plates next to small bowl of mustard

The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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.


Click Play to See This Jewish Potato Knish Recipe Come Together

"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

Make the Knish Dough

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for potato knish dough recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Smooth knish dough detaching from the blade of the food processor

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Knish dough ball tightly wrapped in plastic film

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

Make the Potato Filling

  1. Gather the ingredients.

    Ingredients for potato knish filling recipe gathered

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Filling ingredients in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  3. Mix until thoroughly combined. Set aside.

    Knish filling ingredients evenly mixed with a wooden spoon in a large bowl

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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.

    Dough ball, knish filling, beaten egg, water, and yellow food coloring

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Knish dough ball on a floured surface covered with plastic film

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Rolled out knish dough being cut into squares with a pizza cutter

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Dough squares being brushed with egg wash

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Dough squares with dough folded over filling like an envelope

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  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.

    Filled potato knishes on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

  7. 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.

    Golden brown baked Jewish potato knishes on a baking sheet

    The Spruce Eats / Diana Chistruga

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.